Well, Pow-Wow is over (Pow-Wow is a week at the brewery when all the sales force (Beer Rangers) come back home and we all get together and have meetings and parties and retreats) and I am still recovering. I had little time last week to pull together a post, so in that vein I apologize, but I was out doing things that were time consuming and fun and weird and in this week's first post I would like to relay some highlights from the previous week.
Highlight one: Tuesday (August 3rd) Hoptober came on tap in the Liquid Center (and lots of other places around this great country). You'll remember that Hotober is our Fall Seasonal, it is a hoppy golden ale that offers 5 malty flavors and 4 hop varietals, bringing together a smooth, medium bodied, hoppy beer that has just enough of that bittier bite to stand up and yell "I'm here, it's fall, let's hold hands while dancing around this campfire of flavor!" So please, head down to your favorite beer purchasing place and grab yourself some, 12 packs, 6 packs, and on tap, not to mention floating wildly in the heart of the newest Folly Pack (also in that newest Folly Pack is Blue Paddle (and everyone knows how great that is)).
Highlight two: The retreat and the bicycle ride to said retreat. On Friday all New Belgium co-workers headed down to Planet Bluegrass for our annual retreat. This is a day of voicing ideas, opinions, and concerns. It is an opportunity for all NBBers to talk with managers and leaders and really take an active role as employee owners. This is a favorite day for lots of folks and with all of them together things got done and fun was had. A few of us decided that riding down Thursday night and camping out would be a great way to come together and extend the fun having hours. We peddled away from the Brewery at 6:45pm Thursday night towards Lyons, Colorado, a quick 40 or so miles that would hopefully be incident and weather free. The Professor was in charge of route finding so we all had this to work with:
There are lots of cross offs on that page and if read closely the discerning eye will notice that those directions don't even go all the way to Lyons, but we embraced what we had and took off. Flat number one happened just north of Loveland. We took a few minutes to regroup, repair, and get moving again. This flat was a blessing in disguise because as we rolled into Loveland (proper) the streets were soaked with the rain that had just fallen and this was the rain we were lucky enough to have just missed (thanks in part to the flat tire). Most of the group was without rain gear, fenders, or anything else that may keep one dry (everything but the hope of not getting wet (which in a rain storm does little to keep even the strongest spirit dry)). Then the missing person happened. We stopped for mechanical problem number two and one fellow just flew off the front hoping to find a place to relieve himself and then rejoin the group as we were passing. The mechanical was fixed quickly and we continued unaware of the missing person off the road relieving himself (he was in the middle of a seriously long pee). But with some clear thinking and some splitting of the group we found him and the group was back together within ten miles. Flat number two (and this was mechanical problem three (it happened on the shoulder of highway 66 (the road into Lyons))). It was a slow leak that had gotten to soft to ride. Three of us were in the back of the pack when it happened, we stopped, quickly pumped it up (no repair, just a fill) and in the haste to not have to pump it up again the softening tire rider blasted off the front of our back hanging group, leaving two of us in the rears. We pulled the last few miles off the back and it was approaching 10pm (and the last closing liquor store as well as full service kitchen in Lyons closes at 10pm) so we were a bit worried about future drink and food. But luckily as we hit town the liquor store was open (walked in as the clock struck 10), we dashed in, bought some cans (from the creepiest walk-in cooler this side of the Mississippi) and then proceeded to Oskar Blues for dinner, hoping that either the kitchen was still open or that our fellow riders had the fore-thought to order us some dinner, and luckily both happened. Dinner of burgers and fries was much appreciated as well as delicious, and I would like to extend a very high five to our friends down there at Oskar Blues. After dinner and a few Pils we had a great opportunity for a group photo:
Look at the fun. Upon finishing the group-shot-photo-opportunity we all wandered to the campsite and took in a few cans of beer and drifted gently off to sleep under a huge canopy of stars. Morning came to quickly.
Highlight three: My creepy cousins were on the bus ride home:
The similarities are astounding, we all have bad eyesight and poor taste in accessories, but it was nice to get the family together on a huge charter bus for laughs and old-time stories.
Well thanks for reading this list of highlights today and I will see you again soon.
PS. For the price of a bottle of water, or maybe a soda, you can buy me. I didn't realize how cheap I come: