Backcountry Brewery

My New Year's resolution is to be like U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo, only a little more conservative. I decided this after spending part of the holidays in Summit County with several million people from out-of-state who I doubt had ever sat in chairs, much less been schooled in skiing etiquette or basic personal relations. At the end of my stay, I came completely unhinged mid-mountain after yet another pair of yokels tried to lower the bar restraint into my crotch without checking to see if everyone and everything was ready. If Congressman Tancredo really wants to deal with some of the problems facing America, he should implement my plan of requiring an IQ test score greater than "Simian" to get into airports and movie theaters, as well as onto major highways and chairlifts.

After several hours of dealing with people skiing in jeans, "Intimidator" (you can substitute any NASCAR or NFL regalia here) parkas and stocking caps, the new Southern Representative to the Institute of Drinking Studies (who, it should be noted, was appalled by his fellow Southerners' boorish behavior) and I retired to the Backcountry Brewery (710 Main Street in Frisco) for much-needed beer and grub. Since there had been so little elbow room on the slopes, we were initially surprised by the scarcity of patrons here -- but quickly determined that most people who'd walked through these doors had died of either starvation or dehydration and been dumped out back in a snowbank.

We spent at least ten agitated minutes waiting for a server, and when she finally showed up, we had to strain our eyeballs to see what homemade brew the bar stocked, because there was no beer menu and she sure as hell had no idea what was available. The depths of her disrespect for ales knew no bounds, which she demonstrated by whisking away my glass that still had an inch of beer remaining. (It is the Institute's philosophy that any server who takes away perfectly good beer, root or otherwise, should be publicly caned. At minimum.) At least the beer, especially the pale ale, was pretty good. But the food -- which took slightly longer than forever to arrive, and we had to add another ten minutes to that to get some silverware, probably because the people in Summit County that week all ate with their hands -- was barely passable. I've never before been to a saloon that's run out of chicken fingers, one of the five key bar-food groups (the others are beer, hard liquor, fried cheese and ranch dressing).

We passed most of the evening teaching my daughter to play Super Pacman and hustle pool (she'll be much better served emulating the Southern Representative than her pathetically impaired old man). Other than the pale ale, the true highlight of the night was watching her blast away at deer on the hunting video game -- placed there for visiting tourists, no doubt.

Generally, I don't subscribe to the elitist native Coloradan attitude that people from outside the state should stay out -- mainly because I am a transplant, and because there are really only about a hundred natives left here, anyway. But until Tancredo shores up the borders, we're going to have to deal with people who drive even worse than Coloradans in snow (although they at least have the excuse that they may not see the mysterious white stuff fall from the sky every year), whose bathrooms may be in structures separate from their homes, and who look up to Randy Quaid's Uncle Eddie as a role model. It's enough to drive a man to drink -- although not at the Backcountry Brewery.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patrick Osborn