What the pandemic takes away, Lawson Hill takes away. Prior to COVID-19, the Lawson Hill business district, run by Telluride Brewing Company, hosted a block party on the street that faced a host of thriving businesses, including the brewery, a coffee roaster, two catering establishments, a florist, a dry cleaner and laundromat, an alteration shop, a framing shop and numerous offices that house plumbers, electricians, audio specialists and more. The Society Drive Business Center will, after a two-year hiatus, be the scene of its beloved block party tomorrow (Saturday) at 3 p.m., with music from Joint Point. Bring your ID and leave your dog at home. There are no entrance fees.
At the center of the celebration is Telluride Brewing Co., whose success has been fueled by the strong support it has received from its local customer base. Lawson Hill’s bustling dining hall (there’s also one in Mountain Village) offers the brewery’s full lineup of beers, from mainstays like Face Down Brown and Tempter IPA, to seasonal favorites like goses and stouts. Canned beers are also available. This local loyalty is partly behind the neighborhood parties, the first of which took place on June 25, 2016.
“It was a birthday celebration and a kind of Oktoberfest, but, yes, definitely a tribute to our local support,” said TBC head brewer Chris Fish. “It’s great to finally be able to do this. This is the last thing we didn’t do that went back to normal.
The brewery’s success now includes out-of-state distribution in neighboring Arizona. Fish said the prominence of the Telluride name and the high quality of TBC’s beers have helped give the company a strong foothold in Arizona. The distribution deal was sealed in the spring and according to Fish, “it’s starting to blow up.” Yet another reason to party.
Besides beer, Telluride Coffee Roasters, popularly still called Steaming Bean, will have a stand offering cold brew, drip-ground coffee for those looking to put a little late afternoon spring into their Steps. Owner Mick Hill looks forward to the Saturday party.
“It’s always a good time,” Hill said. “It’ll be fun.”
When Hill isn’t roasting beans and filling orders for his many wholesale and restaurant accounts, he and his team keep busy behind the counter at their Lawson Hill roastery.
If you think beer and flowers don’t go together, think again. China Rose Florist & Greenhouse is one of Telluride’s oldest businesses, established in 1974. Now owned by Amy and Dwight Olivier, the legacy business is located directly across from the brewery. Amy said the block party is a great way to celebrate “the neighborhood and the community.” She said she was always surprised when people stopped by the store and told her they had never been to Lawson Hill. It’s one of the reasons she likes to be open for the block party.
“It’s really fun. I have kids in the store handing out flowers,” she said.
But beer and flowers?
“Yeah! The guys are happy, the girls are happy.
Although usually closed on Saturdays in September at the end of the summer season, not only will the doors be open tomorrow afternoon, but she will have her designers working on flowers for Saturday’s celebration of life for the former Mayor of Telluride, Stu Fraser.
The smart drinker knows well the wisdom of “you have to eat to party”. To that end, Rico’s Tacos Truck will slide into the event space, serving up delicious tacos, and more.
And what’s a party without music? Joint Point, Telluride’s unwavering jam-rock maestros, will play starting at 4 p.m. There’s plenty of room to dance and, for the band, it’s a very special gig as it’s bassist Joel Waller’s 40th birthday.
A crucial element for any outdoor event is the weather. After a series of soggy days, the clouds have lifted and, as of press time, the sun is out. Even better, it’s expected to be clear and sunny with highs of 62 on Saturday.
Celebrants outside Lawson Hill are encouraged to cycle or skate. Drivers are asked to park in the Lawson Intercept parking lot and walk the short distance to the party. Leave your dog at home, but don’t forget your ID card and your dancing shoes. Free entry. Beer, food, flowers and coffee will be sold.