Often, the best ideas are hatched when one is most relaxed – in the shower, in the few moments after one wakes up, and in this case, over a beer.
When David Liechty, founder of Grace Skis, sat down for a beer with Charlie Berger and Patrick Crawford of Denver Beer Co., the idea of collaboration surfaced.
“When we met David, it was a meeting of minds. We had the opportunity to work together on a project that emphasized both of our small businesses and we jumped on it. We knew it was a fit,” said Berger.
So the three craftsmen spent two days learning each other’s trades. Liechty took a crash course in the art of brewing and Berger and Crawford spent the day pressing a pair of skis. To add to the small business collaboration, the Crafting a Nation documentary filmmaking team captured the day in video. The skis, beer, and short film were debuted at Denver Beer Co. on Thursday night.
“The video really focuses around these guys and the philosophy of the process of the craft,” said Thomas Kolicko, Crafting a Nation Director and Producer. “It was cool to see how quickly they got each other’s process, how into it they were, how detailed.”
“We both like beer and we both like skiing, but we’re driven by the process of making. That’s what really tied us together… the vision of the end result and how to make it actual,” said Liechty.
“He [Liechty] has a passion for the process. He was really intrigued and interested in watching how our beer was made,” said Berger, “and we got to see the small details that go into ski making that most people take for granted. It gave me an appreciation for what goes into making small batch, locally made product.”
The collaboration of the ski and craft brew industries is one that tugs at the heartstrings of Coloradoans.
“It [this project] inspired me to think a little more locally. It’s local business folks taking care of local business folks. We need to work together and make Denver even better,” said Liechty.
“I love the mindset and cooperation that happens with Denver small businesses. The sum is greater than all the parts,” said Berger.
Although the trio gained a deeper appreciation for one another’s crafts, would they drop skis for beer? Or beer for skis? Not right now, they say.
by Katie O’Block — Writer, photographer, videographer, adventurer, storyteller. Katie calls Boulder, CO home.