You may have assumed this, but Bitch Beer is again doing it big for the 2014 Great American Beer Festival. Last year, a few of our writers took a nine day tour of Colorado, and we are matching that this year with almost our entire writing staff in tow. Caroline, Ari, and Sarah hit the road early Sunday, despite Texas Craft Brewers Festival’s most ardent attempts to thwart our planned 4:30am departure, and made it into Colorado Springs after a quick 13 hour drive. We celebrated our arrival with a delicious dinner and generous flight at TRiNiTY Brewing Company.
Monday morning, the three of us took a lovely stroll through the Garden of the Gods (because #PhotoOpp) and picked up Shaun before taking off for Golden, Co. We spent the rest of the day powering through beers at Golden City Brewing, the second largest brewery in Golden, Mountain Toad Brewing Company, Cannonball Creek Brewing, and Barrels & Bottles Brewery, which hosted a wonderful Crooked Stave Distribution party. We retired to Falling Rock in Denver for their legendary GABF Tapping Party.
Tuesday we took Fort Collins by storm. We had a great time meeting some of the fine folks at Black Bottle Brewery for lunch. (Pro tip: They have a killer lunch special!) Then, with eyes bright and bellies full, we visited Horse & Dragon Brewing. Linsey Cornish, their brewer, was in the house and gave us a tour of her brewery and, just as importantly, her extensive lego model collection. We also ran into some of the cool cats from Verboten Brewing in Loveland, who graciously filled us in on the Fort Collins whiskey industry.
We closed out the day at Odell Brewing Company, taking a tour of the facility with Todd Ewing, the Texas Odell representative, Tony Drewery and Ben Wood, the lovely conductors of the Beerliner, and Josh Hare of Hops & Grain.We probably don’t need to tell you this, but shotgunning happened. This included Westbrook Gose cans….. because yolo….? We also stood on top of Odell’s 400 barrel fermenters. Luckily for us, the Pappy Van Winkle barrel-aged imperial stout hadn’t started pouring, so we were relatively sober and stable for this feat of daring.
Unfortunately, Tuesday night was a bit of a blur. There were fish and chips involved (?) And something about returning a frosted glass….. I mean, we are Bitch Beer after all.
Wednesday was spent taking an epic tour of New Belgium Brewing lead by their Digital Manager Kevin Darst. We tried their new spectacular Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout, and a lovely fresh hopped IPA out of their pilot system. We also discovered a couch-cycle while we toured and finally got a chance to ride the slide! We had to cut the trip a little short to head back into Denver because the rest of our staff was arriving! We met up with Jessica and spent the rest of the night chatting with new faces at the Beerliner outside of Wynkoop and meeting up with familiar faces at Falling Rock.
Now Thursday has arrived and the festival kicks off, so rest assured we’ll be back with plenty of coverage from that. Until then, check out some our favorites beers, meals and moments from the last few days as well as a little photo gallery.
Bitch Beer Highlights:
Best Beer: Horse & Dragon Sad Panda Coffee Stout, Odell / Hoppin’ Frog – Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
Best Meal: Brussel Sprouts at Tom’s Urban Diner
Best Moment: Standing on top of the fermenters at Odell
Best Beer: New Belgium Odd Couple
Best Meal: Tom’s Urban Diner Brussel Sprouts
Funniest Moment: Caroline gagging from a “fishy” tasting espresso shot.
Best Beer: Black Bottle’s Mexican Hipster Tequila Barrel-Aged IPA
Best Meal: Yak and Yeti Indian buffet
Funniest Moment: 55-year-old woman on Beerliner taught me a whole new meaning of the word “yeti.”
Best Beer: Crooked Stave – Batch #100 Wild Wild Brett (Sour/Wild ale)
Best Meal: Unexpected late night dinner at Tom’s Urban Diner
Funniest Moment: Cantillon selfies at Falling Rock
Best Beer: Cantillon Rosé De Gambrinus, TRiNiTY Farmhouse Blue, Yak & Yeti Chai Milkstout, Almanac Dark Pumpkin Sour… it’s been a good week.
Best Meal: Buffalo Seitan Wings at TRiNiTY
Best Moment: Having New Belgium all to ourselves first thing in the morning.
Best Beer: N/A (Just touched down in Denver)
Best Meal: The Beecher’s grilled cheese I ate at the airport
Funniest Moment: Six ladies, one hotel room
Cumulative worst moment: Our final writer Wendy couldn’t make it.