BV festival returns for second year

Rapids and Grass Beer Festival has returned to Buena Vista with even more breweries and vendors, not to mention nonstop groovy music, a picturesque riverside location and a freedom float to complete the ultimate fun-filled weekend.

Sarah Haughey, owner of The Jailhouse Craft Beer Bar and creator of this craft beer festival, is passionate about sharing her love of refreshing libations with the people of the Ark Valley. Along with her festival partners, Jed Selby of South Main Arts and Parks Trust and Mark Morris of Rapidgrass, she has made it her mission to provide an experience as unique and inviting as the Colorado sunsets that cascade over the nearby Collegiate Peaks.

“I’ve been in the beer industry for awhile now, and festivals are a great opportunity for a reunion ‒ there is great camaraderie during festival season. This community has supported us from the beginning at The Jailhouse, and we love introducing locals to new beers and different flavors. This festival is an extension of that,” said Haughey.

“I love seeing our locals interact with brewery owners and gain knowledge of the beer industry. It’s extremely rewarding to share my passion for beer and love of community with the town of Buena Vista.”

The festival will feature more selections than last year, with 50 beverage vendors from around the state and country, including 45 craft breweries, three cideries and two distilleries highlighting the artisanship behind the craft beverage movement. Haughey added that the festival will offer more live music opportunities as well with the addition of an after-party show series at the new Surf Hotel Ivy Ballroom in South Main. Local food trucks will offer culinary fare during the festival, and a 7-mile freedom float Sunday will end with live music by Chain Station at Riverside Grill.

“I am very excited about the quality of the lineup this year, and I think festival-goers are going to have quite the palate trip. There is a huge variety in flavor with breweries specializing in barrel-aged beers, spontaneously fermented sour styles, New England style IPA, saison and some of the best damn Lager you’ll ever drink in America. I’m also happy we can add the cocktail component with our local distilleries Deerhammer and Wood’s as well as several cider options for the gluten-free and fermented apple lovers,” Haughey said.

The festival kicks off with a welcome party at The Jailhouse in downtown Buena Vista on Friday, June 29, with a tap takeover from Jester King of Austin, Texas, and Beachwood Brewing from Long Beach, Calif. Also, staying true to the casual, outdoor atmosphere, the music featured throughout the weekend will have a true Colorado vibe, including Bonfire Dub, Tierro with Bridget Law, Liver Down the River, Leftover Salmon, We Dream Dawn and Rapidgrass. Camping is available alongside the tasting location for festival-goers. To find out more about the festival or to purchase tickets, visit

“I hope this year is as successful, if not more so, than last year. I partly measure success in enjoyment of the experience, so if people are smiling and having a good time, that’s a huge win for me,” said Haughey.