Catching Up

In Beer Travel by Chris

Will you ever forgive us for being so neglectful to our little blog?  It’s been about three months and since there is no excuse, we won’t even bother making one up.  Instead we’ll just recap some of what we’ve been up to over the past 89 days.  First of all, lest you think we haven’t been keeping up on our beer drinking duties these past few months, let me assure you that you don’t earn one of these snazzy Untappd badges by slacking on your beer consumption. Yes, our moms will be so proud…

Top Of The Morning

Our first exciting update that we finally had some Cigar City beer! For those of you who don’t know, this has been on the beer bucket list for some time, so it was great to finally cross it off. Parry’s Pizza in Highlands Ranch had a special release of several bombers, so you know we had to get there for one!   Although the beer we’ve been itching to try was the Jai Alai IPA, Parry’s had some of the more unique, seasonal bombers available.  We picked the Evander American Brown Ale, but made some trades with another Cigar City fan to also try the Camp Braggot Ghost Stories.   Evander was our overwhelming favorite, though the Braggot was also good.  One of these days we’ll make a visit to Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, and when we do, you know we’ll bring a suitcase of the good stuff back home with us.

Evander

April was spent on the road, with a few trips to meet up with family in some fun locations.   The first was a trip to New Orleans at the start of April for the French Quarter Festival.   If you’ve never been to FQF, stop reading now and go book a trip for next April.  Why? Because as any local would tell you, it’s one of the greatest festivals Nola has to offer. French Quarter Fest celebrates the best of what the Quarter is known for: great food and amazing music.  With a multitude of stages set up all around the quarter, the entertainment cannot be topped.  Unlike Jazz Fest, this festival features local music for free, and actually showcases jazz and other cultural music, not just whatever big band is passing through town.  There are food tents set up all around the quarter featuring food from some of the best known local restaurants, giving you a chance to try a lot of the best food New Orleans has to offer.  You just haven’t lived until you’ve spent a hot April afternoon with a cold Abita Strawberry beer, munching on some Crawfish Bread, all the while listing to some traditional New Orleans music.   Needless to say, we had a great time.

French Quarter Fest

Mid-April we visited on of our favorite Denver breweries to help them celebrate their second anniversary.   Copper Kettle threw themselves a kick-ass birthday party, complete with great food trucks, live music and lots of special brews.  The Copper Kettle staff made several special casks ales for us all to enjoy and ultimately vote to select a favorite.   Among our group we really loved the India Altbier!  I’m not sure which beer won the battle after this 4-day party came to an end, but I can assure you that we all left feeling like winners after having such a great time.

Copper Kettle 2nd Annv

The second half of April included the Avery Big Ass Tap Takeover at Parry’s Pizza.  With over 30 taps at each Parry’s location, we were able to try several of Avery’s less familiar brews.  A big favorite was the Hand of Buddha Belgian Pale Ale, a Belgian-style pale ale spiced with Buddha’s hand.   We also couldn’t get enough of the Winter’s Day IPA, a delightfully refreshing IPA dry-hopped and spiced with rosemary.  Parry’s has definitely become a go-to craft beer destination for us.   While we love their Castle Rock location for the convenience, we also visit them in Highlands Ranch and at their newest location in Greenwood Village.  This event was such a blast that we hung out at Parry’s drinking with friends the better part of the day.

Avery Buddha's Hand

We wrapped up April and started May with another trip – this time to our favorite getaway spot, Las Vegas!  The weather in April was a bit cooler than we expected, so less time was spent by the pool and more time was spent gambling and drinking, not that we’re complaining.  It was a crazy trip for reasons we won’t even get into here, but it was Vegas, so of course we had a good time.   Here’s a few things we learned during this trip:

  1. If you visit Vegas near Cinco De Mayo, you can get Patron shots for $5.
  2. We love Patron.
  3. After enough Patron shots, Chris will do karaoke.  Consider this more of a warning than a fact.

Patron Shots in Las Vegas

In May we attended the CAUTION: Brewing Taproom 1st Anniversary.   It was our first visit to CAUTION: Brewing, and they really were worth seeking out.   Well hidden in an industrial park off I-70 in Denver, CAUTION threw a really fun shindig, complete with big wheel races, games, and some great live music from Redline Radio.  The beers were pretty good too!   They had all their standards on tap plus plenty of special brews, such as the Bee’s Knees Honey Basil Ale, and Hippity Hops Chrysanthemum IPA.   Jeff had a bit too many, which is how the picture at the end of this post happened.  Good times!

Caution Brewing

Our first big beer event of June was a Sweet 16 party at Falling Rock, and lemmetellya, Falling Rock really knows how to throw a party.   They celebrated their 16th year in business with some special beers, including a rare keg of Firestone Walker’s XVI Anniversary Ale, and Odell’s South Pacific Pale Ale, which Chris (from Falling Rock) brewed with Odell’s head brewer just for this event.   The South Pacific was a great brew, very refreshing.  The Firestone Walker was a American Strong Ale, with an emphasis on strong at 13% ABV.  It was a sipping beer, to say the least!   Falling Rock also provided some amazing BBQ to compliment their beers.   Fush, the head bartender at Falling Rock, cooked up some BBQ better than of the barbecue restaurants in town.  We still dream about that pulled pork and brisket… yum!  Best yet, the BBQ was provided for free as part of this celebration!  Cheers to 16 years Falling Rock!  Thanks for the great beer and amazing grub!

Firestone Walker XVI Anniversary Ale

Finally, last weekend we took a really fun Mixology Class at Indulge Bistro & Wine Bar in Highlands Ranch.    Yes, Mixology…. we can class it up now and again by drinking booze over beer!   This class was actually a Groupon we bought last year for Indulge Wine School, and we almost let it expire.  Thank goodness we didn’t  because this class was a lot of fun!  We learned how to make some fresh and delicious cocktails from the five most common liquors:  vodka, gin, rum, whiskey and tequila.  All of the drinks used freshly made simple syrup, fruit, veggies, herbs and liquors – nothing more.   Best of all, everything was delicious!  Who know that a Cucumber Basil Gin cocktail could be so refreshing?  Or that a Blueberry Lemon Drop Martini could become one of our new favorite drinks?  This was a fun, hands-on class that more than anything taught us to be confident enough to make our own concoctions.   Plus we got to drink, so there’s that.

Mixology Master Jeff

Overall, the last three months have been full of some fun events, but nothing like what we have coming up.  As summer beer festival season heats up in Colorado, you know we’ll be there.  You don’t know if we’ll actually take the time to write about it – but hey, stick around and find out.  We could surprise you!

Cheers!

Take Me Home Tonight