There are approximately 110 breweries and brew pubs in Colorado. I know this because Friend of CJS Keithage bought me a map of all of them throughout the state. At that moment we made it our new goal to visit them all. So with 70 some under our belts and a free Saturday (the first one in months) we decided to cross some more off the list. The destinations for this particular Saturday were the sleepy mountain towns of Frisco, Dillon, Keystone and Idaho Springs.

For those of you unfamiliar with the geography of Colorado, those places are roughly an hour west of Denver. That far away meant that we would definitely need a designated driver, so we enlisted the aid of Mama Hart. She was a good sport about it so we bought her lunch. And because the more the merrier, my sister and her boyfriend came along too.

After waiting for Keithage to show up after a miscommunication of where to meet, we all piled into the car and headed for the hills. Now an hour in the car with no beer, how ever would we fill the time? The way I saw it we had three options: chit chat, some kind of game, or show tunes. We opted for chit chat and a game. The game was punching each other when we spotted a license plate other than the standard Colorado one. Riding shot gun I was in a bad situation to hit everyone else. Though I had a pretty good shot at punching Keithage in the dick. I should have just taken that kill shot and ended the game, would have saved me from the bruise I ultimately ended up with.

Now on to the beers.

Backcountry Brewery

This was the first brewery we hit, as implied by the way it shows up first in this article, (however it was the farthest away in Frisco) and it would set the bar for the rest of the trip. We took advantage of the lovely weather we had and sat outside. Some advice: when getting a tray of sampling beers, sitting out in the sun is not recommended, unless you enjoy warm beer. Our waitress was super friendly and despite the Kendra Wilkinson laugh, she would prove to be the best server of the day. But the thing that stood out the most was her name, Jyoti pronounced Joe-tea. When I first read the name on the receipt I assumed she spelled it wrong, but what kind of 20-something retard spells their own name wrong? The name is some kind of Hindu-flower-child-something or other. She explained it but I was starting to feel the beers at that point and can’t remember now.

Now the real reason we were there, to drink beers. Backcountry Brewery had one of the most incredible sample platters. We got seven samples a piece and they were those samples that are like double samples.  It was like having four whole beers, four whole beers with high ABV. We had a nice buzz/low level drunk when we left there. I recall two pretty tasty beers from Backcountry, the Oktoberfest and the amber. The pilsner was fairly awful and it supposedly won silver at the Great American Beer Fest one year, I don’t know which year, I can’t be bothered to read everything.

With the world buzzing around us, we got back into the car and headed to Dillon and more alcohol.

Dillon Dam Brewery

The Dillon Dam Brewery is more affectionately known as the Dam Brewery. Which to us means the door is open for stupid jokes and quotes from movies, e.g. “Where can I get some dam bait?” “Is this a god dam?” So of course when the waiter asked how we were Keithage had no choice but to answer, “Dam good.” The waiter was not amused. I was.

Nothing really stood out about their beers.  I couldn’t pick them out from sort of beer line up. However a beer line up sounds awesome and something I hope to participate in. It was number 4, that’s the one whole stole my wallet officer.  This beer served only as something to sip as Keithage explained the current NCAA football standings. It was quite informative and it had me checking in on the Auburn/Georgia game this passed weekend. Final summation, could have done this without driving an hour.

Pug Ryan’s Steakhouse and Brewery

Also in Dillon is this little hole in the wall place. Seriously this place was tiny and it smelled like fish. There were five of us and we seated around one small ass table. I am truly surprised there wasn’t a bunch of spills in this place. It was just begging for it. To add insult to injury here, our waitress was slightly rude and a bit of a bitch. She continually walked away in the middle of our questions and seemed very upset that she had to bring us beer. I mean she probably was, but if you’re expecting a tip at least put on an act.

At this point I can’t say if the beer didn’t stand out because they didn’t make good beer or of I was just too drunk to make an informed decision. I do recall many jokes at the expense of the beer called “Morning Wood.” I am absolutely amazed sometimes that I am 27 and a functioning member of society. Somehow this place was only 8 dollars for three sampler trays, so it wins the prize for best deal.

Wolf Rock Steakhouse and Brewery

Next stop was in Keystone. This was the most obnoxious place we would visit. It started when both the Mapquest directions and the GPS were unable to get us there. At one point I called the brewery to have an employee get us there, he really wasn’t that much help. He did eventually tell us we were close and should park in the big lot there and walk to the place. And despite my naturally ingrained sense of direction and the fact that I was in the front seat and could see up ahead I was vetoed in my go forward there should be the parking lot entrance and we went in the wrong direction.

Eventually we got to Wolf Rock and to our disappointment they stopped making their own beer. All that work for nothing. Lousy outdated paper technology that doesn’t automatically update itself. So we had a quick beer and left where once again I was arguing with Keithage about directions, and once again I was right.

Tommyknocker Brewery

One last brewery on our agenda for this lovely November Saturday. We decided, or Mama Hart decided we were going to take the scenic route through Loveland Pass and a quick stop at the Continental Divide. It was here where Keithage and I sorta almost picked a fight with some CU guys. That is to say we saw the sticker on their car and began to talk loudly to each other about how awful CU is as we climbed back into the car. A couple of tough guys.

Upon arrival at Tommyknocker, one thing was very clear, we were drunk. But that didn’t stop us from ordering yet another sampler. Now either because it was a lot of beer or because of the said drunkenness, this felt like the largest sampler of the day. Even with so much alcohol clouding the brain, Tommyknocker beers are quite good and have such robust flavors it was still easy to tell they were the best brews of the day. The big winner was the Maple Nut Brown Ale.

It was here as well where the drunk could really be seen. Keithage and I starting having one of those deep drunk conversations about life and all things involved, the conversation that you can only have when you are drunk with a good friend. That is usually my favorite conversation to have. Mostly we lamented the fact that Senor Limon was stuck in Arizona instead of back here where he belongs.

Then we stumbled back into the car and finished up the trek home to the Denver metro area. We were too drunk and it was too dark to take back up our license plate game. So everyone decided to play a new game called “Grill Hart About His New Lady Friend.” That’s a fun game. Then I went home and attempted to do homework and fell asleep on the laptop.

Overall a very good day.

See ya on the Pacific drift…

lee.s.hart@crujonessociety.com

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