Winter Park Resort went big and wonderful with beer on April 2 |

Winter Park Resort went big and wonderful with beer on April 2

Meg Soyars
For Sky-Hi News

Visitors to Winter Park Resort on April 2 had the opportunity to enjoy more than sunny spring skiing conditions. They could also sip on craft beers, wine and spirits from over 20 breweries, sample artisanal snacks, browse tables of colorful clothing and jewelry, view artwork and listen to live bluegrass bands.

The 4th annual TheBigWonderful Beerfest added to the already celebratory atmosphere of the resort during its last opening weeks. Since this year’s festival took place at both Winter Park Village and the resort’s base, attendees mingled with skiers and snowboarders decked out in bright “gaper outfits.”

After a two-year hiatus from Winter Park, TheBigWonderful came back bigger than ever. All the vendors were local to Colorado, allowing attendees to support small businesses at the not-so-small event. The festival stretched from the ski lifts to the shops at the Village, offering unlimited alcohol choices for attendees and skiers taking a break from the hill. There were several Grand County breweries offering samples on tap, such as Never Summer Brewing from Granby, Camber Brewing Company from Fraser, and Big Trout Brewing from Winter Park. Big Trout offered samples such as their Hickory Hill Raspberry Wheat and Alpine Lake IPA.

Attendees craving something sweeter could sip “adult” lemonade from Evergood Adventure Wines. Their wines are made from lemons, not grapes, and come with quirky names like “Skier Pee” (lemon flavored) and “Snow Bunny” (strawberry flavored). Owners Matthew and Melanie Hexter created the company together. One of their sons came up with “Skier Pee.”

Although the “Beerfest” was the highlight of the event, there was something at TheBigWonderful for everyone. Shoppers found a bazaar offering unique clothing, jewelry, accessories and home décor.

Handmade jewelry made with dried flowers adorned the table of jewelry maker Daniela Tylova, from Czech out the Rock. Denver-based clothing company B Fresh Gear sold psychedelic shirts, jackets and fanny packs. Bright paintings of animals, snakes and dancing skeletons hung in the booth of artist Alex Kitching from Reindeer Age Experimental Arts.

Hungry attendees of TheBigWonderful noshed on gourmet eats ranging from the sweet to spicy. Alexa Hesse from Yummy Lotus gave samples of her pepper jams, featuring strawberry grapefruit and Mango Habanero, while Farm In A Jar employees offered samples of their homemade salsa (while owner Karla Sue assists Ukranian refugees in Poland).

TheBigWonderful health and wellness tables had calmer mood. Lorna Schlegel of Naked Herbs Co offered teas, aromatherapy sprays and bath scrubs, all made with herbs and flowers. 5280Holistics provided their CBD products for recovery, sleep and more.

Throughout the event, bluegrass bands kept the energy pumping. On the main stage, the band Turkeyfoot got the event started, and at the Village Stage, the band Pick & Howl regaled the crowd. The Drunken Hearts closed out the event, playing their signature rock-n-roll rhythm with bluegrass picking.

Missed TheBigWonderful? Don’t worry. Winter Park has several more events lined up for its Spring Bash + Splash fest. Every weekend in April, the resort will hold a different festival. Head to Country Bash on April 9, Retro Bash on April 16, and the resort’s closing-day Beach Bash on April 23. But Mary Jane stays open and you can check out another TheBigWonderful event, the Derby Party at Belleview Station on May 7, which kicks off their monthly concert series.


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