Sampling beer from 39 breweries

Kaitlyn Kelly pours out beer to patrons during the 2017 Brewfest.

More than 2,000 people plan to descend on Laramie Historic Railroad Depot Park on Saturday afternoon, looking for beer, food, music and an excuse to keep the Laramie Jubilee Days spirit going between the morning parade and evening street dance.

Laramie’s annual Brewfest is set to return this week, now hosted by the Laramie Main Street Alliance — for which the event serves as a fundraiser.

Main Street Communications Coordinator Jessica Brauer said her group absorbed responsibility for Brewfest when it merged with the Downtown Laramie Business Association in December.

“We invite regional breweries to come and pour beer, there’s live music and food and other vendors that will be there,” she said. “It’s always a really great turn out. I definitely think it’s one of Laramie’s kind of signature events.”

This year, Laramie will welcome 39 participating breweries from around Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska and beyond. To accommodate so much activity and so many people, Brewfest will feature a tiered ticket system this year, dividing attendees between VIP and general admission.

“The VIP tickets get ticket holders early access,” Brauer said. “We created that with the beer-lovers in mind — the people who want to go around and talk to the brewers and take their time and not fight the crowds, because it does get pretty busy.”

VIP tickets are $55, while general admission tickets are $35. Both can be purchased today at www.laramiebrewfest.com — and Brauer suggested those interesting in attending buy tickets as soon as possible.

“Those tickets close (today),” she said. “There will be some tickets available at the door, but those do sellout, traditionally, every year.”

While the event’s main festivities — sampling IPAs, stouts and lagers a few ounces at a time — are restricted to legal age ticket-holders, others are welcome to catch some sun and enjoy the sights for free.

“The park is open if people want to come in and listen to the music or they’re designated drivers,” Brauer said. “The ticket is what gets you the cup, which is what the beer is poured into. But it is definitely welcome to people who want to come and mozy around, listen to music or enjoy the food — or just want the shenanigans.”

Proceeds from Laramie Brewfest will go toward Third Street improvements.

The event runs from noon-6 p.m. Saturday, with VIP ticket holders admitted at noon and general admission ticket holders let in at 1:30 p.m. VIP tickets are $55. General admission is $35. Go to www.laramiebrewfest.com for more information or to buy tickets.

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