Craft breweries celebrate growing industry

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) -- Craft beer continues to be a growing industry here in Colorado, and while St. Patty’s Day has come and gone, the celebrations around beer continued Saturday.

The Western Colorado Craft Beer Celebration has become a tradition on the Western Slope. 11 craft breweries from across the Valley were able to showcase their very best beers at the fourth annual event.

“Tastes from around the Valley and maybe something you’re not going to get in the store,” said Christine Macglashan, who has come to the event three years in a row.

Hundreds of people gathered at Kannah Creek Brewing Company to get a taste of some Western Colorado originals. It falls at the perfect time, as Saturday marked the start of Colorado craft beer week.

It’s a chance to not only showcase the best on the west, but also show people how craft beer is an economic driver here in the Grand Valley.

“Well because craft beer is usually a very local centric market it provides jobs in our town, it provides jobs to suppliers who bring goods and services to us” said the owner of Edgewater Brewery, Jim Jeffryes.

According to Colorado’s visitor center website, more than 10% of the nation’s craft breweries can be found right here in our state. There are nearly 230 established breweries in Colorado.

“I like Rockslide and we've tried almost…I think we've missed about three,” said Macglashan. “But, we're heading over, last year we had an apricot I think was our favorite."

Each brewery had about two beers for people to try. Some bring in fan favorites each year, and others mix it up for the occasion.

“Because its small batch beer it’s usually very tasty,” said Jeffryes. “It takes anywhere from two weeks to four weeks to make a batch of beer.”

People were also able to enjoy live music and some snacks throughout the evening. It was $20 tickets and people got a free glass and unlimited tastes.

All the money that was raised will go towards the Colorado Brewers Guild. The Guild is a non-profit organization that promotes the craft brewing industry here in Colorado

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