Jackson Hole Happenings: The Melvin Brewing Black Tie Blue Jean Ski Ball


Black Tie? Blue Jeans? Get you a party that can do both.

Melvin Brewing is the title sponsor of Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club’s biggest annual fundraiser, the Black Tie Blue Jean Ski Ball, going down this Saturday, September 29th. Some call it “the party of the year,” some call it the official start to the winter season, and some call it an excuse to drink beer while feeling fancy.

Whatever your reason, the intention is pure: the event raises money to support JHSC’s alpine racing, Nordic cross country, freeride/freeski, backcountry, and educational support programs. Fundraisers (like the Pole Pedal Paddle) are crucial in keeping tuition to these programs low and allowing the club to award $100,000 in scholarships each year. Director Jeff Moran explains,

We are working really hard to make sure that being involved in skiing and snowboarding isn’t an exclusive thing.”

Melvin’s founder Jeremy Tofte is a big proponent of the “mountains are for everyone” policy, which is why he has supported JHSC and his old buddy Jeff Moran since the days when Melvin was just a dream in the back of a Thai shop. Tofte explains why this cause is so close to home:

Pretty much everyone I know who moved to Jackson did so to ski or snowboard. If that’s what we are gonna do, we should try and include everybody, so everyone has a chance to recreate in our mountains. Even when Thai Me Up was barely making it, we would find a budget to help out JHSC, by giving away food or small cash prizes or helping team members with their season passes. Now we have a more discretionary income to give, so becoming a title sponsor is a perfect way to help out a passion project that’s close to home… I can live vicariously through the kids by watching their videos, cause I don’t get to snowboard as much anymore.”

He might be staring down tight budgets more often than tight couloirs these days, but Tofte still aims to align Melvin with the ski/snowboard culture that shaped him and his buddy Moran. “I am just happy going to bed every night knowing that I’m still a better snowboarder than Jeff Moran,” Tofte laughs. Debatable.

The Melvin Brewing Black Tie Blue Jean Ski Ball  should raise enough funds to ensure that a new generation of skiers and snowboarders can kick both Tofte and Moran’s asses. The event’s main fundraising component is a silent auction of  100 packages, from epic trips to gear kits to spa days. Some of this year’s highlights include a 10 person trip to Bali, tickets to see Billy Joel and Elton John, a surf trip to Puerto Rico, and ski trips to Japan and Argentina. Even if you can’t attend the event, you can bid for items on your phone through the hand bid app starting today (check the site for details) or buy a raffle ticket to win a four night stay at the Four Seasons Lanai.

Free Melvin beers at the door, a cocktail luge (whhhhhhat) by JH Stillworks, and a sit down dinner will be washed down with a late night dance party, all at the top of Bridger Gondola. Moran says,

People let er rip for sure, and go all out.  There aren’t a ton of times in Jackson where you can get gussed up and pull out the finer duds.”

Plus, the ski club, which is actually the oldest nonprofit in the Valley, is celebrating their 80th anniversary this year, which means the evening will be packed with surprises besides. Moran adds,

Bringing Melvin on board has allowed us to know that we are going into the season with this critical support, allowing us to put on all of the events we put on.”

That’s important to us, because it ain’t just about beer… it’s about getting out and doing the things we love, supporting the next generation as they follow their dreams in the mountains, and becoming both a brewery and a broker of stoke.


By Michelle DeLong