Follow Your Folly
I am in Ft. Collins writing on my Environotes tablet (later translated to blog post). I finished the Colorado Rocky Mountain Bike Tour (450 miles + one hitchhiking trip) with my mom and came straight to my brothers' house by CSU. It's very important to spend time with family, but my brothers work. So this Colorado extravaganza has turned into a visit-breweries-while-my-friends-are-at-work deal.
Yesterday, I went on the Odell Brewery tour. Two reasons there are so many breweries in Colorado (second only to California): 1) the water is soft, fresh and delicious. Soft meaning it's devoid of minerals that contribute to taste, which are much harder to remove than to add. Fresh because it's filtered mountain snow melt. And delicious because it's Colorado.
Okay, so 2) Unlike the majority of states, it is legal in Colorado to sell beer right out of your car. Most places it takes three transactions to get it into someone's mouth.
Today I went on the New Belgium brewery tour (got in after waiting 90 minutes and being first on the wait list).
Some facts: The difference between German and Belgian brewing is that for years German beer-purity laws required that bier contain only hops, malt, yeast, and water. This while those Belgians could add whatever they wanted: fruit, veggies, spices, tree bark. New Belgium pulls off that dump-truck-of-stuff tradition.
I'm making my way to Denver tonight. Would love to tour Great Divide. Oscar Blues would be an enormous plus -- I'm not sure where it is. Longmont? - Oh and how about Avery?
For the moment, I'm at Fort Collins Brewery having a seven-beer-taster plate. (My mom about me: "Oh, she is such a lush.") And you should fucking see my handwriting.
Hope to go to Illegal Pete's tomorrow, have a burrito and a Rockslide IPA. Maybe hit up Tattered Cover Books.
Wish Mitch was here; most of you know how sad life is without him.
I've lost track of where I was going with this.
Moved from Washington -- an awesome state and beer state -- took a vacation in Colorado (and well, I'm blushing just thinking about it) to end up in Illinois where (as far as I know) the beer is expensive and macro brewed. I have half a mind to start home brewing.
At least we're planning on going to the Minneapolis beer fest in September.
Three more tasters. Wow.
Water is life, people.
In a more sober state, I am writing from the Falling Rock Tap House in Denver. (LoDo more specifically. Coloradans love their "o" sounds: Fo Co, Bo Co, Co Spo.) There are more beers on tap here than I want to count -- over fifty. Some highlights: Dogfish Head 90-minute, Avery Maharaja, New Belgium Kick and Clutch (new sour beers, Kick being a collaboration with Elysian Brewery), and Dale's Pale Ale. I'm having Dry Dock Imperial IPA -- amber colored, seven different hops to it, lemon sweet and a bite. It's from a brewery out of Aurora that won the small brewer's award last year.
My brothers turned 21 in May and as part of their apparent quarter-life crisis (and due to an excess in funds accumulated from their can jobs) they bought motorbikes. There are four bikes in their garage, two of their friends being proud parents as well. We went salsa dancing Tuesday night. Me in a dress and flip flops showing some leg down College Ave, the first person the boys had carried as motorbike passenger. (When did my family become cool?)
Nate, Nick and their roommates are part of a Christian club at their school. As part of leadership, they recently signed a contract regarding alcohol. They don't remember what it said.
Wide-spread beer stigma in the Christian community is extremely consternating. As far as inebriation goes, beer is third effective to hard alcohol and wine. Second, the most demonstrably committed Christians, nuns and monks, have contributed more to beer development than any other group. (They suggest that communities grow barley.) I'm not convinced that Christ wheedles more people through the Church and the Word than he does through the Cup.
And finally, beer avoidance is simply a shame while living in the country with the most exciting up-and-coming breweries and brews in the world.
If that contract said anything I hope it said: "I will not be cajoled by stupid multi-million ad campaigns that promote weak-ass beer in a carousel of changing containers. I shall not drink Light Beer, Clear Beer, or Low-Carb Beer." It would be a spot of legalism that would make me feel alright.
Oh, and Lindsay and I visited Great Divide. It was strong, sweet, dark, and delicious.