Short Boulder Area Ride

This ride visits three breweries east of Boulder, mostly using the LOBO Trail, with the option to add more breweries as needed. About 75% of the ride is on gravel trails through pleasant greenways, with the remainder on paved trails and little bit of street riding. Due to the condition of a few trails this might not be appropriate for road bikes. My hybrid handled it easily. Normally the trails offer spectacular front-range views but the day we rode the weather/fires did not cooperate, making for murky views.20180729_131203_hdr.jpg

The ride starts at Gunbarrel Brewing Company, which takes a bit of effort to locate. Driving through fields and farms it seems like there could in no way be a brewery in the area, but you’ll encounter a lone industrial park and that’s your target. If driving, you need to loop way behind the brewery and back to the front to find ample parking. We arrived as the brewery opened and had the cavernous industrial space all to ourselves so  we received fantastic service, although the overall vibe was pretty subdued. Gunbarrel offers a very long list of beers as well as pool and pinball in the back room so if you come with friends you can certainly entertain yourself. The taproom also offers a shady patio for relaxing and it appeared like a food truck was firing up as we headed out.

From the taproom we cut across the grass to the road and headed 20180729_131121_hdr.jpgsouth on 71st Street for a couple minutes to the LOBO Trail crossing, then took a left onto the gravel trail. The trail offers a pleasant ride along a stream with rural views including farms, barns, and even cows. On nicer days, you also get pretty mountain views. The trail has sustained a bit of water damage in some areas so be careful. In Monarch Park pay attention to split left onto the Dry Creek trail to minimize road riding. Regardless of which fork you choose you will reach 79th Street, where you take a left and head down the road to Niwot and Boostrap Brewing on your right. Continue reading “Short Boulder Area Ride”

Weekend Beer Update

Take your pick of events this Saturday, from music festivals to biking and Halloween to facial hair. Sadly the rest of the weekend is rather bare, or perhaps a good excuse to hit the local craft brewery for a quiet one.

Friday 27 – Sunday 29: This year Sesh Fest and the Underground Music Showcase have teamed up for a weekend-long beer and music event. Kick back with low ABV pours from over a dozen breweries and enjoy some great banded-oak-exterior-2.jpgmusic at various venues and stages along broadway. Two breweries are even hosting events – Baere Brewing Company and Banded Oak Brewing! Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 28: The rubber hits the road again this month at the West Side Brewery Bike Loop circling between Westfax Brewing Company, Joyride Brewing Company, Hogshead Brewery, and Seedstock Brewery. Pick up a punch card at any of the stops for $1 off a beer at each brewery and when you complete the loop you get a free future beer. This month has a beach theme so dress accordingly!

Saturday 28: Dig out last year’s costume or create a new one for Ursula Brewery’s Halloween in July. Ursula will have individual and group costume contests, candy,  Image result for free public halloween clip artHalloween crafts, and even themed games. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious you can even bring a carved pumpkin for the jack ‘o lantern contest.

Saturday 28: Beer, Bacon, and Bluegrass take the stage on Black Shirt Brewing Co.’s back patio. No ticket necessary, just show up after 2 p.m.to eat, drink, and enjoy!

Saturday 28: Why beat around the bush with a fancy name? Thirstyfest says it all as they bring over 15 breweries to the McNichols Building in Civic Center along with entertainment and food. Festivities start bright and early at 11 a.m. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 28: The final entry on the festival list pulls together IPAs from seven breweries at West End Tavern’s JUL-IPA in Boulder. From noon to 3 p.m. they’ll have beer and bourbon tasting, food, music, and an auction of beer-related merchandise. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 28: Down in The Springs Goat Patch Brewing Co. celebrates one year with special releases, raffles, merchandise, and food trucks.

Saturday 28: Up in Longmont, Grossen Art Brewery celebrates all forms of facial hair with the Mane Event. In addition to the 6 p.m. beard competition, they’ll have music, raffles, bar games, and food all day. Note: There is a cover for this event.

Arvada Ride – Downtown Out and Back

This ride includes three stops in Olde Town Arvada, plus a moderate ride along greenways (or perhaps brown-ways this time of summer) out to Bruz Beers in Denver. Given the number of breweries in Olde Town Arvada there are plenty of options for additions and substitutions, and Odyssey Beerwerks lies along the trail to Bruz. As for logistics, Olde Town Arvada is easily accessed from several trails and has lots of parking – just be careful of the two-hour zones. Additionally, for future readers, a Light Rail line runs to Arvada but it remains to be seen whether it will open to the public in our lifetime.

We started at the Yak & Yeti restaurant, which recently renamed their brewing operation Spice Trade Brewing. Yak & Yeti serves up some great Indian/Nepalese food to sustain yourself through the ride and the beers are a mix of traditional styles and unconventional brews using spices, fruits, and other flavorings. In additional to the great food and interesting beers, Yak & Yeti completes the picture with a pleasant patio on which to enjoy them while preparing for the ride.

From Yak & Yet we headed through Arvada neighborhoods (not an easy description so just map it) to the Ralston Creek Trail, then took that west to the Clear Creek Trail and headed north. If you want to detour to Odyssey Beerwerks, just exit the Ralston Creek trail at West 56th Avenue. Here’s where it gets tricky . . . As you approach the Midtown at Clear Creek development project (look for construction) you can either exit on 64th Avenue, head east to Pecos Street, then north til you see the Midtown entrance sign and Bruz Beers on 67th Avenue. Alternately you can keep going and look for the new houses across a dirt patch to the right. I assume some day the trail will link up, but for now you have to ride/walk your bike across the dirt to shortcut into the back of the development, then navigate northeast to Bruz on 67th.20180721_135240_hdr.jpg

However you arrive at Bruz Beers, you will find a bright, sunny taproom with refreshing air conditioning, a long list of Belgian beers, a few other styles, and likely a food truck. The friendly service and laid-back atmosphere encouraged us to linger for a second beer before the long-ish ride back to Arvada. Additionally, on cooler days Bruz offers a relaxing patio. Continue reading “Arvada Ride – Downtown Out and Back”

Weekend Beer Update

It looks to be a jam-packed, beer-filled weekend ahead, with anniversaries, openings, and festivals up and down the Front Range from Greeley to Colorado Springs. With the great weather there’s no excuse to stay home, no matter where in the metro area you live!

Friday 20 – Sunday 22: Kick off a hard-core weekend of wicked-looking beer releases  for Launch Pad Brewery’s third anniversary. In addition to multiple daily releases, Saturday will offer up a pig roast and employee beer showdown, and Sunday features coffee and brunch.

Friday 20: Take a road trip to Boulder for Finkel & Garf Brewing Company’s fourth anniversary party, offering up new beer releases, patio games, and free hot dogs and popsicles.

Friday 20 – Saturday 21: Heading further afield, Wiley Roots Brewing Co. in Greeley celebrates five years with Friday beer releases and a Saturday food truck accompanied by huge patio games (think life-size beer pong). Throughout, the brewery will serve up 18 tap beers and 15 more to go, but you better get there early as kokopelli-beer-logo.jpgall the brews are first-come, first-served.

Saturday 21: Throw on your best Hawaiian shirt and lei to get $1 off your first beer at Kokopelli Beer Company’s  Summer Luau. Specialty tropical beers and drinks will complement Hawaiian pizzas and if you stick around til dusk you can enjoy a beach movie on the patio.

Saturday 21: Get your hop on at Hops & Pie’s Hop Fest on Tennyson Street. The festival features brews from over a dozen breweries, both local and far-flung.

Saturday 21: Also on Tennyson, Call To Arms Brewing will throw a 3rd Anniversary Fun Fest with carnival games, music, and naturally beer releases.

Saturday 21 – Sunday 22: Living the Dream Brewing Company hosts their fourth anniversary Beer Bash with loads of activities including a Saturday cornhole tournament with $700 in prizes.

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Saturday 21: The Stapleton Beer Fest brings over 40 breweries to downtown Stapleton starting at 5 p.m., plus a free concert later in the evening. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 21: Colorado Springs welcomes another brewery to the beer community. Metric Brewing Co. will hold their grand opening starting at noon with a ribbon-cutting, door prizes, and of course brand-spanking-new beers.

Related imageSaturday 21: Celebrate Belgian National Day at River North Brewery! In honor of Belgium’s Independence Day will host a Belgian Beer Celebration with special beer releases and a Belgian-themed food truck.

Saturday 21: Up in Boulder, Twisted Pine Brewing Co. celebrates their 23rd anniversary with beer releases, yard games, and live music.

Sunday 22: The online community of Lets Talk Craft Beer celebrates its 10,000th member with a get-together at Ratio Beerworks for members to meet and chat about their shared interest in beer.

Weekend Beer Update

This weekend comes packed full of festivals, including a couple in somewhat cooler locations if you feel like getting out of town for a bit. Not that staying in town will leave you feeling deprived; there are plenty of creative events including several with a musical or international flair 

Friday 13- Sunday 15: While not technically a craftImage result for german flag public image beer event, the T.E.V Edelweiss Club will host a Biergarten Festival at their Morrison festival grounds, complete with German music, dancing, food, and of course large mugs of imported German beer as well as Prost Brewing and Tivoli Brewing Company brews! Note: This is a ticketed event.

20180712_090035_hdr.jpgFriday 13: On the opposite end of the musical spectrum, Odyssey Beerwerks will host Punk Night, showcasing three punk bands accompanied by a food truck and special beer release.

Friday 13: In a similar vein, Oscar Blues Black Buzzard in downtown Denver will  preview the Underground Music Showcase set for later this month with bands, beer giveaways, and promotional ticket pricing. There is no cost to attend but the event requires an RSVP.

Saturday 14: Escape the heat and journey to Salida for the 22nd Annual Colorado Brewers Rendezvous showcasing 75+ breweries pouring over 300 beers, plus food & live music. With that much of a selection it might be worth reserving a hotel! Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 14: Heading the opposite direction, get an early start and journey north to Rally King Brewing in Fort Collins for their VIP Birthday Brunch, which offers pretty much what you would expect: brunch food and beer. They will also lead brewery tours and have various raffles and merch.

Saturday 14: Practice your French to warm up for Bastille Day at Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project where you can enjoy a flight of saisons from local breweries. Perhaps it’s a French tradition I’ve not heard of, but there will also be a 3 p.m. cornhole tournament. Finally, Intrepid Sojourner will be one of the stops on the monthly Brewery Bus Loop, which ventures to several breweries for only five bucks.

Saturday 14: Enjoy the Sloan’s Lake view at 20170617_173638_HDRJoyride Brewing Company’s family-friendly fourth anniversary celebration where they will shut down the street and bring in bands, food, and beer.

Saturday 14: Get your BBQ on at the Centennial Brew-N-Que with beer sampling, BBQ, and bluegrass music. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Sunday 15: Trendy-looking Blue Moon Brewing Company celebrates their second anniversary in their RINO location with a special brunch menu, music, and special barrel-aged releases.

Weekend Beer Update

As usual, Saturday brings the largest number of activities over the weekend with all sorts of fun beer events including a few anniversaries and beer and music festival.

Friday 6: It’s all out war at Jagged Mountain Brewery; an IPA war. Staff members have brewed up six different and creative IPAs and will battle it out to determine the winner.

bruz-mannekin.jpgSaturday 7: Happy second birthday to Bruz Beers! Te celebrate, they have scheduled a jam-packed day starting with a car show and brunch beginning at 7 a.m. The afternoon brings live music, a market, yard games, and multiple food trucks including one specially for the dogs (literally).

Saturday 7: Bruz’s older sibling, Baere Brewing Co., celebrates four years with a party featuring special beer releases and beer ice cream and slushies. With forecast high temperature in the high 90s those sound awfully refreshing.

Saturday 7: Up north, 12Degree Brewing in Louisville also celebrates an anniversary; five years in their case. Their party offers up merch giveaways in addition to the traditional special beer releases and live music.

Saturday 7: If choosing one brewery sounds like too much work,  hit up Mile High Tunes and Brews from 4-7 p.m. at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The event promises music, food, games, and of course lots and lots of beerStation 26 .5 k from over a dozen breweries. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Sunday 8: The monthly Bluegrass Brunch comes to Station 26 Brewing Co., with food starting at 11 a.m. and music at noon.