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Thirteenth Annual Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival

Imagine a World Class Winter Wonderland of fun activities in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado…and then top off your trip with a World Class International Beer Festival, complete with Brewmasters’ Dinners and Seminars by some of the world’s most innovative Brewers…

Could it be the ultimate beer vacation? Your bucket list "beercation"?


Join us for the 13th Annual Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival Weekend! Come up to Vail to experience the event that beer connoisseurs are raving about. Homebrewers, Professional Brewers and Industry Gurus alike speak highly with regard to the unique format, the unusual international collection of beers, the organization and the overall quality of the event.

For those of you who are Big Beers Festival veterans, this 13th Anniversary celebration promises to live up to your previous experiences and take it one step further. Look forward to more goodies from Executive Chef Todd Bemis and his culinary team at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa, calibrate with Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Avery Brewing Co., enjoy special features by Dry Dock Brewing Co. and Firestone Walker Brewing Co., and sample over 200 amazing creations by breweries from around the globe.

TICKETS NOW ON SALE AND SELLING OUT FAST! Go here for more information.


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Atwater Beer Buzz December 28

Let the New Year’s preparations begin!

The holiday season is certainly in full swing, with Santa, storytelling, caricature artists, gingerbread houses, and craft beer! The snow is coming down in fits and bursts, leaving a soft blanket almost every morning…so we enjoyed a white Christmas! Atwater on Gore Creek has been busy showcasing their fantastic new winter menu, and Fireside has their winter-themed cocktails flowing in addition to our Holiday/Winter craft beers.

Our weekly Friday Night Flights continue throughout the festivities, and we’re looking forward to Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines as well as our Brewmaster’s Weekends returning with Eric Rode from Tommyknocker Brewery in February. We’ll be drawing for our Sweepstakes winner for Tommyknocker weekend at the beginning of January, so watch these weekly emails for the announcement of the February Sweepstakes Winner!

Look for our Wednesday Craft Beer Tastings to resume on January 16th with Brian Dillon from Odell Brewing Co. I hear he might be pouring a special new release for you all in addition to his other goodies!

Several new beers are again gracing our list, as volume is up with the holidays!

  • Avery Out of Bounds Stout, Boulder, CO
  • Duvel, Belgian Strong Pale Ale, Puurs, Belgium
  • New Belgium Peach Porch Lounger, Saison/Farmhouse Ale, Ft. Collins, CO (large format)
  • Odell Friek, Sour/Wild Ale, Ft. Collins, CO  (large format/cellar list)
  • Great Divide Barrel Aged Hibernation Ale, Old Ale, Denver, CO (large format/cellar list)
  • Anchor Porter, San Francisco, CA (draft)
  • Dubuisson Scaldis Noel, Strong Golden Ale/Barleywine, Pipaix, Belgium (holiday list)

Our Friday Night Flight this week ($7) will be:

  • Duvel
  • New Belgium Peach Porch Lounger
  • Deschutes Chainbreaker
  • Avery Out of Bounds Stout
  • Samichlaus – a holiday treat!!

And the Craft Draft Flight ($7 on Fridays) is:

  • Bitburger Pilsner
  • Upslope Pale Ale
  • Samuel Adams Winter Ale
  • Oskar Blues G’Knight Imperial Red
  • Anchor Porter

Best wishes to all for a wonderful holiday season, and we look forward to seeing you all right here celebrating with us! Remember, complimentary valet parking for all Atwater & Fireside Bar guests always!



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A Culinary Trio of Connoisseurs + Vail's #1 Restaurant = A Wintery Delight

Follow your nose to culinary goodness! When it comes to discovering good food, your nose knows best. This winter, let your most prominent and discerning facial feature guide you to savor the wintery delights now available at Atwater on Gore Creek.

A Trinity of Culinary Ingenious

What's better than having one talented chef create a new menu? Having three talented chefs create a new menu! 'Tis the case at Atwater, which hosts the culinary talents of Executive Chef Todd Bemis, Chef de Cuisine Stephen Belie, and Sous Chef Jay Spickelmier all under one roof. This trio of culinary connoisseurs takes guests on an epicurean journey that always ends with smiles and a sigh of satisfaction.  

Atwater is the Main Dish on TripAdvisor   

While we believe that modesty is typically the best policy, we couldn't contain our excitement about being ranked Vail's #1 restaurant on TripAdvisor! From compliments about our menu selection and expanded craft beer offerings to praise for our service and atmosphere, we are grateful to the patrons that have made Atwater on Gore Creek their restaurant of choice in Vail. Stop by and experience it for yourself!

Toast the Holidays with Winter Edition Craft Beers

There is no better companion for good food than good brews. Known as the Vail Valley's Home of Craft Beer, Atwater is serving up a medley of exclusive holiday-inspired craft beers that will make each toast even merrier.   

Unwrap the Gift of Dining with No Clean Up

Forgo the endless hours of preparing, cooking, and cleaning and let the team at Atwater shoulder the work while you enjoy a special Christmas or New Year's dining experience with family and friends. In our humble opinion, food always tastes better when someone else prepares it and cleans it up.  

Happy Holidays from Atwater!

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Atwater Beer Buzz December 19

Greetings from winter wonderland!

Let it snow, let it snow…and the forecast supports our snow dance. It’s a beautiful thing!   We are in full holiday season mode, with our Atwater winter menu coming out tomorrow and holiday craft beers galore!  Christmas parties, Cascade Christmas events…there’s holiday music and décor to bring even the grumpiest Grinch out to play…

Special alert today, December 19th: Our Wednesday Night Craft Beer Tasting has been cancelled, as our representative from Ska Brewing Co. was in a weather related car incident, and his car is not driveable. So we will be resuming our Wednesday Night Craft Beer Tastings on January 16th with Odell Brewing Co. I certainly apologize for any inconvenience! (and yes, Eric is okay – just shaken up). 

Preparations are also in the works for the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival coming to the Cascade January 10–12. Our Fireside Bar draft handles will be taken over for the weekend by beers donated from around the world as a fundraiser for the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, so you never know what will be on draft! Many of the beers will be special release products, newly released products, and those only available in the brewery tap room…so come check it out as you can. The Fireside Program will begin on Thursday morning, January 10th, and will continue until the special beers run out. Expect to rub elbows with craft beer celebrities and industry folks while you’re here. They’ll be here in force! 

Our regular Friday Night Flights will continue through the holiday season, and I will keep you posted about new beers as they arrive.

This week we brought in several new items for our list:

  • Breckenridge Christmas Ale
  • Steamworks Colorado Kolsch
  • Bitburger Pilsener (on draft)
  • Brunehaut Blonde Ale

 Our Friday Night Featured Flight ($7) will be:

  • Brunehaut Blonde Ale
  • Steamworks Colorado Kolsch
  • Unibroue La Fin du Monde
  • Hebrew Funky Jewbelation
  • Left Hand Fade to Black

And the Craft Draft Flight ($7 on Fridays) is currently:

  • Bitburger Pilsener
  • Upslope Pale Ale
  • Samuel Adams Winter Ale
  • Oskar Blues G’Knight Imperial Red
  • New Belgium 1554 (get it while it lasts!)

Come join us to experience our new tasty Winter menu and some of our wonderful holiday craft beer offerings!

Remember we have complimentary valet parking for our Atwater & Fireside Patrons...

Safe travels to all & enjoy the snow!!

Laura Lodge
Craft Beer Program

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Sick Day? Snow Day? Vail Cascade is Your Remedy

Everybody Needs a Snow Day - or Two, or Three, or ...

It's snowing in Vail! With nearly 2-feet of fresh powder this past week and more snow falling today, trade the car drive for a chairlift ride and say 'yes' to a sick snow day! Join us at Vail Cascade Resort & Spa for some productive powder time on the slopes. P.S. - Don't worry; your secret is safe with us!

The Preferred Mode of Transportation

At the Vail Cascade Resort, it's all about access and convenience with Vail's only on-property chairlift. Located steps away from the hotel, Chair 20 delivers the fastest route to knee deep powder. No waiting in line, on-site ticket office and mere steps from the hotel - need we say more?    

Après-Ski? Yes please.  

After a powder perfect day on the mountain, head indoors for an equally perfect dining experience at Atwater on Gore Creek, Vail's best restaurant according to TripAdvisor reviewers. From an award-winning wine program to Vail's largest selection of craft beer and perfectly-paired creative cuisine, Atwater on Gore Creek is the perfect palate-pleasing place for après-ski - say that four times!  

Share the Power of Powder

Boasting 5,289 acres, three terrain parks, one super pipe, one half-pipe, and seven bowls, trust us, there's plenty of powder for all! Let Mother Nature's outdoor playground take your holiday party, corporate retreat, or appreciation gifts to new heights. As the saying goes, "Mother says it's nice to share" and Mother Nature couldn't agree more.

Join us this winter and find a new altitude in Vail. Call our Vail mountain hotel at 800-282-4183 to book your snow day(s) today!

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Atwater Beer Buzz December 13

Greetings from the snow globe!

It’s wonderful to have fresh, light, champagne powder on the ground and we’re looking forward to more! Holiday parties abound, and we’re excited to be pairing more and more of our special events with craft beer. Last night we hosted the Vail Valley Business Women for their holiday meeting, reception and dinner (paired with craft beer!) and next week we’re preparing for the Vail Valley Partnership event, also showcasing reception stations paired with craft libations. In between, there are several media events showcasing our property, Atwater on Gore Creek and our craft beer program. We’re rolling in craft beer!

Elizabeth Kagan from Firestone Walker was very well-received last night for our Wednesday Night Craft Beer Tasting, and the DBA mustard & pretzels a much talked about treat! Some of the Vail Valley Business Women came though on the way in to their event, and many guests and locals sampled their way through Firestone Walker world. Some of their favorite offerings were DBA and Velvet Merlin, but there were options for all palates and so many different choices that there was a separate area for hoppy and not-as-hoppy offerings to taste your way through. Many thanks to Elizabeth for her time and tasty offerings!  Next week we’re looking forward to a variety of Ska Brewing Co. craft beers from Durango, and Eric Kaiser will be back  in action on Wednesday night from 4:30 – 6:30pm. As always, I’ll post the list of beers to be offered on our Atwater on Gore Creek facebook page. Our Ska Wednesday Night next week will be the final 2012 Wednesday Night Craft Beer Tasting, as  we will be taking a break for the holidays and for the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival. We will resume in 2013 on January 16th with Odell Brewing Co.

Mark your February, March & April calendars for the balance of our ski season Brewmaster’s Weekends! We’re pleased to be hosting Eric Rode of Tommyknocker Brewery on February 8 & 9, Rob Mullin of Grand Teton Brewing Co. on March 15 & 16, and David Zuckerman of Boulder Beer Co. on April 5 & 6. Discounted lodging for folks coming up for our craft beer program events can be made by clicking here.   It’s always worth looking at the Specials & Packages page of the Vail Cascade website to see what might be going on there as well…

Back to the present, we have a few more new beers on our list this week:

  • Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown Ale, Idaho Springs, CO
  • Oskar Blues G’Knight Imperial Red Ale, Lyons/Longmont, CO  (draft)
  • Lost Abbey Witch’s Wit, San Marcos, CA (large format)

Our Friday Night Featured Flight ($7) this week is:

  • Weihenstephaner
  • North Coast Red Seal
  • Left Hand Warrior IPA
  • Firestone Walker Wookey Jack
  • Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown

 And our Craft Draft Flight ($7) continues to rotate (2 to go!):

  • Hacker Pschorr Weisse
  • Upslope Pale Ale
  • Samuel Adams Winter Lager
  • Oskar Blues G’Knight Imperial Red
  • New Belgium 1554

We will be introducing our Winter menu next week on December 20th, and will be putting new and interesting craft beer pairings out there for you to try! Enjoy this last week of our fantastic Fall menu, and remember we make it all easy with complimentary valet parking for all of our Fireside and Atwater on Gore Creek guests! 

Thank you so much for your support!

Laura Lodge
Craft Beer Program

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The Destination Dish: Lentil Recipe

Destination Hotels & Resorts challenges our chefs across the country to take part in The Destination Dish. Each month, Destination Hotels & Resorts selects one ingredient and each chef must create a recipe using the chosen ingredient and feature it in their menu that month.  This month, the chosen ingredient is lentils

Vail Cascade, a Vail mountain resort offering spacious hotel guestrooms and premium condominium rentals in Vail, is pleased to feature this delicious Venison Goulash with Chana Dal Lentils dish created by Jay Spickelmier, Chef at our Vail Colorado, signature creek-side restaurant Atwater on Gore Creek

With their sweet and nutty flavor, Chana Dal lentils, like other legumes, are low in fat, nutritious and high in protein and fiber.   Dal is the Indian term for peas, beans, or lentils that have been split and often skinned, but the name is sometimes used for all lentils, peas, or beans, or to cooked dishes made with them. Lentils also have a low glycemic index and are a good protein option for people with Diabetes. 

Take your taste buds on a sensory journey as you savor our creative American cuisine paired with an eclectic list of craft beers at Atwater on Gore Creek. Our Venison Goulash with Chana Dal Lentils is a filling, delightful dish that will enliven your taste buds and it’s available all month long at Atwater on Gore Creek.                

Venison Goulash with Chana Dal Lentils
Servings: 6 to 8

Recipe Ingredients

1# Venison loin
½ # butter, whole
2 cups diced carrots
4 cups diced Spanish onion
½ cup diced fresh ginger
2# can of diced tomato or fresh diced tomato
2 cups Sherry vinegar
2 cups Chicken stock
3 Tbs Hungarian paprika
1 Tbs Ground corianders
1 tsp. Cayenne pepper
½ cup Mustard seed, whole
1 cup Brown sugar
1 bunch Parsley chopped
3 cups lentils 

Recipe Directions

  • In a large pot or rondo melt 1/2 of your butter and a drop of oil to sauté the venison hard, remove the venison and set aside. 
  • Add the rest of the butter then onion, sweat until translucent
  • Add carrots, ginger, and spices, bring to aromatic, add brown sugar, caramelize, and deglaze with sherry vinegar and chicken stock.
  • Add the diced tomato, the venison, cover and simmer for an hour. 
  • Have a couple cups of chicken stock around to adjust consistence if needed.
  • Simmer lentils until tender in 10 cups water, dump off excess water or feel free to add a little if needed to reach desired doneness. 

Optional garnish: sour cream and fried parsley

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Atwater Beer Buzz December 6

It’s snowing!! That’s super exciting, and we’ve got more exciting things happening in the world of craft beer….so hang on and we’ll go for some turns!

Dave Thibodeau, kingpin of the Founders/Owners of Ska Brewing Co., is joining us for our December Brewmaster’s Weekend starting tomorrow. Join us for our Meet the Brewmaster event in Fireside Bar from 4 – 7pm tomorrow afternoon (Friday) for complimentary Ska Brewing samples and Ska social hour. Then on Saturday at 5:00 pm Dave and his cronies will be hosting the Small Plates & Craft Beer Pairing event in Atwater in Gore Creek along with our team of talented chefs. The menu is out and looks fantastic! Go here to check out the menu or see below.

  • Ska True Blonde: Handmade Lemon & Herb Focaccia, Housemade Whipped Colorado Honey Butter  
  • Ska “On the Sly Again” Weizenbock, Pork Chicharon Tacos, Pomegranate, Ginger, Jalapeno, Queso Fresco
  • Ska Modus Hoperandi: Crab Pot Sticker, English Peas, Curry Hollandaise
  • Ska Mole Stout Funnel Cake Raspberries & Milk Chocolate

For a mere $25, you can enjoy this delicious adventure complete with a guided tour by both Brewmaster and culinary team. It’s a terrific experience, and we suggest reservations to hold your seat. Go here for more information on our craft beer, creative cuisine Brewmaster's Dinner at our Vail restaurant. You can either email me or call me at 970-479-1514 - or call Atwater at 970-479-7014 to make that booking.

Our Wednesday Night Craft Beer Tastings continue to roll along, delighting our guests and collecting more repeat fans each week! This week we thank Cody Butters from AC Golden Brewing Co. for sharing her 100% Colorado Native Lager and India Pale Lager, and next week we look forward to trying some Firestone Walker creations, which were just introduced into the mountains on October 1. When Elizabeth lets me know what she’s bringing, I’ll share with you on our Atwater on Gore Creek facebook page. Remember: 4:30 – 6:30pm now, in order to coincide with après ski.

The Winter season is here, and we’re in between the holidays, so it’s time to enjoy the special craft beers created for this glorious time of year! We have a rotating Winter/Holiday list of offerings, and they currently feature the following treats:

  • Left Hand Fade to Black Vol. 4
  • Bristol Old No. 23 Barleywine
  • Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg Samichlaus
  • Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper
  • Hebrew Funky Jewbelation

There will be some other goodies forthcoming, including Delirium Noel, Scaldis Noel & Very Bad Elf…so stay tuned!

New on the craft beer list this week are:

  • Upslope Pale Ale, Boulder, CO  (on draft)                
  • Firestone Walker DBA, Amber/ESB, Paso Robles, CA                
  • Deschutes Chainbreaker White IPA, Bend, OR                
  • Ska Mole Stout, Durango, CO                
  • Left Hand Warrior IPA, Longmont, CO (large format)                
  • Firestone Walker Wookey Jack,  Black Rye IPA, Paso Robles, CA (large format)

This week’s Friday Featured Flight in our Vail dining restaurant will be tuned in to our Brewmaster’s Weekend:

  • Ska Euphoria Pale Ale
  • Firestone Walker DBA
  • Deschutes Chainbreaker
  • Ska Ten Pin Porter
  • Ska Mole Stout

And this week’s Craft Draft Flight begins the next rotation with a single change:

  • Hacker Pschorr Weisse                
  • Upslope Pale Ale                
  • Samuel Adams Winter Lager                
  • Boulder Mojo IPA                
  • New Belgium 1554

We look forward to seeing you for our Ska Brewmaster’s Weekend, and keep doing that snow dance! Remember that we always have complimentary valet parking for our Fireside and Atwater guests, and we’re still running 25% off of Atwater Large Plates & Pizzas.

Thank you so much for your support!


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Vail Cascade Closes 2012 Brewmaster’s Weekend Series with Ska Brewing Co.

In the world of craft beer, labels are as artistically unique as the liquid art that pours from each bottle. And for some, it’s the deciding factor between buying one beer over another.

Playing off of the idea that you drink with your eyes first and then your mouth, the Atwater on Gore Creek culinary team used Ska Brewing’s labels, the story behind each beer and the flavor profile of the beer itself to guide their final 2012 Small Plates & Craft Beer Pairing menu. Jay Spicklelmier, Atwater Sous Chef, and Adam Smith, Atwater Chef de Party, honed in on two main themes for developing the menu: local and carnival.

‘Local’ was brought into play particularly with Ska’s Local Series On the Sly Weizenbock, a beer brewed in collaboration with a local homebrewer and entered into the Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am Competition. Staying true to the local theme, Atwater Chef de Cuisine Stephen Belie wanted to incorporate a street food element into the pairings and the team created pork chicharon tacos with pomegranate, crispy jalapeño fries and queso fresco wrapped in a thick, whole wheat tortilla. The pork pairing complements the ripe, dark fruit flavors of the beer.

The Ska True Blonde Ale also inspired a local, farmhouse sort of approach, with discussions centering on Colorado’s honey and classic, simple flavors to lift the delicate notes of the beer.  This beer inspired a hand-made and home-made approach, with individual members of the team creating a house-made whipped Colorado honey butter to top handmade lemon and herb Focaccia.

The Ska Mole Stout’s label inspired the team’s carnival theme. Churros and chocolate mousse wound their way through the conversation before the decision was called by Todd Bemis, Executive Chef of the Vail restaurant, to create a funnel cake with raspberries and milk chocolate to highlight the chili and dark chocolate notes of this seasonal beer.

The final pairing, although not the final course is a world-wide blend of cultures to feature Ska Modus Hoperandi, an American IPA. Seafood, particularly crab, resonated for the culinary team here, and they brought in a bit of Asian in the form of a pot sticker format, a bit of earthy tone with English Peas, and a bit of spice and richness with a curry hollandaise. A true example of the “out of the box” brainstorming and creativity that this team brings to your plate each time, the crab pot sticker will be a unique pairing for Ska’s Old Man Bitter.

Looking Ahead The 2013 Brewmaster’s Weekend Series will begin in February with Eric Rode from Tommyknocker Brewery. January will highlight a myriad of visiting Brewmasters at the Vail Cascade for the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival.


If you go ...

  • Who: Dave Thibodeau, co-founder of Ska Brewing and Peach Street Distillers
  • What/ when: Meet the Brewmaster on Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Fireside Bar; Small plates and craft beer pairing on Saturday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Atwater on Gore Creek.
  • Where: Vail Cascade Resort, Vail.
  • Cost: Friday event is free, Saturday is $25 per person and advanced reservations are required.
  • More information: Go here, click the following link or 970.479.7014


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