Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Colorado Beercation

Did you all have a fabulous Fourth? Matt and I decided to get out of town and head to Colorado for some beer tasting and perhaps a little cooler weather. We started out in Denver which was hot and smokey from the wildfires in Colorado Springs. We cooled off at downtown brewery Great Divide.
Great Divide Brewery Great Divide Brewery
Quite the popular place on a Thursday evening. Matt and I each enjoyed a 3 sampler flight for $3 with the proceeds going to charity. I had the Wild Raspberry Ale, which I wish had more raspberry flavor, the Wolfgang Doppelbock, yummy, and the Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti, perfect.
The next day we made a quick drive through Golden to wave at the mammouth Coors Brewing Co. on the way to the beer mecca of Ft. Collins. On the route to Ft. Collins we stopped at Longmont for lunch and beers at Oskar Blues.
Oskar Blues
Oskar Blues has three beers on the American Homebrewers Association's top 50 beers list from 2011. Matt has been working on trying them all, but these beers weren't available here in Minnesota. This was his chance to try them all and eat some great Southern food (my shrimp po-boy and Matt's bbq pork were fabulous).
Oskar Blues Oskar Blues
I had a sour wheat called Berliner Weisse Ale from Crabtree Brewing that was fabulous. I'm a sucker for a good sour beer, if only I could get this one at home.

We pulled into Ft. Collins as the monsoon rains hit, but that didn't keep all the breweries from being absolutely packed! Our first stop was one of Matt's favorite breweries, Odell.
Odell Odell
Another wheat sour! I was a happy girl. The Cutthroat Porter was great too. Next stop was right around the corner, New Belgium.
New Belgium New Belgium
Definitely the biggest and most popular of the breweries we visited, it also had what could be our favorite beers of the trip. We have really enjoyed the Lips of Faith series and the two we tried here did not disappoint. I had the Tart Lycee which is an amazing summer beer, luckily their libation locator shows I can get it at home. Matt went nuts for the Cocoa Mole Ale. He described it as the best spice cake you ever had, a bottle of this went home with us.

The final stop for the day was back in downtown Ft. Collins, the little Equinox Brewing.
Equinox Brewing Equinox Brewing
We had never heard of Equinox until someone mentioned it at Great Divide. Their tasting room was a popular place with the locals on a Friday evening, probably also due to the live music that night. Their beers were enjoyable with the Rockbiter Steinbier and Rockbiter aged in bourbon barrels being the most interesting.
Beau Jo's Colorado Style Pizza
After all that it was time for some Colorado Style Pizza at Beau Jo's and another pint from New Belgium. So this Colorado style pizza, every Beau Jo's we saw on our trip was packed, we figured we had to try it. You order your pizza by the pound, a good portion of which is crust. Every table has a bottle of honey on it and once you have eaten the part of the pizza with the toppings you put honey on the crust for dessert. It was so good, especially if there was a little bbq sauce from the pizza left on the crust too.

A few other tips of places we enjoyed in Colorado...

In Denver we stayed at The Curtis Hotel, a Hilton that is more like a boutique. Every floor has a theme like big hair, scary movies or dance music. It's bright and fun plus is an easy downtown location. Bonus the attached restaurant/martini bar, The Corner Office, is much better than your average hotel eats. The menu has a lot of ethnic flavors and dishes as well as creative cocktails. Their happy hour is pretty popular.

Also in Denver we ate at Rioja. The chef there is a James Beard nominee and the restaurant is considered one of the best in Denver. Matt and I both had pasta dishes which were so beautifully made. His was a deconstructed carbonara and mine an artichoke ravioli in broth. We cannot recommend this place enough.

Finally, we spent a day in Rocky Mountain National Park. What an amazing place! The day was cloudy with looming rain but didn't ruin any of the beauty. I'm so glad I finally got to see this part of the US.
Rocky Mountain National Park Rocky Mountain National Park
One tip, if you plan on spending a day in the park bring your own food. The only concessions at the alpine summit and it was packed. We stopped at the Safeway in Estes Park and picked up a picnic lunch and snacks. Picnic areas with amazing views (and fearless chipmunks) are around every corner of the park.
Rocky Mountain National Park

Now, we are busy planning our next big trip, Iceland and Denmark!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at OR at then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2012 Kathy Lewinski


Elle said...

How could anyone not like beers named Wolfgang Doppelbockand Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti? :)

And um, it's my mission in life to now have CO style pizza. Holy heck! Honey on the crust? That huge crust! mmmmm!

Alicia Foodycat said...

I really need to learn more about beer! I have no idea what you are talking about with those (but they all sound interesting).

grace said...

i think i like that colorado style pizza. a lot.

Lori said...

What an interesting pizza. Since I love the crust, I am quite sure I would love this one. We recently went for pizza and I am content to eat my family's crusts.

Kris said...

We've been to Colorado on multiple beer vacations and had a great time each time. Last year was our most recent visit when we went to come old favorites (Odell, New Belgium) and some new ones (Equinox, Funkworks, Oskar Blues - not new, but we'd never been there before). There are so many great places it deserves repeat visit(s).

Lori said...

That is well worth the trip! I love bourbon barrel ales. We have a local brewery here who does one. It's sweet, but very nice in moderation. I want to try each and every one of these, and wow, that pizza!

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