Brooke Jones and Tim Huff, of Grand Junction, enjoy their beers during the 2009 Steamboat Springs OktoberWest at the base of Steamboat Ski Area.

File Photo

Brooke Jones and Tim Huff, of Grand Junction, enjoy their beers during the 2009 Steamboat Springs OktoberWest at the base of Steamboat Ski Area.

OktoberWest returns to Steamboat with beer, activities

Live music, family fun and brews on tap for event’s 2nd year

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Steamboat OktoberWest schedule

Admission is free

Friday — Downtown Steamboat Springs

■ 5 p.m. Pedaling Posse Parade: Cruiser bike parade from Howelsen Hill to Little Toots Park

■ 6 p.m. Suds & Grub: Beer tastings and food specials: $5 for six beer-tasting tokens. Commemorative beer steins on sale for $8.

Saturday — Steamboat Ski Area

■ 6 a.m. Run Rabbit Run ultramarathon race start

■ 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Buy a gondola lift ticket to use all weekend

■ Noon to 6 p.m. Steamboat Oktober­West: Gondola Transit Center on Mount Werner Circle. No dogs allowed at the event.

■ 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Half off Coca-Cola Adventure Zone activities

■ 12:15 p.m. Keg tapping ceremony

■ 12:30 p.m. Free concert with 3Wire

■ 1 to 4 p.m. Lamb cook-off tasting featuring local chefs and Routt County lamb

■ 2 p.m. Bucking Bull Battle: mechanical bull riding competition

■ 2:30 p.m. Free concert with Devon Allman’s Honeytribe

■ 3:30 p.m. Cow PIE Challenge: pie-eating contest

■ 4 p.m. Cruiser Bike Competition

■ 4:30 p.m. Free concert with Kyle Hollingsworth Band

■ All day $10 stein includes one free beer and $3 stein refills

Sunday — Steamboat Ski Area

■ 9:30 a.m. Gondola opens

■ 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Coca-Cola Adventure Zone open

■ 10:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. $5 bloody mary bar at Oasis Sundeck, top of the gondola

■ 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. OktoberWest lunch buffet at top of the gondola. $10 adults, $5 children ages 12 and younger

— Inventing captivating musical jams and brewing handcrafted beer share an inseparable bond for String Cheese Incident keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth.

The Boulder-based musician applies the same enthusiasm, structure and sometimes blind passion to both endeavors.

“The connection has been that, as a home brewer, you have to have the basic skills, but there’s a moment in time when you’re getting into the end of the boil and you take a leap of faith and throw in a little nutmeg or something,” Hollingsworth said. “It’s the same way with the band at the end of a jam, it’s like, ‘Hey, this could be totally great, or this could totally suck.’ It’s the same living on the edge and kind of going for it. I’m following that passion.”

His passion has taken him through musical heights with SCI, like a sold out three-night run at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, but also to the stage of the second annual Steamboat OktoberWest this weekend at Steamboat Ski Area.

Kyle Hollingsworth Band, comprising keyboardist and drummer Dave Watts, bassist Garrett Sayers and guitarist Dan Schwindt, will play at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the annual fall kickoff festival. The festival combines craft beers, live music and family fun from Friday to Sunday.

Local band 3Wire and Devon Allman’s Honeytribe (featuring the Allman Brothers Band’s Gregg Allman’s son) also will provide live entertainment Saturday.

The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association sponsors the event, which begins at 5 p.m. Friday with the Pedaling Posse Parade, an ode to the cruiser bike and the looming end of summer biking season in Steamboat.

Also Friday night, those 21 and older can buy beer tokens to be used at 11 downtown restaurants in the Suds & Grub tasting event.

Saturday’s festival takes place on Mount Werner Circle at the Gondola Transit Center. The road will be closed from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. for the festival. Beer steins can be purchased for $10 ($8 on Friday), and beer refills are $3 each.

Hollingsworth’s own limited-release beer, Hoppingsworth IPA, will not be on tap Saturday, but there will be 16 beers to choose among, including Bud Light, Colorado Native IPA, New Belgium Hoptober and locally crafted beers from Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill.

Chamber spokeswoman Molly Killien said the event is a beer festival with a Steamboat twist, meaning there is a family aspect.

“We wanted to not only be an Oktoberfest event with beer and great food and activities,” she said. “We wanted it to be really Steamboat in the sense that it’s family friendly. That’s really the magic of OktoberWest.”

Other events that will help make the celebration uniquely Steamboat are the mechanical bull competition, cruiser bike decorating contest and the Cow PIE Challenge pie-eating contest.

For young children, there will be face painting and a petting zoo.

For adults 21 and older, there will be the chance to enjoy forecast 80-degree weather, celebrate the end of a summer season and appreciate a nice, cold beer.

And Hollingsworth will try to make sure of the latter.

“When I perform, especially at brew fests, I take moments to speak about the passion beer is for me,” he said. “I try to make sure the audience know what goes into this process. For me, they’re artists just as much as I am an artist.”

— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 871-4204 or e-mail ninglis@steamboatpilot.com

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