What to drink at the Locals’ Appreciation Party for May’s First Friday | SummitDaily.com

What to drink at the Locals’ Appreciation Party for May’s First Friday

Summit Suds: Beer news, reviews, recipes and more

Guests can expect over 30 vendors giving out samples of beer, wine and spirits at the Locals’ Appreciation Party, like Wood's High Mountain Distillery did in 2019. The beverages are free, but donations to nonprofits are encouraged.
Shane Morris/Town of Silverthorne

Summit County locals are in for a treat Friday, May 6. From 4:30-8:30 p.m., the town of Silverthorne will host its annual Locals’ Appreciation Party at the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center lawn, 460 Blue River Parkway. Locals Liquors partners with the town to throw the free party that is always a good time.

Donations are encouraged, and last year the party and silent auction raised over $25,000 for Building Hope Summit County, Bristlecone Health Services, Summit Advocates, Summit Musicians Relief Fund and the Family & Intercultural Resource Center’s rental assistance program.

Building Hope and the rental assistance fund are beneficiaries again this year, joined by Smart Bellies, Summit County Rescue Group and Save a Brain. The online auction also returns and is running now through 8 p.m. Sunday, May 8. Accessible at LocalsLiquors.com, the auction contains the store’s rare and allocated products such as a full set of Blanton’s bourbon and Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year.

This will be the third time I’ll get to attend, and it will by my second trip there in less than a year due to it previously being postponed to October.

Naturally, a local-centric event like this will highlight local businesses, such as Angry James Brewing Co., Outer Range Brewing Co., Broken Compass Brewing, The Bakers’ Brewery and Dillon Dam Brewery. Spearheaded by A.J. Brinkerhoff of Angry James — and serving as an alternative to the Brewers Rock for Rescue event that hasn’t happened since 2020 — the breweries came together to create the All Call American-style pale ale.

Aside from being a light American pale ale between 5.5% to 6% alcohol by volume, each brewery could put their own spin on the beer that benefits the rescue group. For instance, Angry James’ version has American two-row malt and El Dorado and Amarillo hops, while Cory Forster of The Bakers’ Brewery said their brewers used Golden Promise malt and malted oats alongside Centennial and Citra hops. Forster then added 11 pounds of Huell Melon hops while double dry-hopping to make it a refreshing summer brew.

Dillon Dam also went the tropical route by incorporating Cascade, Mosaic and Amarillo hops. In addition to having it at the party, some breweries have it on tap at their establishment, and Angry James canned it for purchase at Locals Liquors. Look for a label that features a golden retriever, hiking rescue team members and a helicopter made by Angry James’ Ryan Halsne.

Beer isn’t the only drink available for free. As you listen to live music from the Chris Bauer Trio and Shaky Hand String Band, sample wine and spirits from Colorado producers. It’s a great way to get a feel for a product without committing to a whole bottle the next time you need a gift for yourself, a family member or friend.

Returning is Hidden Peaks Spirits’ Colorado Cream. Think of it like Bailey’s but more local. It has notes of butterscotch, hazelnut and vanilla, too. In October, I couldn’t get enough of their pumpkin spice flavor, but they also make coffee and peppermint options.

Another tent to seek out is Wood’s High Mountain Distillery. From Salida, the distillery crafts whiskey, gin, vodka and elderflower liquor. I’m a fan of their Alpine Rye and Mountain Hopped Gin. Don’t let the name of the gin scare you, this isn’t a bitter brew. Rather, the Cascade hops lend their floral and citrus flavors to the spirit.

As great as the appreciation party is, don’t get too carried away with the free booze. Get yourself to and from the event responsibly, and be sure to purchase food from Colorado Marketplace and Bakery, Melody’s Food Cart and Mercado La Perla to sate your appetite.

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