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!

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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.

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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

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!

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.

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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

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?

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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A weird history of beer: Ales4Females (Left Hand Brewing Company)

 

 

This week my mother in law and I were able to attend a quick lesson in the history of beer presented by Left Hand’s Ty Busey!

Every month, the Ales4Females group at Left Hand gives women in the community the opportunity to learn about beer, the making of beer, and the craft beer industry.

I’ve mentioned it before but here is the summary from lefthandbrewing.com

“Ales for Females is a female only event hosted in the Left Hand Brewing Tasting Room intended to bring women together for a fun evening of beer education and discussion. Since 2008, Left Hand’s women’s beer club gathers every month to hearing industry guest speakers, sample a variety of beer pairings and develop each member’s palate. Ales 4 FemAles meets the first & third Monday of the month in the Malt Room of the Tasting Room. – See more at: http://lefthandbrewing.com/event/ales-for-females/#sthash.9XAlheUE.dpuf”

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The presentation this week was just before St. Patrick’s Day and we had plenty of fun and some really great beer!  Here is the summary of this month’s program.

During our March’s presentations, Ales4Females will be joined by Tyler Busey. Ty will lead us through a seamlessly woven story of dozens of legends (and potentially myths) from cultures around the world. As he navigates us through hundreds of years of stories and history, we will be asked to guess which events actually happened. You may be surprised to find that the true events are even more breathtaking than the fiction!

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And some photos from this month’s presentation!

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