A dozen Colorado brewers, including the owners of Ska Brewing, Avery Brewing, Left Hand Brewing and Boulder Beer Co., will depart on their bicycles July 15 from Avery in Boulder, Colo., to kick off the Fifth Annual Tour de BoulDurango — a six-day, 476-mile odyssey over seven mountain passes from Boulder to Durango to raise money for local charities, and encourage the spirit of collaboration for which the craft beer industry has become known.
Each day’s final destination brings the cyclists straight to a local brewery or pub — really, no other stops first — for a fundraising party or social event. These include Tommyknocker Brewery in Idaho Springs, Breckenridge Brewery and Ollie’s in Breckenridge, Eddyline Brewing in Salida, Brick Oven Pizzeria and Pub in Crested Butte, Ouray Brewery in Ouray, and the finishing BoulDurango Beer Festival and fundraiser at Ska Brewing World Headquarters in Durango.
You catch all that? That final stop will be reached July 20, when riders and the public will be welcomed at the Tour de BoulDurango Beer Festival, a mini-festival and fundraiser featuring beers from all the breweries on the ride, as well as the tapping of the Ska/Avery collaboration beer “Wheelsucker Wheat.”
This whole concept started in 2009 when Ska president and co-founder Dave Thibodeau’s phone rang.
“It was Adam Avery [of Avery Brewing], and he had this crazy idea about riding bikes from their brewery to ours, and stopping along the way to do fundraisers for charity,” he explained. Of course I said yes, which was pretty dumb, but it seemed far enough away that either I’d get in shape, or maybe the whole idea would drop off. Neither happened, and now we’re in our fifth year.”
The main event will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and a $10 ticket includes beer, food, a commemorative pint glass and live music. All proceeds from the Tour de BoulDurango Beer Festival will benefit Bicycle Colorado, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improved safety, access, and facilities for bicyclists in Colorado. Bicycle Colorado has been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as the model organization for the nation’s other 49 states.