Some non-beer adventures in Colorado

So sometimes when we get out, we don’t drink beer.  I know, hard to believe!  Last week was one of those weeks where we did a lot of fun stuff that was definitely worth sharing.

First up was a class at FoodLab Boulder.  We had a gift certificate and we took a Ramen class.  Totally worth it!  We learned about the ingredients used for Ramen noodles, the long and arduous process for broth, and the Husband discovered a new kind of zucchini!FoodLab_Kitchen

Next up was a Paint and Sip fundraiser for the Pearl Group.  Great night out for an early mother’s day and some of the money went to a good cause!

I also hit up my first Colorado Rockies game.  We stopped at the View House for a drink before we headed into the park.  Beautiful weather for a night out!  The Rockies didn’t win but at least we had some good seats!

And we capped off all of the non-beer activities with a mother’s day brunch at 24 Carrot Bistro in Erie.  The blood orange mimosa with basil was a nice twist!  And a short rib quiche was exactly the mash-up between breakfast and lunch I was looking for!

So not a lot of beer this week but plenty of fun things around Colorado!

A much brighter BvB dinner!

So another Beer vs Beer Dinner has come and gone!  Wibby wins again against strong competitor Upslope!  Our group of 6 was strongly leaning towards the Upslope side this time around!  Menu and beer pairings are below.

Time for a crowd source question!  Where do you go for beer dinners?  Our dinner group is ready to expand and try out a new chef.  Any suggestions?

Wibby Radler, Upslope Craft Lager

C1. Cuban Muffuletta Slider- Braised Mojo pork, Thin shaved Black Forrest ham, stone ground mustard tapenade, melted gruyere cheese, and house made pickles on french baguette. Fusion of 2 classic sandwiches from Cuban and Southern Comfort cuisines made into a fun appetizer.

Upsloope Sticke Alt, Wibby Schwarzbier

C2. Picadillo con Rice and Beans- Chopped braised short rib sauteed with seasonal vegetables and kidney beans in a light tomato sauces serverd over cilantro lime rice. fusion between picadillo which is classic Cuban comfort food and the Souths love of Dirty Rice and beans.

Wibby helles, Upslope Citra Pale Ale

C3. Crab and Grits- Blue Crab claw meat sauteed with onions garlic peppers and braised greens in creole spices over a bed cheesey grits. The south has shimp and grits, cubans have Crab and polenta, this is my take on fusing the 2.

Wibby Equal Hops, Upslope Pils

C4. Sweet Biscuit and Peach. Grilled peach “cobbler” over the top of a warm sweet biscuit topped with Chantilly Cream.

Upslope Barrel Aged English Porter, Wibby Scotch Ale Style Lager

A quick stop during a spring snow

So I had planned to hunker down and check out the beers we have stored in the basement this weekend as the last big snowstorm was rolling through this weekend.  Instead what we got was some wet weather and cold wind.  I exchanged my flannel pajama pants for jeans and we heading out to see what a Saturday in Longmont had to offer!  We have seen Open Door Brewing at a few different beer events around town so we decided to give them a try.  Generally, new breweries are a no-go for us but this new tasting room is part of a brewing company that has been creating craft beer for about 18 months so it was fair game!ODBC_Keg

We asked for tasters of everything they had!  We ended up with the ODBC beers as well as their guest taps… Lots of beer and lots of styles! Pictured here are just the ODBC beers on tap.

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After sipping (very methodically, mind you) we settled on our favorites.  You can see a full beer list here.  My favorites Saturday were the Libertas Creme Ale and the current iteration of the Hopgave on tap (it sounds like there are a few versions out there!).  There was also an interesting grapefruit collaboration (with Crystal Springs, I believe) that was pretty tasty but the name escapes me.

ODBC_Taster

Overall, the tasting room was pretty empty but that might have been the storm.  It is good to note that it sounds like most of the restaurants in Prospect will deliver so this is a great place to meet up with friends if you need a big table!  With so much competition in Longmont, I don’t think I had any beers that would drive me back in but I will happily have another Libertas at the next Longmont beer festival!

For the TL:DR

The Husband’s Two Word Review

Atmosphere: Sterile

Beer: Mediocre

Well, let’s dive in

So I admit I haven’t been the best at sharing what’s happening in my world of beer here but I can be pretty prolific on Instagram (@cohalfpint).

And as that’s the case, here are some quick snaps of where we have been and what we have been up to!

First up, Outer Range has only been open for one ski season up in Frisco and we were very happy!  We have actually stopped by since our first visit and I still haven’t found a beer I don’t like!  The location is on the beaten path if you know where to look!  The beer menu is changing daily so make sure you stop by and support them during the non-ski season!

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We also hit up some hockey games in Denver this season so we did a bit of Denver exploring.  We tried a few new ones but the husband really enjoyed TRVE Brewing.  Heavy metal music at a comfortable volume and some obscure beer styles.  We stashed some in the fridge at home for later.

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Another beer dinner from Samples and another Wibby win.  While I love Wibby (you rock!) I think it’s time for a new champion.  Join me for the next one?

BvB Tix

Girl Scout cookie season came and went and a lot of breweries hopped on the pairing flights.  The pairing at Left Hand came with some friends playing some tunes.  Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

GS Cookies

And Polestar season is back.  I guess Good JuJu season is back too!  Let the patio drinking begin!

LH Pint

And finally, now that the weather is good we took the convertible for a ride in the mountains and found our way to Rockcut Brewing Company.  This brewery is off the main drag in Estes Park with an empty parking lot in the off season!  If you find yourself being a tourist at home, this is a great stop!  We will be back!

RockCut Pint

Cider anyone?

Have I mentioned yet that Longmont is growing like gangbusters?  We have 9 breweries, sounds like a few new ones on the way, a thriving downtown, and now a cidery! In the 7 years since we have moved here, this is the year that Longmont seems to be growing into its own.  There isn’t a night of the week that we aren’t getting an invite to listen to a band, try a new menu, or check out a beer release party!

Sure beer is nice and wine is great for a girl’s night out but what about when you want something different?  Currently St. Vrain Cidery is offering some of the best options from across the state with some carefully curated taster flights for those of us new to cider!  While I know I love cider, I really appreciate some guidance when it comes to the plethora of choices!  I tried a hoppier flight that introduced me to some new to me flavors.  The group also tried some on the swe

eter side as well as a seasonal pumpkin flavored cider (warning: not for everyone!)

And after talking to the team, it sounds like we will have some local Longmont ciders in early 2017.  The shiny equipment is being installed and it is great to look at!  It is so nice to know that there is place to take out of town guests who are tired of the beer tours and those of our friends who abstain from Gluten!

While it may be hard to convince my drinking companions that we should choose cider over beer, I am sold!  The St. Vrain Cidery team has done a great job of renovating a languishing Longmont location and it sounds like they have some new neighbors very soon as well!

Passport Program west Flanders

Getting around town with the Passport Program

So back in May I got an email with the subject line “Don’t Miss Out On The 40+ Amazing Spots In The Boulder Passport!”

The email continued on… Two for One drinks all over Boulder! Just $20! I clicked, I bought, and it arrived.

And now that our office is weeks away from moving off Pearl Street, the Husband and I are trying to check off as many of these as we can after work.

So you ask, what is the Boulder Passport?  You can get all of the details at http://www.thepassportprogram.com/boulder/.

Essentially, restaurants and bars in a handful of cities have opted to bring you great drink specials all summer long!  From Memorial Day to Labor Day you can hit your favorite spots or try some new ones and get two for one specials to share with your friends!

Totally worth the $20 in my opinion.  (and it is mine, I paid for my Passport myself and they didn’t ask me to write this!)

It would be worth it even more to me if the burgeoning Longmont scene would take part in 2017.

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An outdoor 4th of July

 

So with the great (but hot) weather we have been having, it was only appropriate to spend the entire fourth of July weekend outside!  We kicked off our weekend with a quick nine holes of golf at a little course in Boulder County.  They were celebrating their 50th so we got $5 golf.  Hard to beat! Just bring your bugspray.

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On Sunday, we ended up parking at Hoosier Pass and heading out on a trail.  I am still not sure what trail we hiked but best I can tell, we were on a jeep road/county road with a bit of snow (you can see that on the right of the photo).  It was a bit windy and cloudy but we managed to avoid any rain until we were tucked back in the car.

Crystal Lake trail

And no hiking day would be complete without a few Colorado beers.  First stop was Breckenridge Brewery for lunch.  I had a tasty Trademark IPA and a brisket sandwich.  What a great way to relax!  After that, we made an unpictured stop at Prost in Frisco for some German beers and to pick up some brats for the grill the next day.

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And finally, the big event!  We brought desserts and some drinks (a little Polestar goes a long way on a hot day!).  The rest of the spread was MIL provided! It was delicious.  Aside from the patriotic strawberries, we made homemade ice cream from a book from the 50’s and S’mores out on the firepit.

Party StrawberriesFourth Food

Overall, a pretty successful celebration of America’s birthday and a glorious way to spend a three day weekend!

Cheers to Friday,

Kim, the Half Pint