Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 2 of Beer Trip VI

Day two started out early and that was my fault. Why? Well I saw on Man v. Food about at restaurant that has these very large pancakes that had sausage or bacon built into the pancakes themselves. In order for me to become fatter, we had to be at the Buff Restaurant in Boulder by 7am which everybody graciously agreed to. We plow through breakfast and we head towards Ft. Collins, Co. because our pal Adam set us up a VIP

Tour at New Belgium.

We show up a bit early which allowed us to take some pics of the outside of the place. We go in and we meet up with our awesome VIP guide Penelope. She asks if there is anything special we’d like to see, I ask if we can we pretty please head to the top of the fermenters outside which she says is no prob what so ever, so I’m stoked. Dan asks her if she could do her best to make me cry by the end of the tour. This stems from our first NB tour on BT II. You want to know what went down, read this: BT II New Belgium. She said she’d do her best. Then she almost got to me by telling me about how long she’s been working for them and how it’s changed her life. I’m immediately jealous of Penelope, but it’s a good jealous. Now 3 of the guys haven’t been on the fantastic journey we’re about to embark on so we ask her to start from the beginning and clue Ed, Kelly and Rob in on how New Belgium got its start. I have no problem hearing all of this a second time, and hope in the future to hear it a few more if I’m lucky enough to. We go in and check out the first mash tun, kettle, and bottler that they started with, followed up with visit to the computer room where everything is monitored and controlled. We head up the stairs to check out the mash tun, and kettle room where we stop and have another beer to get us through the tour. Next stop is my request of visiting the top of the fermenters. This is not

only kick ass to me because of the view up there but, the film that inspired Beer Trip, American Beer got to go up there, and well it’s kicks ass! I can’t believe how much this place has grown since we were here 4 years ago and you can really see a difference and standing on containers holding a few million bottles of New Belgium beer is extremely helpful. Speaking of bottles of New Belgium, we head over to the bottling building that was new for us to check out. We go in and I’m immediately shocked on how many bottles are flying around this place. Of all the brewery tours I’ve only seen one other working bottling line and this was probably quadruple the size of that one.

I couldn’t pull my eyes away from it, it was just a fascinating operation to watch, and I would have no problem sitting there with a 12ver of Fat Tire and watch those bottles do what they have to do to get filled. We walked back into the main brewery where we allowed to do the spiral slide. On our first visit I for some reason opted out of going down the slide and I wasn’t going to let that opportunity pass me by again. It was even cooler than I thought! Just a very cool experience to say the very least. Now that we were slightly past two hours into our tour and we know Penelope needs to eat and move on with her day, as I’m sure she wasn’t planning on us taking up half her day. She could not of been better to us if she tried. We showed her a small token of our appreciation by giving her a hand made by Kelly counter balance bottle holder and a bottle of New Glarus Red for her to enjoy later. Can’t thank Adam enough for setting us up with Penelope, and can’t thank Penelope enough for showing us another amazing trip to New Belgium. If you are anywhere near Ft. Collins do yourself a favor and go see the incredible people of New Belgium, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

We left New Belgium but not until we luck out and catch a food cart that happened to be located in the parking lot. We grab a quick bite and head over to Odell Brewing Company which is all of a 3 minute drive from New Belgium.

We meet my friend Melissa and we head into O’Dell’s. We meet John who had been exchanging email and phone calls with Dan. We got the chance to meet John and Doug O’Dell about month or so before our trip which was extremely cool, but now we are at the brewery and it’s even better! We go into the new tap room and I have to say it is really sweet on the inside with plenty of room, much nicer than our last visit. We spot Doug on our way in and Dan went back to the EM-50 to grab his No. 37 bottle of Wood Cut that he’s had for quite a while. Doug O’Dell was cool enough to sign the bottle for Dan and I know for sure what bottle of beer Dan will be having on his 37th birthday. The smile on Dan’s face after Doug signed that bottle was priceless. Now John is serving us up, asking us what we want and we didn’t waste a single second thinking about it.

John hooked us up and we were enjoying talking beer and enjoying each other’s company. John then took us on a private tour and we got to take a nice look, as everybody inside the brewery was pretty busy making beer. We got to go into the coolers where they kept the hops and let’s just say I’m pretty sure I had relations with a very large container of hops. I was getting upset when people were knocking the hop residue off of me I wanted that lovely hop aroma on me as long as possible. We make our way back to the tap room, and John starts busting out some of the Wood Cut series and let’s just say those beers are just absolutely wonderful. He kept pouring them and we kept drinking them. Everything we had was simply wonderful and we couldn’t have had a better time, when all of a sudden John comes out of the back cooler with a case of Mountain Reserve for us to take home. Man how awesome is that! What a wonderful stop with great people and fabulous beer! We made our purchases and headed off for a long, long driveup to Pinedale, Wyoming.

We all hop into the RV and get settled in for our trek north to the rocky dirt pile known as Wyoming. Along the way we stop off for dinner at a place called Bitter Creek Brewing in Rock Springs, Wy. Nice place with pricey food and decent beer. We finally pull into Pinedale at 11pm and enjoy a good nights sleep!

Another great day with the stops at New Belgium and O’Dell’s who both treated us better than we deserve, however it is greatly appreciated by each of us. We’re lucky guys and this is only day 2! I have no reason to believe there won’t be even more greatness on Day 3! Yeah I’m spoiled!


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