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Backpocket’s winter beer fest sells out for the fourth year in a row


Brrr Fest Ale
Backpocket Brewing’s Brrr Fest Barrel Aged Winterfest Ale will debut this Saturday at BrrrFest. — photo courtesy of Backpocket Brewing

If you haven’t already purchased your ticket to BrrrFest 2015, you’re out of luck.

Backpocket Brewing co-owner and brewer Jake Simmons says all 2,300 tickets have been sold for the annual celebration of winter beer, which takes place this Saturday, Jan. 24 from 12–4 p.m. at the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center Exhibit Hall (300 E. 9th St., Coralville).

Those lucky enough to have a ticket will get to enjoy over 200 different beers brewed by 51 breweries. Half of the participating breweries are from Iowa, and many others are from around the Midwest. At the festival, Backpocket will release its seasonal BrrrFest beer, a session ale spiced with ginger, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Selling out is par for the course for BrrrFest, which Simmons says has happened each year since the festival began in 2012. Much like death and taxes, a BrrrFest sellout seems to have become inevitable; the festival’s website even warns visitors that tickets are limited and usually sellout.

A general interest in craft beer does drive ticket sales, Simmons notes that winter festivals are still rare, even though there has been an explosion of beer festivals over the last five years. BrrrFest is unique in that sense, and offers beer enthusiasts with cabin fever a chance to attended a festival during the uneventful, cold weather months.

Though the number of tickets available has increased since the first festival, Simmons says he does not expect it to get any bigger, because he doesn’t see a larger event equating to a better event — more tickets means more people and longer lines. Simmons says he likes the brewer-to-attendee ratio as it is.

Participating breweries:

  • 515 Brewing
  • Another Road Brewing
  • August Schell Brewing Co.
  • Backpocket Brewing
  • Baraboo Brewing Co.
  • Bell’s Brewery
  • Bent River Brewing Co.
  • Big Grove Brewery
  • Blue Cat Brewpub
  • Boone Valley Brewing Co.
  • Boulevard Brewing Co.
  • Broad Street Brewing
  • Buck Creek Brewing
  • Cedar Ridge Vineyards
  • Chefs In Black (CIB) Brewery
  • Confluence Brewing Co.
  • Court Avenue Brewing Co.
  • Empyrean Brewing Co.
  • Exile Brewing Co.
  • Firetrucker Brewery
  • Founders Brewing Co.
  • Galena Brewing Co.
  • Goose Island Brewery
  • Granite City Food & Brewery
  • Great River Brewery
  • Kalona Brewing Co.
  • Keg Creek Brewing Co.
  • Lagunitas Brewing Co.
  • Left Hand Brewing Co.
  • Lion Bridge Brewing Co.
  • Lost Duck Brewing
  • Madhouse Brewing Co.
  • Mason City Brewing
  • Millstream Brewing Co.
  • New American Brewing Co.
  • New Belgium Brewing Co.
  • Oskar Blues Brewery
  • Peace Tree Brewing Co.
  • Potosi Brewing Co.
  • Raccoon River Brewing Co.
  • SingleSpeed Brewing Co.
  • Summit Brewing Co.
  • Tallgrass Brewing Co.
  • The Saint Louis Brewery (Schlafly)
  • Third Base Brewery
  • Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.
  • Twisted Vine Brewery
  • Two Brothers Brewing Co.
  • West O Beer
  • Worth Brewing Co.
  • Zipline Brewing


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