Tom Ross: Save the planet and be safe yourself |

Tom Ross: Save the planet and be safe yourself

Drink Colorado beer, reduce fossil fuel dependency

Broomfield resident Dan Montgomery enjoys a locally brewed beer Friday during dinner at Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill.

My fellow Americans, I bring you good news. The Independence Day holiday is almost upon us, and it’s time for you to do your patriotic duty. Always drink responsibly and always drink beer brewed in Colorado, if not right here in Steamboat Springs.

As we celebrate our American way of life and our right to speak freely this Fourth of July, we have an opportunity to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. That’s right, Steamboaters, by drinking beer brewed with Rocky Mountain snowmelt, we reduce the demand for suds that have been trucked 1,000 miles or 2,000 miles across the country.

If you think about it, when you drink a Colorado beer this week, you’ll be saving the world, and the polar bears, too.

We don’t need Tumwater from Olympia, Wash., and Hamm’s can keep its beer “From the Land of Sky Blue Wa-a-ters.”

It breaks my heart to say this, but you know all that water that flows over Chippewa Falls up north in Wisconsin? The water that flows right into Leinenkugels famous family of brews? They can keep it right there in ‘Sconny where it belongs.

I know that I’ll contribute less to the consumption of fossil fuels if my beer is brewed close to home. The closer the better.

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In Steamboat, that begins with Mahogany Ridge, where Buff Pass Bohemian is just right for the Fourth of July.

Alternatively, when you hit the beer store this week in preparation for holiday barbecues, look for Colorado-produced beers made closer to home. The distributors burn some diesel to get it up and over Rabbit Ears Pass, but at least it didn’t have to be shipped from a regional brewery two states away.

While you’re doing your part to halt climate change by drinking locally brewed beer this week, please be sure to keep you and your friends safe.

Pregnant women make excellent designated drivers. There also are other ways to get home from the party safely, and there is absolutely no reason to drive while under the influence of Colorado beer this weekend.

Steamboat’s free-to-rider bus system ends service at 10 p.m. this summer. However, Alpine Taxi has stepped up with its late-night shuttle, which will run you from downtown to the mountain for the price of a pint – $4. The service runs from 11 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. in a 22-passenger people mover van.

Bobby O’Toole, director of operations for Alpine Taxi, said ridership has been strong Friday and Saturday nights since the service began June 5. However, the mid-week restaurant and bar crowd has yet to catch on.

That’s too bad, because the shuttle is designed to run on a regular schedule and the route is carefully designed to run past many of the condominiums at the base area.

The shuttle is scheduled to leave Lincoln Avenue and Seventh Street on the hour and work its way out U.S. Highway 40 to a turn around at Walton Pond Apartments (home to several partyers). From Walton Pond, it reverses course briefly to pick up Walton Creek Road on its way to Apres Ski Way in time to reach the Gondola Transit Center by half past the hour and Ski Tim Square by 35 minutes past the hour.

The reverse trip is slightly different. The shuttle cruises down Village Drive past La Montana and The Lodge before crossing Walton Creek Road on its way to my house on Meadow Lane. It’s scheduled to arrive at Whistler and Walton Creek Road at 50 minutes past the hour (remember, there’s a detour on Whistler Road this month), and then buzz back down U.S. 40 to the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Sixth Street at three minutes before the hour.

If you support Colorado breweries this holiday week, also consider supporting Alpine Taxi’s late night shuttle. If you swing by its office on West U.S. 40 on your bicycle, they’ll provide you with a schedule for the late-night shuttle.

Just think, you’ll be carpooling and thus saving even more fossil fuels.