Help us meet our goal of raising $50,000

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chad Melis speaks Beer, Bikes, Oskar Blues and now girls’ education

When avid mountain biker and Oskar Blues owner, Dale Katechis, approached his friend and cycling partner Chad Melis a few years ago about developing a mountain biking team to market the company’s canned beer, Melis jumped at the chance to be involved. A long-time rider, single-speed mountain bike competitor and avid beer drinker, he says, “I was a natural fit to be spokesman. Plus, it didn’t start as work. It was more like a relationship. There’s no marketing department at Oskar Blues. It’s all very hands-on. Dale said, ‘here’s beer, go spread the gospel.’ I just do what I love to do, and it translates.”

In 2007 the idea evolved, and Oskar Blues began sponsoring mountain biking events throughout Colorado and a competitive team that participated in those events. The team quickly grew to include nearly a dozen members. Various members of the team are actually world-class athletes. Melis, a former pro athlete sponsored by Sobe and Cannondale, was the 2007 Colorado state cyclo-cross single speed state champion.

Now, Oskar Blues has decided to expand beyond bikes, brews, and music to delve into some charity work. They recently partnered with the nonprofit, Girls Education International (Girls Ed), which was founded by The North Face climbing athlete Heidi Wirtz and Lyons-based writer Lizzy Scully. They are one of three title sponsors at Girls Ed’s annual Beats for Books fundraiser, to be held at The Spot Gym in Boulder, Colo., on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Funds benefit girls’ scholarship programs in Pakistan, Liberia, and Nepal.

“It’s an organization born and raised in Lyons, Colorado,” says Melis of Girls Ed. “That is what initially caught our interest. Then I began to get to know Lizzy. Her passion for educating girls is inspiring. I wanted to support her venture.”

“We’re really excited to be aligned with Oskars,” Scully says of the new partnership. “Beer is an essential part of any event that involves climbers. Providing excellent beer at our fundraisers will only draw more people, and thus we’ll be able to raise more money for our projects.”

In addition to donating 300+ cans of beer, Melis has offered to be auctioned off at a live auction of famous athletes that will be held at the Beats for Books event. Not only will he spend a day biking on the Front Range with the highest bidder, but he will also take them on a tour of the brewery in Longmont. Professional mountain bikers Sonya Looney and Stephanie Nychka will also be auctioned off, along with Mountain Flyer photographer, Eddie Clark, who is donating a day of action photography.

“We’d love to spread the gospel about our beer among climbers,” says Melis. “And I can’t think of a better way to do it than by supporting the children Girls Education International are helping.”

For more information on the event, please visit Girls Ed’s website, For more information Oskar Blues, please visit their blog at

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