......I guess better than no follow up.
Anyway, my conference let out at 3 pm on Wednesday the 16th of August. Unfortunately I couldn't make it to New Belgium for a tour since their tours go off at 1, 2, and 3 pm, but I did make it to the 4pm tour at the Odell Brewing Company.
Odell Brewing Company:
The Odell Brewing Company building was real nice, relatively new, a lot of people on the patio and inside drinking beers, even some live music was setting up. I got a pint of their Cutthroat Porter to take with me on the tour. It was a tasty brew, one my favorite porters I'd say, right behind Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald.
The tour was good, about 15-20 mins, it's a small place so it shouldn't have taken very long. A solid tour, my favorite part was going into the hop cooler when I asked what kinds of hops they had. This was at the end of the tour and the guy opened it up and let us walk in, the smell was amazing, so fresh smelling.
After the tour I tried all their beers on a sample plater and bought a couple pint glasses to take home. Overall I was impressed with the beers, each beer was tasty and I wouldn't mind drinking many of each. My favorites were the Cutthroat Porter and the Levity Amber Ale.
The Porter was also available on a nitro tap, which I never had a beer from before. It really changes up the mouthfeel, EXTREMELY smooth and very creamy, almost hard to believe it was the same beer. While I enjoyed the nitro tap, I think I liked the carbonated beer better, probably just b/c it's what I'm used and what my mouth expects.
Overall I recommend a visit, the tour is alright, but the tasting room is nice, with great beers and some live music too.
Cooper Smith's Brew Pub:
After the brewery tour I walked up the road a ways to Cooper Smith's Pub Side. I sat down and had their 6 beer sampler, followed up by a few pints of more beer, and another little sample. Without going into much detail on each beer, (me being half assed right now), my favorite was their Punjabi Pale Ale, an IPA that was quite tasty. I also tried their chili pepper beer, my second try of one of these. Both times it puzzles my mouth, it tastes like pepper jack cheese and I should be chewing it, not drinking. I couldn't drink a lot of these, but for something very different I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was probably the Kolsch with the chilis added, very good green chili pepper flavor with just a very slight hint of spicyness, it was well done. The menu was very good too, I had the blackened chicken 7" pizza, tasty.
The only thing I wish was I could go back and try more of their beers. After the pint and the 7 beer (5oz per) sample at the brewery and then tackling the 6 beer (5oz per) samplier at it became difficult to distinguish many tastes as I'm sure many of us have experienced. Not to mention enough beer in a short period of time before dinner can buzz one up fairly well.
Overall: Great food, very good beer, I'd like to try them again sometime if I ever get back to Fort Collins.
That's my half-assed review, feel free to chime in with questions about the places or specifics on the beers.