R&R In Utah And Colorado: Part 3
I awoke relatively early on the morning of my final dayÂ in Denver. Steve was driving down from Fort Collins for a day of brewery hopping, and I wanted to squeeze as much time as I could for catching up over food and drinks. We began our day at the Denver Biscuit Company where we enjoyed bottomless coffee and a filling breakfast. Ken and KT had recommended the spot, along with Sassafras and Moe’s Broadway Bagel. The latter suggestions came with caveats, and since we wanted to avoid long waits for tables the biscuits were more than sufficient.
Our first tasting room stop was down the road from the eatery, the heavy-metal inspired TRVE Brewing Company. When we walked in they were playing the new Cough record (Still They Pray) so I immediately felt at home. My sample flight included Of Wolf And Destiny (IPA), Revengeance (mixed culture porter), Cursed (mixed culture sour pale ale), Ancient Bole (foeder-fermented saison dry hopped with El Dorado), and Stout O))) (take a guess). I should have bought some bottles when I left but I didn’t want to be lugging them around with me all day. Oh well! There’s always next time…
From TRVE we headed up to RiNo – which I’d heard described as the SilverÂ Lake of Denver – where we settled into a table at theÂ Crooked StaveÂ taproom insideÂ The Source, aÂ collective of artisan food and drink purveyors housed in an old foundry building. The taproom was hopping on an early Saturday afternoon. Here our samples included Nightmare On Brett (sour aged in whiskey barrels), Nightmare On Brett Blueberry, Batch #200 (American wild ale with raspberries), L’Brett d’Apricot, and Motif (mixed fermentation Belgian dark ale). Had we been hungry, we likely would have ordered up some tacos from Comida, which looked both delicious andÂ very popular with the other folks in the taproom.
Steps away on the opposite side of the street is the Great Divide Barrel Bar, an intimate little taproom attached to their packaging facility. The main brewery is located near Coors Field just a few miles away. The barrel bar had some fun offerings, like Barrel-Aged Old Ruffian (barleywine), Barrel-Aged Hibernation (old ale), Yeti (Russian Imperial Stout) aged in Laws Whiskey barrels, and The Smoothness (dark lager) aged in Jameson barrels. In terms of alcohol, this was the strongest flight of the day. Not necessarily the best (I preferred TRVE and Crooked Stave) but a fun little spot to sit and drink heartier beers.
Even aÂ shorter distance from Crooked Stave to Great Divide’s Barrel Bar, is Mockery Brewing. We tried a couple beers here just to kill time before Ken and KT were ready to meet us for dinner. I think in the end we sampled The Ultimate Session Beer (English-style old ale), Shout At The Pineapple (IPA), and Vanilla Bourbon Porter. I finally settled on The Obituaries (saison/farmhouse). We sat and watched some college football, and eventually Ken and KT let us know were ready to eat so we decided to meet upÂ over atÂ Wynkoop Brewing Company for food.
At Wynkoop I had to order what appeared to be one of the more bizarre beers I’ve ever encountered. Their Rocky Mountain Oyster StoutÂ is a foreign-style stout aged on bull testicles and sea salt. According to the menu, the beer contains “3 balls per barrel.” It had no discernible effect on the taste (at least to my palate), just a decentÂ malt character and a little bit of roast. Dinner was fried chicken in a biscuit, because I was a bit buzzed and in a biscuit mood again I guess.
Steve departed forÂ his home after dinner, which left Ken and KT and I to go out to another local bar. This time we were joined by Jackie, who I think made the suggestion of Milk Bar. The three-roomed A Clockwork Orange-inspired club which features a dark goth dance floor (where you’re likely to hear Nine Inch Nails or Bauhaus), a colorful New Wave dance floor (where you’re likely to hear Violent Femmes or Buzzcocks), and a Green room (where you’re likely to hear EDM…the only song I recognizedÂ was one from theÂ Drive soundtrack). I got my tarot cards read to hilarious results. Apparently I’m like a volcano of emotions that could erupt at any moment. Also work is causing stressÂ I should expect a lot of sleepless nights to come. Much like the last two readings I jokingly agreed to, thisÂ was another uplifting reading. Ken and KT certainly enjoyed reveling in my supposed misery.
As I was intending to drive to Las Vegas early the nextÂ morning, the night ended somewhat abruptly when I realized it was past midnight and I should probably get a few hours of sleep before the long trip. Goodbyes were exchanged as one last beer was consumed. Ken and KT left me a fruited energy drink of theirs to take in the car (they’re good at curing hangovers) and with that, the Colorado excursion came to a close.
I made it to Vegas after about 11 or 12 hours of driving, just as the last football game of the day was drawing to a close. Along the way I stopped in Glenwood Springs again for lunch and beers from Casey Brewing and Blending. I listened to the Giants game, some new music, andÂ blissed-out while watching the scenery pass me by. Once in Vegas, I took in overtime of the Cardinals/Seahawks game while demolishing a bowl of ramen and a Japanese beer (Tokyo Black Porter). Afterwards I put about $100 into a slot machine while downing a dozen or so Jack and Cokes, then I stumbled up to my room and passed out for the night.
I arrivedÂ in LA the next afternoon. I stopped for jerky in Baker and found myself surrounded byÂ aÂ beautiful desertÂ thunderstorm. Of course, being on the road during a storm with all those California license plates means I was nearly killed two or three different times by people who don’t know how to drive in the rain. Fuckers.
Cough – Let It Bleed [MP3]
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