It’s really hard to sum up my feelings on the great gathering that happened in Park City, UT this weekend. Last year at Blend I was shy and felt like a fish out of water. This year, I knew more people and realized that it’s ok to just be me. I showed up and was greeted by the lovely ladies who put this amazing event together (Thank you Lindsay, Janetha, and Katie!). I’d been in the car for what seemed like forever so I was off to my room to freshen up. When I walked into our room for the weekend, I was floored. If you are in need of a place to stay in Park City, treat yourself to the Hyatt Escala. I would definitely consider living in this hotel full time if they would have me.
Once I freshened up, I met my roommates and we headed down for cocktails and more hugs and re-acquainting. I had decided to sign up for a random roommate and I was so glad that I did. I met 4 amazing ladies who I wouldn’t have met otherwise. We had an amazing weekend getting to know each other and hanging out. We definitely need to find a way to get together again before Blend next year! It was nice to run into familiar faces, both from friends I have met before and those that I have read.
Meighan, Krista, Me, Maria, and Kim
What I take away from the Blend (besides the incredible swag and sore muscles) is the incredible sense of community. Everyone at the retreat comes from different places geographically and socially but we all manage to find some common ground. Can’t wait to read the rest of the recaps going up for Blend 2013!
A few more pictures!
Monday Suds is a little late this week because I spent Monday unplugged! That was because of the social media overload I was experiencing. Have you ever spent the weekend with Instagram and Twitter open all of the time? It’s exhausting! Over the weekend, I was able to to head to Utah and hang out with some incredible people at Blend! I will spend some time talking about that later but first, the beer business.
While I was in Utah, I wanted to check out Wasatch Brewing and see how they work with the crazy Utah alcohol laws. As Utah is a very strange (read: utterly too conservative) there are some very wonky rules on how I can consume their tasty up and coming brews. Some examples:
“Current Utah law sets a limit of 3.2 percent alcohol by weight (4 percent by volume) in beer sold at grocery and convenience stores and at establishments operating under a “beer only” type license, such as taverns, beer bars and some restaurants. Beer over 3.2 percent by weight (4 percent by volume) is available in State Liquor Stores and Package Agencies and at clubs and restaurants licensed to sell liquor. In commercial facilities, the time at which alcohol may be served is limited, and alcohol may not be sold any later than 1 am under any circumstance.” from our friend, wikipedia.org
“Patrons must be dining in order to be served an alcoholic beverage.” from the State of Utah
I was only able to have two 4 ounce tasters on the table at once due to Utah law. You can only have two of the same kind of serving vessel in front of you at the same time so no flight of everything tasty but it seems that they were ready for me with tasters lined up, waiting for me to drain the first.
Wasatch Beers was started back in the 80′s by a midwest man who loved midwest beer. He was startled to find out that it was hard to find good beer in Utah and got started making and selling his own. You can check out their story at their website. http://www.wasatchbeers.com/. They had some great beers and some very funky ones as well. I was handed the chile beer for my first sip and it was like tasting pepper juice. I have a feeling that if there were a stronger beer to back up the pepper taste, it could have been pretty tasty. I also tried the Polygamy Porter and it was pretty tasty for a tiny beer. It was full and malty and very well balanced. I would love to try this as a full strength beer.
Once I had enough tasters I moved on to the bottled beer. Wasatch had the licensing from the state that allowed them to serve the bigger beers in the restaurant as well. I tried out the Wasatch White Label Belgian White. This style has become one of my favorite lighter flavored beers. The spices and light hints of fruit were delicious and I hope I can find this beer soon! Hats off to Wasatch and their team for working within some tight boundaries and making some great beer!
I’ve seen this idea floating around for a few weeks and I love it! We have had such a whirlwind few weeks that this was the best way to share the friend love from this weekend!
*The first two pictures were borrowed from Amy (Moenning) Boland! Thanks!