Brews and grooves ease meltdown at Arapahoe Basin |

Brews and grooves ease meltdown at Arapahoe Basin

Kimberly Nicoletti

ARAPAHOE BASIN – A-Basin’s making the best of an early meltdown with peace, harmony, positive vibrations – and a lot of beer.

Five breweries will bring two of their most popular, hand-crafted ales to Arapahoe Basin, while Djate plays reggae at the base area, starting at noon.

“We put the rock in the reggae,” Djate said. “We get real electric and get a little grunge in there.”

Djate’s early years in the West Indies listening to Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton gave his reggae a rock edge, which he calls root reggae.

“When we do “Hey Joe,’ we light up the whole crowd,” he said.

The band covers non-reggae songs from the Grateful Dead, Hendrix and Robert Bradley in addition to its original material.

“It just kind of twists your brain a little,” said Kelly Simmons, Djate’s agent. “It’s influenced by rock and pop, so it has a faster beat and is more vocally oriented.”

The band’s heavy drum and base, along with socially conscious lyrics, create a powerful groove. That groove has led Djate to perform at the 2002 Olympics and open for bands such as the Wailers and Third World.

“My main message is love, peace, harmony and positive vibrations. Free your mind, free your soul, free your spirit. We all become one,” he said.

Just in case the music doesn’t free you enough, there’s plenty of beer.

Great Northern Tavern, Pug Ryan’s, the Backcountry, Breckenridge and Dillon Dam breweries will fill souvenir mugs with their finest ales all afternoon.

Great Northern Tavern will bring summer to the summit with its Pilsner, a light, seasonal beer, and its local favorite, Dakota Amber Ale. Backcountry Brewery will present its gold-medal winning Telemark IPA and Expedition ESB, a dark, fuller beer with a rich, creamy head. Dillon Dam Brewery will feature the hoppy flavor of its Extra Pale Ale and its Damn Straight Lager, brewed in the European tradition. Pug’s will bring its light, easy-drinking Kiltlifter Scottish Ale and Pallavicini Pilsner, both crowd pleasers.

Four hours of unlimited taste testing costs $12 and includes a 14-ounce souvenir mug. For $20, beer tasters can set aside their mugs and make the last few turns of the season.

KSMT will rev up the party from 10 a.m. to noon with prizes and giveaways.

For more information, call (970) 496-7001 or visit the Web site at

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at 970-668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at

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