The calendar says winter is still a couple of months off, but it’s not too early to get ready for the approaching ski and snowboard season.
And one good way to get a jump on snow time is head over to Fort Mason in San Francisco this weekend for the fourth iteration of the SnowBomb Ski and Snowboard Festival.
Along with the usual aspects of ski shows nationwide (thousands of hard and soft goods available for sale, representatives of various resorts and manufacturers on hand to answer questions, lift ticket deals and giveaways, movie premieres, etc.), the Fort Mason show will continue its tradition of giving attendees to opportunity to sample the products of local and regional brewers and vintners.
“We’ll have more than 100 wineries and breweries represented,” event founder Jim McAlpine said. “The wines will be from small boutique wineries like Honig up through the big ones like Mondavi. The beers will be from small craft breweries like Deschutes and Lagunitas up through the Budweisers and Sierra Nevadas of the world.”
The wines will be available for sampling on Saturday, Nov. 5, and the beers will be on tap on Sunday, Nov. 6. And each day seems to draw a distinctive crowd.
“We seem to get more skiers on day one (the wine tasting) and more snowboarders on day two,” McAlpine said with a laugh. “We thought it would be that way from the beginning, and it seems to have come to a reality.”
But McAlpine doesn’t produce his shows to cater to any specific imbibing taste.
“We try to have something for everyone,” he said. “We have things for single people; we have things for families; we things for people who just want to taste beer or wine. We get a pretty good cross-section of people coming to our shows.”
A couple of major attractions will be the premieres of two winter sports action movies from two of the genre’s best filmmakers: Matchstick Production’s Attack of La Niña will make its San Francisco debut on Nov. 5 and Teton Gravity Research’s One for the Road will be shown on Nov. 6.
The general admission is $20 per customer, and you get the mosey through the booths, watch the various demos, attend the movies, finger the goods for sale and receive three vouchers for lift tickets good at China Peak, Dodge Ridge and Bear Valley and 2-for-1 lift ticket coupons from Alpine Meadows, Diamond Peak, Squaw Valley and Homewood. The beer and wine tastings are extra.
The $40 option gets you all of the aforementioned plus unlimited beer or wine tasting and two nights lodging at the Gran Sierra Resort in Reno.
“We’ve targeted our focus on value and entertainment,” McAlpine said. “By making our events exciting and affordable we’re able to offer skiers and snowboarders of all ages and abilities an amazing day of winter in the Bay Area.”