Tag Archives: Craft Beer

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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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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Kitchen Sink Banana Bread

A quick recap of last week before we launch into this week’s latest recipe.
am6 Biking to beer is my latest favorite thing to do. This Sorachi saison from Funkwerks tasted so much better after I worked for it!
am7 My pops had a birthday last week! We visited Dancing Pines distillery in Loveland, shared a flight and ended up heading out with their brand new vodka (distilled from grapes!) and cherry liqueur. Goooood stuff!
am8 And we visited the gun store. Looking, no touching after that tasting.
am9 I got funky new pants from Marshall’s and watched my dog go camouflage. He’s kind of cool like that.
am10 I baked balsamic olive oil cookies for the housewarming party I threw on Friday night.
am11 It started pouring right after I snapped this picture. A rousing game of Hedbanz was played until we all hurt from laughing so hard. I left the cleaning for my roommate and was in bed around 12:30am because…
am12 Saturday morning brew! More details about all of this to come, but until then follow Snowbank Brewing on Twitter! I’m running the Twitterverse there during all of our brew days/tappings/random outings.
am13 Leftover cookies and caustic acid. Looking back, I probably should’ve removed the acid-covered nitrile gloves before consuming this…
am14 After a 22 hour brew day, we returned for yet another brew day yesterday. My body was screaming for greens so I whipped up a green monsta before heading back to the shiny tanks.
am1 Which brings me to this bread. I bake things for brew days. That’s just what I do. Pumpkin donuts and face cookies were my Enegren tradition, so I figured it would be a good thing to carry on with my new brewery.
am3 I had leftover pumpkin puree from last week’s pumpkin donuts, and half of an avocado from some guacamole I’d made earlier this week. I figured since they were about to go bad, along with the huge bunch of Costco bananas, I’d just throw them into the bread and see what happened.
am5 Delicious success! And way too much orange in these food styling pics… I think it’s time to go buy some new props…
am4 I threw in some chia seeds as well to make myself feel like this bread was even healthier. So there’s that.

Kitchen Sink Banana Bread

Serves 8
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Meal type Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Hearty oil-free banana bread full of random ingredients found around the kitchen. Everything but the kitchen sink.

Ingredients

  • 1 + 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Large bananas (mashed)
  • 1/2 Large avocado (mashed)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (tightly packed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Directions

Step 1
Grease two mini bread loaf pans (or one standard size bread pan) and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda.
Step 3
In a large bowl, combine the bananas, avocados, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, egg, chia seeds and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Step 4
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold in until just combined.
Step 5
Pour the batter in to the loaf pan(s), top with banana slices if desired, and bake for 35-55 minutes. The bread is done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Step 6
Allow to cool. Or just devour it straight from the pan like I did.

am2 I’m off to another crazy busy week! Happy Monday!

What else do you bake with browning bananas? I have a ton more I need to use up!

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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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Beer ‘n Wings Night

One evening I was sitting at home after a long day’s work, in desperate want of buffalo wings and a good craft beer to pair with them. I opened my computer, went into Facebook and created the group “Beer ‘n Wings“. Once a week a group of friends and brewery regulars (who are now friends) get together at a new spot and test out the wings and taps, in search of the best in the state. So far we’ve hit up Hooters (twice), the Dugout, Arkaine’s, Brendan’s Irish Pub in Newbury Park, BJ’s in Westlake, Wood Ranch and our latest destination: CUSTOM MELT!!!
am The owners of Custom Melt, Phil and Thomas, offered to host our latest wings night. Thomas specially prepared out-of-this-world wings drenched in his own creation of sauces. Thomas and Phil, thank you so much for going out of your way for us!
AM Important things first – chips and cheese and BEER! Firestone Double DBA on tap? Yes. Sweet toffee malts balanced out with rich, earthy oak and topped off with a touch of hop bitterness. 12%ABV. Yes.
AM1 First up were the spicy wings. Tender, succulent and a hearty kick of spice at the end. The second – chipotle barbecue wings. Smoky and sweet. The third?
AM2 A combination of the spicy sauce with the chipotle barbecue. This was everyone’s favorite and made for a PERFECT pairing with the Double DBA. The ribbons of caramel in the malts complimented the sugar in the sauce and tamed the flame while the oak danced with the smokiness of the chipotle making each bite and sip taste like more. Okey, now I’m hungry again.
am8 We had a lovely group of nine craft beer and wing enthusiasts. When people heard that Custom Melt was hooking us up, they raced to sign up. This place is HOT within the people of Moorpark for good reason!
am3 Enough pictures, time to eat more.
am4 Good job, John. We went through THIRTY POUNDS of wings that night! I’m quite proud of the nine of us accomplishing this grand feat.
am7 Of course we had to end with an official dessert. Daniel Irons – Missoura style! Enegren Brewing’s Daniel Irons Oatmeal Stout with a splash of coffee, topped with whipped cream and another dash of rich stout.
am5 Delicate aroma with hints of vanilla, robust cocoa and a touch of coffee.
am6 This message was approved by Chris Enegren.

Now the question that awaits us all – where do we go first in the new year?

I’m off to Colorado for eleven days of breweries, beer, brewery tours, family, Christmas, beer and breweries! Keep up with my Twitter, Facebook and blog for updates throughout the upcoming week!

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Filed under beer pairing, Restaurant Review

Borderlands Brewing Company

Picture this: you’re in the middle of 4th Avenue in Tucson on a 90 degree day, sweating to death, suffering from heat stroke and wishing for a snowstorm to suddenly overwhelm the town. You also start wishing that there was a brewery within walking distance. You then start searching Yelp for local breweries. You find that one opened up within the last few months, and it’s only half a mile from where you sit, melting into the street, at this very minute. Enter: Borderlands Brewing Company.

Walk down 6th Street, left on 7th and cross the railroad tracks and you stumble across an unassuming brick building.
Borderlands is only open Wednesdays from 4-7pm, Fridays from 4-7pm, and the second Saturday of every month from 12-4pm. Good thing I felt like scanning the area Friday afternoon! Friends Michael Mallozzi and Myles Stone joined with Blake Collins to open this nano brewery in the heart of Central Tucson at the end of 2011.
The small brewery (I believe it’s 3 bbl) is surprisingly open and feels like a big space! The thick wooden beams lead to skylights that keep the room well lit and airy.
They had three beers on tap when I showed up. Brewmaster Blake Collins explained that they run out of their beer so quickly that they were lucky to even have those three left! Considering the crowds that gathered fifteen minutes before they opened, I’m glad I showed up when I did! I would’ve hated to miss out.
Borderlands also features fermentors from Premier Stainless. The brewery is set on the far left side of the tasting room, behind wide wire fences so you can walk around and get a good view of the entire system as you enjoy your pint.

Now onto the beer.
I first tried the Ol’ Loco Citrus IPA. The aroma gave off plenty of bitter citrus, slight floral, and a hint of skunk. Not quite overwhelming, but it smelled almost lightstruck. Luckily, that one bit of aroma doesn’t translate to the flavor – medium-high carbonation that sends the floral flavor around your tongue, ending with a wonderfully sharp and bitter end. Still a few kinks to work out on this one with the aroma and perhaps balancing out the hops with a touch more malt.

The Noche Dulce Vanilla Porter came next. This taster was beautifully dark with a heavy scent of vanilla wafting off the head. The sweet vanilla was a little overpowering to me, but the roasted coffee flavor from the dark malt brought it back into a sturdy porter and an easy sipper.
The Prickly Pear Wheat. This beer is possibly the most interesting beer I’ve ever encountered. Brewed with local prickly pear juice, the sour notes in this wheat beer threw me for a second. Having never had prickly pear, I assumed that some lactobacillus had gotten into the beer, but not in an unpleasant way at all. Without any residual sweetness, this tangy wheat beer gently awakens your palate and keeps you sipping as you wonder what exactly is going on. From what I was told, this beer may be phased out and turned into a lambic – PERFECT use of the sour notes of prickly pear!
Overall, the unique prickly pear was my favorite, but I love the use of local ingredients in their beer! The vanilla beans, prickly pear juice and select hops come from local farms, and the conservation of water and resources is high on their list seeing that they’re located essentially in the middle of a desert.
I’m so glad I arrived early and was able to sample all three of these new brews!
While this is my second to last show and I most likely won’t be back in Tucson for at least a few months, I can’t wait to return and see what this little brewery evolves into! I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for that lambic! I might even make that an excuse to come back sooner!

Borderlands Brewing Company
119 E Toole Ave
Tucson, AZ 85701
Open Wednesdays and Fridays from 4-7pm and the second Saturday of every month from 12-4pm

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Elysian Avatar Jasmine IPA

Yes, this beer deserves its own post.
Elysian Avatar Jasmine IPA actually glows from within.
It tastes even better because it’s made right across the water in Seattle. All those little tents in the lower left of the picture? That’s where I’m working this weekend.
This IPA is extremely low on the IBU – 40, so it’s on the lowest end of what an IPA can be (not really what I’d prefer in an IPA), but it is definitely an amazing herb/spice beer! I got it on tap at Chantanee Thai tonight – the food was good, but the beer! OH THE BEER! The rich head retained for the entire glass and left a beautifully intricate lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is an elegant floral jasmine which overwhelms any hop essence. The sweet jasmine flavor is very prominent in this beer, followed by warm malt and a lasting bitterness that translates back to a soft kiss of jasmine on the back of the tongue. It’s not a beer I would order regularly, but paired with Thai or Chinese food, pour me a pint!
With the beautiful views…
…and the hundreds of rare craft brews that line the shelves of the local grocery stores, I think I’m starting to love this place.
PLUS, I got this letter and I’m going to get rich from helping this woman “carry out her charity wish in which I will help her carry out her charity project as her wish” in exchange for three million dollars! MAN, this town is lucky!

Maybe I should move here once I’ve helped her carry our her charity wish and get the three million dollars she’s offered me…

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CHIVE ON!

A few days ago, I was lucky enough to be featured on TheChive and my little blog exploded with wonderful comments about beer and awesomeness. This is me saying thanks.
CHIVE ON!!!
Thanks for your interest in craft beer. It means the world to me and all the little breweries out there.
I’m just a girl who likes to appreciate the qualities of fine craft beer.
And eat. Oh man, do I love to eat!
And then appreciate some more craft beer. I’m completely enraptured by the history of beer, brewing process and the scientific conundrums of enzymes converting starches into fermentable sugars that I don’t quite fully understand yet, but appreciate oh so very much.
I’m also enraptured by melt-in-your-mouth bacon.
I put it in everything. Gentlemen and my kindred-spirit ladies, I give you Oatmeal Stout Brownies with Caramelized Bacon. You can thank me later.
You can also put it on a nice juicy medium-rare grass-fed burger that’s been smothered in cheese. I won’t judge you, I promise. In fact, I’ll probably think even more highly of you than I already do!
Just be sure to enjoy it with either a rich, smooth chocolate malt stout that’s been delicately dusted with freshly ground coffee…
Or a homebrew. Either of those work for me.
Thanks to Allie for her awesome photography skills!
And don’t forget to CHIVE ON!
OH! And come back later for a tour of the Breckenridge Brewery – I’m on the road to visit it right now!

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