Category Archives: brewery

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Tasting Room

Figueroa Mountain opened up a tasting room and brewery in Santa Barbara in the beginning of June!
am13 Figueroa Mountain’s new tasting room is located at 137 Anacapa Street in Santa Barbara, California. Off the beaten path and with plenty of parking. Hooray times two!
am6 The first thing you get to see when you walk in is the shiny new 7bbl system (a la Premier Stainless) and a handful of 15bbl fermentors. The headbrewer A.J. Stoll is there at least two times a week, brewing up some experimentals for the onsite tasting room.
am They have all the regulars on tap…
am5 …plus a few specialties.
am3 Since I’ve had all the regulars (multiple times), I went for a new one.
am2 Irish Stout. Rich and chocolately with a crisp and dry finish.
am1 Happiness in a taster glass. Can’t wait to try this on nitro!
am7 The tasting room is bright and open with cool ocean breeze wafting through the patio.
am9 Alas, if I didn’t have to drive, I could’ve relaxed here all day, breathing in the fresh ocean air.
am10 And once all the taps are filled, I WILL be here all day, breathing in the fresh ocean air. And with a designated driver!
am8 I will also be stocking up on new fashionable accessories.
am11 I can honestly say that Figueroa Mountain is one of my favorite California breweries (adding to a relatively long list, but when I love a brewery, I take pride in repping them), and I can’t wait to be back!

Happy humpday! I’m off to Colorado for the Gnarly Barley Fest tomorrey!

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The Brewery at Abigaile

You know what needs to occur every single Monday? Nights with friends and visits to new (to me) breweries. It definitely helps keep me balanced after the stress of the start of the work week.
am8 I drove into LA and visited some friends for a nice de-stressing post-Monday dinner before we headed out to the brewery. Above is tofu with crumbled pork curry and sauteed shrimp with green bell peppers…
am9 As well as chicken curry stocked with potatoes and carrots. Un-pictured – cabbage and some kind of black fungus that looks like ears (?!?!). I had a sampling of everything along with a Black Market Hefeweizen, and after we scrubbed the kitchen, we headed south. Far south. Hermosa south.
am The Brewery at Abigaile is a beautiful rustic space overlooking the pier and ocean. I’ll have to go back during the day so I can get some pictures of the amazing view. Since we’d stuffed ourselves already with a home-cooked meal, we stuck to beer and dessert.
am1 5 beers on tap. Flights were ordered all around.
am3 From bottom to top – Orange Blossom Blonde, Analog Amber, Polyrhythm Pale, Black Mass Porter and Sugar Daddy Belgian strong. Not a single bad one in the bunch. My favorites were the porter and the orange blossom, surprisingly enough. Super roasty and light and refreshing. It’s all about balance.
am4 We also may have ordered the soft serve ice cream to share. With bacon caramel. Bacon. Caramel. This place was created for me!
am5 BACON. CARAMEL! Complete bliss. Afterwards we strolled to the end of the pier, checked out the rolling waves under the full moon and capped off the evening with one more beer on da pier: for the birthday boy!
am6 One more beer EACH and bottled water for our lovely DD. Happy birthday, Mike!

Now I have some exciting news – I’m going to Munich and Amsterdam in September!!! Any and all recommendations of must-sees are more than welcomed. Take note: I will NOT be there during Oktoberfest, so recommending that would just be cruel and painful. Happy Humpday!

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Angel City Brewery

Fridays are always a half day for me at work. They also normally consist of some sort of beer consumption. Last Friday we had a field trip day and were introduced to the good people at Angel City Brewery in downtown LA.
am
am1 Angel City Brewery is located in the Arts District and covered with random and sometimes awkward works of art.
am2 We escaped the balmy heat and filed into the breezy brewery and tasting room to watch a quick little slideshow and hear about the history.
am7 Then it was tasting time!
am5 They started us off with their two flagship beers.
am4 Angelino IPA and Eureka! Wit, respectively. After these little samples, they gave us drink tickets and sent us to the tasting room.
am9 I got mini pours of almost all the beers. Their Berliner Weisse was one of my favorites – dry and tart without being overly sour, and extremely sessionable at 3.3%ABV.
am8
am10 The Schwarzbier is also incredibly solid – nice and roasty with a clean finish.
am11 Dieter Foerstner is the head brewer and kindly poured us tastes and discussed the different processes he goes through with every beer. White Nite is one of the more interesting ones – a “golden stout” which is gold in color with the roasty flavors of a stout due to the addition of coffee beans and cacao nibs in secondary. That beer was the favorite amongst the group.

Unfortunately we got too busy to attend a brewery tour. I’ll just have to go back AGAIN and try more beer AGAIN and get the official tour. Ugh.
am14 Saturday consisted of my new tradition – archery! I’m actually going to be buying my bow next week! Pictures and declarations of adoration to come.
am15 It was also the first birthday of little Avery! I can’t believe how big she’s gotten!!! And that hair!

I’m off to enjoy the last few hours of freedom before going back into a long work week. Happy Sunday!

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Springtime in Colorado

I’m in Colorado again for a wonderful visit with my wonderful family, wonderful breweries and wonderful eateries! I took a well-deserved long weekend and flew in yesterday.
am Noodles and Company was my first stop. While it is a chain, I can’t find it anywhere by me in California! I’ll always have wonderful memories of high school – biking here with friends for a piping hot bowl of Wisconsin Mac & Cheese or something equally unhealthy. This time, peanuts were calling to me.
am1 Indonesian Peanut Saute! Rice noodles with tons of veggies and ridiculously spicy peanut sauce. I forgot to add meat and didn’t even notice. Accidental vegan!
am2 We also had to hit a brewery on the way home. Grimm Brothers has been a local favorite of mine for a few years now.
am3 I’m a huge fan of Snow Drop, but when they add Funkwerks Saison yeast to it… HUGE FAN. Oh, happy days. Their sessionable Willow Wren Erntebier (harvest beer) clocks in at 3.4%ABV with rich cocoa and coffee aroma, but still clean and light enough to enjoy on a hot summer day. I see a growler in my very near future with the 80+ degree heat here this week.
am4 Today was even more rice noodles. Sri Thai is a Thai restaurant I’ve frequented since I was eleven years old. Unfortunately, it’s been less frequent since I moved from Colorado ten years ago, but I make a point to stop by every time I’m in town.
am5 Thai iced tea with soymilk. Avoiding dairy is difficult, but this place is quite vegan friendly. I consumed my Pad Thai with chicken too quickly to photograph… I can only vegan so much in one week.
am6 After lunches I got a haircut, compliments of my wonderful parental unit who spoil me too much, and then headed to Odell Brewing Company.
am8 American Homebrewers Association cards get you $4 off any flight here! I went for one of the new seasonal flights.
am7 One of the standouts here was Press Pale Ale – a pale ale with coffee added. It was extremely strange and wonderful. Light and refreshing graham cracker flavor with a huge coffee aroma and finish, but still crystal clear and pale. I also adored the rye hefeweizen. And all the others on this flight. Since they’re under construction, adding yet another building onto their ever-expanding brewery, there was no Small Batch Revival this year. Le sigh. They promised me next year would happen

The evening was spent at the local golf clubhouse with amazing Good Juju Ginger Ale from Left Hand Brewing out of Longmont paired with spicy wings, and then on the porch of my parental unit’s beautiful home.
fire Elysian’s Avatar Jasmine IPA – this will always be a nostalgic favorite of mine.

Happy spring to all!

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Golden Road Brewery Tour

I finally got a chance to check out the actual BREWERY instead of just the pub!
AM Of course, beforehand I had to fuel up in said pub. I can’t go on a brewery tour without fuel. I’m not completely insane.
AM1 There was a big group of us and they assigned ordering to me. I closed my eyes and pointed. Roasted potatoes with soy chorizo and vegan ricotta. Surprisingly pleasant, even for someone who lives for bacon!
AM3 Vegan wild mushroom fritters with vegan pimento – for someone who hates mushrooms and loves pig, also surprisingly pleasant. One might even say delicious!
AM2 Pretzel with non-vegan cheese. Two vegan options are more than enough in my opinion, no offense to all my vegan/vegetarian readers out there!
AM4 We topped it off with the charcuterie plate full of cheese, grapes, spicy peanuts and cured meats. Okey, fueled up. Tour time.
AM5 We made our way through Chloe’s – the exclusive club for all those who love beer.
AM6 As you can see, I hadn’t quite gotten my lens repaired/been able to remove the lens yet…
AM7 We made our way into the gigantic offices/cold room. Don’t worry, these are separated. They don’t actually cryogenically freeze the employees. Yet.
AM8 This be a pretty big walk-in. I be pretty jealous. I become pretty chilled…
AM9 That ought to satisfy the LA consumers for a few days…
AM10 Once we got back into the warmth, we were greeted with all these empty cans, waiting to be filled with Wolf Among Weeds.
AM11 And finally, into the brewery!
AM14 They had to remove the roof of this building in order to lower these fermentors in by crane.
AM12 They’re kinda big…
AM13 And finally, a glance at the 50bbl brew system. Fifty. Barrel. Brew. System.
AM16 AM15 am17 They run their wort through the hop dosing system before sending it to the boil kettle.
am18 Instead of filtration, they have a separation tank. This spins the chilled wort around and all of the solids are brought to the center and removed – basically a second whirlpool tank, but faster and cooler looking.
AM20 The canning machine! We didn’t get to see this in action, but that makes for easier pictures anyway. These are spun around, sanitized, purged with CO2, filled and capped/clamped.
AM21 The quality assurance room/lab. If anyone for some reason calls in about their beer having an issue, the Golden Road team is able to come in here and taste that exact same batch to see if it’s a problem based on brewing or by handling. I think I’d be good at this part of the job.
Wolf I’m checking out how good I am at quality assurance right now.
wolf2 In other news – I took my camera in to the repair shop and after a lot of hammering from the backroom and me cringing as I listened to each bone-shattering crack, the shattered cover was removed and my camera is at the ready to take some more awesome pictures!

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The Bruery

I’d like to preface this post with a photo.
amb I haven’t been able to get the UV lens to come off of the camera yet, so unfortunately the pictures I got are quite sad. I was able to go down to Anaheim and got a (blurry) tour of The Bruery by the Sr. Director of Brewing Operations/Everything Else, Tyler King.
am0 The Bruery has three separate buildings – offices and barrel aging space, the actual brewery and a distribution center/warehouse which also hosts more barrels.
am This is their 3bbl pilot system. As you can see, it’s very fuzzy and soft-looking so some of the brewers use it as sleeping quarters… Out, damned crack! Out, I say!
am1 Their old (also unfortunately fuzzy and blurry) fermentors are about to get swapped out for shiny new ones.
am2 They propagate their own yeast on site instead of working through other labs. Their new fancy schmancy lab and lab technician are in full swing!
am3 And here’s where I finally got (some of) the focus under control.
am4 The Bruery is currently distributed in 21 states AND in Europe! After seeing the 15bbl system they work and finding out they have a staff of about 50, my mind was boggled. And impressed. Massively.
am5 Brand new 60bbl fermentors!
am6 Many, many kegs waiting to be filled with golden, amber and ruby deliciousness! And then some more!
am7 One small section of their barrel aging program.
am8 One bigger section of their barrel aging program. The scent of spirits, vanilla and oak swirling around the giant warehouse is intoxicating!
am9 All of their bottle-conditioned beers, packed up and ready to be sent out!
ama And now these await me in my cellar (read: cardboard box in a dark cupboard) while they age out. Luckily I got two (or more) of each, so I should probably try them fresh as well, yes?

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Sierra Nevada Brewery

Last weekend the craft division of my company was flown up to Chico by the awesome crew of Sierra Nevada!
am6 We were flown via Southwest – lucky for me, I got to score some extra points from this trip for all my future Colorado trips!
AM7 Random airport artwork in Sacramento.
amchico After a ridiculously speedy flight, we all hopped into a huge shuttle van and drove 90 minutes up to Chico.
abb After a quick unpacking session, cans of Old Chico (not available in SoCal) were grabbed from the hotel lobby and consumed, followed by a trek to downtown Chico for dinner and some more brews.
aba We somehow ended up at this dance club/billiard hall/restaurant that was obviously hoppin’. At this point, I hailed a cab for myself and headed back to the safety of the hotel.
AM8 Many of my coworkers had a rough start the next morning, but thanks to my quick escape at the early hour of midnight, I felt somewhat alive. Our first stop was the brewery gift shop where we were given gift cards and set loose. I’m now the proud owner of a few shirts and an awesome lip balm that has hop oil in it.
AM10 We perused the grounds and found these awesome bike racks…
AM9 And a bike pump! Every brewery should have one of these!
AM11 Lunch was up next. We sat on the patio enjoying the beautiful warm weather and scanned the extensive beer list.
AM12 French Saison for me! Hair of the dog for everyone else!
AM13 I ordered the Sierra Nevada salad – fresh greens picked from the garden out behind the brewery, goat cheese and candied walnuts.
AM14 We were given some amazing samples of experimentals and beers that haven’t been or will not be released to the public. Barrel-Aged Narwhal Imperial Stout. Out of this world.
AM15 The brewery tour was next!
AM16 AM17 Sierra Nevada uses only whole leaf hops in their brews. The floor and tanks were littered with beautiful cones.
AM18 Hop room! Freezing cold and smelling of joy. Oh, how I love the hops.
AM19 Wonderful artwork for Life and Limb that for some reason didn’t make the cut??? Gotta love the fig leaf action.
AM20 The bases of the huge fermentors that stick out atop the brewery.
AM21 Everyone jumped aboard the awesome pub-bike and we pedaled out to the hop fields.
AM23 They’re a little more barren than the last time I was here
AM22 The remains of the garden from where my lunch was cultivated.
AM24 HotRot – this composting machine is loaded with all the remains from meals in the pub and takes twelve days to turn all of that into what looks like sawdust. The smell is horrendous, the outcome is awesome.
AM26 After biking back, we toured the nanobrewery and got to sample some of the Beer Camp brew that Roger from The LAB participated in – milk stout with almonds. Divine.
AM27 The tour ended with a sample of Ovila with mandarin oranges straight from the conditioning tank.
AM29 Up next – dinner!
AM30 Cheese plate appetizer.
steaks Filet mignon with lobster butter. Yes, please.
AM32 This rocked my world. I’m drooling as I recall…
AM33 The next morning we were up bright and early and back to Sacramento for our flight. This may be the best airport fare I’ve ever had – it’s a toss-up when it comes to burritos. I got lucky.
AM34 We had an even faster flight back.
AM35 AM36 Descending through the thick marine layer.

It was a wonderful, fast-paced and delicious trip. With all these brewery trips, I’m seriously loving my job!

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Samuel Adams Training

I’m back from a wonderful three days in Boston! Two coworkers and I were flown out to Boston by my company for training at the Samuel Adams brewery. This’ll be a picture-heavy post – lots of phone pics as well since I didn’t feel like hefting my big camera bag along the miles of walking.
am15 We flew out on JetBlue. Only four hours and ten minutes out with tons of leg space – at least in comparison to United and American! Plus a personal TV screen on each seat. Win! We dropped our bags at the hotel and set out for a walk in the freezing rain.
AM16 jm Curley is a newer place across the street from Stoddard’s Fine Foods and Ale. We grabbed a beer to warm up and perused the menu. The new seasonal special – housemade donut fried in bacon fat with strawberry-rhubarb filling, basil crystals and a foie gras glaze. You read that right. I couldn’t not.
AM17 Holy geez.
am20 Yes. I can say without hesitation that this is one of the top three things I’ve ever consumed in my entire life. Ever.
am19 Next up was Union Oyster House, and we were lucky enough to score seats at the bar!
am18 I consumed my first oyster! After very low expectations (my imagination went from dry-heaving to salt water sneezes to other horrible things), I was pleasantly surprised – sweet and tender without a freaky texture! I don’t think I’ll eat another one, but I’m glad I tried it.
am21 They had quite a full lobster tank which included this eleven pound beast. I didn’t consume him.
am22 We were sent by the bartender to a locals’ favorite, Durty Nelly’s, which was full of big brand beers plus a Samuel Adams. We continued along the way, going to a place and asking the bartender where his/her favorite place was and continuing in this manner.
am23 After a few jumps, we enjoyed a freezing cold stroll for about half a mile before hailing a taxi to take us the rest of the way back to the hotel.
am The next morning we were in the lobby at 7am (4am California time) and took the subway down to Samuel Adams Brewery.
am1 Study supplies were stacked on the tables…
am2 and a group of seventeen total (me being the only female) slowly tried to jar ourselves awake.
am4 Breakfast was brought in by Max’s Deli Cafe – delicious every single morning!
am5 We had ten hours of intense lectures interjected with mini-tours of the brewery.
am8 Our instructor and Certified Cicerone, Ken Smith. He has an insane amount of energy – far too much for me when it was 4am my time, but once the coffee started working, I thoroughly enjoyed him and his exciting speeches and lectures.
am9 Head Brewer Dean!
am11 Looking out from the brew system. At lunch I snuck over and Dean was kind enough to let me watch the transfer and sparging of the mash.
am10 am29 I also got to try the first wort from next years Utopias he was brewing this day! Nothing like a hot cup of sugar water to wake you up in the mornings!
am28 During the sparge Dean was able to give a quick tour of the place.
am31 We walked into the barrel room and were bombarded by the wonderful scent of spirits that emanated from the racks of barrels.
am32 Foeders!
am33 These 68bbl fermenters used to be in the main brewery but have recently been moved into the new building they recently obtained after their neighbors closed business.
am48 Another lovely view as I creepered around the place.
am12 The whirlpool tank – after initial whirlpool in the boil kettle, the wort is transferred here and whirled again to get rid of as much trub as possible before filtering.
am24 Lunch was delivered again by Max’s – roasted salmon, shrimp skewers and fancy salad and grilled veggies.
am6 They brought plenty of dessert options which were greedily consumed by the class I was with, and then by the brewers Dean and Bob.
am7 I also got a sneak peak at the 26.2 Pale Wheat that Sam Adams is releasing on April 15th for the marathon! Sweet, smooth and crisp – perfect for rehydration after running a marathon.
am26 After ten hours of sitting, we were released and headed over to Stoddard’s Fine Food and Ale.
am25 No casks were available, so I stuck with a local porter. We ended the night a little earlier than the previous one… We’d learned our lesson after each having a small headache for the majority of the day…

The next day we met in the lobby again at 7am, but class was cut short after about an hour when poor Ken wasn’t feeling well. We set out to explore the city. And by city, I mean foods and pubs in the city.
am30 I walked towards the water and found Granary Tavern. After sipping a Saison from the local brewery Pretty Things, the boys met up with me and we each ordered a gigantic, lovely, delicious, more adjectives lobsta roll. Tender and succulent with housemade dill mayo, wrapped in a warm cushion of a frankfurter roll. Happy sigh.
am34 Every bartender we’d come across had told us that Mr. Dooley’s had the best pint of Guinness in the city. I don’t like Guinness, but I felt like I had to order one when we got here. Maybe it’s the gas blend, maybe it’s the Irish people pouring the pints, but this was the most delicious Guinness I’ve ever had! It had much more flavor than I remember – chocolate, charcoal and vanilla cream.
am35 Our next stop at The Green Dragon had a Chiver! We got a slightly drunken history lesson and some good pictures with him. We had a beer dinner scheduled that night, so we headed back to the hotel to relax for an hour before piling into a taxi and heading over to Post 390 where the dinner was being hosted.
am40 Oh boy.
am41 Smokey salmon over wilted mixed greens, potatoes and a pickled quail egg paired with Sam Adams Noble Pils. I had about half of this, minus the egg, before I decided I should probably go slowly with the extensive menu.
am42 Pork and apple croquette in a cauliflower and cheese soup paired with Sam Adams Boston Lager. Again, I had to stop halfway through.
am43 Char grilled duck in a white bean cassoulette paired with Sam Adams Double Bock.
am45 Some kind of a chocolate custard with rich ganache and meringue on top. Honestly though, this was the highlight of the entire meal:
am44 UTOPIAS! I’ve never had the chance to try this before – 29%ABV, extreme flavors of Bourbon with a high sweetness and hints of oak, smoke and vanilla. I could’ve sipped a few ounces of this over the entire night and been content.
am46 Utopias 10th Anniversary bottle. I wants it. I wants it so much.

Our final day consisted of a six hour class with beer and cheese pairings and tastings.
am47 Ta-daaaaah! We got shipped off to the airport and flew back to Los Angeles on a long 6.5 hour flight.

Can I be a professional student of beer for a living?

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Christmas, Breweries and Beer

It is so incredibly hard to get back into the swing of real life after a glorious 11 days being spoiled and pampered by my parental unit.
AM4 Savory Christmas Bread Pudding aka Eggs Portugal. We have this every Christmas, Easter and birthday morning. Drool.
AM It snowed on Christmas Eve! I set a beer outside to let it chill and when I came back out, it was covered in a good half inch of this beautiful white stuff!
AM1 Bare feet in the snow on Christmas morning. I don’t recommend it.
AM3 Delicate crystals atop the table.
AM2 I snapped a few pictures before rushing inside to escape the 3 degree weather. The rest of the day was spent roasting in front of the fireplace.
AM6 My Christmas gift from my bro and his wife! He made this himself the night before. Quite awesome, if I do say so myself!
AM7 It also came with this – unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to brew out there with all of the brewery tours we had lined up, but I’m creating a recipe at this moment for my next visit!
AM8 IPA tastings. I am head over heels in love with Myrcenary and Mountain Standard by Odell Brewing. Le sigh. Please distribute to California, already!
AM5 My favorite nephew got to spend the day with us. Nothing like having the whole family there for Christmas!

A few days later we picked up Commander Matt from the airport and headed straight down to Boulder for the first brewery tour on our schedule.
AM9 Avery Brewing! We found the brewery hidden back in an industrial area – the true sign of a real brewery. Scouting out the locations is half the fun!
AM10 A beautiful beer list! I’ve only had one or two of Avery’s brews before, but as much as I wanted to try them all, the altitude was still making me a cheap date (read: tipsy after a taster), so I stuck with a taster of Out of Bounds Stout and…
AM11 MEPHISTOPHELES’. 16.2%ABV. I couldn’t NOT try that!
AM12 Out of Bounds on the left, Mephistopheles’ on the right. The Mephistopheles’ was full of rich bourbon flavors, thick roasted coffee, spicy dried fruits and bitter dark chocolate powder. We may or may not have taken a 12oz bottle home. And by may or may not, I obviously mean we did.
avery Jon Cross was kind enough to give us a tour of their 40bbl system. Avery is prepping to move up to a 120bbl system over in Gunbarrel in the upcoming year!
AM13 Perhaps they’ll allow diving in the new, gigantic mash tun. We visited two other breweries after, neither with beer worth talking about, and the next day we went to one of my old favorites.
funk Oh, Funkwerks, how I adore thee. Best small brewery of the year – well deserved! We tried the cask of the week – peppermint saison! Amazingly potent peppermint nose, but a surprising bite of black pepper, hints of light citrus and rounded out with a fresh, clean mouth. The first sip was a little odd, but after the second sip I was ready for a full pint.
AM14 Natalie was in the middle of lautering when we arrived, so she was able to give us a grand tour of the place and answer all our questions about sour beers, barrel aging, bottling and a zillion more things that kept coming up.
AM15 After an hour exploring the place, we headed over to New Belgium where we were scheduled to tour thanks to my job. Perks!
AM19 It was a much longer tour than the last time I took it – over three years ago. They’ve built many expansions since and turned a half hour tour into ninety wonderful minutes!
AM16 Brewhouse 1.
AM17 Not too much heavy lifting going on here except on the brain.
AM18 We moved upstairs and drooled over the tanks, checking out each progression from mashing all the way to the rolling boil they had going on. You couldn’t smell anything inside, but the air outside smelled lusciously of hop resin being released from the grips of its pellets.
AM20 The barrel aging room was next. Epic. I don’t know how many oak foeders they had in there, but I could’ve wandered for hours and been content.
AM21 We got many, MANY samples throughout the tour, but this was my favorite. I hated La Folie the first time I tried it three years ago on the same tour, but now it’s pure adoration. Sours have won me over.
AM22 The next part of the tour took us outside past the gigantic bright tanks and into a relatively new building where the bottling and canning line are.
AM23 Capturing the deliciousness happens in here!
AM24 The brewery is covered in random art. I’d love to see this chandelier lit up at night!

After the tour officially ended, Matt and I saw one of the brewery employees at the bar and asked him some questions about New Belgium’s pilot system and cask program. He happened to be JR, the cellarmaster. He also happened to say, “Wanna see?”

Um, yes.
AM26 8.5bbl system. They measure everything here in hectoliters. I spent a lot of the tour on my phone doing conversions from hectoliters to barrels. I’m cool like that.
AM27 Quite a colorful pilot room.
AM29 This system has one of the best views of the brewery. Look at all the pretty foeders!
AM28 Poor neglected Sputnik was empty. There were four fermentors that were full of experimentals. I spotted a stout, a dark set for release in fall of 2013, a light set also releasing in 2013 and a collaboration. I can’t get into any more detail than that – don’t want to give away the secrets!

The trip ended with the traditional – shooting range!
AM30 Fire! I shot this thing once and said no more. Not a fan of fire in my face and a kick that almost makes me drop the gun on top of my head.
AM31 Aaand an assault rifle rental from my bro. Kinda like a BB gun with laser sights.

We celebrated New Years Eve with my parentals and their best friends (who I consider my second parentals) playing five hours of the rousing game HedBandz, sipping champagne and rare beers like the Eclipse Series from Fifty Fifty Brewing, and flipping on the TV to catch the ball drop with three seconds to spare. All of this in a onesie. Again, I’m cool like that.
Fox A belated Happy New Year to you all!

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My Favorite Colorado Breweries

My Favorite Colorado Breweries (that I’ve actually visited in person. I’m not intentionally ignoring you, Avery or Left Hand! In fact, I’ll be there very soon for a visit!)

It’s a couple of weeks overdue, but here’s a recap of my short-but-sweet trip to Colorado!
I fell in love with Funkwerks the last time I visited, and since then they won Best Small Brewery of the Year at GABF!
The fam and I grabbed two flights of tasters and enjoyed the gentle warmth of sunshine that cut through the slight chill hanging in the air.
It was very uncrowded – not surprising considering it was the middle of the day on a Wednesday. We shared the tasting room with one group of pub jumpers.
I bought a few souvenir bottles to enjoy. Pricey, but (hopefully) worth it. I haven’t gotten a chance to pop them open yet!
Up next was Odell Brewing! This brewery is one of my original faves.
Grabbed a flight, of course. Did I mention that this is at altitude? These little ones were affecting me in a wonderful way!
Myrcenary Double IPA, how I adore thee!
Continuing on, Equinox! I wasn’t able to visit this one on my previous trip, but it’s held a special place in my heart ever since my big bro took me there for a beer and some sibling hang-out-time right before his wedding. And THAT was before I really even understood or liked beer.
Another flight split round the table.
This brewery is one of the more peaceful I’ve attended. Again, most likely because of it being in the middle of the week…
And finally, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse. My first visit here I was so sick that I couldn’t taste a single thing. I’m glad I’ve finally healed.
Taster flight!
My favorite of theirs is still a tie between Master Thief and Little Redcap. With the chilly winter months coming up, I’ve been craving porters and stouts like there’s no end in sight!

After looking through, I’m realizing that these are the ONLY Colorado breweries I’ve ever actually been into aside from New Belgium – and if I had pictures from that one, you can bet they’d be up here. Colorado’s got some awesome brews.
And awesome sunsets. I can’t wait to go back in two weeks!

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