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Archive for the ‘Beer’ tag

Photo Friday: Play-Doh Time Again

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It's Play-Doh time again.Have you ever seen a movie, or maybe a tv show, where school is out for the summer and it’s all sunshiny and awesome and the kids gleefully run laughing and screaming from the building, their hands in the air? That’s how I feel leaving work on Fridays. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not complaining about my weekdays. They’re really not bad. I enjoy my job and don’t have a long commute or anything stupid to deal with during the week.

But without fail, I’m so excited for the weekend like it’s the best thing to ever happen. It doesn’t even matter that 90% of the time our Saturdays are almost entirely occupied by doing stuff like grocery shopping and cleaning the house. Well, of course, Saturday night is almost always pizza night, so that’s exciting. I’m hoping to come up with something awesome and beer-related to do on Sunday, because I’m sad we’re not going to the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival in Vail this weekend. (I swear we’re going next year — missing it two years in a row is enough — it’s super awesome!) We might even do a modified version of the walking beer tour of Denver I talked about last year but we never did because we’re lazy asses. So ambitious!

Written by Tracy

January 6th, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Posted in and life,Beer,Photos

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The 2011 GABF Experience

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on the way

on the goddamn light rail

“Noooooo!” I screamed as loud as I could. I was by myself on a light rail train stopped at 30th and Downing. The other people in the car probably thought I was nuts but there wasn’t time to worry about them. I jumped from my seat and hit the “stop requested” button approximately 900 times. I tried to pry the doors open. I hit the “stop requested” button again. Then I watched the train depart the station, leaving Ben behind.

We’d meant to be on the 11:13 a.m. train but as usual were running late. We left home with what we thought was adequate time to walk to the station and get the 11:28 train.

The 30th/Downing station is the first/last stop on the RTD light rail D line, so usually the train you want to take is sitting there waiting for you. I hurried us along as we got close to the train because we only had a few minutes and I didn’t want to miss that train and have to wait 15 more minutes. When we were just a few feet from the train, the damn thing started moving. What? It wasn’t even time! But then it stopped and the doors opened and we jumped on. I guess the driver was just fucking with us. It wouldn’t be the last time.

Ben has an RTD pass from school, so he didn’t need a ticket. I did need a ticket, although, truth be told, it’s almost tempting to go without because in my years of experience taking the light rail exactly once a year to go to beer fest, we’ve never seen anybody checking tickets. We got on the train without getting a ticket because we thought the train was going to leave right away. When we realized we had a few minutes, Ben got off the train to buy me a ticket (he had $1s and is better than I am at doing most things). I checked in on Foursquare and did whatever stupid shit I do. Ben wasn’t back yet. Minutes elapsed. The doors closed. “Noooooo!” I screamed as loud as I could.

It was like some cheesy romantic movie shit right there. My true love was left behind while I was trapped on a train, hurtling toward the city against my will. In a few minutes, I’ll tell some guy who doesn’t know who I am that I quit my job, we’ll pass another train, and then both trains will blow up.

Fortunately, Ben is smart and if you miss one light rail train in this part of town, you might be able to get to the next stop before the train does. As the train left the station, I saw Ben, flip flops in hand, running like hell toward the next station. Realizing that I am woman and I do in fact possess the ability to roar, I planned to, if Ben hadn’t yet made it to the next station, block the doors from closing through the sheer power of my will and, well, by standing there so the doors couldn’t close, until he got there.

Fortunately, the next station is only two blocks away and Ben has been running a lot. He got there in plenty of time. “He saw me! That asshole!” He caught his breath. He contemplated going up to the front of the train to yell at the driver but instead we just talked about what an asshole he was for the next few minutes, which was slightly satisfying although not as satisfying as, like, giving him the finger probably would’ve been. I mean come on, man, we have beer to drink. And insult, injury, the damn machine didn’t even give Ben his change.

Although we arrived at the convention center far later than we intended, we totally cut in line with our friends who had the best place in line I’ve ever known anyone to have. We’re ridiculous, self-serving assholes but come on man, we have beer to drink. And it’s always nice to see friends!

beer fest

beer can necklace c/o Oskar Blues

By now, you’re probably realizing that this stupid-ass post about beer fest is probably going to be more about Ben running barefoot through glass and who knows what else on Welton Street while I tried valiantly to escape from a train than about beer fest. And you’re right. But let’s talk about the 2011 Great American Beer Festival for at least a few minutes. Also, please forgive the lack of good and/or useful photos of GABF. I always go into these things with the best intentions, but honestly, when I’m doing something fun like puttering around beer fest drinking beer, I don’t want to take pictures the whole time. Sometimes I ask Ben to take a picture of me so for once there will be a picture of me I didn’t take in a bathroom and this happens. I was all, “Take a picture so the internet can see what I wore to beer fest (because I’m sure the internet gives a fuck and it’s so different from my normal uniform, which consists of a denim skirt, denim shorts, or jeans and a black tank top and you can’t even see the bad-ass Kork Ease platforms that, as comfy as they are, did kind of make me hate life by the time I was hobbling home)!” And Ben was all, um, hold my glass and there are porta potties and some random dude in what might be a Hawaiian shirt behind you. And I was all, awesome! As you’ll notice, I broke my “wear a skirt because it’s easier to pee” rule and wore jeans, which turned out to be awesome because it was cold as hell in there.

Anyway, aside from experiencing light rail issues and engaging in fashion-blog-worthy photo shoots in front of a vast array of porta potties and at least one innocent bystander, we wandered around the convention center for a few hours and drank some beer. The good news is that I actually kept track of some of the beers I really liked on the iPhone app. Here are the beers I considered worthy of starring, in the order in which they appear in the app, in this format: Beer (Brewery)

  • Cream Stout (Redwood)
  • Zombie Dust (Three Floyds)
  • Quinannan Falls (Bell’s)
  • Dugana IPA (Avery)
  • Spruce Pilsner (Shorts)
  • Alaskan Smoked Porter, 2008 (Alaskan)
  • West Coast IPA (Green Flash) (They didn’t have Imperial! WTF, guys?)
  • Nelson Imperial IPA (Widmer Brothers)
  • Jai Alai IPA (Cigar City)
  • Dysfunctionale (Piece)
  • Carrot Cake (Shorts) (OMFG.)
  • Arctic Panzer Wolf (Three Floyds)
  • Bonnie’s Raggedy-Ass Imperial IPA (Big Rock)
  • Rail Hopper IPA (Flossmoor Station)
  • Hop Zombie (Uncle Billy’s Brew & Que – Lake Travis)
  • Myrcenary (Odell)
  • Grapefruit Jungle (Sun King)
  • Key Lime Pie (Shorts)

Aside from West Coast IPA, this list is all stuff we don’t normally drink — I didn’t include our usual brews of choice (you can see what some of those are here, although that list is very out of date, as evidenced by the fact that I still refer to it as Gordon when it’s now called G’Knight and holy crap Gubna isn’t even on there, and needs to be updated someday when I’m not sitting around getting all distracted and telling you stupid light rail stories).

Also, you know how I told you to pick up the list of winners shortly after 1 p.m.? Dudes. This time, the awards presentations went on forever. We never even found a list while we were there. You can get a pdf of the list here. I wish we’d gotten this earlier because seriously, as much as I talk about how we’re like super-awesome IPA experts and everything and sometimes I have this existential crisis wherein we go to beer fests and sadly realize that we’ve already had all the really good, hoppy beers that exist? We’ve never even had any of the Category 51 or 52 winners. Deviant Dale’s? What’s up with that, Oskar Blues?

Anyway, here are a few more dumb pictures. Apparently pictures of Ben and me taken by me holding the camera with my left hand are the new bathroom self-portraits. Thank goodness I put this on the internet.

at beer festat beer festYay beer!NorthboundPro AmHere we are waiting for the train.

Written by Tracy

October 2nd, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Beer Fest

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So, um, this is what Ben and I looked like at the Great American Beer Festival. We look just like this right now, too. Exciting! More later!

There is a recurring theme

Written by Tracy

October 1st, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Posted in and life,Beer,Photos

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Photo Friday: Beer Week

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First trip to Denver Beer Co.It’s beer week in Denver, and saying “Holy crap I’m so excited about  beer right now” would totally be an understatement.

I was going to write a list of tips for people attending the Great American Beer Festival but, as luck would have it, somebody already did. I agree with most of these tips, although I recommend eating something cheesy and greasy before the fest and I don’t think pretzel necklaces are necessary. I’m a hungry hippo much of the time but don’t need to eat during a beer fest. Also, you can use beer as a palate cleanser. Most of the time, Ben and I focus on our favorite style of beer (IPA). When I start getting hopped out, I switch to my next-favorite styles of beer, porter and stout, until I’m ready for more hoppy deliciousness. I generally limit myself to IPA, porter, stout, and anything else that seems really exciting.

My additional tips are as follows:

  • The importance of water cannot be overstated, especially if you’re from out of town.
  • Women! The bathrooms at the convention center go back really, really far — there are tons of toilet stalls in there. As soon as there’s no line in front of you, start walking toward the back. No matter how many women are scrunched up in line by the sinks, there are almost always empty stalls at the back of the ladies’ room.
  • There are also porta potties by the docks/smoking area. There’s not usually much of a wait for these.
  • Another one for the women: consider wearing a skirt or dress, because it makes peeing much more efficient. (Of course, you should feel free to wear a skirt or a dress if you’re a guy, but I don’t think it’ll make your pee process any easier. I just said “pee process.” I need to get off my internets.)
  • This is a duh, but wear reasonably comfortable shoes. There’s not a ton of seating and the seating that exists isn’t all that convenient. You’ll probably be on your feet the whole time.
  • Don’t freak out when you see the line outside the convention center. I’ll be the longest, most insane line you’ve ever seen in your life. It moves very quickly.
  • Get the app. Taking notes on paper is a great idea but if you’re like me, you can’t be bothered. The (free!) app lets you star beers you like, which is easy.
  • If you’re attending the Saturday afternoon members’ only session, grab a list of GABF award winners. The winners are announced at 1:00 and lists will be floating around soon after. You can find the information online later, but it’s fun to check out some of the winners at the fest (although lines might be long for winning beers because just about everybody wants to do this).
  • Remember that children under 2 are allowed at GABF if carried the whole time (according to GABF FAQ). We don’t bring Soren (dude is heavy), but we did bring him to a beer fest when he was 2 months old and it was awesome. If you see a baby at GABF, please refrain from asking whether he or she is having the milk stout. This is a mildly amusing question, but trust me, baby’s parents will have already heard it at least 500 times.
  • Eat something like pizza or nachos soon after leaving GABF.
  • Most important, be responsible and have fun!

Yay beer!

Written by Tracy

September 30th, 2011 at 11:20 am

Denver Beer Co.

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Today we went to Denver Beer Co. for the first time (they opened on 8/12). It was, as they say, the shit.

It’s reasonably roomy for a brewery. There’s a large bar and tables inside (some bar-height and some regular height — the regular height is good if you’re at the brewery with a toddler, holla), plus several long picnic tables with benches outside facing the street. There are giant garage doors on the front wall that were open today, making the transition from inside to outside almost seamless. Denver Beer Co. serves beer and pretzels. (The “tiny pretzels” for $5 as advertised on a sign above the bar are in fact gigantic and amazingly delicious, which is really saying something because I’m one of those people who always wants to like pretzels but usually finds them disappointing. They give you a huge pretzel in a little cardboard thing like you’d get when ordering a hot dog and then present you with a giant container of spicy mustard with a pump.) From what I understand, there’s usually a food truck outside. Today they had Paris on the Platte, which was serving some type of German sausage. The guy working the truck was very nice.

Ben and I both had the Gear Up IPA. It wasn’t the hoppiest IPA I’ve ever had by any means, but it was delicious and very fresh tasting. It was subtle. It’s one of those beers that tastes amazing fresh from the tap at the brewery. We also shared a taste of the graham cracker porter, and holy mother of God that beer is delicious. It’s one of the best porters I’ve ever had in my life. Porter is my second-favorite beer after IPA although, truth be told, I don’t often want to drink porter in the summer. This is the beer you want when you, I don’t know, spend the afternoon sledding on the nearby hill people use for sledding (I think it’s at Riverfront Park but don’t quote me on that) and want to stop for a beer before heading home, where you’ll try to kick the snow off your boots before walking through the house. You’re wearing the dorky hat you bought from J Crew or Banana Republic that’s made of off-white wool and has a big pom pom on top. Do you have that hat or is it just me? Porter manages to combine smoky and sweet into something that makes you think you’d be willing to camp in the mountains where it gets really cold at night as long as you have at least a couple growlers of it with you. If you don’t agree with my beer philosophy (“The hoppier the better.”), you should try porter because it’s dark, rich, complex, and quite possibly something you might enjoy.

Beers are $5 and taste-size portions are $1. The taste size is enough for two people to figure out that a beer is awesome. They also have growlers. We encountered no difficulty bringing a toddler here (we kept him busy with the aforementioned pretzel) and they are very dog friendly (there were polite dogs outside and inside). They also have fantastic goat and other farm animal artwork on the walls, which you can buy if you’re rich (the “Small Cock” painting was $500).

I’d say Denver Beer Co. is an awesome addition to Denver’s beer scene and we’ll definitely be back. Happy drinking!

The art is fantastic.Soren had a pretzelFirst trip to Denver Beer Co.

*Note: I was not compensated in any way for writing this post. I’m just telling you about something I really enjoyed.

Written by Tracy

August 14th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Posted in and life,Denver,Drinking beer

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Happy IPA Day!

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In honor of International IPA Day, let’s talk about India pale ale, my very favorite type of beer. In general, when it comes to beer, the hoppier the better, if you ask me. If it were possible to liquefy hops and drink them straight, I’d be down (I suppose this is theoretically possible, but ???).
baby's first beer fest

Anyway, here are some of my favorite IPAs, in no particular order aside from sort of trying to put my favorite favorites toward the top, with links to the breweries (to the specific beer when possible):

Not an IPA but just as good:

I’m also happy to report, after reviewing a big gigantic list of IPAs to try to make sure I’m not missing anything, that the name Ben and I selected for the IPA we’ll make someday when we have a brewery does not seem to have been taken yet. It’s the best IPA name, ever. Someday, I’ll buy you one!

Also, you haven’t had enough Childish Gambino. Go here and listen to this.

Written by Tracy

August 4th, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Posted in and life,Beer,Drinking beer

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Something Fun

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Yesterday, Ben was in charge of coming up with something fun for us to do. Does that sound weird, that someone has to be in charge of coming up with something fun for us to do, as if our lives our filled with drudgery and sorrow? They’re not really, but take last weekend for example. One or more of us was constantly busy doing shit like helping a friend move, going for a run, going to the gym, cleaning the house, going grocery shopping, going to the beer store, etc. All of a sudden it’s Sunday night and you’re all, wait what, the weekend is over and we have to go to work tomorrow and where’s the fun?!

So this weekend, there had to be at least one fun thing. Matters were complicated by the fact that it was pretty cold out and we don’t have big wads of cash to spend.

Ben suggested that we walk to the Great Divide Tap Room to have a beer. This sounded good. We packed up a few things for Soren (including markers and paper in response to the “What the hell is Soren going to do at the Great Divide Tap Room?” question). We had a nice, scenic walk past Curtis Park and down Arapahoe and I briefly ooohed at the arepas cart outside the tap room. (I’ve had arepas exactly once in my life, and it was at a restaurant in Chicago [Wicker Park/East Village-ish area?] a friend took me to a long, long time ago. The restaurant [Colombian? I wish I could remember the name.] had no menu and the chef just made whatever he felt like making but he wasn’t snotty about it and totally hooked us up with the most awesome, vegetarian meal, like, ever, in part, I suspect, because my friend, who by the way was smokin’ hot, went there all the time and he was probably secretly in love with her. I wonder whatever happened to her. She was cool. Also here are more commas because this aside didn’t have enough already: ,,,,,,)

Unfortunately, the tap room, which is tiny, was packed and probably not really toddler friendly. By then I was getting that light-headed hungry feeling (and already forgot about arepas) and also our timing was terrible because the Rockies game (which I’d turned off innings ago because they were getting killed) wasn’t over but apparently it was so bad everybody was leaving anyway so it was like, oh crap, everything is going to be packed. We settled on Blake Street Tavern anyway, because it was close, we like it, it’s very kid friendly, and we didn’t think it would be too crowded because who in the hell is really at a Rockies/Partist at workirates game on a crappy day, anyway.

On the way we passed Hi Rise, which wasn’t open, and I reminded Ben that we have to go there for waffles soon. They’re my Twitter pal and vegetarian friendly.

At Blake Street, we settled into a table (it wasn’t crowded) with a colorable place mat and some crayons. Ben and I had a beer (FYI they are phasing out their Flying Dog selection now that Flying Dog is no longer local) and Soren had water. We shared an order of hummus. We also chatted with some peeps who had a 20-month-old daughter and were so cool we’d love to hang out with them sometime but Ben and I are both completely incapable of closing the deal on random new friend pickups (it’s so much more complicated than dating or maybe we’re just not good at it).

The best part of the day was walking home, because Soren acquired a new word. (It’s funny how physical development, which seems to come easier to Soren, has these big milestones, like learning to crawl or learning to walk, and verbal development at first is just a gradual, little stream of new words that eventually, I suppose, becomes a babbling brook or some such if you want a tortured metaphor and then a full-on ocean of talkity talk.) The word was “tree!” and it comes complete with its own exclamation point (!) because it’s so exciting. As we walked up Blake Street, each time we passed a tree, Soren yelled, in the cutest, high-pitched babyvoice you’ve ever heard, “twee!” He also made up his own sign for “twee!” This involves throwing up his arms with the fingers on his right hand all extended and the fingers on his left hand forming an L. Every time we passed a tree: “Twee!” Arms up! Hands in proper formation! (Full disclosure: Sometimes his interpretation of “tree” was overbroad and included utility poles but I’m not gonna hate.) Ben and I said “tree!” along with him until eventually we ran out of trees for a while (but don’t fret, by that time, even though we each had only one beer, we had to “pee!”).

It was fun.

Written by Tracy

May 2nd, 2011 at 9:00 pm