The trifecta of craft beer, live music and land preservation attracted more than 600 people to the 20th Annual Harvest Beer Festival put on by Montezuma Land Conservancy recently in Cortez.
The event raised $20,000 for the Land Conservancy to continue working with volunteer landowners who are seeking to preserve agricultural lands and wildlife habitat through land conservation easements.
Twelve breweries, cideries and wineries participated in the popular fundraiser, including from Dolores, Cortez, Mancos, Durango, Telluride, Farmington and Moab.
Attendees enjoying locally made beers perused 140 items at the silent auction ranging from pottery and art, to backpacks and bikes.
Live music was performed by regional bands Little Brother and DDAT. And master of ceremonies was Wynn Jones, new executive director of KSJD community radio.
“The festival is our opportunity to educate the community about the Land Conservancy’s projects and mission while enjoying the company of our good friends with music, food, beer and games,” said event coordinator Ryan Robison. “Each brewery brought a little something different, and there was a great selection for everyone’s palate.”
He said this year’s festival ramped up the Kid Zone activities.
The Common Ground Cortez Community Garden group gave children tours of the garden, and the Pinon Project and Cortez Public Library hosted activities like super-sized Jenga, a beanbag toss and crafts.
One of the highlights of the festival was the 22-foot tall Generation Wild Kid Fort.
Ami McAlpin, coordinator for the Montezuma Inspire Coalition, arranged to bring the interactive play structure to Cortez. The Great Outdoors Colorado adventure fort has been on a state tour, making stops at the Colorado State Fair, Denver Zoo, Pueblo and Grand Junction.
“We were honored to have the fort be part of the festival and to have it remain at Parque de Vida for four weeks afterward,” McAlpin said.
Beer vendors were Dolores River Brewery, WildEdge Brewing Collective, Mancos Brewing Co., Fenceline Ciders, Telluride Brewing, SKA Brewing, Durango Brewing Co., Main Street Brewery, 3 Rivers Brewery, Moab Brewery, Steamworks Brewing Co. and Bottom Shelf Brewery.
Food vendors were Wigglin’ Pig, Yia Yia’s Concession, Sweetwater Gypsy’s Wood-fired Pizza, and Green Table Farms.