Thursday, August 19, 2010

Beer Trip VI-Day Four

Day four started out somewhat rough. The previous day had involved a lot of driving, a lot of drinking (by those of us not driving, of course), and a late night. We woke up early in Laramie in order to get back to Colorado. This time we were headed for Longmont and the new-to-us Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids & Solids.

On Beer Trip III we had stopped at their original location in Lyons just a short drive north east of Longmont. The most striking feature of the new place is the large silo on the side of the building facing the highway that’s painted to look like their famous Dale’s Pale Ale can. OB was one of the early adopters of canning their craft beer.

Oskar Blues makes fantastic beers, and I was excited to see the new digs. Our pal Pfister from Wisconsin happened to be in the area so he met up with us there. He’s getting to be a regular on our Trips, and we always have a blast hanging out with him. As expected, the place was a bit trippy with crazy d├ęcor. Our server, Ganges, was very patient with us as we decided what all to try. Luckily for us she recommended their Smokin’ Wings which, not exaggerating, were some of the best wings I’ve ever had. Go there. Get them. End of story. They have a fantastic selection of brews on tap to try. I started out with a Pond Scum ESB that was really good. We shared an oak aged Ten Fiddy that is as awesome as it sounds. After eating we convinced Ganges to put the OB sticker on the back of the EM-50. In order to buy some of their beers we had to go a couple blocks away to their actual brewery. On the far side is their tasting room the Tasty Weasel. This place is even trippier than the restaurant. When you walk in, you enter the main tasting room with an awe inducing line up of their beers along with coolers filled with beers to buy. I didn’t notice at first, but just to the left of where you walk in, there was a doorway. You go through it and there’s basically a game room with couches and foosball tables. Oh, and it’s next to the canning line. We bought some cans to take home, as OB is still not available in KS (even though we’re right next door!) and headed out.
The second stop was to Avery Brewing in Boulder. A few of the Trippers had met Adam Avery earlier in the year at what was honestly one of the best tastings I personally have attended. Unfortunately, his schedule didn’t work out and he wasn’t able to meet us when we were at the tap room. We had a few samplers of their terrific brews, but didn’t take the brewery tour. We’ve been lucky enough to take countless tours, so we decided to pass on this one.We did meet up with some fellow Beer Trippers, although not part of our group. A husband and wife, they were driving around Colorado hitting every brewery they could. Always cool to meet others passionate about beer.
Next up was Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora. This was recommended by Pfister’s brother who lives in the area, and it was an excellent recommendation. I didn’t expect much walking up to it. It’s located in your standard suburban strip mall. However, my preconceptions were completely wrong. The beers deserved all the awards they had received. I had my second great ESB of the day, their HMS Victory ESB. I had a taste of their Trafalgar Braggot that weighed in at a hefty 12% ABV. It was good, but way too sweet for my taste. I’d recommend trying it though if it’s on tap. We spent quite a long time there enjoying their beers and just relaxing. A lot of times we end up just going and going on Beer Trips, so it was nice to just hang out.

From there we headed to our final brewery stop of the day, Bull and Bush Pub & Brewery in Denver. We were meeting up with friends of Dan and his wife that live in the area. Bull and Bush is designed to look like a genuine English pub. It was a pretty cool place. Little dark and dated, but that added to the experience, I thought. I have to be honest that by this point, I’d consumed copious amount of beer. I wish I could give names or an eloquent review, but alas, all I can remember is I kept wanting to drink more of one of them. Yeah, I’m cool. Dan’s friends were fun, even the pregnant one (just kidding, Amy!!) and we hung out in the parking lot for a while so they could check out the EM-50 and get some pics.

From there we headed north east towards Nebraska. Luckily for our livers and our waists, there weren’t any stops between Denver and the hotel. I fell asleep for the next few hours and woke up somewhere in Nebraska. Ironically the most expensive hotel of the trip was also the crappiest. Apparently hotels in Ogallala, NE are in high demand. We crashed for the night to rest up for the fifth and final day which turned out to be the best last day in all of our trips. More on that soon.

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