Thursday, December 15, 2011

Colorado Part 1: A brewery on every corner...

For the week of Thanksgiving, my girlfriend and I, as well as my buddy and his wife went to Colorado to hang out with some family and drink a lot of beers. And when I say a lot...

Beer! It's what's for every meal!


A quick aside before I get into the beer and potatoes of this article, if you ever think that you should drive to CO because it's only 17 hours... just fly! I've done the drive twice both ways and it's not all that fun. Especially when you forget any sort of music and you have to listen to the same weezer cd for 8 hours straight before chucking it out the window in favor of road noise and static. Let me tell you, it was not a perfect situation.  We had to make believe that we were all on drugs of the drive was gonna freak me out. (Pardon me, but music puns are my favorite)

On to the beers! 




Day 1!

The first day we were in town we stopped by Pearl St. (the Venice beach of CO, minus the beach) We looked around at all the hippy stuff for a while before heading off to Avery Brewing Co. The brewery itself is a bit difficult to find as it's hidden back in an industrial lot out of sight of the road. The inside was fairly nice, wooden paneling and comfy barstools. It had an indoor taproom with plenty of seating, as well as an outside patio that looked like it would be cool to hang out on during the warm months. (whenever the hell those are)

Here's a quick run down of the beers we tried:
White rascal - This is a pretty tasty unfiltered belgian white. Kinda mellow but with a decent taste.  We liked this one the best so we ended up taking a 6 pack of this home for the night.
The beast Grand Cru - After getting a taster of this shit, I realized why it's called the beast.  I had had a couple tasters before getting this one... but it put me on my ass. I believe it is like 16% abv and you could taste it in the beer. Not that it was bad, it was just really potent. Definitely my second favorite beer from Avery.
Salvation Belgian Golden - This was an ok beer at best. I'm not a huge fan of super fruity beers and this one had a fairly prominent apricot flavor. I don't really dig apricot flavors irl, so this one didn't do it for me.
The Reverend (quadrupel) - I love me some tripels and quadrupels and this one was no exception. It has a decent abv of 11% and a really nice cherryish flavor. I know I just said I don't like fruity beers, but remembering what I just typed is for losers!

Day 2!

On the second day, we made our way to the holy land of breweries, New Belgium!!! I love me some fat tire. That's for damn sure. So getting it fresh from the tap is something I look forward to every time I go to CO. If you ever want to go and take the tour,
Firstly, do it! It's way worth it as it's pretty informative about the company and it's style of doing business,
Secondly, you get five free beers during the walk around the brewery and you can't argue with free beers
Thirdly, Make sure you book it a couple months in advance because they book up pretty fast.

New Belgium is a very inspiring place for the prospective home brewer. They were started in the basement just like any home brewer and worked to become the 3rd largest microbrew in the US!  The thing I find the most inspirational about their business model is that every employee is part owner of the company.  Everyone has a say in how things are done and what should be brewed. I'm not sure how that translates into actual decisions but the idea of it is pretty awesome.


On to the beers!
Fat Tire - The number one export of CO. At least as far as I'm concerned. New Belgium's number one brew and my second favorite beer they produce. It's the most widely available one as well, which is prolly why it's second. What can i say about Fat Tire that hasn't already been said? It inspired the tour de fat, it is delicious, and I'm prolly gonna go buy some after I get off work today!
1554 - My favorite beer from New Belgium and pretty much my favorite overall. 1554 is a Black Ale that has a slightly chocaltely malt taste and a smooth finish. This beer is awesome in that you can just pour it down your throat endlessly or take sips of to enjoy the flavor. If that's what you're into...
Abbey - I had never had this before this trip, but I found myself really liking it. I'm a huge fan of belgian dubbels, tripels, and quadrupels and this one did not disappoint. It has a pretty smooth taste for a dubbel. Sometimes the belgian multiplication beers can have a rough finish, but this was smooth and I enjoyed it.
Ranger - Ranger is a hoppy IPA, which I'm not a huge fan of.  I've come to accept that sometimes I will have to drink them though and ranger is not a bad representative of this type of brew.
Snow Day - Let me just say again, I love New Belgium. But not enough that they can't do wrong in my eyes. This beer tastes like ass. I'm not a huge fan of dark beers in general, but this one just did not hit the mark for something I would even want to drink as the last beer in the 12 pack.
Frambozen - This is a tasty little raspberry brown ale. A couple sips was enough for me, it's pretty sweet and not in a bad way. But I don't know if I could drink a whole pint of it. It is definitely best in small samples. Maybe as a dessert beer.
Le terroir - I think this is the one we had at the end of the tour, but I was already buzzing pretty hard by the time we got to the sour beer barrels so I'm not 100%. But if this is the one... then it was pretty decent for a sour beer. It tasted like sour apple warheads which is pretty awesome. Usually sour beers make me want to pucker ever orifice in my body, but this one was fairly mellow and actually tasted decent.
Ken's Hefe - This was one of the brews you can only get at the brewery itself. It was also one of the worst Hefe's I've ever had. It was super lemony and just had a not good sort of taste to it. I'm normally a fan of hefe's, so it takes a viciously bad beer for me to give it a thumbs down... And this was a viciously bad beer.

That's it for part 1, part 2 will cover the pumphouse, left hand brewery, and a couple others that we stopped by! Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Where's part 2 and are you going to do one on Golden Road Brewery and some local LA spots?

    ReplyDelete

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