Thursday, September 26, 2013

Colorado Trip 2013: Days One and Two

Near the end of last month, my girlfriend Sara and I flew to Colorado for my now annual visit with my sister April and her family. I previously posted about my trips around Labor Day last year and back in April of 2011. Colorado is well known as one of the best states for beer. My previous two Colorado-related posts were heavy on beer consumption, but this trip topped both of those in that regard. So much so in fact, that I am going to break up this trip into several more-easily-digestible posts.

On the first day, I was happy to discover that my sister has a sample pack in her refrigerator from Left Hand Brewing Company. I tried a bottle of the Stranger American Pale Ale which was new to me and a bottle of their flagship Sawtooth Ale which was already on my Beer List. Left Hand's brewery is located in Longmont, Colorado.

On the afternoon of the second day of our visit, Sara, April and I had ourselves a little outing. We started at Avery Brewing Company's tap room in Boulder. I decided to have four IPA tasters. Their standard IPA is on the Beer List in almost every imaginable form. The other three samples, Simcoe/Chinook IPA, Summer’s Day IPA, and duganA IPA were all specials of the tap room. It was interesting to taste the subtle and not-so-subtle differences between the four flavors of IPA.

The next stop on our second day beer outing was Twelve Degree Brewing (or 12° Brewing per their logo) in Louisville, Colorado. They seemed to be a relatively new microbrewery. They focus almost exclusively on Belgian-style beers which I appreciate. The three of us sampled six of their own brews plus two from guest taps. The six of their beers that we tried were the Soleil Saison which is a Belgian farmhouse ale, Walter's White which is a which is a Belgian-style white ale, Brabant Tripel, Foxx Rougge, Sorach which was another farmhouse ale, and Sorach L'Orange which was brewed with oranges. The two guest brews were Powder Daze Pale (now Powder Run Pale) from Echo Brewing in Frederick, Colorado and Hop Savant from the Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project out of Denver.

Our next stop before getting some ice cream was Lucky Pie Pizza & Taphouse which is also in Lewisville. In addition to some great food including their hand-made pizzas, I elected to go with their Colorado beer sampler. The sampler included Tivoli Helles Lager. Tivoli Brewing Company is located in Denver. The sampler also included Hoppy Bock Lager from New Belgium Brewing which is located in Fort Collins, Colorado (and soon to be Asheville, North Carolina) and Moirai IPA from FATE Brewing Company in Boulder.

After enjoying some ice cream and before heading back to April's house, we dropped in at Gravity Brewing which was down the street and across the railroad tracks. While there, I had an Ante Meridiem Espresso Stout and a Schwag Session Ale.

I will cover the rest of my Colorado trip in a subsequent post (or posts). However, I did want to mention that Boulder and the surrounding areas were hit hard by devastating flooding a couple of weeks after Sara and I were safely back home in North Carolina. I am happy to report that my sister, her family and their house were all spared any harm from the flooding.