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Montezuma Land Conservancy plans Harvest Beer Festival

Event features 12 area breweries
Mark Youngquist pours a sample at the Dolores River Brewery booth at the 14th annual Harvest Beer Festival in 2012.

The 18th Annual Harvest Beer Festival will feature beers, music and merchandise from local artists, organizer Marianne Mate said.

“It’s a great annual get-together that everyone looks forward to,” Mate said.

The festival takes place from 4-9 p.m. Sept. 10 at Parque de Vida. Tickets are $30 the day of the event or $25 in advance and include unlimited beer sampling. Nondrinker tickets are $20, and kids ages 15 and under get in for free.

More than 600 people attended last year, and Mate said she hopes for more this year. The Piñon Project will provide activities for kids.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Montezuma Land Conservancy, which works with landowners to preserve agricultural, natural and scenic spaces in Montezuma, Dolores and San Miguel counties.

This year’s festival will include 12 breweries including as Mancos Brewery, Moab Brewery and Farmington Hub Brewery and Grill. Several breweries from Durango will make the trip to Cortez, including Ska, Steamworks and Carver, Mate said.

Big B’s Hard Cider will also offer drinks, Mate said. The company produces ciders and juices using fruit from an orchard near Paonia and was a big hit at last year’s festival, she said.

Dolores bluegrass band Last Nickel will provide music alongside Durango country-grunge band The Lawn Chair Kings, who headline the bill.

“They’re a really fun band,” Mate said of The Lawn Chair Kings. “They do a lot to engage the crowd.”

A “Super” Silent Auction also will take place during the festival. The auction will feature more than 100 items from vendors such as Osprey Packs and Patagonia, as well as local artisans, Mate said. Tickets to Wolf Creek and Purgatory ski areas will be up for bid at the auction, too, she said.

The proceeds from the Harvest Festival go to the Land Conservancy’s general fund, director Jon Leibowitz said. In nearly two decades, the organization has protected more than 42,000 acres of land, and 8,000 acres of potential conservation projects are in the pipeline, he said.

One current project is a 40-acre conservation easement near Geer and Carpenter natural areas in Cortez, Liebowitz said. The area would add more bike trails to the area, he said.

Montezuma Land Conservancy will continue to work with local landowners on various projects, Liebowitz said.

“There continues to be a lot of interest,” he said. “We’re grateful for the local community support so we can continue protecting agricultural and scenic land in the area.”

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