Brew crews keep suds flowing

Taps at Brewfest don't run dry early this year; Fall Foliage Festival also a hit

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— Steamboat Springs was out in full Dionysian force near Gondola Square Saturday, celebrating the latest batch of beer from 23 Colorado breweries.

The plastic mugs Steamboat Mountain Brewfest ticket holders received upon entry were slapping together in howling toasts to the cool fall weather and the fact that at 2 p.m., the beer was still flowing.

At the same time during last year's Brewfest, the taps were dry.

Many drinkers attended again this season only after several sponsors promised it wouldn't happen again.

Locals from the Steamboat Brewery and Tavern had Charlie's Cherry Ale on tap as well as Uncle Kunkel's Dunkel Weiss, a German-style wheat beer.

Another local favorite, New Belgium Brewing Co., was serving its latest introduction, Loft, as well as 1554 Brussels Style Black Ale and Blue Paddle Pilsner.

Participants said they made sure to try as many as their stomachs could handle.

"The main difference between a brewfest and a wine tasting," attendee Ryan Finney said, "is that wine drinkers have to pretend more. Beer drinkers can admit they just want to get drunk."

He was drinking a September Fest from Left Hand Brewery, which he described as "wonderful."

The Brewfest grounds were divided by a stage, with brews on one side and food and clothing vendors on the other.

The crowd was decidedly lopsided, as no one wanted to move too far from the beer tents.

Across the lawn, Powder Pursuits had a 50 percent off sale on snowboard gear, marking the fast-approaching ski season, but only a few customers made it that far from the taps.

Below the hill in Gondola Square, the mood was much quieter at the Fall Foliage Festival.

Artists, craft lovers and vendors lined the square with stalls. Many of them have been selling their wares throughout the summer on the mountain.

Boy Scout Troop 194 from Steamboat was holding a fund-raiser by the Headwall lift. For $10 anyone could mark a square on a chart where they thought a Longhorn steer walking in a pen over a marked lawn of corresponding squares might leave his mark.

The winner could walk away with $1,000.

The steer was given two hours to do his business.

The troop sold most of the squares on the chart, 13-year-old Lewis Cutter III said.

They hadn't seen much activity from the people enjoying Brewfest.

"The day is pretty segregated," he said. "The families are down here and the drunkards are staying up there."

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