Amber and Odell Brewery

Ok, finally I can continue with the Colorado trip! Jack, Liz and I drove up to Fort Collins to and picked up Amber for a day of climbing!

Just getting to the climbing area was really exciting. We had to wade across a river. Its CO, so the water was freezing and ended up coming all the way up to our butts! To top it off there was a moderate current and lots of little rapids! It took a lot of careful little footsteps to make it across without getting any of the gear wet or falling in!

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But once we got there the climbing was awesome!

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We climbed at an area called Miners Wall because there was a creepy little mine entrance. Unfortunately after getting in only a couple of climbs each, it started to rain. We tried to wait it out but it didn’t seem like it was going to let up. We decided to call it a day and check out some of the awesome places to have beers in Fort Collins.

We first went to New Belgium, but they were closed. So we headed over to Odell Brewing Company and signed up for a tour!

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We had time before the tour for a beer so I got the Cutthroat Porter at 5.1% abv.

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I was concerned the porter would be too hoppy, but it was really spot on and well balanced! Nice dark roasted malts, creamy, robust with hints of coffee and molasses. Almost borderline with a stout. Really enjoyed it!

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The tour had about 25 people and seemed kinds crowded. We only saw one or two rooms and the guide was so-so. It wasn’t a bad tour, but I’ve had better. I think I was spoiled by Belgium.

Anyway, when we finished the tour we were given free little samples of their Easy Street unfiltered wheat beer.

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Amber loves beer too so we were in heaven!! Since they didn’t really do any sampler trays we decided to get two more beers and all split them.

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We got the Myrcenary at 9.3% abv and the 5 Barrell Pale Ale at 5.2% abv.

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These two were not quite my preferred style and were much hoppier, but splitting them was a good idea. I think I preferred the 5 Barrel Pale Ale a bit more because its more of an English style Pale ale and was not overly hoppy for my palate.

We left in high spirits even though we got rained out of our climbs earlier. But they day didn’t end there, we then headed to another bar but ill save that for next time!

Beers with Chris and Andy

Chris and I usually only hang out during football season, sad but true. So this year we decided to change that! Chris and Andy met us out in DC for some drinks! Actually, before the drinks we first met up and saw a really strange art show synchronized swimming thing. There wasn’t much swimming, but there was a lot of art. So afterward we headed over to Bearnaise, a Belgian restaurant for dinner and drinks.

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It was a cute little place, but they only had four beers!! They seemed very pleased that they had Delirium Tremens on tap for the lowest price in the district, but I was willing to pay a little more for good beers and a bit more selection.

Anyway, I ordered a beer I hadn’t had in years! I got the Affligem Blonde by Brouwerij De Smedt/ Brouwerij Affligem of Opwijk, Belgium at 6.8% abv.

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Once I stopped being a beer snob and got over their lack of selection, I got down to really enjoying this beer! Sometimes I forget that this is one of the most basic kinds of Belgian beers. You can’t turn your nose up at a good blonde! Very bready and yeasty, smooth and full, light citrus and pepper. Lively carbonation and exceptionally drinkable on a hot summer day!

Unfortunately Chris had to return home at this time, but after a few drinks Andy and I were ready to keep going! We headed over to H St and began a night of bar hopping. I was ready to check out some new places on H St since we always go to the same ones.

First we hit up The Liberty Tree, and we both got the Edmund Fitzgerald by Great Lakes Brewing of Cleveland, OH at 5.8% abv. Such a fantastic go-to porter, one of the best of the style I think.

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A night on H St is never complete without a stop at Granville Moore’s. We popped in and were lucky enough to get a table! I got the Scotch de Silly by Brasserie de Silly of Silly, Belgium at 8% abv.

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Definitely a powerful and unforgettable beer. I really enjoy the style of Scotch Ale/ Wee heavy. This does not mean it is aged in scotch barrels. It means it undergoes a longer boil to caramelize the wort. They are typically sweeter, have a fuller body, and are higher in alcohol.

Even after all this, we kept going! At this point Jack bailed but we decided to go across the street for one more beer. We made our way through traffic to the upstairs bar at Smith Commons and we must have been having some good luck because we immediately got two seats at the bar!

I didn’t get a picture of the beer I ordered, how odd. But I got the Ommegang Abbey Ale, since they were out of my first choice beer, from Brewery Ommegang of Cooperstown, NY at 8.5% abv.

It was a night of fantastic beers! Thanks for going strong, Andy! Chris and Jack, there’s always next time!

Fancy Date Night

To celebrate the anniversary of our first date, we decided to go out for dinner and beers to a new Belgian restaurant on 14th St, called B Too. The place was great, but what is with the name? So boring and unoriginal.

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Anyway, I started off the night with the Ichtegem’s Grand Cru by Brouwerij Strubbe of Ichtegem, Belgium at 6.5% abv.

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This beer is very similar to Duchess de Bourgogne,but not quite as fantastic I think. Nice and tart, cider vinegar, cherries, oak barrels, light body and crisp.

I couldn’t decide on my next beer, but I wanted to try something different. I got the Scaldis Triple by Brasserie Dubuisson.

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Floral/ citrus hops, spices, orange peel, bready, and the comforting taste of Belgian yeast. Creamy and smooth, medium bodied.

And of course we had waffles for dessert!

It was a fantastic date night! The best part about B Too is that it looks like they have a late night waffle bar in the front! I hope to be walking past slightly buzzed one day and have this wonderful sight await me!

Liz Going Away Happy Hour at Biergartenhaus

I suppose I got a little ahead of myself, I was excited about the CO trip and completely overlooked other nights when good beer was tasted!

So right before the trip to CO we had Liz’s official going away at Biergartenhaus in DC.

I am not the biggest fan of German beer, but they must have added a new offering to their menu because I promptly made up my mind and ordered the Weihenstephaner Korbinian of Freising, Germany at 7.4% abv.

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I knew right away it was the beer for me because it was considered their “strong” doppelbock. I don’t usually consider 7.4 unusually strong (average for Belgian beer) but it was dark, so I thought it looked promising.

Promising it was, I think I had three that night so it must have been pretty good! Caramel and soft fresh bread like in a bakery, dark and sweet with molasses and brown sugar. Medium bodied, one of the better doppelbocks I’ve had!

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It was a fantastic night! Liz, we will all miss you very much! Come back and visit!!

Summer Trip to Colorado to Visit Liz!

Sadly, Liz left DC and moved to CO. But that’s awesome because that means we get to visit! I was super pumped about going to CO, I knew we would get to hang out, climb a lot, and drink great beers!

As soon as we got there the first day we headed out for some climbing, we spent the rest of the afternoon in Clear Creek Canyon right outside of Golden.

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After climbing, we ventured into Golden for dinner and beers!

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Liz suggested and we found the Golden City Brewery! They have unusual hours and we made it with about an hour or so before they closed. Yes, it was only 5:30 in the evening. I have no idea why they (and seemingly everything else) closes so early!

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They had a nice selection of their beers and of course I went straight for the stout.

I had their Lookout Stout at 5% abv with IBU 22. I really like when places give the IBUs. IBU stands for International Bitterness Units. Usually hoppy beers will have a much higher IBU than a stout. IPAs usually have an IBU of about 75. I really prefer beers with low IBUs, and CO is known for brewing lots of super hoppy beers. I was very pleased to find the Lookout Stout.

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A well done oatmeal stout, nice chocolate malts. Smooth with hints of toffee and raisins. Medium bodied and the oats really help with the body. Very enjoyable! I’m glad we got a chance to try some of their beers!

On the down side though, the food truck left just as we were sitting down. It looked so good!! Bummer. We had to make do with pizzas from down the street.

Clarendon Date Night

One reason I love living in Clarendon is because there are tons of great restaurants in walking distance. We’ve been meaning on checking out a cute place called Green Pig Bistro. The food was killer but the beer menu was small. With lack of options I branched out and tried a new beer!

I got the Anderson Valley Summer Solstice Cream Ale by Anderson Valley Brewing Company of Boonville, CA at 5% abv.

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Sweet and malty and surprisingly full bodied. I’m not sure what makes them name this beer Summer Solstice, its not really what I would imagine as a summer beer. Caramel, moderate carbonation, and yes, very creamy.Not sure if I would order this beer again. But I may try another in the same Cream Ale category just to explore.

Later after an amazing dinner we walked a block or two to Lyon Hall, which has a great beer menu, and got another drink to finish off the night! Not saying the cream ale was unpleasant, but my night would not be complete until I ordered a good Belgian beer.

Again I tried a new beer and got the Saxo by Brasserie Caracole of Falmignoul, Belgium at 8% abv.

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As you can see in the picture, big foamy head. This is a much softer beer, light and fruity. Well balanced with the malts and hops, tastes of lemon zest, fresh bread, and apricots. A good amount of carbonation and medium body.