The Pole
Ear to the ground
“I have to turn my heat off when I turn the sprinklers on because I can’t pay for both.”
– Local woman talking about the pitfalls of May in Colorado

Sudsing up
Durango’s been called a lot of things, but if the Durango Bootlegger’s Society has any say, “BeerCity USA” will be the latest moniker.

Earlier this year, Durango was nominated for the prestigious in certain circles craft brewing designation. The title is bestowed upon one lucky town, big or small, that best embodies the pride that comes with supplying its denizens with killer handcrafted brews.

Fans of Durango beer have until midnight MST, May 13, to vote for the hometown team at Thirty-one cities were nominated this year, with Grand Rapids, Mich., and three-time winner Ashville, N.C. in the lead, as of this writing.

“Even though we are the Napa Valley of craft beer, we’re competing against big cities with larger population bases,” said Steamworks’ Kris Oyler. “So, on a per capita basis, we’re going to need more folks who are fans of our four craft breweries – Steamworks, Ska, Carver and Durango Brewing – to vote. Winning

BeerCity USA 2012 will guarantee Durango significant national and even international notoriety.”

The BeerCity (one word, making it easier to roll off the tongue after a few) contest comes to us via, touted as the “go-to” website for craft brewing aficionados. The site is run by the “Beer Examiner,” aka Charlie Papazian, author of The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, and founder of the Great American Beer Festival and American Homebrewers Association.

“Beer City USA is about showcasing what is really driving the American craft beer phenomenon,” explained Papazian. “It’s about the view on main street, grassroots, community support; it’s not about mainstream data, averages and statistics.”

The American Homebrewers Association estimates there are 1 million homebrewers in the USA. Despite this, craft breweries still only account for 5.6 percent of all the beer guzzled in the USA.

Cities in the final competition qualified through a nominating poll held in April. Only one vote per IP address is allowed.

Calling all boaters
The Dolores River Festival is seeking volunteer raft guides, boats, captains, trailers, drivers and trucks for this year’s event, Sat., June 2.
“Every year we offer free raft rides on the ‘town run’  ... and we depend on our local boaters to help us make it happen,” event organizers said.

If you have a few hours to spare, please volunteer your time, boat, truck, trailer or skills by contacting Lisa Allee at (970) 570-7936 or




In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows