We had plans to visit several breweries in and around Boulder during our trip, but sadly we were only able to make it to 2.
The first one was Avery Brewing. Jeff was really excited to take one of their tours and see how a real large-scale production operates, but we missed their only tour of the day by a half hour. He was pretty annoyed, since their website said no appointments were necessary and to come in any time for a tour.
Since we were already there (and it was quite a trek to get out there to begin with) we just saddled up to the bar in the tasting room and proceeded to get our drink on instead.
We each chose 2 samples to start with. I can’t remember what Jeff ordered, probably an IPA or two, but I remember I got one flavored with passion fruit and the other with Buddha’s hand citrus. I loved the citrus one, but the passion fruit beer was sour and disgustingly thick and fruity. I knew I wouldn’t like it but I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try something so unique.
We tried 4 more offerings, then we each chose our favorites and had a pint of each. Yeah, we drank a lot of alcohol that afternoon, but it was so much fun to get to try so many different things!
We had planned to try to get back to Avery later in the week to actually get a tour from them, but time got away from us and by the end of the week it seemed like a better use of our time to tour a different brewery rather than go back to the same one.
We took a bus northward out of the city to a little local brewery called Upslope.
It was in a little warehouse strip surrounded by mountain views.
They were cleaning the brewing area when we got there, so we decided to sample some beers while we waited for them to be ready to give a tour.
I think these were the pale ale, brown ale, and IPA. Every single one of these was fantastic! They were all right on point for style but each had a little special note of something to distinguish them from similar beers on the market.
We also tried a few variations that are not really our style just for fun. These were the barleywine, barrel-aged Belgian dark, and a lager.
The lager was very good for what it is. I just don’t typically like lagers because they all tend to taste the same, but this one had a really enjoyable bready aftertaste that bulked it up a bit. I would have loved the Belgian dark a few years ago when I was really into them, but now I find all beers of this style too sweet. It was very well made though. But the barleywine was definitely not my cup of tea. It’s thick and unbearably sweet. Again, well made but not something I could actually drink a full glass of.
After a couple of hours of sampling beer and chatting up the locals, the bartender was ready to give us a tour.
One of the coolest things was their canning machine. Upslope only uses cans for their beers, not only to reduce light damage to the product but also because cans have a lighter impact on the environment. Environmental impact is one of their greatest concerns as a company and it reflects in everything they do.
Barrels for aging Belgian beers…
Jeff really enjoyed getting to see all of their brewing equipment and learning a little about brewing on a large scale. I could just see him making a mental wish list of all the pretty brewing equipment he wants now.
And we’d both had so much to drink that I thought I might be hallucinating the family of groundhogs we saw on the way out!
The whole lot was full of them, and they were screaming at us because obviously we’re giant vultures come to snatch up their babies!
Anyway, I wish we got to tour one of the larger breweries in the area, but I’m glad we got to see what we did.
Do you have a favorite brand or brewery for beer?