Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hello from Denver

I have not been blogging much lately but do feel the need to capture my "exBEERiences" (sorry) while travelling in Denver, CO. I'm here for a conference but have pockets of free time to do a bit of exploring.

First stop: Great Divide. This was a delightful little brewery. Small tap room with 2 rooms, mostly standing-room and busy on a Sunday afternoon. Generous samples were $1 each. I tried: Collette, a Belgian-style saison, Hibernation ale, and the oak-aged Yeti - an imperial stout. All were tasty but the Yeti was most impressive. I wanted more of that. The tour was short, as it is not a large brewery, but it sounds like they are expanding. Everyone was very friendly there, and I got free stickers. Bonus!

Second stop: After a quick dinner I stopped at Rock Bottom brewery. Apparently this is a chain. They did not have a huge selection but I elected to try a Hop Bomb at the bar. I usually like strong hoppy beers but this one did not do it for me. It tasted slightly metallic, and the alcohol flavor was pretty noticeable even at 7% which is not that high. The server was very friendly though. People in Denver seem happy!

Overall I had a nice visit and appreciated that almost every place to eat downtown had a nice beer selection with lots of local offerings. Next time I hope to visit the World of Beer.

3 from Asheville, NC

My sister's BF is from Asheville, NC. I've never been there, but I do know it is considered a great beer city, even winning the "Beer City USA" award several years in a row. So when they went there on a recent trip, I hinted that some beer would sure be nice. Lo and behold my sister came through with 3 bottles for Christmakkah. 2 were from Highland Brewery and 1 was from Green Man Brewing. I started with the Green Man
 
It poured a hazy medium amber with a small white head. The smell was mildly citrus. The flavor had grassy and citrus hops but also some malt presence. This was a hoppy yet balanced IPA. Very drinkable and enjoyable with a medium body and 6.2% ABV. 
The Kashmir English Style IPA poured a light and clear amber; the sudsy white head dissipated and left lacing around the glass. It smelled like orange and tangerines; also some grass and bread. This was a less intense IPA than the Green Man but still 6% alcohol. A light body, it ends on a slightly floral note. I enjoyed this. It was light and balanced enough to be a session beer but still was nicely hoppy. 
The Highland Oatmeal Porter was my favorite of the 3. While I have certainly had oatmeal stouts before, I don't know that I've had an oatmeal porter and it was great. It poured beautifully dark with a nice thick brown foamy head. It smelled nutty and roasty. It tasted of sweet malts, bitter coffee, and oatmeal with just a little bitterness. It was creamy, smooth, and rich but not a heavy flavor. Pleasant and drinkable at 5.8% alcohol. A solid oatmeal porter. 

Thanks sis!