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Best Summer Food Festivals Worth the Drive

These ten events help make the most out of the season

Gourmet on the Gore
Vail Daily

Vail Craft Beer Classic

When: Friday, June 16 to Sunday, June 18

Where: Throughout Vail

What: All of the beer that could possibly pass through makes its way to the mountains at this weekend extravaganza of beer. The craft beer festival unites more than 40 breweries (most hailing from Colorado). Activities include the classic Colorado medley of outdoor outings and tastings. For local families looking to join the festival, there are a few family-friendly options like a free concert on Saturday night and Father's Day brunch on Sunday.

Additional Information: Visit the website for suggested places to stay and dine. Access to individual events starts at $12 while weekend packages start at $110. Updates on the event page.

24th Annual Colorado Barbecue Challenge

When: Thursday, June 15 to Saturday, June 17

Where: Frisco

What: The challenge will pit more than 70 barbecuers against one another to compete for the best pork, ribs, chicken, brisket, anything goes, and more. The weekend will also feature a kick-off concert on Thursday, kids activities, pig races, the Whiskey Tour, and the Bacon Burner 6K.

Additional Information: Guests will need to convert their dollars into hogbacks, the official currency of the barbecue. Explore the event website for event details.

Heritage Fire Snowmass

When: Saturday, June 17 from 4 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Fanny Hill, Snowmass Village

What: Dive into a feast fit for a Saturday bacchanal complete with endless cocktails, wine, charcuterie, and cheese. From the minds behind Cochon 555, a nose-to-tail competitive initiative, the Heritage Fire showcase pairs the talents of more than 50 chefs with select wines, craft beers, and ciders. Featured foods include dry-aged beef, whole pigs, artisan cheeses, oysters, and heirloom vegetables.

Additional Information: All-inclusive general admission tickets start at $125; VIP packages start at $200 and grants early access at 3 p.m.

Colorado Latino Festival 2017

When: Sunday, June 25 from 12 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: 332 Main St, Longmont

What: Boulder non-profit Barrio E' and the Latino Chamber host the Colorado Latino Festival, heralding the message of "unity."

Additional Information: Follow the event page for updates.

21st Annual Biergarten Festival

When: Friday, July 7 to Sunday, July 9

Where: 17832 Highway 8, Morrison

What: Families fond of festivals should check out the annual biergarten cultural celebration. Enjoy traditional German offerings, music, dance, and beer. Tailored family-friendly activities will also be available. There will also be a stein hoisting competition. The event is cash only; traditional dress is encouraged.

Additional Information: Admission is free for kids under five, $3 twelve and under, and $5 for adults. The event is also dog-friendly.

Keystone Wine & Jazz Festival

When: Saturday, July 15 and Sunday, July 16

Where: River Run Village, Keystone

What: The popular summer festival returns to the River Run piazza, in the heart of Keystone Resort, for wine seminars paired with jazz ensembles. This year's lineup includes Scruffy Pearls, Flatirons Jazz Orchestra ft. Deborah Stafford, and the Phil Denny Band. More details can be found about the event on the schedule.

Additional Information: Tickets are available for $25 to $100.

Crested Butte Wine & Food Festival

WhenWhen: Tuesday, July 25 to Sunday, July 30

Where: Throughout Crested Butte

What: The annual celebration returns to the picturesque mountain town for another weekend high-class dinners, tastings, dinners, and food demonstrations. The festival's headlining event, the Grand Tasting, features more than 500 wines from 25 distributors. The schedule boasts of events like The Fine Art of Brunch cooking class on Wednesday, multiple Take a Hike! paired picnic adventures, and speed dating with a side of pinot noir.

Additional Information: Passes to the festival can be purchased for $175 to $1750 per person. Updates on the event page.

2017 Wine on the Rocks

When: Saturday, August 5 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: 18022 Highway 8, Morrison

What: Spend the afternoon sipping 180 different wine varieties and bites in overlooking Red Rocks Amphitheatre. General admission grants you access to the grand tasting, a commemorative glass, wine samples, music, games, and local vendors.

Additional Information: Tickets for the tasting start at $25.

Steamboat Wine Festival

When: Wednesday, August 9 through Sunday, August 13, 2017

Where: Steamboat Springs

What: Enjoy a smorgasbord of seminars, tastings, nature adventures at Steamboat's premier summer festival. Highlights include the Grand Tasting, The Toast, The Stroll, and Wine on the Mountain. Hundreds of regional food lovers and artisans can gather and curate their own fine dining weekend experience. Featured guests encompass the best culinary minds in the national, including Master Sommelier Ira Harmon, Bistro C.V. Chef Brian Vaughn, and local chef Hannah Hopkins.

Additional Information: A portion of the proceeds will benefit STARS, the local Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports non-profit. Tickets, for a range of events, are available to purchase online. The festival is an exclusively 21+ event.

Gourmet on Gore

When: Friday, September 1 to Monday, September 4

Where: Vail

What: The open-air festival combines wine, beer, and spirits with fare from Vail's fine dining scene. Gourmet on Gore includes ticketed and free events, including Saturday's open air tasting in Vail Village.

Additional Information: Schedule and ticket information can be found online.

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