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Craft Brewers Conference 2014

At last – here’s my recap from the CBC 2014 down in Denver! After attending in 2012, I knew I couldn’t miss one that was being held in my home state! Many pictures, few words. Life has been ridiculously hectic with the closing, the move, and the everything else that’s stealing time from me.
AM2Tuesday of CBC week was absolutely gorgeous! It was 75 degrees in downtown Denver and all of the craft beer folk were slowly starting to filter into town from all over the world. There were 9,000 attendees this year!
AMI walked the four miles (very slight exaggeration) through the convention center, checked in for my media pass and buckled in for the crazy ride to come.
AM1Symposium brew – Centennial State Pale!
AM3I headed over to the German hops hospitality suite while I waited for my people to arrive and was treated to a variety of beer samples hopped with a bunch of new varieties.
AM7Lotsa green! German green, not Colorado green.
AM6The Hallertau Hop Queen of the year was there to give a very long, yet oh-so-adorable speech about the new hops.
AM5Charlie Papazian spotting! Similar to my creeper Jim Koch spotting of CBC12.
AM4I made my way through masses of body odor and crop dusting until I stumbled into my saving graces who were literally a breath of fresh air in the crowds.
AM8Kaitlyn Canfield, the Hallertau Hop Queen, and Karie Scuiller. Kaitlyn and Karie work for Caliber Creative branding out of Dallas, Texas, and kindly took me into their small circle of delicious amber aroma and general sweetness and creative talent.
AM28I also ran into some old friends in that same room – Organic Dan of Bison Brewing was there!
AM27Along with his head honcho, Ashley Routson aka The Beer Wench!
AM29We all insta-bonded and headed out to the welcome reception that was held at Mile High Stadium! It took us a few blocks of walking and a desperate jog to a taxi, but we eventually made it there!
AM30The reception was held inside the first floor of the stadium, and ON the field! The evening was spent wandering around, having a few samples of the brews that were stationed across the entire facility, and reconnecting with old friends like my beautiful birthday twin Acacia Coast of the Brewers Association and Rob and Laina of Wolf Creek Brewery (my old job)!
AM10The next day was spent mainly on the exhibition floor. IDD from Moorpark, California!
AM11American Beer Equipment out of Lincoln, Nebraska! ‘Murika!
AM9They provided free lunch to all attendees. Chicken ‘n swiss sammich! I was very grateful for the free absorbency.
AM12There were plenty of beer samples on the floor to keep up with. I met up with some friends and we perused all the booths and sipped all the beer.
AM13I also ran into this keg and did a double take – Council Brewing! My friends Liz and Curtis had their first brew day a few days ago, and it was awesome to see their kegs on display at such a big exhibition!
AM14Big Ass Fans. Just because.
AM31As the afternoon wound down, I stuck with Organic Dan and the Wench and wandered over to Falling Rock for some networking and good beers.
AM32And I mean goooooood beers! We ended up sitting with Dr. Bill Sysak from Stone Brewing and were treated to glasses of Prairie Eliza5beth farmhouse ale. That’s a 3L bottle right there…
AM33Firestone PNC tequila barrel-aged imperial buckwheat stout. One of my favorites of the night.
abAnd my all time favorite of the evening – Stone’s Saison aged in white wine barrels. Mind bogglingly delicious and not at all what I expected to come out of Stone. Want. More.
AM15The next day was full of seminar after seminar.
AM16So much learning and note-taking. I was in beer nerd heaven.
AM17I sat in on the Brewpub Panel which featured the wonderful Cyrena Nouzille of Ladyface Alehouse! Ahh, I miss my Ladies at Ladyface so much!
AM34I also attended the annual Pink Boots Society CBC meeting where I met Franny from both The Full Pint and all things Golden Road/Mohawk Bend/Tony’s Darts Away! Franny flattered my brains out when she complimented the beer pairing dinner I designed and hosted at Tuning Fork in Studio City and said it was the best that Golden Road has ever had and possibly the best pairing in the universe. That last part might not have been said out loud…
AM35The next day started off as all mornings should – with coffee beer. Oh, and learning. We were there to learn, too.
AM19The day passed by in a blur of seminars and long chats about distribution. I made it up to the exhibition hall one last time to take this very sad, lonely picture. It’s just not fun to see everything taken apart and packed up to head back home. But now, it was time for the World Beer Cup.
AM20We headed to the Hyatt to wait for the doors to open and enjoyed the gorgeous view overlooking Denver and the mountains.
AM36And then, chaos. There was a long line to reach the beer pouring station where they were serving the remains of all the bottles sent in for the WBC competition. Buffet stations lined the outskirts and I managed to grab some brisket and short ribs, most of which rolled off onto my shirt. Thank goodness for the color black. Conceals all.
AM21 We arrived early and were able to snag seats in the second row.
AM24The Hallertau Hop Queen made her appearance yet again!
AM22And VERBOTEN! They got a bronze for their Bourbon Barrel Aged Mountain Man
AM26And blew my mind again with a SILVER for their Pure Imagination oatmeal stout! I don’t think I’ve ever cheered louder. Except maybe for the Colorado Avalanche games… But this was a close second.
AM25And then Brazil won a bunch of awards and spent the night dancing and chanting “Brah-ceel!”. That was entertaining as well.
abaWe celebrated the World Beer Cup with another visit to Falling Rock and wandered around congratulating everyone. I ran into Steve from Kinetic Brewing as well as AJ from Figueroa Mountain Brewing (I love seeing my California friends), and ended the night at the Brown Palace with Organic Dan, Ashley and the awesome Brian Lenzo –  owner of Blue Palms Brewhouse.
Screen shot 2014-04-22 at 7.12.47 AMWe got a personal tour of the haunted rooms thanks to our awesome bartender, and then spent the rest of the evening taking ridiculous pictures in front of the upside down grillwork panels we spent half an hour trying to find.
AM38Waaaaay too happy about finding those panels.
ababBacon, fruit and green tea signaled the end of the Craft Brewers Conference of 2014. Looking forward to next year in Portland, Oregon!

Oh yeah…
then this…this brew day at New Belgium thingy happened yesterday, but that’s another story for another time…

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What I Ate Wednesday

This is kind of like a What I Ate Wednesday, except that I have no idea what the rules are for WIAW and didn’t read about it on the link I just provided you with and I didn’t eat these things on a Wednesday (did I mention I don’t know the rules?) and I forgot to take pictures of some of the things I ate. I’ve already failed.

The first time I did the Sonoma diet was when I was working on Grey’s Anatomy. Since the first wave excludes sugars of any kind, including fruit, the craft service table was absolute torture for me. I had a choice between raw broccoli and six different kinds of cookies, cakes and chips. TORTURE!
am5am9Breakfast was the same thing as yesterday – a hot boiled egg, coffee in my ugly rooster mug, whole grain toast with peanut butter and more coffee. This kept me satisfied up until lunch.
AM1Crazy delicious balsamic chicken with roasted broccoli tossed in a light marinade of sesame oil, low-sodium soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic and ginger. Happy happy! For a snack I had an un-pictured bell pepper with hummus.
AM3I’m absolutely in love with this tea! From now on, we must keep this in the house. Warm and spicy and perfect for clearing the nasal passages. Halfway through my cup, the doorbell rang.
AM2PRESENTS!!! Bison Brewing sent me some of their new recipe of organic Gingerbread Ale to try/create a recipe with.
Photo on 2011-10-16 at 16.26 #6I actually tried this beer (at least the old recipe) waaaaaay back in October of 2011 and haven’t had a chance to try it again since.
AM4 I was planning on going alcohol-free last night, but I had to taste this so I could figure out which spices would go with the recipe I’m making, and to test the bitterness factor in case I wanted to make a reduction.
AM5I paired the beer with the Colorado Avalanche game and my previously planned vegetable and tofu stir fry – white wine, low-sodium soy sauce, ginger, crushed red pepper tossed into a wok (or frying pan if you’re like me and don’t own a wok) with sliced carrots, minced garlic, chopped bell peppers, extra firm tofu and soba noodles. I hate tofu with a passion, but I choked it down. Something about that texture just gets to me…
AM6After a depressing loss, I threw together about a half cup of popcorn tossed in a light dusting of this stuff from the Old Town Spice Shop in Fort Collins. I love that place.
AM7Overall, the Sonoma diet is relatively on track except for the unexpected surprise beer that arrived in the mail. But hey, I live in Colorado, belong to plenty of beer clubs and work in the beer industry; I wouldn’t want to stop supporting my community and lose my job!

What are your ways of getting back on track – in your diet or life in general?

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Catching Up

My life has been consumed by writing papers for class and working at the brewery. I’m okay with the latter, not so much with the former when they take away from my blogging time… Yesterday I wrote an entire paper while at the brewery. It made it a lot more bearable, being able to distract myself by helping mash in and working the tap room. My paper might suck, but at least it’s done!
Plus, now I have these awesome bruises from mashing in! Apparently I incorrectly rest my forearm on the edge of the mash tun while stirring. This is the second time that I’ve ended up bruised and battered from mashing in. I plan on resting my forearm on the edge of the mash tun from now on so I can whine about it and annoy the brewers at Enegren. I’m sure they’ll appreciate that.
The rest of this blog will be random pictures that I’ve taken over the past week and been far too busy to post.
Sparks flying at Enegren Brewing Company.
The lovely Ms. Sofia Pernas, rocking a “Lara Croft” French braid, a la me. I’m a French braiding rock star.
A beautiful sunrise to transition to the next, terrifying picture.
Black and white jumping spider of death and terror with millions of minions of spider-zombies.
A close up of the black and white jumping spider of death with millions of minions of spider-zombies and his evil eyes and pincers.
A delicious mise en place of my Autumn Pumpkin Ale Chili in preparation for something super sneaky.
Super sneaky sneak preview.
Post super sneaky stuff adult beverage. Bison Brewing Gingerbread Ale. They tweeted about this going out two weeks ago and I’ve been seeking it ever since. It took oh, so very long to find it. In my world, two weeks is an eternity.
Me enjoying said adult beverage. This porter has a nice aroma of ginger on the nose and a spicy, beautifully carbonated sip that explodes across the tongue with sweet ginger and a whisper of nutmeg. HIGH drinkability factor. Be warned, it goes down easier than you’d expect. On a completely unrelated note, I’m extremely chillaxed and happy and full of ginger as we speak.

Unfortunately, that is all. I have some awesome stuff coming up this week that I’ll be sure to photograph!


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