I’d been in town for about six months in the summer of 2013 when then-Pikes Pub columnist R. Scott Rappold and his wife, Lynnea, invited me to join them at the Feast of St. Arnold.

I’d been to beer festivals before. … OK, that’s not entirely true. I’d been to music and renaissance festivals that had beer stands and/or biergartens. I’d never been to a gathering where beer was the focus and everything else the fluff.

And never had I ever been to such a fest held on the grounds of a church, a concept that makes perfect sense (when you really think about the history), but that nonetheless, initially, felt kind of scandalous.

But then I attended my first Feast of St. Arnold, at Chapel of Our Saviour Episcopal Church in the Broadmoor neighborhood of Colorado Springs. My perspective on beer festivals was forever changed.

That family-friendly beer fest returns for its 10th year June 11.

Coming on the heels of the most well-attended fest in the event’s history and a sell-out 2021 crowd, this year’s gathering is poised to be a biggie.

What do you expect when there’s a saint running things?

It’s expected that more than 40 “beverage partners,” including 20 breweries, will be pouring at the Saturday afternoon event. This year’s fest will feature an expanded wine zone, which proved a popular addition to last year’s festival, said event co-chair Brian Bennett.

There’s also a roster of live music, from acts including the BUS Band, WireWood Station and Grass It Up.

In its 10 years, the fundraising festival has brought in more than $250,000 for Westside CARES, Bennett said. Even during the pandemic pause in 2020, when those who’d pre-purchased tickets found themselves with paper bricks they couldn’t cash until a hopeful future, more than $14,000 was raised for the west-side charity, which provides support and emergency services to those in need.

The drum roll leading up to the fest — the annual Pilgrimage of Pints — kicked off at the end of April. Pilgrims who register online, visit 10 beverage partners and get the stamps on their “cartogram” to prove it are guaranteed admission to the fest, even if it sells out. Those who accrue 15 stamps get 50% off a general admission ticket. Those who visit all 20 get a limited-edition tasting glass and a “Super Pilgrim” certificate.

Don’t have 15 stamps on your cartogram? Tickets are $40 plus fees, and organizers expect there should be some available day of for purchase at the gate.

I’ll see you there.

Reporter

Stephanie Earls is a news reporter and columnist at The Gazette. Before moving to Colorado Springs in 2012, she worked for newspapers in upstate NY, WA, OR and at her hometown weekly in Berkeley Springs, WV, where she got her start in journalism.

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