The 2012 Vail, CO Big Beers Festival Featured Brewmasters Are…

Posted By: The Ski Channel on June 29, 2011 4:37 pm

Vail, Co- The founders of the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival held each January in Vail, Co. have announced the two featured Brewmasters for the upcoming 12th annual event.  They are John Mallet, production manager of Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, MI and Todd Usry, Brewmaster and director of operations for the Breckenridge Brewery in Breckenridge, CO. The two Brewmasters will be the featured co-hosts for many of the events January 5-7, 2012.

The Featured Brewmaster designation is a rotating honor that is bestowed upon invitation by the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival. Usry and Mallett will co-host the Traditional Brewmaster’s dinner on Friday night during the festival weekend and will each offer an individual Brewmaster’s seminar on the brewing topic of his choice. They will be headlining the event alongside Adam Avery, founder and Brewmaster of the Avery Brewing Company and Sam Calagione who is  the founder and president of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Dogfish Head Craft annually co-hosts the Calibration dinner to usher in Big Beers Festival weekend.

John Mallet of Bell’s Brewery has been the production manager for the Kalamazoo, Michigan brewery since 2001. He is also the founder and former president of SAAZ, an equipment and service provider for breweries both large and small. In 2002, Mallet was the recipient of the Institute for Brewing Studies Russell Schehrer Award for Brewing Innovation. 

Todd Usry of the Breckenridge Brewery also has a twenty-year history devoted to the brewing industry. During his career with the Breckenridge Brewery, the company has grown in production from 3,000 barrels per year to 30,000 barrels. The company distributes its beer to twenty-five states and employs several hundred people in its breweries and signature restaurants.

Sign up for the 12th Annual Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival Weekend happening January 5-7, 2012, and come to Vail to experience the event that beer connoisseurs are raving about.

For information about tickets, schedules and much more, please visit