By Katherine Weadley
Redstone Review News Editor
LYONS – Oskar Blues Brewery has a can-do attitude towards its newest event, to be held in Lyons’ Sandstone Park, June 26 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The event is called “Burning Can,” a spoof on the wildly popular “Burning Man” event held in the Nevada desert. Instead of strange desert fun Oskar Blues willcelebrate the progress of canned craft brewing in the birthplace of canned craft beer by offering sample tastings of a variety of canned craft beers. At this time they have 11 breweries signed up for the event.
Also on tap for the three-hour event is live music from Bonepony, a roots-rock band from Nashville. Opening for Bonepony is Lyons-area rock band Interstate Stash Express. Besides tasting and listening to music, the $35 event will include beer-infused dishes, including beer-can chicken, can art and possibly a mechanical bull. “We’re doing our best to locate one,” said Chad Melis, who is marketing chair of the Colorado Brewer’s Guild, CBG, and also spokesperson for Oskar Blues.
This event, the brainchild of Oskar Blues Brewery, is one of the newest additions to Lyons’ 34th Annual Good Old Days. Good Old Days is an outdoor community event with food, games and rides, a softball tournament, Chamber of Commerce-sponsored beer tent, Lyons River Run 5K, a pancake breakfast and activities for kids. “We know that the Town of Lyons values Good Old Days and we hope this brings some extra attention to the event,” said Melis.
All proceeds from Burning Can benefits the CBG. “Oskar Blues just really wants to celebrate craft brewing in cans and we didn’t want to make any money off the event so we thought we’d support the CBG. The focus is on the beer and not Oskar Blues,” Melis said. The CBG is a non-profit trade association and works with the state legislature on behalf of the craft brewers of Colorado. In 1995 Colorado craft brewers founded the CBG in an effort to promote the quality and diversity of the growing Colorado craft brewing industry.
Although Coloradans have been brewing beer before Colorado was a state the Wynkoop Brewing Company, started in 1988 part by Denver’s current Mayor John Hickenlooper, is recognized as its first major brewpub. Colorado is now home to one of the strongest craft brew industries in the United States with over 100 craft breweries and countless numbers of home-brewers.
Craft beer is defined by the Boulder-based Brewer’s Association as small, independent and traditional brewers. “Craft brewers maintain integrity by what they brew and their general independence, free from a substantial interest by a non-craft brewer,” according the Brewers Association. The Brewer’s Association is a national organization that supports home brewing and craft breweries while the CBG focuses only on the needs of Colorado’s craft brewers.
The Brewer’s Association states that the majority of Americans live within ten miles of a craft brewer. For people who live in the Lyons area that would be Oskar Blues Brewery. Although the majority of its brewing recently moved to its Longmont brewing site, the original Oskar Blues in Lyons was home to the birthplace of canned craft beer. In 2002 the first Dale’s Pale Ale was canned on a table-top canning machine that sealed just one beer can at a time. This made Oskar Blues the first craft brewer in the United States to brew and can its own beer. Now, according to Melis, there are over 75 craft breweries that can their craft beer.
The three-hour event will offer unlimited four-ounce tastings of a variety of different canned craft brews. Everyone will get to take home their tasting can. “It will look like an eight-ounce can of beer,” said Melis. Some of the samples will include beer from breweries such as Ska Brewery, New Belgium, Boulder Beer and Upslope. One of Melis’ favorite non-Oskar Blues canned craft brews is an American Indian Pale Ale (IPA) from Ska Breweries called “Modus Hoperandi.”
Julia Herz, Craft Beer Program Director of the Brewer’s Association said, “I’m really excited about Burning Can because it’s so creative. What a fun thing for the canned beer culture and for Lyons. I’m going. This is big for Lyons. Lyons is growing a beer culture including everything OB has done to start it. OB and many other breweries are making great strides with craft beer in cans. We are used to seeing light American lager in cans, that has a great place in history, the present and the future, but it’s really nice to have fuller flavor IPAs, stouts and other great styles of beer come across in cans because it is such a fun package.” Tickets can be purchased for $35 at www.OskarBlues.com or at the door.
Katherine Weadley is a freelance writer and a librarian. She worked as a reporter for the Daily Camera in Boulder. She lives in Lyons with her family and two dogs Wolfe and Winter.Back to Top