If you go

What: Hops & Handrails Beer Fest & Rail Jam

When: Noon-6 p.m. Saturday, March 29

Where: Left Hand Brewing Co., 1265 Boston Ave., Longmont

Cost: $30 for the Beer Fest and Rail Jam; $10 for the Rail Jam



LONGMONT — If you want to snowboard in the parking lot of Left Hand Brewing Co., you need snow. Lots and lots of snow.

That's where Del Ewing comes in.

Ewing, the owner of Longmont-based Del's Masonry, more often will be found hauling construction material, but for the second year in a row he plans to put his trucks in service to convert Left Hand's parking lot on Boston Avenue into an alpine terrain park.

Left Hand's Hops & Handrails Beer Fest & Rail Jam features beer from 35 Colorado craft brewers and a snowboard competition on a 30-foot ramp. The event is scheduled for noon-6 p.m. Saturday. It will benefit Left Hand's charitable foundation and SOS Outreach.

Ewing says he will collect snow for the event from Loveland Ski Area, he said. He'll be running four trucks on two trips, and each truck can carry 20 yards of cargo. That's 160 yards of snow he plans to haul to Left Hand over about a five-hour period. He also is involved in building the ramp.

He got his first snow-transporting experience during the inaugural Hops & Handrails last year.

"Last year it just went like clockwork," he said.

Del's Masonry was founded in 1969, and Ewing was happy to volunteer his services for a community event when Left Hand's Josh Goldberg approached him about snow-moving duties.

"He's helping out in the area," Goldberg said, "and we're helping him help out the area."

Left Hand’s Steve Tamas pours a coffee porter during the Hops & Handrails Beer Fest & Rail Jam in March 2013. The event, now in its second
Left Hand's Steve Tamas pours a coffee porter during the Hops & Handrails Beer Fest & Rail Jam in March 2013. The event, now in its second year, is set for Saturday in Left Hand's parking lot on Boston Avenue in Longmont. (Lewis Geyer / A&E Spotlight)

Goldberg and Left Hand have a habit of creating events that help the community while also being great fun.

"Colorado's raddest winter festival," Goldberg said. "That's what I'm trying to make here."

The festival was custommade for someone like Nick Callaway. Callaway is the owner of Loveland Aleworks in Loveland, so craft beer is his thing. He's also a snowboarder.

"I definitely embrace both of those things to the fullest," he said.

Callaway, who opened Loveland Aleworks in 2012, used to live in Vail and work in local ski shops and restaurants.

"I don't get much chance to enjoy the mountain," he said, "so this is a chance to enjoy that."

He has yet to determine which beer Aleworks will serve during Hops & Handrails, but he said it will be "the best dang beer we got."

About 100 snowboarders will compete in the Rail Jam. Bob Holme, the terrain park manager at Winter Park Resort, is in charge of erecting the ramp, Goldberg said, adding that Left Hand is partnering with Winter Park, Christy Sports and Burton Snowboards to stage the event.

"Burton has made it a mandatory event for their riders," Goldberg said.

It's a sign of the success that Hops & Handrails enjoyed last year.

"What I'm seeing," he said, "is our partners are coming back but coming back bigger. That means a ton."

Left Hand presents the event as a "match made in Colorado heaven" — there's no shortage of beer enthusiasts in the state, and where better in the country to snowboard — and its Beer Fest component runs 1-4 p.m. Visitors get unlimited tastings for $30.

In the usual Left Hand fashion, Hops & Handrails is designed to be family friendly. It includes a Kid Zone, where children as young as 2 can try out snowboards.

The participating breweries include local and state favorites, such as New Belgium, Odell, Oskar Blues, Pumphouse, Boulder Beer, Breckenridge, Great Divide, Upslope and, of course, Left Hand.

Contact Quentin Young at 303-684-5319 or qyoung@aespotlight.com.