The unveiling of the special edition barrel, which will be bottled in Colorado, raised money and awareness for the charity Protect Our Winters. The organization was founded by professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones in 2007. It is a worldwide network of professional athletes, ski resorts and winter sports companies that take organized action to address climate change.
The event is timely, given the Trump administration’s Tuesday executive order ending Obama-era environmental regulations. The order keeps the President’s campaign promise to support the coal industry, but calls into question the future of the U.S.’s role in the global fight against climate change and the Paris Agreement, which has been signed by 194 United Nations members.
According to Reuters, the order reverses bans on coal leasing on federal lands, undoes rules to curb methane emissions from oil and gas production and reduces the weight of climate change and carbon emissions in policy and infrastructure permits.
The rollback of regulations has global implications, and many Coloradans are worried about how the state could be affected.
“We’re a state basically built around the ski industry, and climate change directly affects that. It affects all of us,” said Christopher Hoffman, an attendee at the event.
The Way Back and the COBG have partnered with POW for numerous other events. President of the COBG and owner of The Way Back, Chad Michael George, said he’s always looked up to Jones and other snowsport athletes.
“Them using their notoriety as celebrities to actually do some good for the planet and climate change was huge,” he said. The money that was raised from the $20 admission fee and any profits made from the event will go toward the charity.
“It’s a great cause,” George said. “It appeals to not only myself and my partners, but the type of people that come to The Way Back.”
The whisky was chosen in January by 10 members of the COBG, who worked with Assistant Master Distiller Chris Fletcher to pick the perfect barrel. Jack Daniel’s Brand Ambassador, ET Tecosky, said that the company gave the bartender’s guild the choice of charity to support.
“We really wanted to show support for the bartender’s guild and let them be individuals and pick their own barrel. It’s their barrel, it’s their city, let them choose their charity.”
Although POW has a greater influence over Colorado than Tennessee, where Jack Daniel’s is headquartered, Tecosky supports any charity that will help someone.
“We’re all in this together, and if we can grow our friendships with each other and make the world a better place, I’m all for that,” Fletcher said.
Despite the executive order, The Way Back and the Bartender’s guild will continue with their efforts to raise money and awareness for POW and climate change action.
“We as human beings have a huge impact and we could change the course of action,” George said. “We’re already behind the eight ball and it’s now or never.”
Author: Madison Lauterbach
Madison Lauterbach is a junior at MSU Denver majoring in convergent Journalism and minoring in Political Science. She has served as the news editor for The Metropolitan since February 2017. You can follow her on Twitter @milauter1.