Got beer? |

Got beer?

Joel Stonington
Mark Fox/The Aspen Times

Lines of people snaked out the door of Bentley’s, Cooper Street, The Red Onion and plenty of other watering holes during last year’s X Games. The Hickory House served up roughly 2,000 pounds of meat over the weekend. The Cantina ran out of chips, limes, beans and four out of six draft beers. In fact, most restaurants ran out of something.

This year, though, it’s a different story. Bar managers are ordering massive amounts of beer and food to make sure they aren’t left empty-handed during one of the biggest party weekends of the season.

“Don’t worry,” said “Big Al” Heide, bar manager at The Red Onion, “I won’t run out of Bud Light this year.”

According to Heide, last year’s post-concert crowd was one of the biggest he can remember. So this year, the Onion is bumping up staffing and ordering extra in anticipation of a huge crowd.

“I’ll be going overboard,” agreed Eric Shelton, bar manager at Cooper Street. “It’s a good weekend. Get some kids loaded and take their money.”

Drawing crowds into town will be a series of concerts. Retro-rockers Louis XIV open the apres-X concert series in Wagner Park on Friday. Saturday features Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, with hip-hop band Flipsyde opening. Southern California punk band The Vandals will play at Sunday’s AWOL Aspen wall-ride competition at the base of Aspen Mountain.

Before and especially after the shows, restaurants and bars plan to be overrun by people ready to party down.

“We’re ordering a big surplus,” said Hickory House general manager Brian Jack. “It should be a good time. It’s good for business and great for the town.”

Last year, the Roots drew an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people to a Saturday night concert in Wagner Park. Afterward, the line to Eric’s, a popular bar downstairs on Hyman Avenue, stretched up the stairs and around to the popcorn wagon, with some people reportedly jumping from the railing into the courtyard outside Eric’s below.

Still, Shelton said X Gamers generally don’t get too rowdy. “It’s a great bunch of people to have in town. If someone does get out of control, their buddy usually checks them.”

But nobody is going to be checking consumption of brewskis. In fact, they’ll be selling frothy beverages as fast as they possibly can.

“This is our biggest weekend of the winter,” said Bentley’s waiter Chris Dusold. “We don’t want to run out of anything. This year I don’t think we will.”

Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is

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