Category Archives: Daily Life

Brewery Life

I definitely should be heading out to the restaurant supply store right now to pick up things for the brewery. And I will as soon as I hit “post”, but first I wanted to give you guys a quick update since I may never ever have a chance to blog again ever. Ever. (I’m kind of kidding…)
GrandOpening The brewery I work at (which I will affectionately refer to as “my brewery” from now on) is having our grand opening on FRIDAY!!! We’ll be open from 12-9pm and Umami will be there all day! See our newspaper article here.
AM1 We started off with a whirlwind of releases to our favorite spots. Here I am with my rats’ nest hair writing our beers up on the board at Cranknstein last Thursday!
AM2 And may I introduce Snowbank Brewing’s owner and brewer – Dave Rosso.
AM3 We brought three kegs with us: Bike Trail Pale, Moon Arete Wheat and Pawnee Porter, and tapped them at 6pm and watched as the crowds grew. (For those who were there, our beer names have been updated. Take note!)
AM4 I seated myself on the comfy couches for a lot of the night to be “social” all by myself updating our social media outlets on the happenings. Snowbank Brewing Facebook, Snowbank Brewing Twitter and Snowbank Brewing Instagram. (That’s a *hint hint* for all of you to follow us).
AM5 The Liquid Poets Society homebrew club members began to filter in. Dave has been a member of LP for years, from which many a brewery has been created.
am13 About an hour in, the first keg blew. Two hours in, the second. We were beyond ecstatic. It was about 9:30pm when we decided we should depart and seek out some food. My bro went to lift the kegs in back and told me there was only a few pints left of porter, so I decided to order one final beer to speed the process.
am14 We killed ALL THREE KEGS! Massive amounts of cheering throughout the crowds ensued and we went for a celebratory dinner at Coopersmith’s down the road before heading home to pass out from exhaustion.
AM6 The next day all of the really fun stuff began. I mopped all of our walls to rid them of the construction dust, vacuumed and mopped the entire taproom and washed our windows.
AM7 I also took one of our kegs of Colorado Red on a road trip to Matador’s – a delicious burrito joint that we are obsessed with. If you want to try some more of our beer before we open on Friday, head to Matador’s ASAP! They think they’ll kill the keg by lunch!
AM9 I took a break from jeans, tank tops and construction dust to attend my bestie’s bridal shower. We spent Sunday afternoon down in Denver celebrating the pending nuptials of this beautiful woman.
AM8 Best friends since age 7, and here we are twenty years later. Holy crap, 20 years??? I feel old now…
AM12 Jeans went back on and I headed back to my new home, the brewery, for photography, cleaning and mass amounts of social media. I’ve never had so many emails in my entire life!
AM11 Luckily, there’s always time at the end of the day to take a deep breath, enjoy the gorgeous Fort Collins summer sunset and thank God for how blessed I truly am.

Who’s coming on Friday? We’re open from noon to 9pm!!

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Puppy Love

Even with that awful, crappy day I had last week, I’ve been in an awesome mood. Everything has seemingly turned around in amazing ways I never could have seen coming.
am Getting custody of this handsome guy for a week definitely helped. My parental unit went on a vacation in the mountains to celebrate their anniversary (HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!). Barley was stuck with me.
am1 He got trapped in the car a lot as I took him between houses for work and the like. Here he is trying not to get carsick (seriously) as I take him to my bro’s house to play with his cousin puppies while I went to work.
am3 When I went back to pick him up I was treated to vegan burritos, this spicy and slightly hot (yet still freaking delicious) Houblon Chouffe and a dog covered in slime from other dogs.
am4 The next morning I took him for an insanely long walk and let him wade in the lake we strolled by since he needed to be bathed anyway to remove the lovely dog slobber that had solidified overnight.
am5 FLUFFY POST-BATH PUPPY! This picture kills me. He kind of looks like he might kill me.
am6 But besides the pup… I’ve enjoyed rainy evenings with glasses of merlot…
am7 Free brownies from work that were deemed “too dry to sell” so I rehydrated them with butter pecan ice cream for lunch. Obviously. Have I mentioned yet that I love my job?
am8 And more puppy. I’m completely infatuated with him, even after a year.
am9 I got a new sink! The sink that came with my house was brand new stainless steel that began rusting the day after I moved in. They replaced it with a shiny one that hopefully won’t rust. Hopefully…
am10 I felt like I should counteract the brownies and ice cream lunches I’d been having with zucchini noodles, onions, garlic and parmesan. This is one of my absolute favorite dishes.
am11 I worked late on Friday night and then went out for a beer with a bunch of friends in Old Town, played pool, kicked ass, blinked and it was 2am. We closed down the bar and everyone continued on to party at someone’s house while I was feeling sleepy from my one beer I had around midnight. So I went home and passed out. I’m a party girl.
am12 Sunday was my day off and it was time to get out and enjoy Colorado the right way – Kayaking!
am13 My pops and I loaded the kayaks onto the car and drove about five miles to a local lake with tons of coves and inlets, and spent the morning paddling around.
am14 Glassy water, storm clouds and mountains.
am15 Blissed out.
am16 And blistered out too. I ended up ripping up my thumb pretty gnarly with my supercool intense paddling. Battle scars.
am17 The only way to really heal battle scars such as these is with a trip to a local pub and a local brew. Between Worlds Belgian White IPA from Verboten Brewing.
am9 And now I must head off to work, so I’ll leave you all with this beautiful face. Because I’m sure you haven’t seen enough of him. Happy Monday!

Ever been kayaking before? Do you prefer the sit-in or sit-on?

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One of Those Days

Ever have one of those weeks? Everything is perfect.
am It starts off wonderfully with delicious cake mix cookies.
am1 And continues on to barbecue at Nordy’s. I have absolutely nothing wrong with brisket and mac ‘n cheese, but I should’ve seen the signs.
AM2
Those rainy days. Those blissfully rainy days.
AM4 Curled up inside my cozy house, sipping a hot mug of Bhakti Chai with candles lit all around, the rain trickling down the windowpanes in little rivers. And then real life beckons.
AM3 Luckily enough, brews at work is one part of my real life.
AM5 As are (free) medium rare bison burgers with more mac ‘n cheese.
AM11 And then sneak peeks of new beer rained down upon my front stoop, begging to be paired with wonderful foods. Stone Coffee Milk Stout (out in distribution today!)!
AM12 So I paired it with firecracker shrimp and soba noodles. The rich, creaminess of the stout cut through the intense spicy bite of the shrimp and rounded out the dish with an emphasis of earthy roast. There wasn’t as much coffee as I was expecting, but plenty of smoky roast in place!

And after that great week, on a Sunday afternoon, everything falls down. And it becomes one of those days.
AM6
One starts reminiscing of happier days where responsibility didn’t exist – freshman year at UCSB… (Plaid pajama pants, scarves and aviators. Could I be any more stylish?)
AM9 Steven Bauer from Scarface wishing me a happy 21st birthday at Saddle Ranch in Hollywood…
AM7
Jonas getting shot
after we crashed our car…
AM10 The boys and I at the season 1 finale of Lonelygirl15…
Screen shot 2014-08-03 at 9.59.52 PM
And then the danged dog headbutts you and gives you a bloody lip to top off the worst day to end a wonderful week. (It wasn’t that bloody, but I also didn’t feel like I should force any of you to look at my swollen lip and sad, pitiful eyes.)
AM15 I thought Sharknado 2 would make everything better, because the original Sharknado was so bad it was good… But this was so bad that it just compounded every bad thing in my life into two hours of wasted time. And I was so very excited too!
AM13 Luckily, I had something sweet to end this craptastic day – Senorita Imperial Porter: Horachata style! Intense rich chocolate dancing with sweet vanilla and spicy cinnamon, and just enough bitterness to balance out the sweetness.

But today is over. Tomorrow is a new day. Chin up, smiles on, let’s start anew!

What went right in your life last week? What are you looking forward to?

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Chokes ‘n Mash

I learned some important things this past week.
am Like cooking artichokes requires a large pot. And wine.
AM1 Boil-over. My stove top and floor had needed a good scrubbing, to be fair.
am2 Floor-scrubbing stress gone.
AM3 And success! I am most definitely investing in a steamer basket to save myself from another traumatic incident such as this.
AM6 I’m thinking most of you may have guessed by now, but I left Loveland Aleworks a while back to pursue some other endeavors that will be elucidated upon soon enough. These babies are officially out of retirement!
AM4 Mash!
AM5 Mash Mash Mash!
AM12 Fermentors – my happy view. Bonus points: What’s the difference between fermentors and fermenters? Answer in the comments for a chance to win a copy of Craft Beer for the Homebrewer! I’ll choose a winner on July 21st.
AM7 Rehydration/celebration/caustic cleaning time.
AM8 I started off Independence Day in the most Murika’n way I could think – Chicken and waffles smothered in rosemary sausage gravy and maple syrup from The Waffle Lab. If you ever get out to Fort Collins, this food truck is a must-try!
AM9 Kara and I went to watch the downtown parade which was incredibly quaint and cute. I love the small town feeling I get here! The rest of the day was spent lazing about with power naps interjected here and there, and completed with a taste of my old life in my new life!
AM10 Ahh, good old Firestone! I remember when they created 805 to be exclusively sold in the 805 area! Apparently that didn’t last long. I enjoyed the fireworks from the comfort of my own front porch while listening to music and sipping brews before all my friends flocked to my house with more beer to watch the local fireworks displays going off all around the neighborhood.
AM11 Now it’s time to start another crazy week!

How did you celebrate Independence Day?

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This Is…

This is my life now.
am4 This is a bike ride to breweries with new friends.

This is home.
AM2 This is fishing at sunset.
AM1 This is catching fish at sunset (or snagging them on the head with a hook and feeling absolutely terrible about it, but still taking a picture).
am3 This is free pretzel Friday at the Mayor of Old Town.
am5 This is Watson Lake.
am7 This is a windy selfie of me and my beloved bike after we rode 15 miles to enjoy Watson Lake.
am9 This is my finger intruding upon the amazing views during a 30 mile ride.
am8 This is the angry Poudre River, raging with freshly melted snowpack.
AM11 This is a well deserved Loose Leaf on the patio of Odell with my amazing friends after a 30 mile ride.
AM12 This is an aptly named brewdog, Simcoe, with ready-to-mill grain.
am15 This is home.

This is happy.

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InstaWeek

I’m healed! I’m healed!
Screen shot 2014-05-07 at 10.12.52 AM All of the medication and comfort food worked!
am
Some presents in the mail helped, too.
am1 I finally got my seeds started for the garden outside! I planted these last Friday with my seed starter kit.
am13 Just a few days later…
am17 And two days ago! They’re three times as tall now. Now I just need to build me one of them outdoor garden things…
am2 Since I was feeling so much better, I accepted an invite from my friend Kara for a Friday night on the town. Super sweet cognac sour with rosemary and champagne to celebrate her coworker’s last day.
am3 We balanced out that goodness with a veggie burger and fries from Big Al’s. Next time I’ll be trying their 60-40 bacon burger. Mmmm, bacon.
am4 On Saturday morning, I rose early, as usual, and biked down to Old Town to celebrate the opening of the MAX bus. This free (until August 25th) bus runs parallel to the main street for five miles, making it easy and safe for anyone to enjoy a night on the town and not have to worry about how to get home. I joined my bro and sis-in-law for the day to fill out our passports.
am5 There were thirteen stops and we hit every single one. Plenty of swag (schwaaaag) was claimed and delicious free samples consumed.
am6 Yes, that did include beer samples! The lines were packed for the opening day and we ended up waiting 40 minutes for our bus back to Old Town. I was lucky enough to get to bike home in the pouring rain. Lovely.
am7 The next day was Mama Day! My mumsie got this wonderful fortune with her meal. I’ve had pretty weird luck with sushi/Chinese combo restaurant fortunes.
am8 Monday night was the tapping of all of the Fort Collins collaboration brews for the start of American Craft Beer Week and Fort Collins Beer Week!
am9 It was a long evening of networking and hanging out with all of the brewers around Fort Collins, and there are plenty!
am10 Prepping for the brewers’ photo!
am12
And everyone together! Such a great group of good people!
am11 I kept it safe and split all of my tastes with Kara before gorging at Noodles & Co and heading home.
am14 My new favorite place. Paris in Longmont! We stumbled across this cheese shop/bistro/cafe/beautiful piece of heaven while meandering around and exploring this week. I’ll be back for a long afternoon, a cheese plate and a glass of prosecco soon enough!
am18 And to cap it all off, a flight at Odell Brewing with my bestie Michelley.

I’m off to enjoy an art show and the beautiful spring weather we’ve been blessed with here in Colorado. Happy Friday!

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DayQuil is a Girl’s Best Friend

Forget diamonds. My last few days have been pitiful scenes.
AM16 I tried to go au natural in the ways of healing with kitchen sink salads and chick flicks, but my first Colorado illness only got worse.
Screen shot 2014-05-07 at 10.12.52 AM DayQuil, canned ravioli, hot tea and lots of RedBox. No end in sight to the crappy sore throat and wonderfully stuffed nasal passages yet. Since I’m feeling so utterly useless and lazy at the moment, I’d like to reminisce on happier days. Like all of the days before Monday.
AM1 WE. FOUND. NOTHING. BUNDT. CAKE!!!! I have never done such a dramatic happy dance in a public place!
AM2 After a visit to Trader Joe’s (cue yet another happy dance) and Nothing Bundt Cake in Boulder, I whipped up a kitchen sink salad with sauteed zucchini, Trader Joe’s Ranchero Egg White Salad and organic baby greens at my bro’s house before he, my sis-in-law and I biked over to the Liquid Poets homebrew club at 1933 Brewing. BIKED there! I love Fort Collins and its endless supply of bike paths!
AM3 The next morning I met my sis-in-law at the barn to meet her new horse.
AM4 Pretty, pretty pony tongue.
AM5 Friday afternoon was spent at Horse & Dragon – the newest local brewery (give it a few days for another new one to pop up). We split a flight and enjoyed the warm breeze that flowed through the bright, open tasting room that’s full of rustic woods and expansive windows.
AM6 Gun battles at Mainline in Old Town Fort Collins.
AM7 The spring storms have begun rolling in, gracing me with the most gorgeous sunsets I’ve seen.
AM8 Saturday was Big Brew! Those two fancy control panels and brew systems were designed and built by my ridiculous smart brother. He built the one on the left for the new magazine Craft Beer and Brewing.
AM9 It was a gorgeous day for a brew! The temps hit about 80 and refreshments were limitless.
AM10 Limitless. Six taps and about ten boxes stuffed to the brim with homebrew samples and competition bottles.
AM12 Cold break – the flocculation of proteins and other stuff. This step helps improve the clarity and flavor of a beer. I filled this glass and set it on the counter for a hydrometer reading, forgot about it for an hour or two and came back to find this! Beer is so weird and awesome.
AM11 It was a long and busy day, and I ended up heading home around 6pm to relax and enjoy my back patio and another wonderful sunset.
AM13 Sunday brunch! I scrambled up two eggs with diced sundried tomatoes and goat cheese, paired with a mix of baby spring greens and a balsamic drizzle before heading to church.
AM14 After the service I started to feel a little under the weather and attempted to combat that with a green monsta in my new Magic Bullet from Fairlife. My mumsie came to visit and enticed me to join her and my pops for an evening of grilled bacon and beef sliders and good beer. I definitely could not refuse that!
AM15 I roasted some asparagus for the side. These burgers. Holy oink. My parental unit picked them up from The Bull and Boar – a butcher in Loveland that sources local, hormone and antibiotic-free meats, and they are the BEST burgers we’ve ever set upon the grill!

Aaaand the next morning I was fully ill. I retreated back to the couch to nestle with tissues, chick flicks and comfort foods. I’m ready to get better now! Bike paths, breweries and bundt cakes await!

Are you a healthy-foods or a comfort-foods person when it comes to being sick?

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A Celebration of Firsts

The days have been full of many firsts since I got my new house!
am11 My first official breakfast in the new house – leftover sammiches and coffee! This is the Pilgrim from Backcountry Deli in Old Town Fort Collins. Absolutely love this sammich!
am8 It happened to be leftover from a collaboration brew day I was lucky enough to participate in at New Belgium! Brewing beer and free sammiches? This is the life!
am4 The first sunset at my new house. Blindingly beautiful.
am5 My first housewarming beer from Goose Island! I’m doing a little recipe development, and they were kind enough to send a few samples for me to try out before.
am6 Some first decorating has been done as well! A beautiful pic of my favorite beer-centric family right where they belong.
am I also had Ethiopian food! I’m not sure if this really has anything to do with the new house, but it was definitely a first for me! Those baskets are actually the tables…
am1 My bestie and I couldn’t figure it out, so we used the smaller, shorter tables next to the basket tables.
am7 The first thing I actually baked in my house – cinnamon rolls on Easter!
am9 My first visit to William Oliver’s Publick House for my first IPA by Horse & Dragon Brewing!
am10 We were there to celebrate my brother’s first sip of 30 year old scotch to celebrate his first 30th birthday! Happy birthday, brudder!
am12 I headed over to Verboten to say a quick hello and a nice sample of their award winning stout – Pure Imagination, and grab a few growlers for an evening with my bro, sis-in-law, niece and nephew.
am13 Ain’t they cute?
am3 Almost as cute as my handsome lil fella.
am15 I had my first sip of Bhakti Chai with coffee added! Tastes like gingerbread cookies and happiness!
am17 And the first kitchen table I’ve ever purchased! I loaded this into my house yesterday and enjoyed a freshly oven-heated frozen lasagna with my family. I’m nothing if not classy.
am19 You guys have seen this before, I just think it’s pretty. And now, it’s time for the Colorado Avalanche’s first Game 7 of the playoffs!

What are some firsts you’ve experienced lately?

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InstaLately {+ Giveaway Winner}

Quick update – I’m officially in my new house!
Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 9.52.19 AM The dishes are in and designing is almost completely done!
Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 9.53.04 AM I’ve even had the chance to do the one thing I’ve been looking forward to since I first signed that loan – beer on my back patio. My life is complete.
Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 9.32.42 AM The fridge situation is a little dire. This was what it looked like on Saturday…
Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 9.32.55 AM And this was two days ago. The leftovers have been consumed, so all I’m left with is beer and chai. Not a bad thing, but I’m thinking it’s about time to go grocery shopping.

And to let you all know, I’m without interwebs. Right now I’m enjoying a bottomless cup of coffee and free wifi at Cranknstein in Old Town Fort Collins and checking email that I haven’t been able to view in days. In exchange for putting up with the sporadacity (that should totally be a real word), and because I forgot to post it in the last blog, here’s the winner of the Bhakti Chai giveaway!
Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 9.22.10 AM Congratulations Kait! I’ve sent you an email so you can claim your goods!
Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 9.32.23 AM So yes, it’s been hectic and stressful and sporadic, but things are finally settling down. Until those interweb wire thingies get connected in my house, feel free to follow me on Instagram and Twitter for random updates! They mainly are about coffee and beer – the elixirs of life.

I’m off to buy a kitchen table! Yay, adulthood!

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Growing Pains

Good news/bad news.
am The Craft Brewers Conference of 2014 was absolutely amazing!
am1 I can’t wait to recap it for you…
am5 …sometime next week. I’m in the middle of all the final walk-throughs, inspections and closing (!!!!) on my house! I’m growing up, turning into an adult and going to be a homeowner!
am7 My days have been filled with nothing but visiting thrift stores (I found these almost brand-new brew-style stools for $12.95!) and ordering mattresses and kegerators. Well, not the kegerator part. I guess a place to sleep is slightly more important than a kegerator. Priorities, people.
am3 With all the stress, it’s been nice to have a few seconds of down time here and there. I stopped at the brand new 1933 Brewing in Fort Collins to enjoy a short afternoon and taster flight with a friend before work.
am4 I also found a night to sneak out to Mayor of Old Town in Fort Collins for the most amazing cream cheese-stuffed jalapeno pretzel with raspberry jam in the entire universe! Geez, I can’t wait to be living in Fort Collins so I can eat these every day! (or just stare longingly at the menu and sniff at the air since I have a mortgage to pay and won’t be able to afford to buy universally-delicious pretzels…)
am6 I received some sanity-preserving gifts in the mail yesterday! My favorite chimichurri sauce in the whole world! I already have visions of relaxing outside of my new house, sipping a brew and grilling with these wonderful spreads and jams!
am8 But first, I had to try some of that chimichurri sauce to make sure it tasted just as I remember. It does. Oh, Lordy, it does!

So bad news is that you guys will have to wait until next week for the CBC recap, but the good news is…
Screen shot 2014-04-06 at 10.46.40 PM You also have some more time to enter for free Bhakti Chai!!! Head back to this post and leave a comment for your chance to win and I’ll choose the winner sometime next week after all the insanity has slightly waned!

Have you ever found anything good at a thrift shop? I will never doubt again!

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