I survived my first few shifts at Loveland Aleworks!
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked in breweries before, but Friday was absolutely insane! There were two different events going on in Loveland so the place was beyond packed from the time I got there until after we closed. Considering that was my first real shift, I felt like I was drowning just a bit, but now that I’ve got the glassware down I think it’ll go smoothly from now on. Saturday was more my pace (still really busy, but much, much lower decibel) and it was nice to be able to get to know people behind and in front of the bar.
I started feeling slightly under the weather Sunday morning, so after church I got a little binge-y. I needed comfort food.
I wish I’d gone for this. It would’ve been much healthier. Think even more orange and out of a box. Sometimes Kraft mac ‘n cheese is what’s called for.
It got worse from there.
Ohhhh, it was so bad! I’ve decided it’s time to get back on track.
I actually did this “diet” a few years back after getting interested in the Mediterranean diet. The only thing it was lacking was thick, rare steaks. The Sonoma diet incorporates that in. In general it’s just a reminder to focus on veggies, proteins and whole grains instead of Ben and Jerry’s and processed Yellow 9 from a box. Plus, it allows for a glass of wine here and there, which I’m fairly certain I will substitute out for a beer. Modifications to suit my life.
I started the day off right with a hot boiled egg and coffee…
…plus a slice of my homemade spent grain/whole wheat bread slathered in peanut butter. And more coffee.
In other news:
My pairing suggestions were featured on Ask a Cicerone again, which was very pleasant! It’s always nice to see the influx of new readers after these come out.
And now I’m off to curl up in a ball, feel sorry for my under-the-weather self and study my photography and web design books. Happy Monday!
What are your go-to foods when you’re feeling under the weather?
It’s official! I’m officially un-unemployed! Which means I’m employed! Which means I have a job!
My job in California was absolutely wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but I was working extremely long days followed by nights and weekends volunteering at a brewery (which I also absolutely loved), and stopped having time to live. Adventure mountain bike rides, reflective Sunday mornings at church, cooking, hiking, road trips and weekend vacations were slowly removed from the picture, plus I was far from my family whom I’m ridiculously close with. All of that has changed and I think I’ve finally got my priorities in order.
I first visited Loveland Aleworks back in December of 2012 during my Christmas vacation.
I immediately fell in love with the blend of exposed brick, concrete bar and tall windows that let in all the light and gave wonderful views of the brewery.
After a long two weeks of interviews and meetings with other breweries and beer companies, I realized that this was the place I wanted to be.
I’ll be starting off as a Beertender/Aleworker and morphing into a variety of other things – which will have to be kept under wraps until more concrete plans are in order.
For now, I’m more than thrilled that I stuck it out and didn’t settle for a job that wasn’t in the beer business. Bonus points – I still have enough time left that I can hike, bike, go to the archery range, cook and blog among other things! Life is good. Living is great!
Bonus point #2: The assistant brewer is a huge Colorado Avalanche fan as well, so we spent last night hollering at each and every goal with the customers.
Have you ever gotten so caught up in making a living that you forgot to live?
What are your biggest priorities in life?
I can’t get over it. My town. Yesterday morning, I went on a six mile hike through Devil’s Backbone and was rewarded with amazing views and achy legs. And we spotted a missing black llama that the rangers told us to keep an eye out for. That was weird.
It was wonderfully chilly. I love cloudy days.
My spastic hiking buddy. He got so dusty I had to bathe him after and the water was pink.
Streaks of red rocks as far as the eye can see.
I’ve found that beer is a great way to rehydrate after long hikes. I visited Loveland Aleworks to try their cask Premium English Bitter – smooth and creamy, served at the perfect cellar temperature with soft notes of biscuit and a nice hint of herbal hops on the nose. Very delicious. And hydrating.
To celebrate GABF week they gave away a pint glass to the first 20 people to order a beer on Wednesday.
Boom. Free glass! My cabinets are overflowing with glassware, but I can never turn down repping local.
Each day they’ve been releasing a new beer.
I got a taster of the Abbey Grand Cru – 9%ABV, full of rich raisiny flavor, roast and toffee with a hint of alcohol warmth. It’s an easy drinker, so beware all you bikers and drivers who are lucky enough to snag some before it’s gone!
After Loveland Aleworks I went on a happy hour date with my mumsie! Now that we live in the same state again, it’s been wonderful to get some girl time in. We stopped by Next Door down the main street in Loveland and started off with a Not the Irish red ale from Verboten Brewing.
Braised short rib pintxos with pickled onion, cotija cheese and au jus. Holy heaven.
This could honestly be my last meal on earth and I’d be happy – fall-apart tender short ribs topped with salty cotija cheese, sweet pickled onions which balanced the umami of the dish perfectly, and a dash of spicy horseradish to finish. Mumsie got the vegan quinoa mushroom burger with a side salad. I stole of a bite of hers. I may have forgotten to offer to share mine…
We finished it off with another vegan surprise – chocolate coconut mousse drizzled with coconut rum caramel. Needless to say, we lingered for a while in our seats by the window watching the hanging lights began to illuminate as the sun slowly set before waddling back to the car and driving home in a food coma. It was so worth it.
This morning I’m headed down to Denver for the Pink Boots Society meeting! Unfortunately I wasn’t planning on living in Colorado at the time tickets went on sale, so I’ll be missing out on the full GABF experience until next year. Le sigh. Luckily I still get to rub elbows with all the ladies of beer and see some of my favorite Cali brewers! Happy Friday!
It’s been a whirlwind few days! After the obligatory first brewery visits, we headed over to my brother’s house to brew as a family.
It was my dad’s first time brewing. His request – something dark and intense. We went with a Great Divide Yeti clone.
We were a little low on the homebrews to relax with, so my mumsie and I went to the amazingness that is Wilbur’s and picked up a few things.
Wynkoop B3K black lager – 5.5%ABV to start slow on what was to be a surprisingly quick brew day.
American ale yeast and British ale yeast starters!
We knocked out, pitched the two different yeasts and put the carboys into the fermentation room that’s already brimming at the edges.
My pops got a new motorcycle. I took the obligatory spin around town on it and exhaled as all the stress in the world melted away as we raced by lakes and Horsetooth Reservoir.
Yesterday I met up with my best friend from elementary school for a girls’ day out.
Pourhouse was the only restaurant open in town for Memorial Day, so we made a pit stop for foods before hitting the breweries.
California pizza with shrimp, smoked gouda and avocado!
After inhaling our food we walked down the street to Loveland Aleworks to split a flight and play Battleship.
I lost at the game, won at the beer. American sour with raspberries? Yes, please!
Today for my last full day here, my mumsie took me up to the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park for lunch.
Cascades is the restaurant nestled in the depths of Stephen King’s inspiration.
It’s a short menu which is a blessing for me, and anyone eating with me, since it takes me hours to decide on a dish.
We started with flash fried shishoto peppers sprinkled with fresh lime juice, salt and pepper flakes and served with aioli. Absolutely delicious, which I never thought I would say about a pepper. I suppose anything that’s fried has potential.
My mumsie is being ridiculously good, healthy and vegan and got the arugula salad topped with blanched almonds, olives and red peppers.
I wasn’t quite as healthy and went for the elk and buffalo meatloaf wrapped in bacon and smothered in a wild mushroom gravy. I don’t regret it.
Afterwards we perused the grounds and enjoyed the slightly chilly weather before heading back home to recuperate after the long weekend.
Back to reality tomorrow. Le sigh.
I have eleven days to spend in Colorado! This nice extended vacation has been punctuated with shots of Dayquil, Local Celestial Seasonings Echinacea tea and spicy foods in attempts to fight off this awful bug I brought with me. Sorry, family! Hope you stay healthy!
There’s still snow in spots on the ground outside as I type, and the promise of more snow hangs in the air just over the mountains out the back window. I might actually be blessed enough to have a white Christmas!
I brought a few pre-Christmas gifts with me. Ora Tamir, the artist I used to work for, finally got the finished product of her book!
Ora and I spent months working on this thing, and it turned out perfectly!
So happy and proud!
I even got my quote published in the book next to my favorite piece! I’m officially a published editor and author. Awesome.
The second day I was here, my mumsie and I met up with our best friends from way back when I was in elementary school at the Chocolate Cafe in downtown Fort Collins.
Exquisite caramel cappuccino for my bestie Michelle. Unsweetened jasmine tea for the virus-ridden me.
Grilled cheese (quite sad compared to anything from Custom Melt’s menu) and creamy tomato basil soup split with my mumsie.
Chicken gnocchi soup for me.
Michelle and her mom split the key lime pie. I was dying to try their chocolate ravioli or toffee brownie, but was too full to even attempt it. Luckily I have plenty of time to head back for another go.
Of course I couldn’t get through more than a few days without visiting a brewery. Loveland Aleworks opened July 4th of this year in the quaint downtown Loveland.
Clean and spacious with a high stack of board games. I could see myself settling in here for a few hours playing “Fact or Crap” while the snow falls outside.
My pops, brother and I split a flight of everything. I got the last sip in attempts not to infect them both.
We got these ten brews, plus a taster from the cask.
My favorite of them all was the Russian Imperial Stout. Thick and dark as motor oil and full of sweet dried fruits and rich chocolate. A perfect winter warmer at 9.5%ABV. I didn’t have a single beer here that I didn’t like! I’ll be going back for some more tasters and a tour during my stay this week. I have quite a few tours on the schedule, actually, so keep an eye out for those recaps!
I’m off to bake Christmas cookies, take more shots of cough medicine and drink some nice, hoppy brews in an attempt to battle whatever is raging war inside my lungs. If you’re looking for an amazing Christmas morning breakfast recipe, check out my Savory Christmas Bread Pudding. You won’t regret it.
Merry Christmas Eve!