Raise a beer stein, wine glass or cup of cider in honor of the changing seasons

The Geiger Counter’s weekend picks

Blue River Grass is one of Summit County’s newest bands and the group will be playing at this year’s Strings, Ciders & Sours. The ensemble is composed of Benjie West on mandolin, guitar and vocals, Maureen Bozsan on violin, Brett Lomoro on bass and vocals and Rob Schmidt on guitar and vocals.
Aidan Erickson/Courtesy photo

Don’t know what to do this weekend? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Pull up a seat to the counter, and I’ll tell you about everything that’s hot and happening.

The temperature is cooling, concert series have ended and farmers markets are winding down. The first day of fall is right around the corner, but that doesn’t mean shoulder season has arrived in Summit County quite yet. Outdoor happenings are still occurring to take advantage of the last bit of summer sun and fun.

Here are three events to keep you busy during this transitional period.

Breckenridge Wine Classic

Wine aficionados can experience tastings, seminars, dinners and more at the three-day Breckenridge Wine Classic. Starting Thursday, Sept. 15, and running through Saturday, Sept. 17, guests can sample domestic and international wines, craft beer and spirits.

Example events include a blending experience with Alexander Valley Vineyards, a Portuguese lunch pairing from Giampietro Pasta & Pizzeria.

Many events are sold out, but tickets are still available for the various grand tasting time slots Friday and Saturday at Beaver Run Resort. Tickets start at $109 and can be purchased at

Strings, Ciders & Sours

Also in Breckenridge, Strings, Ciders & Sours offers a completely different selection. As the name implies, guests can expect bluegrass music, hard cider and sour beer Friday, Sept. 16, through Sunday, Sept. 18.

Festivities start at Sauce on The Maggie with a cider and sour dinner pairing. Then the grand tasting runs from 2-6 p.m. at Main Street Station Plaza Saturday, Sept. 17. VIP ticket holders can access the tasting at 1 p.m. and a hospitality lounge in Quandary Tequila Bistro from 12:30-5 p.m. 

Regardless, attendees will receive a commemorative glass for unlimited samples while listening to bluegrass. Providing music is Durango’s Liver Down The River as well as Summit County’s own Blue River Grass. Food is available to purchase a la carte.

Don’t be turned off by “sour” in the festival name. The level of tartness can vary widely between brew styles and ingredients. I had a blast attending in 2019, as the unique offerings make it stand out from other beer festivals.

Closing out the festival is a Sunday brunch at Sauce on the Maggie from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for all-access passholders.

Saturday’s grand tasting starts at $40 in advance while the VIP experience is $65. The all-access pass, which includes VIP access as well as the pairing dinner and Sunday brunch, is $125. Designated drivers can attend for free to enjoy the music and food. Visit to purchase tickets.

Arapahoe Basin Oktoberfest

Those wanting more brews should check out Arapahoe Basin’s Oktoberfest Saturday and Sunday. People can enjoy live music and dancing while having beer and chowing down on brats and pretzels. 

If you need to take a break from the base area, take a ride on the mountain’s chairlift running for free over the weekend. Free chair rides are available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., while food and beer will be served in Mountain Goat Plaza from noon to 4 p.m. Live music and entertainment begins at 1 p.m. and lasts to 4 p.m.

Admission is $30 and includes a stein, but a la carte options are also available. Visit to purchase.

What I’m Playing

Sushi Go Party!

As you recuperate on the couch after the smorgasbord of events, a great way to spend time with friends and family is in the company of a board game. One I’ve played a good bit of lately is Sushi Go Party.

On the surface, it’s a quick and straightforward game about simply collecting the highest points by grabbing the cards worth the most, like a piece of nigiri worth three points over the one worth two. Yet, each card has its own rules and modifies. Temaki only awards four points to the person who has the most, but the player with the least temaki loses four points.

This edition of the board game features a wide variety of cards that can be mixed and matched, changing the rules — and therefore the strategy — each time for a high amount of replayability.

Jefferson Geiger is the arts and entertainment editor for the Summit Daily News and managing editor for Explore Summit. Email him at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.