HopFest goes big Saturday, don’t miss these 10 beers

Beer-festival season is officially here, and the weekend’s biggest event is HopFest, from 2 to 6 p.m. in the parking lot of the Well (7421 Broadway). (VIPs start at 1 p.m.)

Chris Lewellen, owner of the Well and Lew’s, says this year’s event includes more than 50 breweries and 250 craft beers. Cinder Block, KC Bier Co., Martin City Brewing Co. are among the local names, and Boulevard is bringing an 11-beer lineup that includes recent releases Entwined Ale and both Tasting Room beers (ESB and Ginger-Lemon Radler).

George Clarke, general manager at Lew’s, says HopFest’s lineup includes 15 breweries that weren’t there last year, including Lazy Magnolia; Boulevard’s parent company, Duvel Moortgat (and Boulevard’s new corporate sister, Ommegang); Bell’s, Santa Fe; Rogue; and Original Sin Cider.

Clarke also promises a layout designed to keep lines moving. He says some high-end breweries are parking in the back, by the food trucks (which include Taco Republic).

Besides the fourth annual homebrew contest, there’s a stump-the-brewer competition and a lineup of speakers that features Free State’s Steve Bradt; Boulevard’s Jeremy Danner and Harold “Trip” Hogue, Martin City co-owner Matt Moore, Santa Fe head brewer A.J. Condit, Mother’s assistant brewer Doug Riddle, and KC Bier Co.’s Steve Holle and Karlton Graham.

10 can’t-miss beers at HopFest

Quantities of these beers may be limited; that $50 VIP ticket might be your best bet if you need to get your hands on one of these.

Ommegang Fire and Blood (red ale inspired by Game of Thrones)

Stone Southern Charred (strong ale aged in bourbon barrels)

Firestone Walker Parabola (Russian imperial stout)

Mother’s Chocolate Thunder (chocolate porter)

Lagunitas Waldo’s Special (double imperial IPA)

Founders KBS (bourbon barrel aged imperial stout)

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

Deschutes Class of ’88 (barleywine collaboration with Goose Island)

New Belgium La Folie (sour brown ale)

Bell’s Hopslam (double imperial IPA)

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