Volunteers in Loveland, Colorado, knew there weren’t any brew festivals in the winter.
Sure, there was the Great American Beer Festival that rounded out September and led into October, but no one had decided to create something for the colder months.
Until next week, that is.
The first annual Polar Pints will be held next Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Budweiser Events Center. Some of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Special Olympics.
Event organizer Phil Hossler wanted to help Left Hand Brewing create a winter brew fest after seeing the continued yearly success of their summer festival, the Gnarly Barley Brew Fest.
“Not too many facilities can hold a big brew fest during the wintertime,” he said. “But, the Budweiser Events Center is the perfect size for something like this. Everything just happened to work out perfectly for Polar Pints.”
Although Hossler would be hard-pressed to call Polar Pints the “winter version of Gnarly Barley,” much of the festival is mirrored off of its summer counterpart.
“Ultimately, the main goal for us is to get people out to drink some beer,” he said.
Polar Pints will feature 27 breweries, 19 of which are Colorado-based, inside of the events center. Each will have their own designated, decorated booth. Some will be serving seasonally-flavored beers, but Hossler couldn’t speak as to what types would be offered, saying he left it up to each brewery to choose what they’d like to show off. Over all, there will be over 100 beers on tap.
Anyone who purchases a general admission ticket will receive 10 tokens and a four-ounce sampling mug. Each token will purchase one tasting from a brewery. Once you run out of tokens, you’re welcome to purchase more, Hossler said. Each extra token will cost $1.
VIP ticket holders receive unlimited tasting tokens and are allowed into the events center one hour early. They will also receive access to a VIP area with food, specialty beers, a pint glass and a Polar Pints t-shirt.
Old Chicago and a gyro vendor will provide food during the event.
At the festival, all of the breweries will be locked in a friendly competition with each other, since the top three companies that obtain the most tokens from attendees will receive donations to the nonprofit organization of their choice. There will also be a prize for the people’s choice award, which will be handed out after the crowd is polled. The brewery that wins will be featured during summer events, Hossler said.
“No one else really does this, and we really hope it goes off without a hitch,” he said.