Jackson Hole Happenings: Pole, Pedal, Paddle, Party


By Michelle DeLong


This Sat­ur­day, Melvin Brew­ing’s home­town of Jack­son Hole will host the ulti­mate type two fun/adventure/suffer fest with après brag­ging rights: the 43rd Annu­al Ren­dezvous Riv­er Sports Karen Oatey Pole Ped­al Pad­dle. The race, one of the longest run­ning events in Jack­son with quite pos­si­bly the longest name, her­alds the com­ing of spring with a mashup of win­ter and sum­mer sports. It kicks off with a down­hill ski race at Jack­son Hole Moun­tain Resort and ends with a cel­e­bra­to­ry soak, par­ty, and awards cer­e­mo­ny at the Asto­ria hot springs.


PPP Wade Dunstan David Cleveland WRKSHRT


Some com­peti­tors come with the eye of the tiger, decked out in full on GS spidey suits. Oth­er unsung heroes rock up in a mul­let and Cana­di­an tuxe­do, drink­ing a Hubert MPA, of course. Com­peti­tors range in age from 10 to 80, and they all com­pete as indi­vid­u­als or teams in a down­hill ski race, run, Nordic ski race, cycle, and pad­dle down the Snake Riv­er. Defend­ing champ and absolute ledge John­ny Springer explains, “In the Pole Ped­al Pad­dle, you get to do all the sports you do in Jack­son any­way, but in a com­pe­ti­tion for­mat. It can be bru­tal. We love it.”

Melvin’s down with PPP, yeah you know me. Our love for a good col­lab doesn’t stop at beer; we have spon­sored the Pole Ped­al Pad­dle since the ear­ly 2000’s as part of our long­time part­ner­ship with the Jack­son Hole Ski and Snow­board Club. They pro­duce the event as a fundrais­er to help win­ter sports stay afford­able for local kids.


Let’s back, back, back it up. Pic­ture this: it’s the late 90’s, before Thai Me Up was a twin­kle in founder Jere­my Tofte’s eye. A friend­ship blos­somed between our field hop­er­a­tive and fol­low snow­board bum Jeff Moran over good booze and deep pow. From the sound of it, the duo basi­cal­ly reen­act­ed scenes from “I Love You, Man”  all win­ter long, with Moran on drums and Tofte on bass. Music and beer bring peo­ple togeth­er, peo­ple.

When Moran left his snow­board bum days behind to become a freeride coach for JHSC (Jack­son Hole Ski and Snow­board Club) and Tofte start­ed Thai Me Up, the two main­tained a friend­ship, love of snow­board­ing, and com­mon goal to spread the stoke. Moran, who is now the chief mar­ket­ing offi­cer of JHSC, says, “We have worked with Melvin for many years now, on a bunch of events. Melvin sup­plies the cham­pi­onship prizes for our grass­roots Wednes­day Night Lights Rail Jam Series, allow­ing us to award young ath­letes between ages 5 and 18 with prize mon­ey.”

Melvin is also an offi­cial spon­sor of JHSC’s Triple Crown Series, which includes the Moose Chase nordic race, the town down­hill, and final­ly, the Pole Ped­al Pad­dle. Sup­port­ing the series is a nat­ur­al and easy way for Melvin to give back, because like Moran and the folks at JHSC, we believe ski­ing and snow­board­ing objec­tive­ly rule and can even make you a bet­ter human.


This Sat­ur­day, com­peti­tors will come from as far away as Alas­ka to com­pete in the race, which has two divi­sions: the Rac­ing (span­dex, moms and dads who secret­ly crush) divi­sion, for seri­ous ath­letes who come for blood, and the Fun (Hawai­ian shirts, float­il­las, copi­ous amounts of Melvin beers) divi­sion, for the rest of us mere mor­tals. Even if you aren’t com­pet­ing, cruise on over to cheer on com­peti­tors and join the after par­ty at Asto­ria hot springs from 11 am to 1pm, where awards will be pre­sent­ed and a king and queen will be crowned.

Moran, who is cur­rent­ly stress eat­ing Thai Me Up dumplings and fist­ing Killer Bees (his fave) until the series fin­ish­es up, says “every­thing Melvin and our oth­er spon­sors give, goes to mak­ing these events run smooth­ly, and  adds val­ue for our spec­ta­tors and par­tic­i­pants. Every cent goes direct­ly to us being able to pro­vide bet­ter pro­gram­ming for all of our youth ath­letes.”

That’s a cause Melvin can get behind. So don’t hate, pole, ped­al, pad­dle, PARTY!


Melvin’s PPP Fan­ta­sy Team

No, we don’t actu­al­ly have a team in the run­ning this year, we have been too busy brew­ing deli­cious beer, plan­ning an epic 2x4 Day, and bat­tling World­Bev. You bet­ter believe we would come in hot, though: trust and fear our stacked fan­ta­sy team. Put me in, coach!

Down­hill Ski Race: Jere­my Tofte, Melvin’s fear­less leader. Yeah, he’s tech­ni­cal­ly a snow­board­er, but 80’s race skis are just two real­ly skin­ny snow­boards, right?

1.5 Mile Run: Heather New­man, aka Hay­Hay, aka social media extra­or­di­naire, will Snapchat you ugly cry­ing and cross­ing the fin­ish line behind her while she calm­ly sips her Heyzeus.

Nordic Race: We vol­un­teer Travis Cook, Sales and Mar­ket­ing guru, as trib­ute. We are pret­ty sure he has some Viking ances­try, so he should take to nordic ski­ing like a fish to water.

Bike Race: Danielle Caru­so, the Unleash­er of the Mad­ness, aka the one who is plan­ning the dopest Melvin par­ties. You’re wel­come. This mamaci­ta comes in at 6 feet tall and even cut her hair into a lob (long bob) for supe­ri­or aero­dy­nam­ics.

Snake Riv­er Pad­dle: Hack­saw Jim Dug­gan is for­ev­er Melvin’s anchor. Vot­ed most like­ly to crush a 6-pack of 2x4, cap­tain a raft with a float­ing dance par­ty, and pad­dle that thing to the fin­ish line with his pinky fin­ger.



Pho­tos: Wade Dun­stan, David Clee­land, WRKSHRT; and Jeff Buy­dos, Cloud Lev­el Cre­ative; cour­tesy of Jack­son Hole Ski and Snow­board Team.