Raise a glass for Beerfest

Fall event back for a second round

By Sarah Pridgeon

Sundance Beer Festival 2015 promises to be a fun-filled, all-day event for the whole family to enjoy, says organizer Reggie Gaylord. Packed with activities to complement the overall theme of beer tasting, the September 12 event will offer a BBQ cook-off contest, oversized games and live music.

“We have over 20 breweries signed up, which is up from last year. Officially we had 10 last year and then up to 15 different breweries’ beers,” says Gaylord.

“Now we have actually have over 20 that will be here physically and also some that will be on our custom tapper units. We could have as many as 80 beers on tap this year.”

The beers will also be coming from further afield.

“We’ve expanded out and we’ve reached for sure at least four states,” he says, counting off Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota and Montana.

At the end of Beerfest will be an awards ceremony with a $500 grand prize for the people’s favorite brewery. This award is entirely people’s choice, says Gaylord, and visitors will be given voting cards as they arrive.

“We don’t have any judges in this – we just let the people choose,” he says.

Last year’s event attracted more than 700 participants, but the organizers are hoping to increase that number for the 2015 festival.  The range of beer stalls will once again be located on Main Street, from 2nd to 4th Street, along with food booths featuring edibles not such as kettle corn, pretzels, BBQ and pizza, as well as a Dog Pound stall and the Longhorn Saloon.

“We’ll have the whole Main Street filled with tents from the different breweries that are going to be here and then, at the end of Main Street, will be our kids’ zone with bouncy castles,” he describes.

“Down 3rd St. we’ll have the Jumbo Beer Olympics.”

This part of the event will be open to co-ed teams and will involve oversized versions of themed games. For example, participants can take part in jumbo beer pong, featuring five-gallon buckets filled with water instead of drinking cups filled with beer.

Other games will include jumbo cornhole, in which participants must throw travel pillow-sized beanbags through holes in a wooden board, and the adult strider flipcup relay, where teams will compete to flip their cups the right way up in the fastest time.

“The games are jumbo, but the drink sizes still just go with the custom cup,” says Gaylord.

Meanwhile, the “Beat Charles” barbecue cook-off will be taking place all day, with festivalgoers invited to take part in the people’s choice judging.

The festival begins at high noon. At 5 p.m., the drinking will end, followed half an hour later by the awards ceremony.

“As soon as I’m done with the awards, a band will start down town, right along Main Street,” he says.

The band in question is Lost Dogma, led by a local musician who moved to Seattle to further his career.

“We’ve had tons of great sponsorship. People from Sundance and from Spearfish are really supporting the festival,” Gaylord smiles.

“We want it to be family friendly, fun and have people want to come to Sundance and turn it into a destination location.”

Find out more about the event at www.sundancebeerfestival.com