Photo Credit: 10 Barrel Brewing Co.
The ultimate mashup is coming to Colorado this week. With stops in Aspen and Eldora, the 10 Barrell Brewing Co. Beercat is one part brewpub, one part snowcat. Pro snowboarder Mike Basich crafted the Beercat out of a vintage 1987 Spryte snowcat on top of which he custom-built a tiny brewpub with walls that fold down, transforming into decks for the ultimate slopeside happy hour.
The 10 Barrell Beercat will be at Aspen on March 15 and Eldora on March 16-17 for St. Patrick’s Weekend. The roving taproom is designed to delight skiers and riders by appearing spontaneously around each mountain. The Beercat (and its chilled kegs full of 10 Barrel brews) can go anywhere on the trails that a regular grooming machine can go.
Basich, who competed in snowboard competitions in the 1980s, retired from competition to chase a dream of living off the grid. He built a 280-square-foot stone house on a mountaintop on Donner Pass in California. “It’s a small home with a big yard,” says Basich, who has been building tiny homes for the last decade. “I started with a tiny home built onto a van in 2000, then I upgraded it to a 4-wheel drive in 2003, and most recently I did a classic tiny-home trailer,” he says. With the Beercat, Basich is combining his love of snowboarding and of building things.
The Beercat’s interior includes hand-milled cedar wood harvested from Basich’s California property, including a beetle-kill bartop milled from a massive tree in Basich’s backyard. For the exterior, he started with aluminum, painted it black, and then sanded it back to the raw material to create the 10 Barrell Brewing Co. logo alongside imagery inspired by Mount Bachelor. “I had a friend rebuild the engine, and I stuck with the dreamy construction part, figuring out the mechanics of how different parts would work together,” explains Basich. “I just love to build things.”
Basich, who has been doing wood-working and welding for some 20 years now, built the mobile mini-pub in just a few short months. “I’m good with deadlines,” he says, “and this was a real crunch time.” Mother Nature complicated matters. ”I didn’t always have full days because of weather,” he explains. The first roof, for example, was ruined when an untimely rainstorm moved in during construction. Engineering the hydraulic doors, which fold down to create al fresco party decks, were the biggest challenge. Basich put the finishing touches on the Beercat at 3 a.m. the day of the VIP launch party held, naturally, way out in the woods. Inaugural beers flowed from the Beercat taps and, somewhat ironically, champagne was uncorked.
Click here for a video of Basich documenting the creation of the 10 Barrell Beercat.
Check out images from construction on Basich’s Instagram feed.