Wednesday, October 08, 2008
My lead-up to GABF
The first major snowfall of the season (6"-18" around the high-country) is hitting Colorado this week, just as thousands of brewers and their staffs hit Denver for the 2008 Great American Beer Festival. Patty and I have been criss-crossing Colorado and the Rockies for the past several days and here's what we've been up to. - Early morning flight to Denver gets us to Fort Collins in plenty of time to catch lunch at Coopersmith's in downtown (they've got a few barrels of one year old Kriek whiling away in the basement) and the last tour of the day at New Belgium. - New Belgium should be on every beer lover's short list of places to visit. To call it a pilgrimage would be appropriate. I'll soon be writing much more about my stop there. Let's just say that if all you know of New Belgium is Fat Tire, you've got a lot of catching up to do. - One of the most scenic car trips that we've ever taken from Fort Collins to Glenwood Springs in and around the Rockies. As high as 12+ thousand feet and back down to "only" 5,500 feet. - Glenwood Canyon brewpub is on the ground floor inside of our hotel in Glenwood Springs...how sweet! Watched their brewing as they discussed their GABF plans for this year. - Hot springs and spas in Glenwood Springs to help prepare and relax the body for the onslaught of barley, hops, and yeast in Denver. - One of the most amazing 6 mile runs I've ever taken. The scenery in the canyon was so distracting, I hardly noticed the altitude taking its toll on me. I'll get some pictures out here next week for you to see what I'm talking about. If you've never criss-crossed the Rockies in Colorado, put this on your list as well. - a fascinating Glenwood Caves tour with a great tour guide named Sydney, who just so happens will be on a stout and porter search with her husband at GABF. It wasn't the belly-crawling cave tour that we were hoping for (they've cut back the tour schedule in the off-season), but it was still fun nonetheless to plunge a couple of hundred feet into the small mountain. - hiking around the western foothills. I suppose that we call these things foothills, even at 8,000+ feet. - along the way back to Denver, a stop for a hike in the Hanging Lake, a stop 16 years in the making at Beaver Liquors of Avon, CO, and lunch at Breckenridge Brew Pub So, it's been a few days of outdoor activities, beer hunting, and relaxing. Now, it's on to Denver for the second half of this vacation. Picked up a pocket recorder today to keep me from fumbling with pen and pad at GABF. This was a recommendation that I heard more than a few times from others.