Meier Skis is pouring free craft beer and shaping custom planks in Denver
Tucked into an industrial neighborhood far from the more, dare we say, fashionable retail areas of Denver, Colorado, Meier Skis is crafting custom twigs for skiers who crave something unique. Founded in 2009 in Glenwood Springs—three-plus hours west of Denver via the I-70 corridor—the company relocated to the capitol in 2016, and from its spot near a scrap-metal yard it makes a strong product backed by a cool environmental story (Meier sources locally harvested aspen and beetle-kill pine for its wood cores, uses the eco-friendliest epoxy and more). Yet the best thing about Meier Skis, in this writer’s humble opinion, is that every day it doles out free craft beer to potential customers while simultaneously informing them about its skis.
Meier’s Craft Skiery™ has between two and four taps open on any given day, and they’re frequently pouring beers by Colorado-based breweries, though the company also partners with Sierra Nevada out of California and Boston’s Harpoon. Ostensibly, the free booze is a marketing tool, and behind the bar, its “ski-tender” narrates the process on the other side of the window, where skis are pressed, as folks sip on icy-cold brews. Its symbolism is striking in that beer, just like skis, results from the combination of disparate ingredients to create one truly awesome thing that can alter your perception and state of mind.
Since its opening, the Meier shop has also doubled as an event space and musicians from Pretty Lights, Thievery Corporation, The New Mastersounds and Dopapod have played sets there. All the while, the beer has flowed like wine (they serve that too).
Just how many free beers is a visitor allowed?
“Abused the system, meaning come here just to get s#it-faced?” asks Meier co-owner Ted Eynon, 54. “I don’t think we’ve had anyone come in here solely for that purpose so we don’t really have a hard and fast rule around that. We like to make sure everyone has a good time, but the primary reason people roll in is for the skis,” Eynon says.
It’s clear that visitors come for skiing first, beer second. Meier’s tagline, “handmade skis from Colorado trees,” has earned it widespread press around the Centennial State. Even for those who aren’t shopping for a new set of planks, Eynon says that the factory also serves as a full-service ski shop: Drop your skis off for a wax and tune-up, rent some demo skis or have those fancy-new bindings mounted… and if its techs aren’t busy, have a beer with ’em while you wait. Hell, even if they are busy, have a beer anyway—you deserve it! I, for one, can’t ignore the possibility that in a moment of public intoxication, I might become vulnerable to an impulse purchase. I probably deserve those new skis too, right?
In a day and age where selling skis is highly competitive and ever-evolving, Meier has doubled down on the idea of “craft.” It’s a move that will surely resonate with millennials who are marked by a preference for artisanal experiences, from beer to food to off-the-beaten-path-vacations. Creating skis with custom graphics (choose from an existing library of graphics, design your own, or work with Meier’s graphic designer to achieve your desired look), all while working directly with the builders, and sharing a beer or two throughout the whole process? We dig it and we’re sure you will, too.
So, drop on by. Hours are 10-7 Monday-Friday and also Sunday, and 10-5 on Saturdays. Meier also offers factory tours where you can see how skis and snowboards are made, just for the fun of it. These “Happy Hour” tours are offered at 5:30, Monday-Friday. You can let Siri know to direct you to: 970 Yuma St, Denver, CO 80204.
toll free phone: 844-WOOD SKI(s)