Man, it's Tuesday, I slept most of Monday (I have terrible tennis elbow and it needs the rest (not to mention the very busy preceding days)) and now I am finally out of bed, in a clean shirt and back at work, ready to ruminate on what just happened. This weekend was chocked full of craft beer fun and shenanigans and I am here to tell you about it.
It all started Saturday morning with a blazing alarm clock and then some homemade breakfast. I put a chopped up hard boiled egg on a bagel with some St. Louis salami and Swiss cheese, covered the whole thing in hot sauce and made with the masticating. Had it not been a work day this would have been a perfect pairing for Blue Paddle Pilsener (maybe even a Blue Paddle breakfast beer). The refreshing bit of bitter in that Blue Paddle would have been a splendid addition to the heat from the sauce and the earthy bite from the salami and Swiss, but alas, looking at an 8 hour Saturday shift in the Liquid Center it wasn't a good morning for drinking. Post breakfast I pushed off on my bicycle towards that 8 hour shift with a full belly, a big grin, and only a little bit of a headache. When I got to work I met Pamela; my day was forever changed. Pamela was our Lips of Faith winner at last summer's cLips of Faith beer sampling challenge. She correctly identified three beers in one pitcher and won a chance at designing her own New Belgium beer. Pamela was sitting at the LC bar when I showed up and I immediately shook her hand and asked her what kind of beer she wanted to make. She responded that she was looking to make something good and floral and earthy and bitter and bold and drinkable, she was going about APA's and IPA's and she was super excited and that excitement was contagious, I caught it. I spent the whole day with my insides trying to jump out to my outsides, trying to have the best time I could with as many people as possible (it was a busy day, there was a whole lot of people). Carrying this excitement through the day was east as it was assisted by the knowledge of the forthcoming evening, I was going out to a classy dinner with Pamela and her accompanying gentleman, as well as a few New Belgium folks. We would eat and drink and be taken away with the total merriment of the evening.
All of that stuff happened, the eating, the drinking, the merriment. Work ended and the dining party met for fancy dinner and a vault of great company. Beers were paired with food, I learned what an amuse-bouche is (on Saturday it meant a little piece of smoked salmon on a little piece of a Bar-b-qued potato chip (very yum)), I also learned that a high school English teacher from the same home town as me is going to make an amazing beer here at New Belgium. Stay tuned and get thirsty, way more details about this on the horizon.
The dinner ended and hugs and hand shakes were handed out freely and ol' Juicebox headed off towards home. I needed a bit of rest for the upcoming Sunday. I woke up early, sans alarm and made another home made breakfast. Blueberry pancakes and Sunshine Wheat. It was Sunday, not a work day, a breakfast beer was totally in line with the plan for the day, and these two make quite the pair. The sweet/tart combo of the blueberry pancakes matches well with the hinting citrus and lovely sweetness of a Sunshine, and the breadiness of the flapjacks complimented the great mouthfeel that comes with a good wheat beer. And the day's plan was as sound as breakfast; there was going to be some major bicycle exploration into another township for a pulled pork and a brewery visit (not at the same time and not necessarily in that order)).
The cycling exploration party left Fort Collins at about 11am which was going to be just about perfect for the 1pm opening time of the Grimm Brothers Brewhouse and Taproom. I had only heard great things about Grimm Brothers beer but leading into Sunday I had never sipped a one, and by-howdy, was I ready to give their beers a try. But first the ride. We only had a vague idea as to where the Brewery was and wanted to take the long way anyways, on the way we rode on pavement, asphalt, smooth dirt roads, real shitty wash-boarded dirt roads, pea graveled bikeways, the hay covered hillside of freeway entrance ramp, and a full on dam. A true adventure indeed. It is amazing where you will go on a bike when "mostly south and a little east, but really, just barely east," a street name, and two of the three address numbers are the only directions you're following. That bike ride was fantastic and we rolled into Grimm Brothers pretty soon after their opening, so the timing was perfect as well. But none of it, the ride, the timing, none of it was as good as their beers. Man this place is onto something. If you have never had their beers you should try them, a nice variety and all had wonderful flavor. I particularly like the Little Red Cap, smooth, interesting, clean, full. Would have paired impressively with fish tacos (man, I wish I could have had some fish tacos with that beer) with a red, mellow salsa. Anyway, the beer was great, you should try it. Pushing a year this summer Grimm Brothers is a great addition to Northern Colorado craft beer.
On the ride home we stopped and enjoyed that pulled pork and everyone knows that Fat Tire is the best pulled pork pairing beer of all time, so that was a no brainer and very much enjoyed. A very uneventful, but very fun and talkative bike ride home finished the day off. I pulled into the garage after 50 or so miles, a bunch of great beers, a big ol' sandwich, and an even bigger smile. Then I hung up my bike and promptly took an early evening nap to finish off my Sunday.