Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival gives record donation to VVCF

Posted By: The Ski Channel on August 1, 2011 11:21 am

Vail, Co–The Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival presented a record donation amount of $8,500 to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund (VVCF) on Monday, July 25.  The festival which is held at the Vail Cascade Resort in January, has donated all their profits to the charity for the past ten years. This year, Big Beers chose the charitable fund specifically because the VVCF’s outreach stays locally focused.   

Big Beers actively supports the efforts of the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, a local organization which helps individuals and families who live and work in the Vail area who have critical financial needs due to medical catastrophes, accidents or long-term illnesses.

Karen Simon, executive director of the VVCF remarked on the festival organizer’s dedication to both the event and the charity saying,“This is such a generous gift from the festival, and significantly affects the work we can do for locals in need.  I can’t believe how hard the Big Beers team, with no pay for their efforts, work on this amazing event every year.”

The festival is a public event and where commercial breweries from around the world come to play. Each year breweries from around the globe offer hundreds of choices, some of whom bring special beers created solely for the festival. The 2011 event recorded more than 1,000 people enjoying the three day event which annually includes educational seminars, two brewmasters dinners, a commercial tasting, a homebrew competition and other tastings and pairings.  

This past winter the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival, in partnership with the Vail Cascade Resort, added a new facet to the event located in the Fireside Lounge, open to the public, in order to further gather financial support for the VVCF.  The Fireside event offered a rare opportunity for attendees to purchase beers from breweries from around the world–often not available outside each brewery’s tasting room.  All of the beer was donated by breweries participating in the Big Beers Festival weekend, in the spirit of the charitable nature, with twenty-eight breweries providing either a five gallon keg or a case of beer from their portfolio. Guests found themselves elbow-to-elbow with brewing celebrities, such as Larry Sidor of Deschutes Brewing Company, Greg Koch of Stone Brewing Company, Steven Pauwels of Boulevard Brewing Company and Rob Tod of Allagash Brewing Company.

Laura Lodge, event organizer, summed up the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines’ new Fireside Event by saying, “The Fireside program is challenging for me to pull together, yet generates an amazing amount of enthusiasm and is incredibly rewarding.  It’s an example of people coming together, sharing a passion and educating everyone involved.  It’s truly a magical event that I hope will continue to highlight all that the festival offers from new, rare and exceptional beers, to benefitting a great cause like the Vail Valley Charitable Fund.”

The next festival, to be held on January 5-7, 2012, will feature brewmasters Todd Usry from Breckenridge Brewery in Colorado, and John Mallet of Bell’s Brewing Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan as well as annual event hosts Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Adam Avery of Avery Brewing Company.

The Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines event is held at the Vail Cascade Resort, and room reservations for the winter event are being accepted for this very busy time of the ski season.  For more information and room reservations visit, or call 1-800-420-2424

For more information on the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival, visit

For information regarding the VVCF is located at and for more information on Vail Cascade Resort, please go to