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Saturday's All Colorado Beer Festival full of changes in Colorado Springs

November 8, 2017 Updated: November 11, 2017 at 6:55 am
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Past attendees will notice some changes at the 11th iteration of the fundraising All Colorado Beer Festival.

First - and most significantly - it's got a new home at Norris Penrose Event Center's indoor arena, across town from the North Nevada Avenue expo space where it's played out since 2011. That site is now the National Cybersecurity Center.

The festival's new venue off Lower Gold Camp Road is "smaller by the square foot, but it's a more usable space, bigger and more open," said Assistant Director Randy Dipner.

The dirt floor of the former riding arena, which closed to equestrian events in August, has been hard-packed and carpeted.

"It's a little easier walking. The sound, I think, will be nicer," Dipner said. "Between now and next year's ACBF, it will be completely renovated, and that building will become one of the premiere event centers in the city. We're really excited about that."

Along with the new address comes a subtle change.

"We adopted a new logo," Dipner said. "It still has the basic tenets of the Colorado flag and the All Colorado Beer Festival name, but it's a little more upbeat."

What hasn't changed is the nonprofit festival's mission. Over 10 years, the all-volunteer event has raised almost $400,000 for TheatreWorks, The Gazette-El Pomar Foundation's Empty Stocking Fund and The Home Front Cares, among others.

"It's the 11th festival on the 11th day of the 11th month, and it just happens to be the actual Veterans Day," Dipner said. "One of our major beneficiaries is Home Front Cares, which is a military veterans charity, so to have it on Veterans Day is a really nice touch."

Local craft beer fans can support community nonprofits by buying Fieldhouse Brewing Co's Blackberry Paws, the Empty Stocking Fund's first very own signature brew, from Friday through the end of the year.

To create the fundraising beer, craft brewer Travis Fields chose to riff on his brewery's top-selling Sticky Paws honey wheat, made with local wildflower honey.

"It was a really good seller at test tap. People keep asking, 'When are you bringing Blackberry Paws back?' Now I can say, 'Here it is,' and it's for a good cause," Fields said.

One dollar of every pint sold at Fields' taproom or Oskar Blues downtown, and $2 from every six-pack, go to the 34-year-old philanthropic campaign, which has raised more than $18 million to support health and human services agencies in the Pikes Peak region.

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