Hundreds of thirsty skiers and snowboarders got a chance to sample brews from 11 breweries at the SNOW Bus annual Beerfest Saturday afternoon.

Organizers say the SNOW Bus gives about 55,000 free shuttle rides to folks during the ski season. But there's a hefty price to keep the buses up and running - around $300,000 in maintenance and operational costs each year.

Folks from the Big Mountain Commercial Association tell us they're thrilled to see so much support for a service that benefits Whitefish Mountain Resort and the economy in downtown Whitefish.

"It's a really good event for people to recognize who we are," said BMCA's Rick Cunningham. "Not only do they come and drink beer and buy tickets but we get donations. The bus is so important to the Flathead Valley, not just the ski resort. And for people to realize how valuable that is? It's just a real good feeling."

For more on the SNOW Bus, visit their website.