Bitter taste to brewery sale
BEND, Ore. – At least in the intellectual palettes of some drinkers, there’s a bitter aftertaste to the beer called “Pray For Snow.”
That and other brews come from 10 Barrel Brewing Co., a company founded in 2006 on the outskirts of Bend, Ore., a few miles from the Mt. Bachelor ski area. 10 Barrel now has breweries in Portland, Ore., and Boise, Idaho.
But it’s no longer a locally-owned brewery by anybody’s definition. The world’s largest beer company, Anheuser-Busch, purchased 10 Barrel Brewing in November.
Many were outraged. This is sort of like Silverton Mountain Ski Area selling to Vail Resorts or Intrawest.
The U.S. craft brewery sector has expanded rapidly since San Francisco’s Anchor Steam started in the 1970s. These smaller craft breweries tend to be locally-owned, focus on local ingredients, and generally produce a maximum 15,000 barrels a year.
Even as U.S. beer sales declined 1.9 percent last year, sales of craft beers have grown 17.2 percent, according to the Brewers Association, the trade group representing craft brewers.
California leads the U.S. in number of breweries, but on a per capita basis, Oregon is tops. It has 181 breweries, many in Portland, but with nearly 30 in the Bend area, reports the Associated Press.
The founders of 10 Barrel Brewing defended their sale to the beer giant. “We are really good at some things, like brewing cool beer and having fun,” Chris Cox told AP. “Other things, businesswise, we are not so great at. So, it’s going to be a great partnership.”
Gary Fish is a former California restaurateur who started Deschutes Brewery, Bend’s biggest brewer, with 300,000 barrels of beer distributed from coast to coast.
He told AP that he expects more such sales to the beer giants as the craft beer market matures and the original brewers get old. “I think you’re going to see more of this for sure,” he said.
For now, the craft sector continues to expand wildly, with an average 1.5 new breweries opened each day in the United States, according to the Brewers Association.
“Bud and Breakfast”
FRISCO, Colo. – In the midst of winter, another green leaf has shown up in Frisco. A company called Natural Roots opened for business this week in a former A&W root beer restaurant.
Native Roots is being called the Starbucks of cannabis retailing. It now has five stores, including one near Vail, another in Aspen, and three along the Front Range. It is also much bigger than other dispensaries in Summit County
Meanwhile, the Bud and Breakfast Silverthorne has opened. It’s the second location for the business, the other being in Denver.
The Summit Daily News reports that this is the first such overnight-themed marijuana business in the mountains of Colorado. “Guests can kick off their ski boots and sit back with a bowl to warm their bones by the stone-hearth fireplace,” the story says.
An opening reception was scheduled for … well, what do you think – 4:20.
The Breckenridge Cannabis Club, the only marijuana retailer located along the town’s Main Street, had a line of people on Friday afternoon shortly after the ski slopes closed. More customers were lining up at the four other retailers located on Airport Road, on the edge of town. Locals have nicknamed it “Airpot” Road and the “green-light district.”
Small step for uphill economy
ASPEN, Colo. – Ski towns have basically been places of downhill skiing. Aspen tends to go against the grain, and Mayor Steve Skadron is pushing this further.
Last year, Skadron began calling for development of an economy based to a greater extent on the same impulse that has so many people strapping skins on skis or snowshoes and hiking uphill on the ski slopes.
Skadron hopes to eventually see manufacturers setting up design and product-testing operations in Aspen, but also more events based around what the Aspen Daily News describes as “uphill culture.”
The newspaper says the first tentative step will be a festival in March designed to position Aspen as a center of the ski mountaineering and uphill fitness world. The festival will coincide with America’s Uphill, a long-time race. Details, however, remain scarce.
Two other events also celebrate uphill sweat. A race held in late February called the Power of Four has competitors traversing all four of the ski areas operated by the Aspen Skiing Co. In late March, the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse has participants skiing the 40 miles from Crested Butte.
Contractors resist in Ketchum
KETCHUM, Idaho – Ketchum-elected officials have pushed the town, located at the foot of the Sun Valley ski area, from the 2009 to the 2015 international building code.
The adoption elevates requirements governing fire safety and also energy consumption. Upgraded construction will result in 15 percent less energy consumption. The cost will be higher but will result in lower energy bills, with experience elsewhere suggesting a payback of six years or less.
But local builders balked when it came to a proposed restriction on snowmelt for areas of more than 50 square feet.
The concept comes from Aspen and Pitkin County, which in 2000 began requiring that snowmelt systems for driveways and other areas, as well as outdoor swimming pools and the like, would have to also have renewable energy offsets.
With revisions, Colorado’s Eagle and San Miguel counties, and the towns of Crested Butte and Telluride, have adopted similar restrictions.
But builders in Ketchum trooped to the lectern to object, reports the Idaho Mountain Express. On-site renewable energy to offset new snowmelt systems of more than 50 square feet is physically impossible, one said.
One contractor also objected that the alternative of snowmelt is dumping snow by the river, insinuating that that is less than environmentally responsible.
In the United States, she noted, buildings account for 40 percent of energy consumption, a greater percentage than any other sector. Buildings also account for 14 percent of potable water consumption.
Weary of a booming economy
TELLURIDE, Colo. – After a summer-time boom in construction and remodeling of old houses, the Telluride Town Council is reporting legislative actions to slow or restrict development.
Thom Carnevale, a council member, calls it a quality-of-life issue. “There are things that we need to take care of to protect the quality of life for the 2,400 people who live here year round,” he said.
Some of the same concern about quality of life is also evident in a proposal to host another major concert next August, this one by a musical act called Pretty Lights. Carnevale and two other council members opposed the concert because of concerns that locals become exhausted with a packed schedule of loud festivals all summer.
But the counter viewpoint is that Telluride needs to sponsor events that draw young people, and this will do that. “We need to keep a young vibe in this town,” said Kristen Permakoff, a council member. “We need to keep evolving and moving forward.”