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Steamboat’s own OktoberWest celebrates Colorado’s favorite suds Friday September 15th – 16th, 2017.

Beer is to Colorado what wine is to California, especially when it comes to craft beers. Forget about that bottle of Bud or the can of Coors and dive into the world of microbreweries and handcraft beers, where the varieties, complex brewing processes, flavor profiles and even special glassware are as sophisticated as fine wines, but with that laid-back Colorado air. Kicking back with an ice cold beer after a long day of playing hard in the mountains is as much a part of the Colorado lifestyle as chasing the next powder day.

That’s only part of the reason OktoberWest, a benefit event to raise money for the Young Professionals Network, has become so big over the last few years. This two-day event kicks off with the Friday Beer Stroll in downtown Steamboat where participating restaurants will offer a sampling of seasonal and local beers. The big event on Saturday is located at Gondola Square at the Steamboat Mountain Village where live music, awesome views and the “I Love Beef Cook Off” set the stage for the Beer Garden, featuring over 45 Rocky Mountain brewers, each sampling two kinds of beer.

All that beer can get a little overwhelming, so we thought you might want to know before you go, some of the Craft Beer Trends in 2017.

Hop Along

Nope, we’re not talking about the bunny or the kangaroo. Hops are all the rage in craft brewing these days, with brewers pushing hop flavors to new heights. Traditionally, hops were the bitter herb of India Pale Ales (IPAs) and evoked a stronger, more sophisticated brew that required a trained palate. The IPA has softened (and sweetened) up with fruity pairings to balance that intense bitterness with a touch of sweetness that results in a super smooth, easy-drinking beer.

Lighten Up

On the flip side, lighter beers are back. The truth is, beer drinkers want beers they can keep drinking, and some of these craft beers pack too much of a punch—both in flavor and alcohol content—to stomach more than a pint or two. Lagers are all the rage in 2017, just in time for October. While this might be trending in 2017, it’s certainly nothing new: these German-style beers that were brewed and stored until fall have been around a very long time. These beers are crisp, sweet, and can be paired with just about anything (pretzels and sausages, anyone?) and better yet, make for easy drinking.

Microbrews or Macrobrews?

While Colorado has always been on the forefront of craft brewing, it’s caught on nationwide. While that might mean tasty suds are available almost everywhere these days, it also means more brand acquisitions and sellouts to big beer companies. OktoberWest is a celebration of Colorado’s truest craft brews, a gathering for people who like to make beer and the people who like to drink it. Bottoms up!

Looking to come out and celebrate OktoberWest? The Porches is offering a “Try Before You Buy” 30% off special on your next stay! Click here to request more info.

For more experience on OktoberWest, go to http://www.steamboatchamber.com/signature-events/oktoberwest or contact our Concierge to purchase tickets and arrange transportation to and from the event.