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Festival additions brewing at Arvada On Tap

The third annual event will be July 22


Chris Carnahan has been homebrewing beer for five years off and on with his wife, Sarah. He entered his first homebrew competition at the 2016 Arvada on Tap and won Best of Show with his lemon raspberry American wheat.

“You never know if your friends are telling the truth,” Carnahan said when talking about his beer.

As part of his champion package, Carnahan was given the opportunity to brew his winning beer at the commercial level alongside Spice Trade Brewing’s head brewer Jeff Tyler.

“There’s a lot that you can learn from working on a larger system and spending a day with a pro brewer,” said Tyler, who started out as a homebrewer. “It’s about giving back to the homebrew community. I see value in being able to work with them.”

Carnahan’s lemon raspberry wheat will be tapped July 18 at Spice Trade with a party from 5-8 p.m. in the taproom at 7803 Ralston Road in Arvada.

The beer will then travel to the 2017 Arvada On Tap where Carnahan and Tyler will be serving it at the Spice Trade tent alongside other Spice Trade summer staples, which include the Sun Temple IPA and No Pulp, a tangelo pale ale.

Spice Trade is one of 25 breweries that will be participating in this year’s Arvada On Tap, which will be noon to 7 p.m. July 22 at the Ralston Park Addition, 11200 W. 64th Ave. Event organizers expect more than 6,000 attendees this year.

“Last year it was one of the best festivals we attended all summer,” Tyler said about the event. “I think the Arvada community is lucky that we have such a cool beer fest.”

The festival was born in 2015, with a dual purpose: create a new, fun festival in Arvada while supporting numerous community projects with proceeds from the event. This festival is produced by the Arvada Festivals Commission in partnership with Arvada‐Jefferson Kiwanis, Arvada Sunrise Rotary and Arvada Vitality Alliance. Net proceeds from the event benefit partnering community groups serving Arvada.

“We wanted something that spoke to the millennial demographic and highlighted the beer in the area,” said Kristine McMahon, who co-founded the festival with Gretchen Sherlock. “There wasn’t anything like that here and we really wanted to bring that to Arvada.”

One brewer new to the event this year in Denver Beer Co., which recently opened a taproom in Olde Town Arvada.

“We’re excited to be part of the Arvada community and we want to be a good community partner,” said Brian Weslar, sales director and festival manager for Denver Beer Co.

The Denver Beer Co. tent will be serving summer favorites including Princess Yum Yum and the brewery’s newest beer, Maui Express — a coconut IPA.

Along with established breweries, 50 seasoned and novice homebrewers will participate in the homebrew competition, evaluated by Beer Judging Certification Program judges. The Best in Show winner will once again be offered the chance to brew at the commercial level with Tyler and Spice Trade Brewing.

In addition to beer, the festival will also feature a Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned competition with 48 competitors. New this year, festival-goers will have the opportunity to taste pork butt samples for $2 each from 2-3:30 p.m.

“The barbecue competition piece was really cool, but there was no way to taste anything, so we incorporated a tasting this year,” McMahon said.

Another new addition, which stemmed from community feedback is the addition of the kids zone, complete with jumping castles and other activities. Free child care will also be available for the first time during the festival.

“Arvada is super family-friendly, so we wanted to reflect that,” McMahon said. “We’re really excited to get kids involved and have tastings. We’re really trying to appeal to everyone who came out last year and filled out surveys. We took that and ran with it.”


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