• 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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  • Yay to the 4th of July!

    Bring out your hamburgers and hotdogs (and craft beer), because today is the best day of the year! I'm not going to spend any more words convincing you Independence Day is the most majestic holiday of them all. You already agree with me. It would be a waste of time.

    What I am going to say, though, is that last night I dreamt of a red, white and blue streamer-filled sky so densely wrapped in freedom it was as if our nation's colors were hugging us from above. When I woke up this morning the sky was, sadly, only it's normal shade of blue. But hey, one of three isn't bad, and there are a lot of countries who can't claim the sky wears it's color in honor of their flag. 

    We USAers can claim that. It may not be true, but that's not the point.

    The point is that today is awesome, and one of the best ways (nay, the best) to celebrate it is to drink some American craft beer, hang with friends and family, soak in the summer sun and daydream of all the wonderful things made of red, white or blue. Things like snow flakes, the ocean, hot magma, licorice, select colors of those floaty noodles people play with at pools, my shoes and Ferraris. All of those things are 100 percent unequivocally and irrefutably American, and there are a lot of other things that are, too. 

    So goodbye everyone, I'm going to go daydream and enjoy everyone's favorite day of the year.

    Cheers, and see ya Monday — Nic The Intern 

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  • Press Play Wednesday...

    Well, here we are again. It's that time of the week when we put a video we found on the internet on the internet (or whatever)... 

    I am a fan of Chad VanGaalen. I like his music, and pretty much everything else he does. I am also a fan of KEXP. Their podcasts and streaming services are top notch. 

    And then, the two came together. Now is the perfect time to crack the strangest beer in your fridge (it's a Gratzer for me) and enjoy the heck out of this video:

    Have a great rest of your day.


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  • Dinner idea...

    Hey there. How's it going?

    Me? Well, I'm feeling better. Yeah, I ate a lunch on Friday that sent me down a shame spiral. It involved cheese and queso (the liquid kind) if that gives you an idea. I spent the rest of Friday, and most of Saturday, seeping guilt from my pores. I smelled like onions and poor adult decision making. Saturday night I decided that eating something healthful was a good idea. I needed to reset my internal compass. Luckily I had some stuff at home that was perfect for the task at hand. Bar-b-que tofu, wild rice and a kale/zucchini steamer...

    It set me right. I actually felt good following dinner (imagine that) and my Sunday wasn't spent groaning and wondering why I do terrible things to my body. And I paired it with a Fat Tire, because, jeepers, the beer payed a great compliment to the meal. And whatever, in moderation, beer is very good for you

    So, on to the recipe:

    The greens. Easy here, slice the zucchini, throw it into a hot pan. Then chop the kale after removing the spines, throw it into the same pan. Pour a quarter cup of water on it and cover. Let the greens steam for a few minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally, and add a pinch of salt when everything's done. 

    The rice. Follow the directions on the box/jug. I use Royal Blend

    The tofu. Freeze it ahead a time, then thaw it (for some reason (probably science) this changes the consistency of the tofu, making it even more delicious-er). Once thawed squeeze as much water out as possible. Mix together some peanut butter and some Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce, whatever) with a bit of water until it's the consistency of a creamy soup. Slice the tofu however you think is best, and then marinate it in the peanut butter/Braggs/water for an hour or so. Then put it on a baking sheet and cook it at 350 for 40 minutes (flipping halfway through). Once baked, pour some of your favorite bar-b-que sauce on top and enjoy. I would tell you what sauce I put on top, but I can't remember what it was. I bought it at the Co-op and it was really good. 

    The Fat Tire pairing worked pretty well here. To be honest I might/should pair it with something a bit hoppier next time, but Fat Tire was all I had in the fridge. The sauce wasn't super spicy so the balanced sweetness in FT was good, but any spicier and the hops of an IPA would have been the perfect compliment. 

    Anyway, cook this, it's very good.


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  • Some pix from the Durham Tour de Fat

    Hello everyone! Today is Friday, which means we're all in fine moods. Maybe this weekend will find you lounging in a pool, drinking a beer and reading whatever the opposite of Franz Kafka is. Dr. Seuss, perhaps? 

    Now before you track down a copy of Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose I have something for you to see. The Durham Tour de Fat was last Saturday, and it was amazing. About 4,000 costumed fun-havers showed up to Diamond View Park ready to ride bikes and drink some fantabulous beer; in the process they raised more than $20,000 for local cycling nonprofits. It was fun — and I took pictures of it. Here, take a look (and, as the great Dr. Seuss said, "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.)



    Cheers — Nic The Intern (Find me on Twitter!)

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