• 3 fantastic reasons to love International Beer Day

    Crack a bottle of craft beer, drink it down and pat yourself on the back. 

    Congratulations — you just celebrated the most important holiday of the year (or at least the week.) Today is International Beer Day, a revelry of brews and how they've brought us together for centuries. But beer isn't the only reason to love this great holiday. There are three more, in fact.

    1. Rainbows

    It is commonly believed that rainbows are the effect of light reflecting off rain drops, which then break sunlight into seven colors. This is incorrect. Rainbows actually occur when a new, wonderful and before-then nonexistent beer is brewed. You just heard your local micro-brewery made a delicious peppermint blonde ale? Look toward the sky; you'll see a rainbow. (Editor's note: that beer sounds terrible.)

    2. Unicorns

    Unicorns are dope. Too bad they're extinct (though North Korea did find a unicorn burial site.) What few people realize, though, is that unicorns' horns first introduced humans to beer. You see, the tip of their projectile functioned just as a tap does; tugging on their ear resulted in a steady stream of suds. Humans reverse-engineered the delightful unicorn juice and, voila!, beer was born. Thanks Unicorn Bros! Sorry you went extinct...

    3. Kittens

    Kittens are super cute. They're also the lords of all beer. When not sleeping, tugging on balls of string or chasing laser pointers, kittens consult each other telepathically, determining what beers are good, what beers are great and what beers are just plain bad. The good and great beers are allowed to remain in the ever-growing kingdom of brews. The bad beers, however, are extinguished with the telepathic smash of the Kitten Scepter. Thank a kitten the next time you see one; it may have saved your taste buds from bad beer.

    The more you know, you know? Happy International Beer Day, and cheers — Nic The Intern

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  • Let's look at pics from the Twin Cities Tour de Fat!

    The Twin Cities Tour de Fat happened Saturday (July 26) and it was super. So far this season we've had crazy weather (also see: RAIN, RAIN and RAIN), and while a few drops fell during set-up, Saturday turned out to be gorgeous. The sun came out, the humidity dropped and the beer flowed. I already posted a few photos from the Twin Cities show (as well as some words on why this year was awesome), but figure there's no such thing as too many pictures of beer-drinking, costume-wearing, bike-riding shenanigans. 

    Oh, did I mention that the 5,000 attendees raised nearly $40,000 for our cycling-related nonprofit partners in Minnesota?! They're Midtown Greenway Coalition, Minneapolis Off Road Cycling Advocates, and Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, btw.

    Cheers — Nic The Intern 

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  • Tour de Fat Twin Cities was Tw-underful

    Oh Twin Cities, how I love them so. 

    Technically the Tour de Fat is held in Minneapolis, which — despite being the coldest major city in the U.S. — has one of the country's most active and dedicated cycling scenes. People are super friendly everywhere you go, and Prince is from Minneapolis. There are more reasons to love the Twin Cities, but I doubt you need them; I just laid out a strong case.

    For obvious (and already substantiated) reasons we love coming here. The 2013 Twin Cities Tour de Fat suffered from some not-so-dry weather, and I'm happy to say this year was sunny, warm and beautiful. At least 4,000 craft beer-drinking cyclists turned out (the real number is likely higher, but we won't have that info until next week,) and they raised almost $40,000 for our nonprofit partners Midtown Greenway Coalition, Minneapolis Off Road Cycling Advocates, and Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota.

    So all and all I'd say it was a pretty great day, especially for cycling in the Twin Cities. I'll try and get some more photos up next week, but for now I'll leave you with a few from today's events. 

    Cheers — Nic The Intern

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  • Press Play Wednesday!


    It's Wednesday (again), which is cool, because it means the week is moving forward. It would be very concerning if the week were — somehow — moving backward. 

    Wednesday also means it's time for another installment of Press Play Wednesday. A couple weeks ago (July 12, to be specific) we went out to Minneapolis to film the Folsom Fist Fight. It's a traveling cycling event dreamt-up and hosted by our friends at Swobo Bikes. It's difficult to pin down exactly what the Folsom Fist Fight is; it often assumes the identity of the cycling community in the city and/or neighborhood it's visiting. It's a pretty grand way to approach an event and, well, it's really, really fun. Don't take my word for it, though. Just watch the video.

    Cheers — Nic The Intern

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  • A trip to the Singlespeed World Championships

    Hey all,

    Nic The Intern here. Today's post is a guest post (Hooray!) from our friends Michael Scott, Wade Veazy, Andy Reimenschneider and Fred Maxwell. They grabbed an old New Belgium sprinter van, some beers and drove all the way to Alaska for this year's Singlespeed World Championship. Read up on their journey, which looks like it was a whole lot of fun:

    The plan was simple, drive to Anchorage and race the Single Speed World Championship Mountain Bike Race.  With four drivers and a Sprinter Van it would be no problem, right? We started the drive after loading up with some of New Belgium's finest from the brewery in Fort Collins.  About the Wyoming State line somebody finally checked the route — 3,500 miles to Anchorage.  It was a simple, relaxing 70-hour drive according to Google Maps.

    Well, okay…

    We planned a week for the drive, but basically made three 24-hour pushes so that we could ride some of the best trails British Columbia and the Yukon can offer on our days off.  We're a hard group to impress after riding single track all over Colorado, but what we found was amazing. If you ride a mountain bike make sure you checkout Rossland, British Columbia, and Whitehorse in the Yukon.  They’re simply unreal, and gave us a few ideas of where we wouldn’t mind living if we had to move out of Colorado (fingers-crossed that never happens.)

    Anchorage is a heck of a long way from everywhere, so everyone who made the trip for the Single Speed World Championships considers himself or herself the real deal — a single speeder.   Most people will say a single speed bike takes mountain biking and just makes it harder.  We say it adds more soul and passion than any other aspect of cycling.  The Single Speed World Championships isn't about being the fastest; it's about embracing this fringe culture and the passion of all of the riders who flew around the world to get here.  It's four days of parties, rides, and meeting cool people. First and foremost it’s about bikes.

    There is a race, of course, and two days into the event still no one knew when it would actually start, where it would go or how long the course would be.  

    The rumors were rampant that it was going to be a 3 a.m. start after one of the bars closed.  It's Alaska and never really gets dark, so why not? In the mean time, there were group rides, friends to make and, of course, beer to drink.

    We grouped at the bar at 3 a.m., but the race was pushed to 7… then to 10. The course ended up being great, but ultimately the winner of the 2014 Single Speed World Championships was decided by a big game of foot-down. This is the type of event where that sort of thing can happen, so why not go with it? In the end it was decided that next year’s race will be held in Japan.

    Not sure our van can get us all the way there, but it’s worth a try. Now it’s time to start the long drive home…

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  • Go find yourself some FOCOllaboration

    It’s a tale of collaboration. It’s a tale of Fort Collins. It’s a tale of two great breweries, coming together, to make the best beer this side of the Nile River.

    FOCOllaboration APA, brewed between us, New Belgium, and our hometown friends Odell Brewing, is amazing. If you don’t believe me, you probably haven’t tried it. Imagine a bouquet of fireworks illuminating the dark sky above your local park on the 4th of July.

    Now go ahead and imagine that in your mouth.

    That gives you a pretty good expectation of how this beer can, and will, make you the happiest person at your local beer bar.

    Citra hops lend just enough bittering character to FOCOllaboration to keep it grounded, while Centennial, Cascade, Amarillo and even more Citra create its generous, fruity and citrusy aroma.

    With an IBU of 55 and ABV of 6.75 percent, FOCOllaboration is neither too bitter to be enjoyed nor too strong to enjoy more than one. It’s the perfect beer to pair with a charcoal-grilled burger enjoyed on the porch by citronella-candle light.

    So go out and find some, drink up, and enjoy two of Fort Collins’s breweries in one beer.

    Cheers — Nic The Intern

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  • Press Play Wednesday! (on a Thursday)

    "Nic, what are you doing? You can't upload a Press Play Wednesday on a Thursday!"

    To all of you who thought that before even clicking to this post... I know. You're right. But we're going to try it anyway, because like time, space, numbers and when Comcast says theyre coming over, I believe days of the week are malleable. I present to you Press Play Wednesday (on a Thursday:)

    Cheers — Nic The Intern

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  • A taco in disguise

    I love tacos. That is no secret. And, I love pairing tacos with beer. It seems an obvious choice to make a dinner whole. I love tacos so much that sometimes I make a dinner that, outwardly, is not tacos, but really, is tacos. Take Saturday night's enchiladas for instance. I cooked some chicken and some kale, threw some sauce on it, wrapped it all up in some corn tortillas, put more sauce on top (and some cheese), baked it, and BOOM! a taco by another name (and FYI, it did smell as sweet). Take a look: 

    I put some beans on the side, and spiced these here enchiladas with some avocado/yogurt sauce for the perfect topper. I then paired the whole shebang with a Blue Paddle. Amazing.

    I want to take a minute and tell you about the avocado sauce, and then, why BP was the perfect beer. 

    First, the sauce. One avocado, one heaping tablespoon of plain yogurt, juice of half a lime, pinch of salt, pinch of cayenne. Mix everything together until smooth (and awesome). 

    I point out the sauce (specifically) because the tanginess of it sets the beer pairing off. The yogurt and lime give this topper such a great counter punch to the spicy enchilada sauce. And that counter punch hits the enchiladas, then lands, a second time, right on the jaw of the Blue Paddle. BP is not too hoppy, not too sweet, a perfect pilsener to compliment the spiciness of the base sauce. But the singing happens when the mouthfeel and tartness of the avocado-yogurt comes together with each delightful sip of beer. It's a symphony, right in your mouth. 

    Seriously, this is a great thing to eat. And maybe you should make it for dinner... 


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  • 2014 Chicago Tour de Fat: it was muddy, it was good

    Hey all,

    The 2014 Chicago Tour de Fat just wrapped, and wowzers was it a doozy. We woke this morning to rain — lots of it. I heard (though never confirmed) that water was coming down at the rate of one-inch per-hour this a.m. The parade was, sadly, canceled as a result. The show went on, however, and the Tour de Fat turned into a crazy mud bath for the Chicagoans who braved the weather (which actually turned out to be quite nice during the afternoon.)

    We raised about $25,000 for our good friends West Town Bikes, which is awesome considering the show could have not happened at all. Thanks to all the Chicagoans who were willing to brave the conditions, get a bit dirty and drink beer in the name of philanthropy. Ya'll are some hardy folks.

    Here are a couple photos from today — I'll post more next week. 

    Cheers — Nic The Intern


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  • Press Play Wednesday, Clips edition...

    Tonight is the night for Boulder, Colorado. Clips Beer and Film is in town and ready to party. Here's the trailer:

    And then, for those not in Colorado right now, here's a link to the list of remaining Clips Tour stops. Get yourself to one of these, it is totally worth it...


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