Hello folks, I just spent my saturday with two good friends touring breweries in Boulder, Colorado (about 10 miles from my place, also the town Mr. Papazian calls home)
We first visited RedStone Meadery. It was a really cool tour, our guide was great, gave us some excellent samples and gave a great tour. I bought two seperate liters of top quality mead for about 38 bucks (including my AHA discount). One of my friends bought a $50 half-liter of their private reserve - the best of the best mead (this year, it's a red raspberry). We're cracking into it for new years eve.
Our tour guide said it all started when the owner, David, was given a bottle of mead. I wonder if it was Mr Papazian...
Next we went to Mountain Sun brewery. We checked out the equipment, and ordered two of the samplers. Out came twelve 8-oz glasses. They spectrumed from their light ginger beer all the way to their darkest, richest stout. Our server layed it out in order of color, so it was as beautiful as could be. It even had wet-erase mats with the names labeled for each beer.
It was incredible. It was the first time I have ever tried nitro-beers on tap. They had this cream stout, nitro charged, that would knock your socks off. It was incredible. Dark. Malty. Great coffee aroma. Roasty. Head like whipped cream. Mmmmm. That was the only glass that all three of us wiped out on our first try.
They also had the first ginger beer I've tried and actually liked. I brewed a batch with flavor extract, and hated it. I tried a couple commercial brands since, and wasn't impressed. But this was clean, crisp, refreshing. Truly a beautiful brew.
They had a hop-backed IPA that was so hoppy it wasn't funny. I like hops. A lot. We sat there, in front of a wall with a window painted upon it, overlooking a field of barley with hops winding their way around the window frame.
Great experience. We stumbled to BJ's Pizza and Brewery with empty stomachs.
We ordered two samplers there, and ended up with about 16 six-ounce glasses before us. There was one thing missing in the spectrum - everything between the red and the black! We had four black beers, but the next step down in spectrum was a red, and slowly declined the next 12 beers to a bare yellow. It was a shock at first, but the beers made up for it. Excellent.
These beers were beautiful, and we got a glass of their berry cider - unreal. The mellowest hard cider I've ever tasted. All of the brews were crystal clear. There was a smoked beer there - it dissapeared. I've had smoked beers, and found most to be overpowering. This was really nice. We all decided it must have been a partial smoking of the grain bill. It was mild, but you knew it was there. All in a beautiful amber. That glass changed hands many times.
Their hefeweizen was excellent as well. I'm not a big fan of wheat beers, but this was a beauty. The esters were more banana than clove, and it had a really clean finish apart from a wonderful sweet aftertaste.
They had an american amber that was unreal. It was like if Fat Tire and 90 Shilling had a baby. It was wonderful.
I was buzzing pretty good when we ordered the pizza. We wanted the BJ's favorite pizza. I told the waitress I'd like the BJ special. I felt stupid, because I didn't mean it to sound like that.
The pizza was great. Meatballs, sausage, pepperoni, roma tomatoes, onions, black olives, green peppers. Deep dish. Seriously deep dish. A good heavy sprinkle of crushed reds and I was buzzing in pizza heaven.
We visited a few more shops before leaving, but we're saving the rest of the breweries until next time.
Redfish is on the list next time. My buddy says they've got a crayfish gumbo that's unreal. We were going to go there before BJ's, but they were closed.
So, that summed up my day. What a great time.
Allergy Warning: This post was made by a person who may be nuts
From the store: Nothing right now, how sad
Up Next: Thinking about an amber rye
Secondary: "Not as Pale as Death" pale ale (since april, man I hate bottling.)
In bottles: Lager than Life Beer, Rocky Raccoon Honey Lager, A nameless Imperial Stout (my first AG!)