by Becki |
July 3, 2011 · 10:38 pm
Breckenridge foods that are worth mentioning! (Besides the obvious and amazing grilled veggie sandwich I had yesterday at Breckenridge Brewery)
Dragon Roll at Mountain Flying Fish! Adorable!
And filling! I tried my hardest, but I couldn’t finish it. Stupid petite stomach of mine – I can only eat a small amount at a time, but I’m hungry every half hour. I need to keep a portable fridge on me at all times, filled with fried delicacies and chocolate. And bacon, that would be good too…
No other food was worthy of notice until we went back to Breckenridge Brewery tonight! Sweet Grilled Corn Bruschetta. If you don’t like regular bruschetta (I’m not a big fan myself), then drive all the way to Breckenridge to try this! Seriously, it’s that good. Charred corn with silky avocado and cilantro atop warm ciabatta that’s been smothered in a spicy mayo. Corn is a vegetable, so this appetizer is healthy.
It just wouldn’t be complete without a 471 Double Hopped IPA. Holy mothers, I LOVE this IPA! Extremely aromatic, great head retention and just the right amount of bitters to make your tongue tingle. They serve this in a 12oz glass, seeing that it’s 9.2% ABV. Le sigh de happiness.
Oooooh, yeah! I’m thinking of getting this permanently tattooed on my wrist or the back of my neck. Any thoughts?
I fully believe that when you appreciate a brewery, you should buy a shirt. After you’ve purchased said shirt, you should most definitely go down to the hotel bar, grab a 90 Shilling from Odell Brewing and practice some billiards. If a guy does happen to challenge you whilst you are wearing said shirt and drinking that 90 Shilling, practicing billiards, you should most definitely whoop his ass.
Three times in a row.
Then let him win so he doesn’t feel completely emasculated.
You should most definitely do that.
Filed under FOOD
Tagged as 471 Double Hopped IPA, 90 Shilling, billiards, BreckBrew, Breckenridge, Breckenridge Brewery, bruschetta, Colorado, Dragon Roll, feeling hoppy, Mountain Flying Fish, Odell Brewing, Sushi
by Becki |
July 2, 2011 · 7:48 pm
Today I got to check out Breckenridge Brewery in Breckenridge, Colorado, and got a personal tour from the brewmaster himself, Matt Darling. His first words when he saw me: “Chive on!” Awesome. Just plain awesome.
You can tell the brewers by their epic beards. It’s just a fact.
Matt Darling has been homebrewing since he was 15 years old, starting with vodka and wine before moving to beer. He’s been the head brewer at Breckenridge Brewery for five years after working as the assistant to Drake Schmid for three. He considers John Jordan, the brewer at Flying Monkey who is also a microbiologist, his mentor. I had a mini-interview with Matt to follow:
Becki: What was your “gateway” beer that made you really appreciate good craft beer?
Matt: Probably Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout. (Very classy “gateway”, Matt!)
Becki: Of all of the beers at Breckenridge, what’s your personal favorite.
Matt: Our ESB (Extra Special Bitter).
Becki: Ooooh, can I try that one? Is it year round?
Matt: No, it’s seasonal. We make it in autumn.
Becki: *Sniffle* *sad face*
So my quotes aren’t quite exact, but all the information in them is! (At least I think it is. Correct me if anything’s wrong, Matt!)
The brewery is located just south of the busy part of Main Street, nestled in between dozens of aspen trees.
When you walk in, you’re greeted by the entire brew system. It’s laid out behind the bar in all its glory. On brew days, you can actually sit at the bar and watch them go through the entire process. You’d be pretty trashed by the end though – on brewing days Matt is there from 9am to 6pm with only his assistant, Jimmy Walker, to help. That mash tun has to be filled twice in order to fill one fermenter. That’s a crapload of brewing!
The entire brewpub is bigger than it appears from the outside. The second floor that’s not filled with fermenters is used for seating, with lovely views of the brewery.
Oh, and the mountains. Those are lovely too…
Excuse the following blurry images – macro in dim lighting. Upstairs they have the specialty grains in the mill room. All the regular grains are located in a silo behind the brewpub.
Once all the ales are fermented, they’re transferred down to the refrigerated basement into gigantic kegs where they’re siphoned up to the brewery until they’re empty. It doesn’t take too long. They brew about four days a week during summer to keep up with demand here. In winter, it’s up to six times a week! Them snowboarders get thirsty!
Delicious Cascade hops! They use pellets instead of whole leaf hops to avoid clogging their brew system.
Back up at the bar I got to try the beer from the “brewer’s handle”. It was a Belgian pale ale with Trappist ale yeast pitched in – beautiful golden color with slightly fruity esters. I was too busy drinking it to get a picture. The beer above is their seasonal brown ale that had been run through the brand new lines in order to allow the hoppy aroma to really come out. They have a barrel that they got from Breckenridge Distillery filled with this brown downstairs, absorbing all the intense bourbon flavors. I wish I could be in town when they open that one!
Here’s the wonderful, big board full of all of their brews, excluding the few fresh seasonals they have out now: Lucky “U” IPA, Oatmeal Stout, 471 Double Hopped IPA and Baldy Mountain Brown (I think that’s what I tried above).
Of course, since it is a brewPUB, I had to try their food! I got the grilled vegetable sandwich – portobello mushrooms, peppers, onions and cheese topped with fresh spinach, piled onto fresh ciabatta bread and covered with pesto sauce. Holy frick, this was amazing. Even better was the beer they suggested I pair with it:
Vanilla Porter. Out of this freakin’ world! Seriously, I can’t fully describe the awesomeness of this beer. There are no aroma hops used in this, so the vanilla and malt smell comes through cleanly. The first sip is slightly sweet with a warm vanilla flavor rounded out with a full mouthfeel and faint touch of hop bite that lingers on your tongue after you swallow. Only 4.7% ABV, but since I just came from sea level, that was enough to make me feel it!
Thanks again to Matt for letting me barge in and giving me all the info! I’ll be back tomorrow to try a few more beers – gotta try them while I can since they don’t distribute to California. *Sniffle* *sad face*
Filed under beer, brewery, Drinks
Tagged as 471 Double Hopped IPA, Baldy Mountain Brown, Breck Brew, Breckenridge, Breckenridge Brewery, Breckenridge Distillery, brewmaster, brewpub, Cascade hops, Chive On, Colorado, ESB, Lucky "U" IPA, Matt Darling, mountains, Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, Vanilla Porter