Colorado intermission

aspen

The brewery took a brief intermission in production last week, as Cindy and I took a much needed vacation to Colorado. Hiking, fishing, and camping was a nice intermission from running a business. Besides, where else was I going to buy my Oskar Blues and Dogfish Head? Thank you Kansas City distributors, for asking questions like these.

On the way to Aspen, we visited several breweries: Kahola Taphouse , Bull & Bush, Wynkoop Brewing Co, and Aspen Brewing Co.

Bull & Bush stood head and shoulders above the others. It’s always hard to separate the experience from the beer, but there was something special about a Sofa King Hoppy infused table-side with some experimental biodynamic hops. It was sofa king good that I wondered why isn’t this kind of thing done all the time? This beer had a lot going on, but aromas of apricot and white peaches gave way to a cascade of complex hoppy flavors.

Colorado is leading the pack of new breweries in the U.S., consistently turning out new excellent products. This highly competitive market has pushed some of these breweries to the Apex of the craft beer community. I hope Kansas City’s next wave of breweries might do the same thing for our community. Certainly, a lot can be learned from those that came before us.

aspen2

Arriving in Aspen after a short stay at Cherry Creek State Park, Cindy and I wasted some time at the Aspen Brewing Co taproom. A quick Google search showed me that Aspen’s lineup seemed a bit safe. You know the drill: IPA, Brown, Wheat, Stout.

You know what they say about making quick, sweeping generalizations… they short-circuit your brain. I was hugely impressed with this brewery, and the taproom was the most down to Earth place in Aspen.

The slyly named Independence Pass IPA was memorable. I can still taste the Palisade hops bombarding my palate with nectarine and orange zest, as the hoppy back-burn lit my taste buds on fire. What a beer! Of all the beers I tried, this one stuck to my memory like a fruit fly to an empty beer bottle.

c+p

My beautiful wife, and my amazing grandpa, Bill Brownfield. He was the star of the 4th of July Parade, and he is the classiest person I know. He has mastered the art of being socially engaging, genuine, and generous. He has set out in his life to bring up others around him, and I believe this is the true path to success.

Plus, what is a vacation without some Mexican food? A perfect excuse to enjoy a Negra Modelo, one of the world’s last Vienna lagers.

wynkoop2

Our last stop was the Wynkoop Brewing Co., the oldest brewpub in Denver. My last stop here was a good example of why you never judge a brewery after  a beer festival, with your friends, past midnight. Wynkoop is a gem of a brewpub, with an experimental, well executed line-up of beers. Their Colorojo stood out to me: an imperial red ale with that classic sugar cookie sweetness of Irish reds, backed by a swarm of fire-storming bitterness that only a complex hopping schedule could produce.

Not to mention, check out those brew kettles!

wynkoop

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