GBTD-07 (GABF): 2nd Annual Boulder County Brews Cruise 2007

One of the best beer experiences I have had took place before GABF actually started. We first heard about the brews cruise through Jugge over at OT a few weeks before we went over to Colorado and something that we are very glad that we did not miss.

The Boulder Country Brews Cruise is a event arranged by the good people over at Left Hand Brewery and this was the second year that they arranged it. The concept is simple, for the bargain price of 40 bucks you get a t-shirt, a arranged bus that will take you to 4 different interesting breweries in the Denver area, breakfast and lunch, plus a bunch of lovely and interesting people to join you on the beer cruise.

Everyting started out in morning outside the convention centre where GABF was held in central Denver. A full bus of people started the journey for "breakfast" and the first beer of the day. Together with the normal beer crew we also got good company with the people from OT and Akkurat (local pubs in Stockholm). So we had a great group of people from Sweden to acompany the rest of the Americans on the bus.

First stop was Boulder Beer outside Boulder, a brewery with great beers like Mojo IPA and Hazed & Infused. We got some breakfast and the opportunity to check the brewery with a short brewery tour. Boulder Beer is really a pioneer as a micro brewery in the US if you recon that it started out so early as 1979. At that time the only existing micros was anchor in san fran and a few others. So its fun to see that the brewery is very lively and continues to produce new and exiting beers.

The journey continued and we ended up in Longmont and the Left Hand Brewery. We were met by Eric Wallace who is the founder and brewer of Left Hand. We all met him when he visited the Stockholm Beer festival in September and when we had a tasting round together with him at the OT booth.

So this was the second time we met and it was fun to actually meet him at his own brewery and hometown of Longmont. The beers were all excellent as they alway are. Had a amazing cask version of the milk stout that you could drink all night long, seems that this stout is getting better and better in my mind.

Together with the Imperial Stout also on cask this was probably the best beers we had during the beer cruise.

Jugge and the rest of OT gang disapeared during the end of the visit to Left Hand, so we had to leave them behind.

Seemed that they got the opportunity to have a additional sampling somewhere at the brewery, it was told that it was something new and exiting that Eric sneaked out of the brewery!

Next stop it was time for the Pumphouse Brewpub in central Longmont. Here we got lunch and a new beer of the day. What I remember I had the porter, which is quite nice as a beer, and very traditional to the style. Seems that Pumphouse is doing a full range of beer styles and is very focused on English style beer and following that tradition. A nice place for food and sports if you are into that.

The OT gang got back to the bus through the help of Eric W and a couple of Mountain Beer Mixers that was later passed on through the bus (which increased the mood on the bus, so when we later arrived in Lyons and Oskar Blues we had started to learn the Americans on the bus Swedish beer songs, or something, :-))

Last stop for the day was Oskar Blues over at Lyons which is really where the mountain region starts, so it is a very exiting place and a great place for such a amazing brewery. Located in a very small building, you here have a brewery, restaurant, bar and blues club.

We got some great beers (Oaked Gordon!) and got the oppotunity to check out how they handles the cans (yes, if you do not know it, this brewery makes all the beer in cans).

They now even has put their great imperial stout in a can, which is really a great idea, so I bought a 4-pack of the Tenfidy imperial stout to take back home. 4 amazing beers for the amount of 10 bucks, that is really a bargain.

Spent the last hour of the beer cruise at the outdoors terrace with a pint of OB and did not want to leave. You could probably have been sitting there for the rest of the day but the bus was leaving, so we simply had to leave and get the last pint of OB Pale Ale with us on the bus.

With some additional Swedish beer songs and some explanations about who we were at the front of the bus we continued the journey back home to Denver. Seems that everyone on the bus had a blast during the day and if you ever go to GABF I really recommend to get on the bus, this is really a good start of the festival and in some sense this was even more fun than the actual festival.

Also thanks to "J" over at The Beer Hermit blog for taking a nice picture of us when had the beers over at OB in the sun.

More pictures from this amazing day can be found here;

GABF07 (Left Hand Beer Bus Cruise)

No comments: