Eventually, 719 Day was bound to fall on a day of the week so meh even a beerfest would be hard-pressed to redeem it.
A Monday, say.
As things turned out, it wasn’t permutations of the calendar but a potential paucity of parking that thwarted numerical resonance for the fourth annual celebration of southeastern Colorado culture and craft consumables inspired by the local area code. The event is held at Weidner Field, home of the Colorado Springs Switchbacks, which shares a parking lot with neighboring Security Service Field, home to the Sky Sox. The Switchbacks don’t have a game July 19; the Sky Sox do.
“So we weren’t able to get our location for July 19 because of the parking,” said organizer Jon Eddy, who admitted he took mild grief from fans for bumping the fest to July 20. “People were like, ‘Hey, dude, you’d said this would always be on 7/19,’ … but chasing a day like that is hard.”
Not to worry, though: There will be a fete on the fest’s eponymous digits. The first 200 people who buy $45 VIP tickets get access to that invite-only pre-party, 5-8 p.m. July 19 in the basement of Oskar Blues in downtown Colorado Springs.
“So we still get to celebrate and do our thing on 7/19, with free hors d’oeuvres, first drink and $3 for Colorado Springs beers on tap,” Eddy said.
Other than the date change this year, he said his goal was to keep the festival as status quo as possible for the purposes of consistency, comfort and branding.
“We want to see how much we can get this event going like it is,” he said.
That said: 719 Day brings together producers of libations, food and entertainment for a sensually comprehensive evening that’s “100 percent” local. As of last week, 17 brewers and distillers had signed on to pour, with more expected to trickle in over the next few weeks, Eddy said.
“It’s only breweries and distilleries in the 719 area code, and that goes for bands and food trucks, too,” he said. “The whole thing is 719 focused, and we donate 10 percent of the proceeds to (Gazette-El Pomar Foundation) Empty Stocking Fund. They are, in turn, donating to local nonprofits. It fits perfectly.”
The fest also will mark the second release of FH Beerworks’ (formerly Fieldhouse Brewing Co.) Blackberry Paws, a special fundraising brew benefiting Empty Stocking Fund.
While 719 Day is a charity-boosting shindig, it’s also meant to be a micro-cultural education — and social enticement— for the 719-ers who attend, Eddy said.
“This is not a keg party. It’s about learning what the local breweries do and the work that goes into it ... plus tasting delicious beer,” he said. “Not only do you get to go to a festival and meet the business owners themselves, because they’re local you have the opportunity to go back to their location, really get to know them, say, ‘Hey, I liked this beer you did that I had at the festival,’ and maybe join their mug club or something.”
Early-bird tickets, through Friday, are $10 off the regular $35 price. Returning customers get an additional $5 discount. If you attended last year’s event but didn’t receive an email with the discount offer, Eddy said to contact his office. “We’re the opposite of cellphone carriers and the like, where we want to reward existing customers,” he said.
Something else: The Promenade Shops at Briargate will host a fundraising brewfest benefiting the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, 5-7 p.m. July 14 at Pikes Peak Patio, next to Ted’s Montana Grill, at 1685 Briargate Parkway. The event features live music and samples of local adult libations and food. Tickets are $25 general admission; $35 VIP, which includes early entry at 4 p.m. Info: bit.ly/2yDFike