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Mountain News: Colorado dams make a Gogh of it



DILLON, Colo. — A pairing of dams in Colorado has yielded a beer.

The catalyst in this alchemy of brewing is an exhibition of paintings by Vincent Van Gogh now on display at the Denver Art Museum, which is often referred to by its acronym, DAM.

In Summit County, the Dam Brewery — so named because of its location near the base of the Dillon Dam — issued a T-shirt featuring one of the artist's self-portraits and a tag line that said: "I'd Give My Left Ear for a Dam Beer."

"Why not craft a commemorative beer?" asked those in the mix.

Brewmaster Cory Forester told the Summit Daily News that he studied Van Gogh and that he might have imbibed while travelling through and painting the French countryside. That French farmhouse-style ale is known as "bier de garde."

Forester explained to the newspaper that getting the yeast just right was a challenge. Unlike the highly sterilized environments in which most contemporary beers are brewed, the farmers who brewed bier de garde exposed the barrels to the open air, to catch stray yeast.

The brewmaster also added a touch more carbonation, to draw out the individual flavors and make them more easily distinguishable.

Dam Brewery invited nominations for a name, and got 240. The winner, by an election landslide: "Dam Gogh."

You too can teach old dogs new tricks

GEORGETOWN, Colo. — Who is the oldest person ever to learn how to ski? That question comes to mind in reading about the 75th anniversary of the Loveland ski area, which is located on the east side of the Continental Divide above and around the Eisenhower tunnel complex.

For about two thirds of the time, Freddie and Rose Tronnier have worked at the ski area. Now in his 51st season at Loveland, he supervises the ski school. She's in her 48th season and also works at the ski school.

Rose Tronnier tells the Summit Daily News that seven years ago she taught an 86-year-old bus driver from Baltimore how to ski.

"He said that before he died he wanted to learn how to ski," she told the Daily News. "His entire family pitched in for his private lesson, and he stayed on the beginners' hill. Tears were rolling down his face, he was so happy to learn."

But, as per the ski industry mantra, did Loveland convert this never-ever into a return visitor?

Just who is that nerdy guy in the back row?

GYPSUM, Colo. — Teachers and students are accustomed to observers sitting in the classrooms of Eagle Valley High School, so many thought nothing of it when a middle-aged couple stopped by one day in October.