I definitely feel like I have been in hiding the last few weeks. I guess when life gets busy, you tend to ignore the things you like doing. To kick off our birthday week, the Husband and I hit a few new breweries in the area. First up was Powder Keg Brewing.
Powder Keg has been open for a few months (mid summer opening) and as usual, I waited for the kinks of a new business to work themselves out before dropping by. We parked out front right as they were opening for the weekend grabbed a seat at the bar.
When I think about some of my favorite styles, I usually don’t put saison near the top of my list. They usually hit me as a little too fruity or too sour. With the PKB list in front of me, I noticed that there was a farmhouse style ale, a saison, and an infused saison. To say I was skeptical is an understatement.
And they I sipped…
and I was blown away! My favorite beer on the list was the Chene Cerise which was the farmhouse all infused with cherry flavor. It was easy drinking and the cherry was there but it didn’t hit you in the face like a can of cherry pie filling would. This was real fruit flavor mixed artfully with the sensible beer.
I would definitely recommend a stop at Powder Keg Brewing for a beer and snack if you ever find yourself killing time in Niwot. There isn’t a full kitchen but a small selection of warm snacks and empanadas. Solid beer, beautiful building, and a great atmosphere. We will be back (and soon!).
You can check out their beer list here and the Powder Keg Facebook page here.
This week the tasting I went to looked a little like this…
The image did load correctly, you are seeing a black square. That’s because I attended Barley’s Angels Blind Tasting. You can check out their site here. They have meetings all over the front range the one on Wednesday happened to be in my backyard.
I was intrigued when I got the description.
Bring your blindfolds (we know you have them: men’s dress ties, fabric pieces, cloth ties to dresses) and tune into your palate at this tasting featuring Gerry Leary, owner of Boulder’s the Unseen bean coffee shop. We’ll enjoy three tasters of Left Hand craft beer, first without looking at it, then in full sight. Food pairings are provided by Lori’s Cuisine and include food made with coffee from the Unseen Bean.
So I took off my glasses and donned my blindfold and we were ready to taste. I will say that I think this event would have been a bit more fun for me if I had done it somewhere besides Left Hand. I had a bit of an advantage when it came to recognizing the beers and the carbonation choice. It was fun though to see how each of the beers paired with the dessert menu. Lori Marcolina did all of the food and it was incredible (sidebar, if you need a caterer, she is tops! She can even do vegetarian so let me know if you need her info.) Most of the pictures below were taken with the blindfold on. I definitely had to go through a lot to find these!
Overall, it was great to hear about another local women’s group and a way to get involved in the beer community.
Yes it was! After a fll day of driving around the front range of Colorado, I was ready to try out a new brewery. As luck would have it, we stopped for lunch in Nederland. This town is great for quick day trips! We ski here, we visit Grandpa in the shed here, and we usually stop here on our road trips. And now we have another brewery to try out!
Once we settled in at Very Nice Brewing Company, we ordered a tray of seven tasters to split. I really loved the variety of beers on tap. You can see the whole menu here.
My favorite beer of the day was the Very Nice Pale Ale. As the website, it was easy drinking and full of flavor. The Husband’s family seemed to like the Hefe. I think if it was warmer when we visited, this would have been the perfect porch drinking beer.
The only beer I didn’t like was the Gruit. I don’t think I have tried this style before. This is a hopless beer and this one was sour. From Wikipedia:
“Gruit (alternately grut or gruyt) is an old-fashioned herb mixture used for bittering and flavoring beer, popular before the extensive use of hops. Gruit or grut ale may also refer to the beverage produced using gruit.”
I can defintely plan on stopping here after we ski at Eldora. There wasn’t any food here but the pizza place is upstairs and the grocery store is next door. The first time we head up for skiing, I think I will take our apres ski picnic inside! With so many options and such a great variety, my tastebuds will never be bored!
And be sure to check out their social media!
This is happening! I will have a full review and few pictures tomorrow morning for you all!
In the meantime, check out the hashtag #leftapalooza to see what I was up to this weekend. It was an amazing day of bands, beer, and fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. And it was standing room only at the end!
How many breweries are there in Colorado now? I think the latest count I have seen is 207. 207? Colorado now boasts 207 breweries that are tickling the tastebuds of beers consumers and providing the best product we can enjoy. I ventured out last weekend on my own and tried BRU in Boulder. I was delighted from the moment I sat down. I was able to taste 7 of the 14 beers on tap and I was never sad My favorite taste, pictured below, was the Obitus. I think the brown category is growing on me. They are warm and usually a hint of caramel. Just enough sweet to make me think I’m having dessert.
Everything in this place was handcrafted, from the beer to the art on the walls. I also really loved that they started with the beer and added food. Who doesn’t love a beer centric menu that is created to enjoy the beer on tap? If they put the mustard spread I had in a bottle, I would buy enough to keep me through the winter!
There were porch sipping beers like the cream ale and the kolsch but most beers were food beers. And when I say food beers, I mean beers that are great on their own but even better when paired with the right tasty bite. Just a hint of bitter or salt sometimes makes a beer the best thing you’ve ever tasted. While the tasting notes on the menu were very simple, the way the flavors in their well done food played off of them made them even better.
I can’t wait to head back for lunch or dinner and test the beers against more food choices. There are so many choices. Anyone in? want to join me for happy hour after work some day?
And because everything at BRU is handcrafted, I wanted to share some of the handcrafted pieces around the restaurant.
So when you want to drive your new car around Colorado, you might find yourself further from home than you think. A few weekends back, before the Poudre River came up, we found ourselves at the Wiley Roots Tap Room. Both Miranda and Kyle were in and we were able to sit down for a chat.
Over a tasty Con Lima beer, a collaboration with the Rio Grande restaurant, Miranda told me about their flagship beer, the Super 77. It is so popular it was out the day we were in but I can take the GABF judges’ word for it that it was worth the bronze medal!
Miranda and Kyle have been open since July 20th, 2013 and they are brewing in Crabtree Brewing’s old spot on the north end of town. After some remodeling to make the space fit the current equipment, a 7 barrel system, and the wall featuring the mug club members, they were ready to go!
There is no particular style of beer that they favor, but as the name suggests, they want to honor their roots. Both their ancestral roots, as shown by the flags on the wall, but also their Colorado roots. The beer is simply done and simply delicious, doing both their European roots and Colorado histories proud.
With the last set of nasty weather, the Poudre River came up and deposited some water in the Wiley Roots tap room. This photo is from the Wiley Roots Facebook page.
If you find yourself in Greeley, make sure to stop in and support some local business owners who really need it. The beer is great and the community rallied together to make sure they would have something to pour you on your next stop in. The big anniversary party is on July 19th so be sure to check out all of the details here!
One more discovery from the New Brew Fest! This time, we hit up Industrial Revolution Brewing Company in Erie. This family owned and operated spot seemed like a great place to meet up with friends and chill out. While the inside space was small (lloks like seating is set for a few dozen) and a bit dark, the patio was a great place to find a big table. IRBC is nestled right in an older part of Erie. It’s the only watering hole on the block and you can get food from the restaurant down the street.
At the New Brew Fest, the Passionfruit Wheat was definitely my favorite. What I was surprised about was the Orange Ale this time around. You can check out the entire beer menu was here. This is a cream ale infused with orange. It was great for summer drinking! The beer menu is still small so as long as you find a style that you like, you are set!
The Erie beer scene is definitely start to come alive. This space was built with the love of father and son and you can tell that they are proud of the beer that they are serving! They have created a space that is family friendly and cozy. There are some great pubs, the Old Mine, and Echo will be open soon! If you are looking for a laid back afternoon, try Erie!