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Eating and Drinking Our Way Around San Francisco

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Oh man, for a trip that was only two days I feel like we really packed a lot in! Here’s a few snapshots of some of the fun we had.

We were obsessed with Blue Bottle Coffee. Obsessed. I rolled with the New Orleans style iced coffee for the duration of the trip, while Brent went with the Kyoto style coffee and tried their latte.

New Orleans style iced coffee on the left and Kyoto style iced coffee on the right. The NOLA style was rich and creamy, and the Kyoto style had the strongest, best flavor of any black coffee I’ve ever tasted.

Here’s a side shot of the NOLA style, followed by Brent’s latte, complete with art.

I really water one of these coffee syphons for myself. I think they come in normal house size.

We also found plenty of wine for me and beer for Brent (and me). We visited the Rogue pub in San Francisco and Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa.

Favorites at Rogue were the Double Chocolate Stout (mine) and the Yellow Snow IPA (Brent). Word of warning: Do Not Eat at the pub. The food majorly sucked, which is really saying something because we were starving by this point! Few things put me in a worse mood than paying for a bad meal.

Russian River! Brent was psyched about this visit because he loves some IPAs and sour beers. Me, not so much. Especially the sours. Blech!

Brent went all out and got the total sampler, which includes 2oz pours of the 14 beers they had on tap. He got to try them all, and found a new favorite: Compunction, which is a blonde ale brewed with pluots.

I drank Brent’s sample of the Irish stout on the nitro tap (love the smoothness of the nitro tap!) and a bunch of water while patiently waiting to go get wine!

Wine tasting occurred at Cellars of Sonoma (no photos) and the Wattle Creek tasting room in Ghiradelli Square (loved it so much we became members!). Brent always enjoys hamming it up for the camera. He’d like you to note the raised pinky finger.

Boozing it up with my husband is totally one of my favorite activities. We just love trying new beer and wine!

Oh, obviously we ate a lot too. Another favorite hobby of ours. Some of the best meals are below.

Eating a whole Dungeness crab off a paper plate while drinking a beer out of a paper bag standing by the pier was definitely a highlight.

Crab carnage ensued.

Other notable meals included Breakfast Gnocchi, Yes I said Breakfast Gnocchi, at Flavor Bistro in Santa Rosa. Brent had serious order envy when he saw me enjoying this masterpiece.

Deliciously light gnocchi sauteed with fennel sausage, spinach and mushrooms and baked into eggs. Can you imagine?! No, you cannot.

Our last meal was dinner at Tyler Florence’s Wayfare Tavern. We were definitely a bit hesitant about heading there, but the reviews were good. Why the hesitation? Mainly because Tyler Florence seems like he’ll shill for anything (Applebee’s?!), so we kind of questioned his taste level. Snobby and ridiculous, I know, but that’s kind of me in a nutshell. Umm, the result: Me: 0, Tyler: 1. This shit was out of control good.

We had such a difficult time ordering. We both wanted to try everything, but we were not insanely hungry. We ordered a few fan favorites from Yelp reviews and split everything. Forget the bread basket. This man starts you off with fresh out of the oven and super warm and delicious popovers.

To start, we split the poutine. Nothing like a nice, light appetizer to tease the palate, right?

Fries, smothered with braised short ribs, cheese curds, truffle gravy and shaved black truffles. I wish we had ordered 3. I’m barely kidding.

The famous fried chicken. People were losing their minds about this on Yelp, so we felt compelled to try it. Definitely not your typical southern fried chicken, but totally tasty in its own right. Very herbacious and lemon-garlicky. Excellent crunch too. I only had a small piece, which was plenty for me, but Brent lip-smacked and finger-licked his way through the rest of it.

I know we were on vacation, but I couldn’t help but feel guilty about the glaring lack of vegetables I’d eaten in this past week, so to feel better about myself I ordered the side of broccoli too.

Imagine my surprise when I couldn’t stop eating it. Seriously, like broccoli crack. It was roasted and tossed with cranberries, pine nuts and mustard green pesto. Best vegetable side dish I’ve ever had at a restaurant. Hands down.

Definitely in need of good ol’ water and vegetable replenishment once we arrived home!

Colorado 2010: The Beer

I’ll be honest. I have no idea how to organize this post. Basically we went to Denver to drink beer. True story. I mean, we hung out with Brent’s brother and stuff too, but our main purpose was to go to the Great American Beer Festival. Brent, Jon and I got tickets for the Friday night session. Beer has always been much more Brent’s thing, but in the past year or so, he’s gotten me really into it too! What’s interesting is that we don’t really like the same types of beer usually. I like malty beers – amber ales, abbey ales, stouts, barleywines and the occasional flavored beer. Brent is king of the hops and sours –  IPAs, double IPAs, wild beers – more stuff like that.

Anyway, I just wanted to record some of the awesome beers we tried on our trip for future reference – especially because so many of them are not available in Fort Wayne!

Although the beer festival wasn’t until Friday, we spent pretty much all week drinking craft beer. Our beer destinations included some of the restaurants listed in my previous posts, as well as:

  • Falling Rock Tap House: We went here last year after some baseball games and decided to make the trip again. Great draft beer lists, and special rotating taps of special beers.
  • Great Divide Brewery: We stopped into their tap room after a long day of walking. They had a special back patio bar area set up with tents and old couches. It was nice to hang out here for a while, and I really liked a few of their beers. I enjoyed Old Ruffian – their Barleywine and the Double Wit, which I think is just a special batch they brewed for GABF week and I loved it! It’s a shame I can’t find it anywhere else.
  • Avery Brewing Tap Room: This was the best tap room I have ever been too. They have a huge selection of beers, and you can get them in pints, 10oz, or 4oz tasters, and almost all the taster portions are $1. Only a few of the smaller batch, higher alcohol beer tasters are $5. It allows you to try so many of their beers! Worked out well since Brent was driving home.  🙂

Brent and I stopped by Avery on Thursday after our hike (after Oskar Blues) and had such a good time. I think my favorite beer from Avery was The Missionary – a Belgian style ale brewed with guava.

That’s a four ounce glass. I confirmed for the millionth time (why don’t I learn?!) that I do not like bourbon barrel aged stouts.

It felt like drinking 4oz of bourbon. Blech! Brent also felt drinking from the tiny glass made him look sophisticated. Three days worth of five o’clock shadow helped too, right?

Fun times. Definitely recommend Avery if you’re ever in the Boulder area.

Moving on to Friday – The beer festival was so much fun! And so incredibly packed! The line for the doors was crazy long (and hot)! It was held at the Colorado Convention Center – home to my favorite piece of public art:

I’m totally obsessed with the peeking beer. Brent does not understand this (and a lot of other things) about me. To prepare for the festival, Brent and I looked online at the breweries attending to decide which booths we wanted to make sure to hit. We wanted to make sure we spent most of our time tasting beers that weren’t available in Indiana. We also spent part of Friday afternoon making pretzel necklaces. Accessories you can eat are my favorite kind.

Please excuse our sweaty, sunburned faces and focus on the cool pretzel necklaces. This allowed us to nibble between beers. You know, to cleanse the palate and stuff. 😉

I have a few photos from the festival itself, but they are super blurry, taken-while-tipsy iPhone photos, so I won’t bother subjecting you to them. Brent and I went through the GABF program and marked the beers we tasted with grades A-F. Below are the beers we gave As.

  • AleSmith Brewing: AleSmith IPA – Brent’s pick.
  • Allagash Brewing: Four – An abt/quadrupel beer. Slightly sweet and super smooth. 10% ABV . Brent also liked their Currieux – aged in bourbon. Gag.
  • Avery Brewing The Missionary: Another Belgian-style quadrupel. One of the rare fruity beers that I love. I don’t know if I could drink a whole pint, but I loved my 4oz taste at the tap room.
  • Bear Republic Factory Five: Brent enjoyed Racer 5 – an IPA, and Racer X – double IPA.
  • Bell’s Brewery: We liked Bell’s a lot, but Brent really enjoyed their Wild One – a sour beer. Brent’s gotten himself onto a sour beer kick and we could not disagree more. Ick. I can’t do a sour beer.
  • Brewery Ommegang Abbey Ale: I love Abbey-style ales. This is no exception. 8.5%ABV. I have a note in my program that says Brent also enjoyed their Three Philosophers as well.
  • Cascade Brewing: Vlad the Imp Aler – another sour for Brent.
  • Copper Canyon Brewery Apple Streudel Tripel: Probably not for everyone, but man – it totally tasted like apple streudel! I really liked it. I don’t think they bottle it though.
  • Firestone Walker Brewing: Union Jack – an IPA Brent liked.
  • Goose Island Sai-Shan-Tea: A Saison brewed with tea and citrus. Surprisingly awesome. Brent and I really love Goose Island’s saisons, and the tea was a very cool addition to this one. Saison season is winding down now. 😦
  • Great Divide Brewing: Old Ruffian and Double Wit, as mentioned above. Brent also enjoyed their Hercules.
  • Hollister Brewing: I didn’t try anything from here, but Brent loved their Hip Hop Double IPA. Defs not my thing.
  • Left Coast Brewing: Hop Juice  – an IPA that feels like a punch in the mouth. Brent’s pick.
  • Left Hand Brewing: Milk Stout – I had this on the nitro tap at Euclid Hall and I love it! So smooth and creamy.
  • Michigan Brewing: Screamin’ Pumpkin Ale: One of the only pumpkin ales I tried and liked. This was less spicy/perfumy and more dessert-like.
  • Minneapolis Town Hall Brewing: Twisted Reality – a tasty barleywine that I really liked.
  • New Glarus Brewing: Abt – I think this was a Brent pick.
  • Russian River Brewing: HopFather IPA – For Brent. He also liked their sour beers.
  • Short’s Brewing: Anniversary Ale – a wheat wine brewed with blood orange! Brent and I both loved it. Key Lime Pie fruit beer – so crazy good. The line for this one was the longest at the festival, and I got the last half ounce! I could not believe how much it tasted like key lie pie. It says it’s bottled with regional distribution (they’re in Michigan), and I really want to find it.
  • Trinity Brewing: Brent liked their sour beers, especially their Old Growth – a wild ale with sour cherries.

Keep in mind, I did not actually drink that much. The tasting pours were about an ounce, and if I didn’t like a beer (which was often), I would just toss the rest of my taste in a bucket, or give it to Brent or Jon. I was surprised how little I felt like I actually consumed. GABF was so much fun. I’m so glad I got the opportunity to go, and I hope we can make the trip again sometime!

Are you a beer drinker?

Colorado 2010: The Food

We ate so much good food on our vacation! It’s really a shame that I didn’t manage to photograph a lot of it. We stayed with my brother-in-law, but his kitchen was a bit tiny, and his cooking supplies a bit limited, so we did not end up doing a lot of our own cooking. That was fine with me because there were so many fun places to eat that I wanted to try!

H Burger Co.

Tuesday we spent the afternoon helping my brother-in-law buy a car, and decided he could buy us dinner as a thank you. Aren’t we nice? We went to H Burger Co. for dinner. We read good things on Yelp, and it’s hard to go wrong with a burger and fries. I started with a Kentucky Sweet Tea, which was made with Jim Beam, peach schnapps, iced tea, simple syrup and muddled lemon. It was delicious, but I may have been a bit dehydrated because I downed it like it was water.

For my dinner, I ordered:

The Eden Burger (Veggie) Special blend of squash and beans, bound with egg and grilled on the flat top, topped with sweet and spicy bok choy, red peppers and H|Greens

Alongside, I ordered the truffle Parmesan fries.

Sorry for the horrid photo – the light was horrid. This was one of the best veggie burgers I’ve had. It was well thought out, and I loved the veggies on top! I’d highly recommend this. The truffle fries, however, not so much. I hate limp, soggy fries (which these were), there was no truffle flavor, and the Parmesan was just a clump at the top. Blah. Total disappointment.

Euclid Hall

Wednesday after spending all day exploring Denver on foot, we were ready for food! We went to Euclid Hall for an early-ish dinner to take advantage of their happy hour. I’m a firm believer that whenever you go to a place that claims to be known for something, you ought to try it. Euclid Hall really seemed to be pushing their housemade sausages, pickles and mustards. Brent, Jon (Bro-in-law), and I decided to try all of the above by ordering “The Works” – which contained each of their four housemade sausages, a sample of all of their pickles, and all four mustards.

In the photo above, you see the four sausages, pretzel bread, the mustards in the upper part, and the Hanger Steak Poutine in the upper right corner. I tried each of the sausages, except the blood sausage. Couldn’t do it. The PBR bratwurst was decent, but the rest were whatever. The pretzel bread was cold and flavorless. The poutine was super savory and delicious. I really put a smackdown on that. It’s too bad I don’t have a better photo, but I think I ought to recreate it for some football watching at some point. I really liked the mustards, especially the whole grain bordeaux one. I love grainy mustard.

Above is the pickle sampler. Brent (obviously) dominated this. I will say Brent gave me a “garlic” pickle, and it felt like someone punched me in the face. The SPICE! He later realized that he gave me the hot, spicy pickle. Ah! The pickles were good though. I was impressed with those.

I was craving some roughage, so I also ordered the rocket salad (it may have also had something to do with the fried Camembert cheese). The candied lemon vinaigrette on this thing was awesome. This salad was probably one of my top 3 food items from our trip. Loved it!

Overall I recommend Euclid Hall, even moreso if you’re a sausage person. They had a lot of options. Their beer list is great, and their service was wonderful too!

Oskar Blues Grill & Brew

Thursday during our long hike mentioned in the previous post, I was so looking forward to beer and food afterward! We passed Oskar Blues on our drive into the park, and I figured we could stop there after our hike. We had plans for a lot more eating and drinking later that evening, so we just chose to split something to share. We ordered to the nachos.

Total nacho domination occurred in a matter of minutes. Obviously anything would have tasted delicious after exerting that much energy, but these were really good. What’s hilarious is that Brent (who loves all spicy food and eats Habanero sauce by the spoonful), nearly died from the hotness of the jalapeno. He was gasping and chugging water and beer. I obviously picked them off after seeing his reaction. 😉

Snooze

Saturday morning, (after a night of beer festivaling) we thought we’d be ready for a greasy, delicious breakfast. However, you definitely do not need to be hungover to go to Snooze. This place was out of control amazing. I wanted the entire menu, but I was forced to order just one thing. I was dying to try pancakes, but I thought the Backyard BBQ Benedict sounded too good to pass up.

Backyard BBQ Benny Our housemade corn bread topped with slow-cooked Niman RanchBBQ Beef, poached eggs, smoked cheddar hollandaise and diced pickles.

This picture is in no way doing it justice. That cornbread was my heaven. And the pickles were small but necessary. I just loved every scrumptious bite. This is actually the first time I’ve ever eaten eggs benedict. I have a fear of runny yolks, which I’m trying to conquer. Brent ordered a smoked salmon hash, which he enjoyed, but I clearly got the winning dish here.

Jon’s Kitchen

Really the only cooking I did last week was cooking these blueberry pancakes, which were pretty delicious. I have no idea what recipe I used. I googled “pancakes  for one” and used whatever came up I think.

Other Mentions

I may not have pictures, but I wanted to mention a few other places we ate:

  • Freshcraft: this place was so nice, we went there twice. Once was lunch on Wedensday, and I had the Croque Monsieur with fries. Both were outstanding. Loved every single bite. We also went there for dinner on Thursday. I know, but we were starving and couldn’t think of anything else. For dinner I had the Hand Cut Flat Iron steak served au poirve. Meh. My dinner experience was less stellar. My food came out cold, and it just wasn’t my thing. I also had a bite of Brent’s Cassoulet. Super rich, but very delicious. Overall, I’d recommend Freshcraft for beer (love their list!) and the small plates and snacks, but maybe not for a full dinner.
  • Duffy’s Cherry Cricket: Featured on Man vs. Food! That’s the main reason I wanted to go. We went for lunch on Saturday, and even at 2pm, the wait was a half hour. Brent, Jon and I split the Frings (onions rings and fries), and we each ordered our respective masterpieces. I ordered the “Little Cricket Burger” with avocado, bacon and smoked cheddar. I need to put smoked cheddar on every burger I ever eat. It was so good. I think they skimped on the ‘cado,  but other than that I have no complaints. Brent tried to be a rockstar and got the regular cricket burger – 1/2 pound! Yikes! He ordered it with cream cheese and jalapeno because it is their most popular combination. He enjoyed it, but decided later he should not have eaten that much meat.
  • Bistro Vendôme: This was our farewell dinner on Saturday night, and I loved every bite. I so wish I had pictures to share. And I wish this place was closer to me! I ordered to mussels and a side of frites. The mussels were in a broth of white wine, garlic, herbs and cream. Heaven in a bowl. I loved this, and Brent was sad he couldn’t drink the broth. I really need to make this at home. The frites were different than any I have ever had. They were drizzled with an herby, sugary syrup. Sounds bizarre, but I really loved it. They came with garlic aioli for dipping and I was all about it. The herbs, sugar, and garlic totally worked.

This post was a lot longer than I thought, so I’m wrapping up now. Beer still to come!

Colorado 2010: The Hiking

I have no idea how some bloggers manage to capture so many photos! I’m completely one of those people who brings my camera with me, but forgets to use it. I guess I’m normally caught up in the moment or something. I’m also not great about recapping cool stuff I do, but Brent did say he wanted to me to post the few pictures I did manage to take on vacation to the blog to preserve the memory. We spent 5 days in Colorado and it was a blast. I think this year may have even been more fun than our last trip out there. I’ve divided our Denver trip into The Hiking, The Food, and The Beer. Yeah, beer needs it’s own post. We’re crazy like that.

We stayed super active on this trip, and probably walked or hiked at least ten miles a day (and replenished with delicious food and beer!) Here are some scenes from a long day of hiking Brent and I did last Thursday. We went to the Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, Colorado and hiked on the Cow Creek Trail, which led up to Bridal Veil Falls, and we did parts of the trail branching off of Cow Creek and leading to Gem Lake. The trail followed the creek up to the falls and it was beautiful. We had perfect weather too!

Gorgeous, right? We sat on huge, cool rocks near the waterfall and enjoyed our packed lunch. We had such a great time, it makes me a bit sad we have nothing like this near us. I can’t wait to go back again! Back soon with food and beer recaps!

Colorado Recap Day 3

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Saturday we decided to go hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. Brent and I waited until Saturday to do this because Jon showed interest in coming with us and we didn’t want him to have to miss work. The downfall of waiting until the weekend was how crazy packed the park was. Parking was insane.

I won’t be doing much commentary on the photos. I mean, what do you really need to say about one of the most beautiful places on Earth. I absolutely loved Saturday’s hike. We ended up doing the Lumpy Ridge trail leading to Gem Lake. It was a difficult trail, very steep in places and with serious rocks, but it was an awesome view (and killer workout).

IMG_0185The view looking up from the trailhead.

IMG_0200Mid-way up.

IMG_0202Jon checking out the view. Brent and I like to tease Jon for looking like a hippy, which is hilarious to us because Jon is one of the most conservative 22 year olds I know.

IMG_0212Gem Lake. It was gorgeous and it really amazed me that there was this tiny hidden lake at the top of a huge mountain.

IMG_0213We refueled with a picnic lunch composed of quinoa salad, hummus, veggies and crackers, apples and water.

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IMG_0220Like I said, beautiful. Brent claimed if we lived here, we’d be in the mountains nearly every weekend. Totally accurate.

IMG_0224Jon, looking tiny among the giant rocks.

IMG_0225So sweaty and tired.

After we were done climbing mountains, we chugged a crap ton of water and then needed to find more food. On our way through Boulder, we stopped at Snarf’s, which is apparently very popular with the locals and college students. Best. Sandwich. Ever. Clearly I should have gotten a photo or two but I was crazy with hunger and it did not even occur to me. It was awesome.

We got back to Jon’s apartment, showered, and then set off for Saturday night’s activity: CUBS baseball. I love the Cubs and we planned the timing of this trip to coincide with the Cubs visiting the Rockies.

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This was Jon’s first major league baseball game, and I think it may be his last. I’ve never seen a dude less interested in sports. After watching the Cubs beat the Rockies, we went back home… and crashed.

Colorado Recap Day 2

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Friday was jam-packed. We woke up early again, had some breakfast, packed a lunch and set off toward Colorado Springs to visit Garden of the Gods state park. We spent a few hours there, hiking about 5 miles worth of trails. Everything was gorgeous.

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IMG_0134Nothing like a giant rock formation to make you realize how small you really are, huh?

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It was so much hotter and more desert-like than I was expecting. We even saw cacti growing.

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IMG_0142I thought this particular rock formation looked kind of like a caveman’s head. Maybe the heat was making me delirious.

IMG_0145It is explicitly stated that you should not attempt to climb the rocks. I never had much respect for authority — anytime I came to the rocks I felt compelled to climb, which wasn’t that difficult.

IMG_0147I was much less graceful on the way down. I referred to this particular move as “scuttling.”

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Brent, in front of the “Siamese Twins.” He’s a stud, and he knows it.

After all of this hard (and sweaty!) work on the trails, we decided we were in need of (what else) a beer! We popped into Trinity Brewing Company, which we passed on the way to the park. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I immediately fell in love with this place. Tons of local beer on tap and a delicious sounding menu.

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I wish I had been hungrier because I would have loved to try the Vegan Buffalo Wings or Tempeh Sliders. Everything on the menu sounded amazing.We ended up just ordering a round of beers and some Belgian Fries.

Ohmigod the fries!! I nearly died. Ah-May-Zing! They were thin and crispy and served with the tangiest, most intense beer mustard ever. I thought things couldn’t be any better and THEN… we tried the homemade ketchup! I actually embarrassed myself by telling the waitress (very inarticulately) how much I loved the ketchup. Brent and I kept trying to figure out what was in it. It was sweet but with spices too. After careful consideration, and a lot of licking it off my fingers, I’m pretty sure there was cloves in it.

IMG_0163Brent and I both really enjoyed our visit to Trinity and I wanted to tell anyone who would listen about this life-changing ketchup. To fully make you understand how in love with this condiment I was, I should explain I hate ketchup. We are probably the only people I know who have absolutely no ketchup in our fridge. It’s just not my thing, but now I want to make my own.

After the excitement of the afternoon, I didn’t think we’d end up doing anything exciting on Friday night, but after some internet browsing, we decided to go out for dinner and drinks at Jonesy’s EatBar. My food blogging skills were not up to par on this occasion because I didn’t get a picture of any of our food. Jon, Brent and I shared a split order of french fries, which Jonesy’s is famous for. We had half Macaroni & Cheese fries and half Truffle fries. The Mac & Cheese fries were pretty average. Nothing amazing. The truffle fries were the single best food I remember eating. Ever. In my life. Totally replaced the afternoon’s ketchup experience as “The best food Eva!” I also tried the Ahi Tuna Sliders, which were decent, but who could care about tuna sliders after those fries?

And of course there was beer, all of it brewed in Colorado.

Round 1:

IMG_0176I had some Left Hand Juju Ginger Brew, Jon had some Great Divide Samurai Rice Ale (he minored in Japanese and is obsessed with all things Japan), and Brent had some Bristols Red Rocket Pale Ale. All were enjoyed by their respective drinkers.

Round 2:

IMG_0177Mine was Bristols Laughing Lab Scottish Style Ale, Jon had Odell 90 Shilling Ale, and Brent had Oskar Blues Old Chub Scottish Style Ale. Mine was decent, but I really loved the Old Chub.We also played a lot of Uno while at Jonesy’s, but we left after 2 rounds of drinks because the waitress was giving us the vibe that we were not cool enough to be there.

So we took off, went back to Jon’s and I crashed hard. Sorry for the super long post, but it was a super long day. See you later for Day 3!

Colorado Recap Day 1

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I’m finally back on Indiana soil (Boo!!) after the best vacation ever, or at least the best in recent memory. We had such a good time and I took way too many pictures so I thought I’d break up the recap into four parts. My family has friends near Denver, so I spent a lot of summer vacations there growing up, but Brent had never been so I was excited to show him how gorgeous it is.

By the time we arrived and got back to Jon’s apartment at 10pm Wednesday night, I crashed hard, so our first day was Thursday. I was up and ready to go by 6:45 thanks to the time change and east-facing window I slept next to. Brent and I headed out for a 4 mile run, which was way more scenic than our normal running routes. That is my favorite part about Colorado — all the running and biking paths. It’s the most pedestrian friendly state I’ve ever been to.

After our run, we went grocery shopping! Because we had access to Jon’s kitchen, I wanted to cook at least half of our meals, and I really wanted a reason to go to Whole Foods. After groceries, we drove around waiting for Jon to get off work and ended up exploring some of downtown Denver. All of this was just passing time until the real highlight of the day: BEER!

My absolute favorite beer is Fat Tire Amber Ale by the New Belgium Brewing Company, so when we decided to visit Jon, I begged Brent to drive the hour+ to Fort Collins to visit the brewery. I love their beer and I love their employee-owned, slow-growth, sustainable philosophy. We had a tour on Thursday afternoon at 4pm.

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We drank lots of beer and learned the history of the company and well as some of their guiding principles. Then we drank more beer. (the beer drinking was one of the themes of this vacation).

IMG_0078Jon looks a little boozy in this photo, but this is actually the first tasting beer of the afternoon.

IMG_0085I was a bad touree because I kind of zoned out during some of the technical stuff, like what goes on in these three huge mixers.

IMG_0095Hideous photo, I know. There was a huge twirly slide near the end of the tour. Of course I felt compelled to go down. I slid much faster than I expected and felt quite woozy after the fact. Luckily Brent was able to capture the moment.

IMG_0096The selection of beers in the tasting room. We tried all of them but my favorite by far was the Dandelion Ale, which uses dandelion greens to get the bitterness traditionally imparted by hops. I was so in love with this beer, I bought a growler to take home with us.

IMG_0098We hung out in the tasting room for a while and then finally headed home, beer in hand. The brewery tour was so much fun, and I was so excited to try some of their smaller batch brews which aren’t available near us. The rest of day one was spent drinking some of our purchases, making some spaghetti with marinara, and then crashing hard at the end of the night (another theme of the vacation).