March of Brews

Who’s ready for a picture-bomb post with short blurbs? A lot has happened in the last month and once again I’ve failed to blog regularly. If you want to keep up with me follow me on my personal Instagram or on the brewery’s Instagram!
EndofDarkNights More Snowbank beer photography.
Grains2 Pint o’ Barley.
am13 One of my favorite regulars, Louie. He enjoys long walks on the beach, candelit dinners, trips to Home Depot and running into one prairie dog hole only to emerge from another over twenty feet away.
am14 I spent a day in Denver with the parental unit visiting breweries…
am15 And attending a kickass Colorado Avalanche game! We won. Obviously.
am16 I’ve found time to sneak away from the brewery here and there to visit other local breweries, and I’ve rediscovered my love for my bike with the 70 degree temps we’ve been having lately.
am18 Avery Brewing recently opened up their new facility which is absolutely stunning!
am19 We spent a wonderfully long afternoon wandering the brewery and sipping some of the specialties on tap.
am21 Our most recent managers meeting was atop a mountain.
am23 The brewdogs were in attendance, of course.
am22 And we rehydrated, as one would expect, with Moon Arete Wheat.
am24 Afternoons and evenings have been spent on the porch, enjoying the lingering light of day…
am17 And sunsets over the mountains.
am25 I found my replacement coffee shop once my beloved Cranknstein closes it’s doors on April 18th. Pardon me while I quietly sob. I’ll write a full post on the new coffee shop later this week!
am26 Our customers are ridiculously talented.
am27 These were created by one half of my favorite couple. Chuck’s famous ceviche! I had seven spoons of these before he announced dinner. And then had another one for my actual dinner since I was so stuffed.
am28 Every so often the Snowbank crew goes out to support our accounts. 47½ Stout at The Moot House in Fort Collins.
am29 We’re repairing our patio so we can soon have beer outside! Obviously, photos don’t count as “outside”.
am30 This kid came to visit for the weekend – one of my buddies from waaaay back at UCSB. I hadn’t seen him in over eight years!
then And nine years ago at college. Feeling old starts… NOW!
am31 Early mornings at the brewery are common. I always love watching the sunrise whilst sipping coffee and answering emails.
am32 The brewery has been involved in a ton of collaboration brews in preparation for American Craft Beer Week.
am10 Hanging with Linsey from Horse & Dragon and Kelly from New Belgium.
am8 When great forces combine.
AM Fresh can straight off the canning line. Because free beer.
Screen shot 2015-04-08 at 6.09.06 PM It’s always a good day when you’re brewing at New Belgium.
am33 I enjoyed a just-after-sunrise Easter service followed by a long bike ride on the trails and, of course…
am34 Rehydration.

I make no promises for when the next post will be. Lesson learned.

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When Breweries Attack

Every time I write a new blog post I promise myself that I’ll start writing them more often. And then the brewery comes into play, wraps its oh-so-loving hands around my neck and directs every moment of my life. At the end of a long day of photography, social media posts, tastings/sales calls, event coordination, keg deliveries and running the taproom, all I want to do is collapse into a puddle on the couch with a cup of tea and fall asleep. I miss my little blog! Here’s a long catch-up on all that has happened since that epic sammich, almost a month ago.
am After the Budweiser commercial that aired during the Superbowl (not the one with the puppy), the craft beer world was up in arms. We (along with every craft brewery in the US) decided to make a peach pumpkin ale that was worth fussing over, as one should do when it comes to craft beer.
AM1 And so Fussy was born – our 47½ Stout infused with Ghana cacao husks and nibs from Nuance Chocolate and conditioned on peaches and pumpkin spices. Brewed the Craft Way.
AM4 This specialty keg was kicked insanely fast!
beermosa On one of our standard twelve hour days at the brewery, my sis-in-law and I started trying out beer/juice blends which we deemed “Science”. A few weeks later the Solar Panel was debuted as an official offering on the menu – Moon Arete Wheat with a splash of orange tangerine juice.
tacos6 We brought in one of the newest food trucks to Fort Collins, Austin Taco, and paired their amazing breakfast tacos with the new creation.
AM5 The Solar Panels were so popular we ran out of Moon Arete Wheat! We’ve increased our brew schedule exponentially in attempts to combat our quickly depleting brews. It’s so hard being popular.
AM6 On one of my only days off this month, I headed down to Denver with my bestie Michelle to wander the street in the 70 degree weather and sample some of the wares around town. Big Bad Baptist from Epic Brewing. I requested a taster. This was the “sample size” the taproom manager Kevin gave me. To be fair, twelve ounces probably is the best size for a true sample of this epic beer.
AM7 But I always come back to Fort Collins for the comforts of home. Loose Leaf paired with Chicken Banh Mi from Umami.
AM8 For my birthday, I took the day off and spent it down in Boulder. The Dushanbe Teahouse has been a favorite ever since my first visit last year.
AM9 Their rotating menu is ridiculously fresh and creative. Crostini with housemade burrata, pistachio pesto, cherry tomatoes and a balsamic drizzle.
AM10 Greek meatballs with feta and tomato reduction.
AM11 Of course a birthday wouldn’t be right without a brewery visit! I tried to go to the new Avery, but alas, they weren’t open until the following weekend. We ended up down the street at Asher Brewing for a few samples.
AM14 The next day, it was back to work as usual! Umami decided to try out their new sushi rolls and made me fall in love with them all over again.
AM15 Valentine’s Day brought four separate chocolate beers, including our most popular to date – S’mores Stout garnished with mini marshmallows.
AM19 I decided the following Monday that it was time to go to the grocery store and make my own food for a change, instead of surviving off of food truck leftovers. Avocado toast topped with goat Gouda and chipotle pepper flakes.
AM20 Kale salad with roasted butternut squash, blood orange and roasted garlic.
AM30 More avocado toast! This breakfast never gets old.
AM26 After a few days of my “cleanse”, I discovered there was a new donut cart in town – Donut Lodge. I promptly ordered the maple bacon bar topped with melt-in-your-mouth crispy bacon. I’m easily swayed by food trucks/carts. And bacon…
AM22 It paired quite well with our latest batch of Ghana Chocolate Stout.
Halfiversary This past Sunday was our six month anniversary! We celebrated our halfiversary by releasing four specialty beers along with a Solar Panel bar where you could choose your own juice addition. We were absolutely slammed which was incredible, especially considering the insanely snowy weather.
AM25 Some of our favorite regulars came to visit – he may look young but his ID claims otherwise…
AM32 I got my hair dyed with Snowbank colors to celebrate surviving these past six months! Dedication right there.
AM28 I received this wonderful gift from a blog reader-turned-friend when he was in town on business. Thanks, Eric! Painfully sour in such a delicious way! I split this with my brew crew in an attempt not to get heartburn. It didn’t work.
AM29 The beer laughed at me as I felt my stomach lining being eaten away by its fantastic fruity acidity. It hurt, but man do I want another bottle!
AM31 Yesterday I had to go to the Nuance Chocolate factory to pick up some husks and nibs for tomorrow’s beers. Since I was there, I had to pick up a few of their new single origin bars for myself. Life is so difficult.
halfiversary2 The snow is falling yet again this morning. Today will be a long day of slowly navigating the icy streets for the tons of meetings and samplings I have scheduled. I’m already looking forward to melting back into my couch again this evening.

Here’s to promising myself I’ll blog again within the week!

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The Best Thing I’ve Eaten All Week

I’ve finally decided upon my only resolution for the new year! I’ll be on a quest to visit every single coffee shop in Fort Collins, and there are many. I haven’t done a full count yet, but once my list is compiled I’ll share with you. Yesterday was a visit to Little Bird Bakeshop which I plan on recapping for you very, very soon. But FIRST!
fox1 I had to share this magical pairing I experienced yesterday. Honestly, my life has been changed. After delivering a keg to one of our accounts in the morning, I headed over to The Fox and the Crow, a new cheese shop in Fort Collins, to pick up a keg of ours that they’d just kicked. Since I was there, I decided I should grab some lunch to go. After perusing the menu for a few minutes, I asked the owners what their preference was between the French Kiss –  a buttered baguette with thinly sliced ham and brie cheese, or a simple grilled cheese with bacon. They kindly pointed me in the direction of their not-so-simple grilled cheese of the day – French Onion. I just wasn’t prepared to miss out on the bacon, however, so I requested a few slices in addition.
fox2 Two soft pieces of bread generously slathered in butter, stuffed with sweet, tender caramelized onions, rich layers of slightly salty cheese and crispy bacon panini-pressed into a melty oblivion. The aromas emanating from this heavenly sandwich swirled around the shop, enrobing me with the ever-so-sweet scent of comfort food with a gourmet twist.
fox3 The Snow Squall Black IPA from Snowbank Brewing (also known as my second home) paired perfectly with this meal. Notes of roast enhanced the smoky bacon while the earthy hop bitterness and effervescent carbonation sliced through the richness of the creamy cheese and the sweetness of the caramelized onions balanced out the final resiny bite of the brew. After inhaling this, I was fully prepared to officially start the day. I waddled to the door and turned on the open sign.

If you live in Fort Collins or any surrounding area, get over to The Fox and the Crow and request this perfection of a grilled cheese. And then come see me at Snowbank Brewing to complete the pairing!

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Days Off

I’m alive, but barely!
am15 Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration. I got wiped out Sunday with a fever and lovely lung issues. Therefore, I’ve been banned from the brewery and forced into a few “days off” until 48 hours after my fever subsides. Last night’s peak was 101. Thanks to that, I have time to do a blog recap again, albeit with a foggy brain.
am A few weeks ago I trekked back down to Boulder on one of my real days off to pick up some tea from Celestial Seasonings that have seriously come in handy in the last few days.
am1 I have an addiction…
am3 On my days off, I generally like to get out of town and do anything active and new, but there’s something to be said about relaxing at home with a glass of wine and having time to play chef.
am4 Prior to these past few days, it had been months since I’d seen the sunset from inside my own house. And I think it’s time to clean the outside of my windows…
am6 Most of my sunsets are spent at the brewery.
am5 No complaints there, but I have missed my wonderful couches.
am7 We had our staff holiday party two weeks ago (after I’d spent my day off in Broomfield with my bestie) which consisted of a bottle share, tons of food and our wonderful beer tellers.
am2 Plus the president of the Rocky Mountain Beard and Moustache Club. How could you not let that face in for a bottle share?
am8 I went out to brunch with some of my favorite ladies at Snooze in Fort Collins for a quasi day off on a Thursday and enjoyed mimosas, long conversations and painfully delicious pancakes before heading back to the brewery and real life.
am9 Our most popular Nuance Chocolate collaboration beer to date was tapped – S’mores Stout garnished with mini marshmallows. We kicked the keg in an hour and fifteen minutes with this one and will be recreating it for the Real Ale Real Love Firkin Festival in Loveland this Saturday.
am10
I had to drop some stuff off at New Belgium during the work week and decided I should probably stay and enjoy a pint of their new session IPA, Slow Ride with a friend who happened to be there at the same time. Mini breaks in the middle of my weeks help my sanity.
am11 Last Friday night was… interesting… One regular brought us canned bread. I don’t know why…
am12 After the canned bread sampling I decided to take the rest of the night off and sat down and played Cards Against Humanity with the staff, a few of our favorite regulars-turned-friends and experimented with beermosa blends.
am13 Sunday was another day off and I could tell something awful was about to occur, so I got out of the house and took this handsome fella for a walk before the cough really started to set in.
am14 I had a big day planned and I wasn’t about to let the beginnings of the flu ruin it. I headed down to Denver and grabbed lunch at The Ale House – blackened chicken sammich with pepperjack cheese, fried avocado and pineapple salsa. Painfully delicious. Afterwards we headed to the Denver Aquarium that I haven’t been to since I was 13 before driving back up and collapsing into the couch with NyQuil, blankets and a movie.
growler Now I’m sitting here twiddling my thumbs, trying not to go crazy from being cooped up and answering work emails. Oh, lovely flu. I’ve been trying to force more aspects of quasi-days off into my life since the past few months have revolved around the brewery and nothing but the brewery. Trying to find a balance when starting up a new business is hard, so I’m using these wonderful days of illness to try and get things into perspective and start planning a life outside of work.

Now for more DayQuil shots and pondering. Happy flu season!

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Farewell 2014

Another year in the books! Business at the brewery has been absolutely crazy in a wonderful way. I get home every evening and blissfully collapse into the couch wrapped in a blanket, pint glass in hand (or tea on those epically cold nights) as I watch the temperatures outside dip to -16.
pale Luckily we have plenty of brews to keep us warm here at the brewery. Here’s a little recap of my year!

January:
am12 Got my bow, which I unfortunately haven’t had time to shoot in the past too many months. Sad face.
AM2 First resolution for the year – get back to that. I miss it so!
AM10 I learned I don’t have any DNA and basically don’t exist after two failed DNA samples.
AM4 Watched my HOUSE begin building!
am20 Beer, beer, beer!

February:
am13 Stupidly cold. Similar to this week, actually!
AM AM4 Some of my beer photography was published in a book!
AM15 I flew to California for my birthday to see two of the loves of my life.
AM21 I visited all of my favorite breweries.
AM26 Well, most of them at least.
AM41 I enjoyed California brews while watching the sun set on the ocean. Happy sigh.
am4 I flew back to Colorado and watched my house progress even more.
AM11 I hit a unicorn in my car.

March:
am10 Went to Celestial Seasonings with my bestie.
am Became obsessed with avocado toast.
am4 Freaked out every day over how much progress was being made on my house!
am2 Beer, beer, beer!
am6 Got lovely gifts from Bhakti Chai.
AM15 Flew with Marissa, met Lauren, Heidi and Laura.
Screen shot 2014-03-23 at 10.47.08 PM …and Kait, Marisa, and many, many more.
am11 More house development and saying goodbye to most of my mountain views.
am17 Bacon grilled cheese, beer and beer studies.

April:
am2 Bhakti Chai brewery tour!
am27 Bhakti Chia Pudding recipe creation.
am Craft Brewers’ Convention! Hung out with my buds Dan and Ashley the entire weekend.
am5 Floors and drywall finished in the house!
AM22 Watched the wonderful Verboten Brewing win awards at the World Beer Cup!
Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 9.53.04 AM Moved into my house and enjoyed beer on my back porch.
Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 9.32.42 AM Didn’t have enough money for food, but found a way to buy beer so I at least had something in my fridge.
am8 Brewed at New Belgium with Snowbank Brewing!
am17 Bought a kitchen table so I could have something to put a beer glass on. Because I still couldn’t afford food…

May:
AM8 Brewed at my bro’s house for Big Brew.
AM12 Cold break!
AM14 Rediscovered my love for green monstas while on my new back porch enjoying the summer view.
am12 Tapped our collaboration brew for Fort Collins Beer Week.
am16 Installed our brew system at Snowbank!
AM6 Enjoyed many Loose Leafs from my back porch.
vacuum Got attacked by a rogue vacuum.

June:
am7 Made beersicles!
am1 Made Coconut Glazed Sweet Potatoes!
am8 Made Veggie Hash with Imitation Panda Meat.
am4 Biked everywhere.
AM10 And I mean everywhere.
AM14 Had our first brew day on our own system with the help of a handsome brewdog.

July:
AM3 Made friends with artichokes after a rough beginning.
AM1 A very rough beginning.
AM6 More brewing!
am6 Biked everywhere.
am2 Rehydrated from biking everywhere with Beer Camp.
am10 Ate way too many artichokes.
am Did quality control for four of our (soon to be) eight beers.
am8 Hiked two 14ers in one day.
am21 Swore I’d never hike another 14er in my life as I cared for my torn feet and aching knees.
am18 Braided my hair a lot. Took selfies of it. Cringed looking back on them. Posted them anyway.

August:
am Took care of this handsome gentleman while my parental unit toured Europe.
am6 Drank some Zinfandel.
am5 Fell head over heels in love with this handsome gentleman as I do every day.
am8 So much love.
am15 Kayaked around some Colorado lakes.
AM Had our brewery release party at Cranknstein!
AM8 Celebrated the upcoming wedding of my bestie of twenty years.
am6 Opened Snowbank Brewing with one of the most insanely busy days of my life!
am18 Reflected back to crossing the border into Colorado a year earlier to begin such a wonderful life.

September:
art1 The artichokes continue
AM2 The brewery explodes with popularity.
Rainbow Our social media outlets become extremely popular.
bank Delicious beer was consumed.
a2 I fell in love with Umami.
aa1 I fell in love with The Silver Seed.
am7 I enjoyed even more sunsets on my back porch as the sun began to set earlier every day.
pump1 We played with a flame thrower and caramelized 100lbs of pumpkin.

October:
am2 We got even busier and the posting began dwindling. I received a dirndl for all of my dog-watching efforts.
am6 I delivered kegs in said dirndl.
am7 I visited my old brew system in said dirndl.
am13 One of my favorites came from California to visit!
GABF Great America Beer Festival happened!
AM8 Wonderful invitation to a beer pairing dinner where the dessert was a chocolate waffle cone smothered in BACON.

November:
c5 Wore two different dresses for my bestie’s wedding!
c9 Got my hair did for said bestie’s wedding day.
c10 Finally got my hair dyed by our brewer’s superbly talented sister after the wedding.
am5 Had our first snow of the season.
flake2 Did lots of brewery social media pictures. So.
ginger1 Many.
snowy Picture.

December:
Beanie1 All brewery. All the time.
brew1 And I couldn’t be happier about it.
hood Oh, look! A penny.
christmas1 Christmas was spent with my wonderful family.
Stout1 And my adorable new town was explored.
stout As we say farewell to 2014, I’m ready to welcome 2015 with open arms and nothing but excitement for whatever this incredible year has in store.

Happy New Year!

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Catching Up

Happy Thanksgiving! I started this post yesterday and then got slammed at the brewery, per usual. And it’s been almost a month since I had time to sit down and write a blog!
am1 I had a few days at the beginning of the month where I actually had time to put together meals for the brewery and went on a week long kick of layered salads. It didn’t last long…
am2 We’ve been busy with photo shoots for an upcoming cookbook where our beer is cooked into and paired with dishes from local restaurants. I was the designated beer “frother” for a politer term of what the position was deemed on set. Let your mind go in the gutter on that one. Just this once.
am3 The last few days of autumn colors were enjoyed before all the leaves dropped off the trees.
am6 And this is what I woke up to the next day. It only took me three tries to get up the driveway into my garage that night.
am4 Snowbank had our first employee appreciation day! We spent the day on the town visiting breweries, restaurants and chocolate shops. I’ll be honest, it was weird to have a full day off with everyone. Weird and awesome. Our Snowbank tellers are awesome.
am5 The snow refused to melt for a while, which made for some opportune photo ops.
snowy The first day…
ginger1 The snow kept piling up.
flake2 And after a solid 5 inches it finally started to melt.
am7 Part of the job includes visiting places where we’re on tap and doing quality control. Tough job.
am16 We had to go to Pinball Jones for one of these QC checks.
am17 And were forced to play an hour and a half of arcade bowling.
am18 I’m player number three. This is the only time in my life I have ever, or will ever, win at bowling.
am10 I’ve started taking Sundays off! Since I had a full day off, I decided it was necessary to go to the brewery and pick up some kegs to deliver to new accounts we’ve been selling into. Workaholic.
am12 And on my days off, I obviously visit other breweries. Oskar Blues’ Cyclhops Bike Cantina. am13 And since I was so close, I continued on to the Oskar Blues brewery and shared a flight with my two besties.
am14 And THEN I remembered that Großen Bart Brewery had opened that week and trekked over to try their brews which were all solid, and ended with a growler of Fu Manchu Foreign Stout to share with my brew crew.
am11 And now I have to head out to Vegan Thanksgiving at my bro and sis-in-law’s house (don’t worry, we have the meatitarian Thanksgiving on Sunday), so I leave you with this screenshot I found on The Chive of my old Lonelygirl15 buddy Jackson watching Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep about to make out. You’re welcome.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Life as a Workaholic

There used to be a time when I would sit down at the end of the day and write out a blog post, no matter what the time. Lately I’ve been so busy with working that writing a post feels like a luxury.
c1 Plenty of that is my fault, for sure. Those industry nights at a local speakeasy where they give us free dinner could be passed up in exchange for a post, but why would I give up free food? That’s just crazy talk. Here’s a quick little recap of what’s been going on in my life as a workaholic.
c2 Doing beer sales at Black Bottle Brewery where they recently released the Count Chocula beer that created headlines internationally.
c4 Selling beer into a place with over 50 pinball machines. We were given three free games, so of course we had to stay for a bit after sampling. I learned something very important about myself there – I suck at pinball.
c15 Beanies came in!
hood So did hoodies! I’ve worn both of these items way too often, but I can’t help it! I’m so proud to be part of this brewery.
c6 My best friend got married at a beautiful golf course down in Littleton.
c5 Rehearsal dinner dress. Thank God for girdles!
c7 As soon as I returned from the dinner I threw on my preferred outfit – sweats, sweatshirt, flip flops and paired it with a glass of Malbec.
c8 The bride’s beautiful hairstyle for the big day. I was that girl in the salon telling her, “If you change your mind, I’ve got my car right outside. We can just go!” I don’t think she appreciated my humor at this point.
c9 Waterfall braid and curls for me! My groomsman partner and I Thriller-danced into the reception dinner afterwards. I was too busy enjoying my friend’s happiness and dancing to take any pics at the actual wedding.
c14 Immediately after I went out and got my hair hot pink, purple and teal-ified. Cuz I can still get away with it.
c11 I decided to get healthy after the wedding and began making mason jar layer salads.
c12 The healthy kick didn’t last very long. A new food truck came in with Chicago-style hot dogs topped with mac ‘n cheese and bacon bits. I need to do a quality check with every food truck, obviously. It’s just part of this tough job I have.
candy Halloween came and went. I worked the taproom and then binged for the next two days on leftover candy.
IMAG0589 And this morning we had our first snowflakes! The brew dogs weren’t too pleased about it…
c3 That’s my crazy life lately! Now for another one of those free dinner industry nights…

Are you ready for the snow?

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New Belgium Pairing Dinner

Last week I received a generous invite from owner Jeff at The Laboratory to join them for their first ever beer pairing dinner with New Belgium. Beer and food pairing? Of course I said yes! I’ve been dying to try out The Laboratory since before they opened and this was the perfect excuse to get a head start on my first day off in over 60 days. I feel like I’d earned it.
AM2 The menu looked absolutely divine and I couldn’t wait to try everything and see how differently pairings are done in Colorado since my last one was one that I actually hosted in Studio City.
AM I walked into the spacious restaurant which is located in a walk-in basement-style space decorated with beakers, science experimental displays and glass garage doors.
AM1 After securing my seat at a table (allll byyyy myyyyseeeeelf) I was immediately greeted by the owners Angela, Dave and Jeff. We chatted for a bit about the concept of The Laboratory as well as the build out, and then I ordered a sample of the New Belgium Garage Series they had on tap.
AM3 LOVE the little beakers they served the beer in!
AM4 Chef Don Braddy and New Belgium brewer Tamar Banner introduced the food and the beer and explained exactly why each pairing was created and what to look for with each bite and sip. The first course was a mixture of appetizers – Vegetable ceviche served in a cucumber shell, fresh mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes and basil drizzled with balsamic vinegar on a soft slice of baguette, buffalo sausage and peach compote with spicy red peppers on a soft slice of baguette and oysters on the half shell drizzled with Sriracha, all paired with Blue Paddle Pilsner. This was the second oyster I’ve ever eaten and while I was landlocked in Colorado and slightly fearful of eating seafood so far inland, it was absolutely fresh and sweet with a hint of ocean water and zip of spice. The Czech-style Pilsner quickly calmed the burn from the wide variety of peppers and was a perfect palate cleanser for what was to come.
AM5 My absolute favorite dish of the night – Coffeed butternut cup stuffed with duck confit and walnuts, fresh thyme and butter paired with 1554 Black Lager. Perfectly tender butternut squash and the delicate duck confit melted together with each bite while the black lager cut through the richness of the dish and accentuated the hint of coffee. Surprisingly enough, this dish brought out the notes of dark fruit in the beer that I’d never noticed before. Need. More. Now.
AM6 Seared scallop, grilled avocado, crab and cream cheese crouton and mango relish paired with La Terroir dry hopped sour. The most interesting pairing in my opinion – while I thought the sour beer would overwhelm the delicateness of the perfectly cooked scallop, it married wonderfully when mixed with the mango relish and cut through the smoky avocado and robust blend of fresh crab and cream cheese. The accent of fried herbs added an earthy, buttery finish to the dish.
AM7 Roasted pancetta-wrapped pork tenderloin served with chestnut polenta and spinach, drizzled with pear-cherry gastrique and paired with Trippel. The one pairing I didn’t think worked out quite as well as it could have – tender pork wrapped in crispy pancetta and topped with the sweet gastrique was slightly too robust for the gentle Trippel, or likely should have been plated before the intensity of the La Terroir. No matter, this dish was cooked perfectly and I loved every aspect of it. I boxed half of it since I was about to explode and needed to save space for the dessert.
AM8 DESSERT. Salted caramel ice cream served in a chocolate and BACON coated waffle cone topped with brandy and stout sauce and cashew crumbles, paired with Salted Chocolate Belgian Stout. Heaven. The ice cream had a just hint of salt to balance out the sweetness without being overwhelming and the crispy waffle cone was generously coated with candied bacon and sweet caramel sauce and made the focus of the Salted Chocolate Belgian Stout more towards the rich roasty notes rather than the intense sweetness I’d experienced before.
AM9 I rolled home stuffed and happy with a handful of leftovers, and can’t wait to head back to The Laboratory for a regular meal and see what other delicious creativity the chef, Don Braddy, can roll out of the kitchen.

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GABF Week

We did it! We survived Great American Beer Festival week! And the Oktoberfest week before that, and the week before that…
am1 I’ve been kind of buried in work and haven’t had a chance to update, so I’ll do a little picture purge to recap the last few weeks for you. Dave and I visited Pateros Creek to show our support for Stevetoberfest and wish brewer Steve a happy birthday. We left our mark as is expected.
am2 As everyone knows, Oktoberfests should be celebrated whilst wearing traditional German dirndls. My parental unit just got back from Germany and brought my sis-in-law and myself these so we could celebrate accordingly.
am6 Keg deliveries were made in said dirndl, as is also required when running a startup business.
am5 We went to the second youngest brewery, Zwei Bruder, in southern Fort Collins to try their wares, as well as to say hello to my old brew system from Wolf Creek Brewery which made its way to this new brewery last year!
am21 A Colorado Avalanche preseason game was attended. Not while wearing a dirndl…
am22 I was able to sneak out of the taproom for an hour one day and made it all the way down the street to New Belgium! am24 Snowbank Brewing had TONS of special releases prepared for GABF week. Chocolate Porter with the cacao husks and nibs from our friends over at Nuance Chocolate which just had their first day of operation yesterday!
crank2 Coffee Pale – my very own creation that I might be slightly proud of.
crank1 The wonderful Susan over at Cranknstein was kind enough to model for our Coffee Pale press release picture.
chile Green Chile Pale infused with roasted pueblo chiles. Intense chile aroma and a slight heat that hit your throat about a minute after sipping.
am We have a lot more collaboration beers coming up that I’m beyond excited about. The local companies we’ve been connected with through this wonderful brewery have become incredible friends.
am21 Last Friday morning I left the brewery in the capable hands of Broox and headed down to Denver for the Samuel Adams Longshot brunch at Marlowe’s. Pumpkin challah french toast, crab cakes, sausages made with elk, rabbit and buffalo, biscuits and gravy…
am19 And of course, beer! We were the first of the public to try Samuel Adam’s new double IPA – Rebel Rouser – a west coast style IIPA that clocks in at 8.4% ABV.
am20 I sat with the crew of The Brew Happy Show out of Portland, who I’d happened to meet up at Snowbank the night before!
am13 After brunch I headed back up to Fort Collins to meet with my wonderful bestie craft beer girl from California.
AM15 The beautiful Janelle! She was child-free this time around so she, her hubby Andrew and I hit up the town.
am12 First up was Funkwerks where I had a (GABF gold medal winning!) Raspberry Provencal.
am11 Odell Brewing for tacos and brews.
am10 And of course I had to introduce them to my latest hangout – Social. On all the nights where we close extremely late, we can always count on Social to have their delicious menu waiting for us.
am16 The next morning was GABF! The Snowbank crew filed into the Bellco theatre for the awards ceremony and sat amongst an ocean of Coloradoan breweries with full glasses of beer.
am17
am18 Colorado’s cheers for every win were only one-upped by the Texans sitting a level up. I’ve never been so proud to be a resident of this wonderful state!
GABF After the ceremony we filed into the convention hall and started the important part – drinking great beers and visiting with our friends, both old and new. We even ran into a few Snowbank Brewing t-shirts in the wild! I don’t think I’ll ever get used to seeing those shirts on someone else around town.
am9 And now I must bid you adieu as I venture out on my first day of sales outside the taproom! I GET TO GO OUTSIDE! Like, where the sun is! I might be excited…

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Glass is Life

This post brought to you by Glass Is Life. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Bites ‘n Brews.

Glass and beer go hand in hand together.
aa0 Growlers are my standard, especially working in a brewery as of late. There’s nothing better than going to the local brewery and getting 64 ounces of the freshest craft around. The dark glass that encases the precious liquid naturally protects the taste and integrity of the brew from skunking immediately in the sun and also seals in the carbonation, while looking cool and hefty.  I know brewers are passionate about their beer, and glass ensures that their brew is delivered to me with the same flavor and quality that they intend. While it’s simple to run into the local liquor store and pick up a six pack with those same protective brown bottles, I prefer to go straight to the source, and growlers are a great deal both financially as well as economically.
sus1 No matter how the beer finds its way to my home, however, it’s always decanted into a glass.

My favorite style is the tulip or globe – The bulbous base of the tulip allows for the necessary swirling to release the aromatics of the precious brew while the narrowing to the top of the glass forces the head of the beer together and supports it, creating not just a beautiful clarity to the beer, but a lasting and effervescent head.
am23 This year, O-I is a participating sponsor of the Great American Beer Festival which takes place in Denver from October 2-4, 2014. You can Follow Glass is Life on Facebook as well as Follow Glass is Life on Twitter. I’ll be attending GABF and can’t wait to connect with this company as well as see all of my old friends from California breweries, and my new Colorado craft beer cohorts for another amazing festival.

#ChooseGlass

The Glass Is Life community is a group of people committed to getting more glass back into our lives. We believe glass is pure, healthy and natural, the kind of packaging that’s better for food and drink, better for us and better for the environment.
Glass Is Life is brought to you by O-I, the century old leader in glass packaging. That’s one hundred years of making what we believe is the most beautiful, sustainable and innovative packaging on earth. So when you reach for the lightest weight wine bottle in the world, you’ll know we’re behind it. We’re behind the brands that shine in glass and the partnerships around the world that deliver delicious products in unique experiences of glass.

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