OktoberWest returns to Steamboat in new location

Matt Eidt and Veronika Slota pose during the 2018 OktoberWest.
Matt Stensland/Steamboat Pilot & Today archive

Prost! The popular OktoberWest festival will return to Steamboat Springs on Saturday for its 12th year, this time in a new location at Wildhorse Marketplace.

Thirty breweries — both local and from across Colorado — will participate in the event, offering visitors tastes of their new and most-loved beers.

“Someone once told me that beer tastes better in the ‘Boat,” event planner Jennifer Grathwohl said. “And it must be true. The event brings in fantastic breweries — well-known names such as Odell Brewing and Ska Brewing, as well as amazing smaller craft brewers like Bierstadt Lagerhaus.”

New to the lineup this year are llkind Hard Kombucha, Elevated Seltzer and The Finnish Long Drink Co. — three “really neat brands with a twist,” Grathwohl said.

Colorado favorites such as Dillion Dam Brewery, Breckenridge Brewery and Palisade Brewing Co. will retur,n and local breweries Mountain Tap Brewery, Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill and Storm Peak Brewing Co., as well as Steamboat Whiskey Co., will be on-site.

Mountain Tap Brewery will be pouring Passionate Pedal, their warm-weather favorite, passionfruit wheat ale, as well as Local’s Lager and Hoppy Hiker, a dry-hopped IPA that will soon join their lineup of beers available in cans.

Owner Wendy Tucciarone said Mountain Tap has participated in the event every year since the brewery opened in 2016.

“Because we don’t distribute our beer outside of Steamboat, it doesn’t make economic sense for us to participate in brew fests outside of town,” Tucciarone said. “That makes hometown brew fests all the more fun for us.”

And it’s not just about the beer. Guests can participate in events like ax throwing and the annual stein holding competition, an Oktoberfest favorite where participants compete to see who can hold a stein full of beer at arm’s length for the longest amount of time.

If beer tasting and ax throwing don’t provide enough entertainment, then music headliner Andrew McConathy & the Drunken Hearts will. Boulder native McConathy and his band will be playing hits from their latest album “Alive ‘N Free,” which came to fruition when the band embarked on a cross-country album release tour that spanned 15,000 miles and resulted in one live album.

A variety of food options will be available from Wildhorse Marketplace restaurants including McKnight’s Irish Pub, Cruiser’s Sub Shop, Blue Sage Pizza, Drunken Onion and Inclusions Bakery.

Grathwohl said OktoberWest remains a popular event because the brewers love coming to Steamboat to spend the weekend in the Yampa Valley.

If you go

What: OktoberWest Festival

When: 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18

Where: Wildhorse Marketplace

Tickets: $40 to $55 at

“Many of them bring up their whole family,” she said. “Attendees love the breweries, and the brewers love the attendees and everyone loves Steamboat. I think that’s what makes it such a success year after year.”

Tucciarone agrees.

“Beyond participating in the event itself, it is great to showcase Mountain Tap to all the visiting brewers throughout the weekend and catch up with all those who we’re friendly with,” Tucciarone said. “The camaraderie that exists among fellow brewers is like no other industry I know of.”

Tickets for Saturday’s event are still available and can be purchased at

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