Skip to Content

blog post

Boulder brewery tours

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.

Avery beer tanks

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.

Avery tap row

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.

First Avery tastings

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!

Second Avery tastings

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.

Heading into Upslope brewery

It was in a little warehouse strip surrounded by mountain views.

Upslope Brewery

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.

First Upslope tastings

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.

Second Upslope tastings

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.

Upslope beer tanks

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.

Upslope canning machine

Barrels for aging Belgian beers…

Upslope barrel aging

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. 😉

Us touring Upslope

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!

groundhogs outside Upslope

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?

blog post

Our Boulder vacation

As of today I’ve started the preparations for my brother-in-law’s wedding cake. I’m currently elbow-deep in 4 quarts of homemade strawberry jam. I’ll be taking photos of the process like last time and I’ll show you the results next week.

So this week I thought I’d recap our recent trip to Boulder, CO. Looking back, I realize we didn’t take that many pictures, but I assure you were were busy and entertained the entire time.

First off, I’ve gotta show you this awesome rental property we found on that was walking distance from downtown Boulder. It was a renovated garage separate from the main house on a residential property. We fell in love with the super-modern design and the full kitchen and bath.

Rental house bed

There was a huge flat-screen TV with Netflix and Pandora radio, all basic cooking equipment, and an awesome rain shower.

Rental house kitchen

We loved having this private cottage to ourselves all week, and believe it or not, it was way cheaper than any of the hotels in the area. We stayed a whole week for less than $500! The owners, Kim and Asa, have another rental property attached to their home also, and they were very helpful in making sure we had everything we needed while simultaneously staying out of our hair.

Rental house bathroom

We’re totally sold on this type of sleep accommodation while traveling now. We’ll definitely look for something like this again the next time we venture out. If you’re ever in Boulder and need a place to stay, check out the Mapleton House, you won’t regret it!

Anyway, every day we would have breakfast at the rental (there was a Whole Foods walking distance from it that we used to stock up on breakfast foods) and then chill for a while before heading into town for the rest of the day. It was at least a mile to the busy downtown area, but the walk was flat and beautifully scenic…

Me posing along PearlJeff posing along Pearl

Everywhere you looked there were mountains and greenery. The air had a lovely crisp smell like the mineral smell of melted ice. The air is much dryer than we were used to being that we both grew up in Georgia humidity, so we had problems with feeling dry and itchy the whole time, but it’s probably something we’d adjust to if we were there longer.

Boulder is an extremely active city. There are few cars around, but tons of bicycles and pedestrians. One of the most fun things we did was to rent bikes to ride along the Boulder Creek Path that runs horizontally through Boulder for miles.

Full Cycle bike rentals and shop

We probably rode for 6 or so miles along the path, stopping here and there to take in the scenery.

Bridge beside Boulder Creek Path

Creek along Boulder Creek Path

Stacked rocks in creek

The Boulder Creek Path

Tumbling waters beside Boulder Creek Path

I really loved the emphasis on nature in Boulder. There are so many opportunities to enjoy your natural surroundings, even within the city limits. It’s impossible not to stumble upon beautiful views almost everywhere you go.

Some of the best views though, are from atop the mountains. Jeff has a friend from college that we met up with early in the week, and her father was nice enough to drive us around Boulder and up into the mountains. I’m so grateful that he was able to do that for us because we intended to hike those mountains later in the week but never got around to it because we were too exhausted from all the walking and biking we did! If he hadn’t driven us up there we just would have missed it entirely.

View from the mountains

I still wish we got to do some hiking, but I’m glad we got this view anyway.

Us on the mountaintop

If there’s one thing Boulder has a lot of, it’s nature, but the second place finisher would definitely be breweries! Tomorrow I’ll show you some of the local Boulder breweries we toured and the copious amounts of beer that were consumed!

Do you prefer more nature or more city attractions on vacations?

blog post

I’m not dead

I’m sure you didn’t think I was dead, but I’ve been absent from the blog world for over a month now, barely even reading or commenting on other blogs because I’ve been so busy!!!

Here’s a little of what’s been sucking away at my time…

So….remember how I said I was writing a book? Yeah, well, every deadline I have set for this project has been set back time and time again because apparently I am a terrible judge of how long anything is going to take to complete.

Crunchy roasted popcorn edamame

I have been devoting every waking thought and every hour of every day to getting this thing done and I’m finally close to the end of this madness. Guys, writing a book is hard. I don’t know why I thought it would be a breeze, but I definitely have a new respect for authors of all kinds. Any romantic thoughts I used to have of an author sitting at a big oak desk in front of a rusty typewriter casually sipping on a cup of tea as the words just effortlessly flow onto the page have been dashed. It’s work, ya’ll.

Somewhat more enjoyable though, was planning for a vacation!  Jeff and I just got back from a week in Boulder, CO a few days ago…

Boulder scenery on the mountain

We chose Boulder because we have some friends out there that we haven’t seen in a while, and because many people have told us that we’d enjoy it there. We both needed a vacation badly and we definitely had a great time. I’ll tell you all about it in another post though.

And now, for the next week or so, this will be my future…

Stuff for Caitlin's cake

I’m baking a wedding cake for Jeff’s youngest brother; Bryan, and his fiance, Caitlin. I’ve spent the last few days procuring the items I’ll need to make it, all I have left to buy are the fresh ingredients, such as eggs and milk, which I’ll get this weekend.

I’m trying to recreate this cake…

Caitlin's cake

The only difference will be the topper. Rather than a fondant rose, she’s providing a silver “T” monogram which I’ll frame with a few leftover roses or lilies. It’s gonna take all week to make. I’ll definitely share the process with you guys like I did last time too.

So that’s what’s been keeping me away. This month is going to be extremely busy with putting the cake together and then trying my hardest to finish the book, but I’m going to try to be more present on the blog if I can. I miss you guys!

So what have you been up to?