California Dreaming

A few weeks back, I had the chance to hang out for a few days in California after a solid week of work and conference.  Can’t complain as the location was amazing…

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We moved from Monarch Beach to Long Beach and started a weekend of beachtime, sunburns, and good beer!

First, a quick shot of the ocean.  I go to California twice a year for work and once for fun (usually) and I never get to spend any time at the ocean.  Definitely got my feel of sun (read: cold baths to soothe major sunburns) and salt air.

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Once we settled into our hotel in Long Beach, we hit up Beachwood BBQ and Brewing.  We had some amazing food.  Too good to snap pictures and some great beer.  We wanted to check out the Blendery as well but we ran out of time.  Next time for sure!IMG_20160617_193230

Before we headed towards the airport, we made Sunday the beer tour day.  We started with lunch at the Anaheim Packing House, a favorite from my work trips.  I felt really silly when I realized that Anaheim Brewery was just on the other side of the parking lot.  This will definitely be a spot I will hit up on work trips.  Solid beer, great location, and really friendly staff.  The beer actually reminded me a lot of our trip to Dostal Alley.

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The beertender at Anaheim Brewing sent us on to Noble Ale Works.  This was a busy spot on a soccer Sunday but we were able to get our drinks and sit in the brewhouse.  This menu was a bit more experimental but there were some real standouts.  As it turns out, my favorite beer was the “I love it!”.  Really clean IPA and super refreshing for a 90 degree day.

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There are so many California breweries we didn’t seen on this trip but never fear, we will be back.  What is your favorite California brewery?

So what has the Half Pint been up to?

So while I haven’t been writing as much as I would like (read: at all!) I wanted to do a quick recap of some of the things I have been doing and get this little corner of the internet moving forward again.

We have hit up two different beer dinners at Samples.

Left Hand vs. Great Divide and Left Hand vs. Wibby!  Currently Wibby holds the title and we are looking forward to the next dinner in the series in July.  Want to go?

BvB_GlassWe have done a bit of biking and strolling around Longmont.  That has landed at Wibby quite a few times this year.  What a great patio!

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We also did a quick trip back to Iowa.  The Husband hit up some great breweries while I spent some quality time with my niece.  Luckily, we got some beer back in our suitcase to try out this weekend!

We had some paperwork to take care of while we waited for our flight in Des Moines and tried out two really great stops within 10 minutes of the airport.  If you are in Des Moines, try out Exile (great for food, too!) and Confluence near Sloan’s Lake.

 

Up next is RockMont from Left Hand Brewing.  Will you be there?

A new kid in town

There are lots of great perks about living in Colorado.  The weather is typically nice enough out that you can plan to do something outside, regardless of the time of year.  We even had the top down in the convertible this weekend.  There are also a ton of new restaurants and breweries to try.  In Longmont, we have been especially lucky with a slew of new restaurants to try at Happy Hour and a grand total of NINE local breweries.  Some of these are old staples or extensions of Colorado chains.  But one of the newer players in the game is Wibby Brewing.  Everyone I have talked to is buzzing about this place.  It has been a real crowd pleaser with a modest menu of lagers on tap. If you aren’t sure what the difference is, make sure to check out this really informative article at allaboutbeer.com. 

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Check out the gigantic doors to the outside!  While I didn’t grab any pictures of the inside of this place, take my word for it, it is beautiful!  Bright, open, and super inviting.  Only hard part for me is sitting at the bar.  The stools are crazy high, bring your climbing gear if you are vertically challenged!wpid-20151010_133821.jpg

This place is also currently dog friendly so feel free to bring the pup by!  Maggie might make the trip in the next time we drive.  You can also order up some lunch from Georgia Boys!  What’s better than beer and BBQ?

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The menu has done some rotating since opening but I think our family has settled on a few favorites.  I would recommend the IPL but the Dunkel has also been a great brew as well.  As we make our way around to the new Longmont breweries, I think some new standards are definitely going to pop up.  Can’t wait to spend some real quality time getting to know the team at Wibby!  Good luck guys!

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Monday Suds: Happy Oktoberfest!

As we gear up for the 2015 #Oktoberfest, I thought I would share a little #tbt to the 2013 event!

Wonderings of a Twenty Something

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I can’t believe it’s already October!  It’s my favorite month of the year.  It’s birthday month for me and the Husband as well as time to break out the fall sweaters, decorations, and hot apple cider.  Oktoberfest has also been in full swing since September 22.  Longmont got on the bandwagon this weekend and all three breweries; Lefthand, Oskar Blues, and Pumphouse got involved.  Lefthand was the official host of the event and they did an amazing job!  Such a community event!

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We had an amazing time listening to some great music and watching some fun competition.  This was the Beer Stein holding contest and Mayor Coombs (the man on the left) was representing the city.  He did a pretty good job but he didn’t take it home.  Maybe next year, Mayor Coombs!

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Thankfully, all of these gigantic steins were filled with water and beer.  It would have been…

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A historic event returns to the town of Berthoud

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FlapJack Flight

The flight for the 2015 Flap Jack Day included:

  • Up All Night Watchman Coffee Stout
  • Peach Belgian Pale Ale
  • Vanilla Bandit Vanilla Brown Ale
  • Cask Conditioned Maple Brown Ale
  • Strawberry Golden Ale

We are spoiled for Palisade Peaches this time of year so I will take Peach anything all day!  My favorite brew of the day for sure.  Can we just skip over Pumpkin and keep the peaches flowing?

The line for Flap Jacks, sausage, and coffee was down the block the whole time we were there.  Pretty sure the town of Berthoud was happy to see this tradition (and the free Flap Jacks) return!

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A little history from City Star and the Berthoud Historical Society (Get all the details at http://berthoudflapjackday.com/)

From 1948 to 1958 the local Lions Club and Chamber of Commerce hosted a Flapjack Day in Berthoud Town Park that drew hordes of people to “The Garden Spot.” On the first Flapjack Day (1948) an estimated 1,000 persons descended on Berthoud to devour 5,000 free pancakes. By 1949, The Berthoud Bulletin announced that 3,700 visitors from 21 states downed a whopping 7,400 apjacks. Over its eleven-year span, Flapjack Day grew to include the crowning of a Flapjack Queen. spike-driving, swimming and diving contests, a baton twirling competition, pet-and-doll parades, a pig catching scramble, a tractor driving challenge. The last Flapjack Day was held in 1959 when the Chamber of Commerce decided to cancel; the event due to the high cost of hosting such a spectacle.

Congrats to this year’s Flap Jack Queen!  Already have this event marked on my calendar for 2016!  Who needs a Labor Day picnic when you can have pancakes for lunch instead?

Finally, we stopped at Liquid Mechanics…

Settling in after vacation is the worst… So once we were back and thinking clearly, we knew it was time to head out in the Mini and hit up a brewery or two to get us back on track.  First stop of the day was Liquid Mechanics in Lafayette, CO.  We got there the same time a bike group of about 50 did so we grabbed some tasters and headed out to the patio.

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On the menu, we had the classics set and added the hefe for a bit of summer fun.  The menu was pretty diverse but all of the beers were very drinkable and true to style.  I don’t know if it was the thought of hopping on bikes and joining the bike group or the sunburn I was starting to acquire but the Kolsch was definitely my favorite of the day!  Nice and clean and very refreshing.  Sad I was only able to get a 10 ounce pour!  Here are the notes from the brewer:

Light in color and alcohol, this beer style originates in Cologne, Germany.  Quintessential Kolsch beers have an almost Cheerio aroma with green apple or pear rounding out the aroma.  Flavor is crisp and clean with a hint of fruity sweetness

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It was so busy in the brewery when we were there we didn’t get to ask too many questions.  I did my sleuthing online and found a pleasant surprise!  Liquid Mechanics has value and mission statements!  I love that this brewery has made it a goal from the very beginning to be a strong part of their community.

We pour every ounce of our energy into providing great tasting beer, a cool and welcoming tasting room, and wonderful service.
We care about fantastic beer, our community, philanthropy, and making lifelong friends.  At our core, we are “down home” good old boys with a splash of sophistication.  We are hard working, humble, nostalgic, and strive to provide our fellow beer drinkers with an unforgettable experience.
We approach brewing as an organic relationship between the beer we make and the people who drink it.  Our beer is nothing without you…

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The location of this brewery is super convenient, right on the corner of Highway 287 and Baseline Road.  It’s also biking distance to two other breweries in the area (if you are into that kind of thing).

Hopefully I can meet you there for a pint soon!

A quick stop at Cannonball Creek

Every time I drive through Golden, I tell myself we are going to stop at one of the new breweries that has opened in the last 18 months…  and then we drive through at 9:30 in the morning and I curse my poor scheduling.

A couple weeks back we found ourselves at the right place at the right time and stopped in for a tray of tasters.  20150419_145728

From the CCB website:

“Cannonball Creek Brewing Company was founded in January of 2013 by Jason Stengl and Brian Hutchinson.  Jason and Brian met in 2004 at the Mountain Sun family of breweries in Boulder, Colorado were they both learned to hone the craft they love.  With over 15 years of combined professional brewing experience and an uncanny ability to tolerate one another, they decided it was time to take a leap and chase the dream of opening their own brewery.”

What I really liked was the Mindbender IPA.  What my MIL liked (too all of our shock and awe) was the Double IPA, the Not Mindbender Imperial IPA.  Coming in at a whopping 9.5% this was definitely out of her typical pilsner and lager ordering habits but delicious and well rounded!  I definitely think all of the different citrus notes made it much more appealing.  Not the bitter hop fest I was expecting!

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This is a great location with plenty of space to grow and great crowd.  the variety of beers was great.  Everyone at our table found something they liked and the beers run the ABV gamut so you can definitely find something you are comfortable sipping all afternoon!  If the weather were better, we would have sat out on the great patio.  We will definitely be back to have a GABF winning Featherweight out in the Colorado sun!

 

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