Colorado Springs is home to the United States Air Force Academy, a college hockey team I hate, some good friends of CJS and apparently some quality beers, well mostly. That’s right, Keithage and I made another entry on our Colorado Brewery Tour bed post. This trip took us south of our home and involved only three of the eight breweries in the general Colorado Springs area. Turns out we developed some of that responsibility stuff our parents always get us about. That and our lives are stupid busy lately and we don’t have the pleasure of taking more than an afternoon for our alcohol hobby. Alcohol hobby sounds so much better than alcoholism.

With a plan in tact, Keithage and I piled into the truck and headed on down. He left the fiancé home to do wedding stuff, or so he says. I think he was kicked out for offering less than ideal input. “Programs? Oh sure, just write the things on there and fold ‘em. I used to make those for the high school theater productions. They’ll be done in no time!” I can’t say that was the actual dialogue, but I bet it’s close.

Trinity Brewing

Our first stop was Trinity Brewing and Keithage had a $25 Groupon for the place. Can’t go wrong with that. With the no real knowledge of the place, we were surprised to see how hippie-tastic the place was.

Normally this place has 6 regular beers that they brew. On this particular day they had three available, because they have the work ethic of hippies. The head brewer can’t be bothered to ensure there is more beer available or some stupid shit. So we did the “sampler” of three beers and because it was a pathit-sad sampler we weren’t charged for them. That’s when we realized we were about to have the most trouble ever spending $25 at a brewery. New Belgium has free samplers and I still manage to drop $25 in there.

Normally we’d just have nine pints and that would be that, but we were short a DD so that option was out. We each had a pint and still had to figure out how to spend $15. Keithage had the IPA, which was probably the best tasting IPA either one of us had. I really don’t like IPAs, I’ll suffer through a taster of one, but I won’t ever order one. However, this is one that I would order. I ordered the wit or something. It wasn’t worth remembering or really thinking about again. I eventually ordered another beer, and Keithage tried some locally made watermelon soda, which was really good, despite being rather sweet. It tasted like a watermelon Jolly Rancher, in liquid form. Then Keithage filled a growler and that got us to the $25 mark.

So this microbrewery was mostly terrible. However, there were two highlights. The first was the hippie waitress we had who is against bras, at least she was against them this day. When a breeze would come, or when she reached over her top would open a bit and give us a nice nipple shot. And because Keithage’s fiancé reads this site, he was a perfect gentleman and never broke eye-contact with her. Actually, I have no idea what he was looking at. I was set on her chest and have no clue what Keithage was doing. But he probably was the gentleman I spoke of earlier.

The second thing was the little garden they had growing by the table we were sitting at. This added to the over all hippieness of the place, and not in the sense that this was some kind of pot garden. It was a real vegetable and herb garden. Keithage has a bit of a green thumb so he was pretty stoked about it. Even going so far as to water it. I realize that sounds like he decided to take a piss on in, but he actually turned on the hose and water the garden.  It’s the kind of charming thing that only Keithage would do. Any of my other friends would have taken a piss on the garden. I don’t want to keep harping on the hippie thing, but c’mon. It’s not that hard to keep a garden watered, Keithage did it in less than five minutes, while drinking. Just set the bong down and do some work for once.

Bristol Brewing

We left the Trinity commune, and their parking lot full of Subarus (Subari? What’s the plural of Subaru?), and made our way to Bristol Brewing and to meet our good friends The Gutters.  Just the idea of what this next beer joint had in store seemed exponentially better.

And the reality of the place did not disappoint. As soon s entering it felt like being in someone’s garage, there was the concrete floor, the high exposed ceiling, and of course and out board motor hanging from the rafters. I love that when you walk in a garage and you see the motor then say, “I didn’t know blank had a boat?” Then you get the response of, “They don’t.” But they do have the motor. Awesome!

Bristol also has shuffleboard. Any place with shuffleboard is alright in my book.

We ordered a couple of samplers, and this place actually had a full compliment of samples. Not a bad beer in the bunch either. I mean the IPA wasn’t great but it was tolerable. The pilsner and the amber were both excellent!

We grabbed a dog bowl full of pretzels and that’s when the Gutters showed up. I haven’t see these two in some time. I guess it was about a year, as they tend to come up only when there’s a wedding. In all fairness I don’t go down there unless beer is involved so I suppose we’re even.

Keithage and Mrs. Gutter talked some wedding stuff and I wasn’t drunk enough to feign interest, but then got chastised for talking about baseball via text messaging. Then Mr. Gutter recounted the story of how they were holed up in their house while the police were in a standoff with the suicidal neighbor across the street, followed by a gracious offer to let us stay at their place next time we come down. What a thoughtful invitation.

Bristol Brewing would stand to be the best one on this trip. Not only was the beer delightfully delicious, but the company and the whole vibe of the place was top notch. The Gutters mentioned how Bristol was a place they frequented, or at least used to before creating a brood. I can definitely see why. My only complaint, the line for shuffleboard was too long. There’s a white person problem if I ever heard one.

We bid the Gutters farewell, until the next wedding, as we had one more stop before heading home and it was getting late, or we were getting old. Fuck.

Colorado Mountain Brewery

Colorado Mountain Brewery was not only our last stop for beer, but it would also serve as a great place to get some food to soak up all the alcohol.

This was the most brew-pub of the place. To the point it was more of a restaurant that made their own beer. The atmosphere was nice; the place seemed almost upscale, almost. They still let me in with my flip flops and punk rock t-shirt. And the place was stacked with ladies of nice asses.

Colorado Mountain Brewery won the day for best beer name for Uni-Brau, which bore a picture of some Bavarian broad with one eyebrow. We were amused. This place also won for most interesting taste in a beer as their wit tasted just like root beer.

We only got the sampler here as Keithage was driving and I was close to hitting that proverbial wall. But these were some excellent beers. Here’s the thing about these beer tours. You always think you’re going to remember the last place the best because it’s the freshest in the memory, but you’ve been drinking all day so things get blurred. My point here, aside from the root beer flavor, I can’t remember what these tasted like. I don’t remember being disgusted by them.

The burger was awesome. Cooked perfectly and had some really familiar sauce on it that was really good. So I would definitely go back, mainly because I want to retry the beers, but there’s not a reason to stay away either.

These beer tours are most excellent, not only for the chance to try all the beers this wonderful state has to offer, but also there are opportunities like the one here to meet up with old friends. But the best part is the chance to hang out with my good Keithage. Between all his wedding planning and our school schedules it’s hard to get together as often as we would like. These trips allow for that, and we’re able to catch up.

There was a time when I would hang out with friends every weekend. We would drink and bullshit and just have fun. I took those times for granted. Being a grown up with stupid ass responsibilities has caused these types of times to fall by the way side. I have become grateful for these rare opportunities.

With new breweries opening nearly every month, I am going to have more of these opportunities. And I ain’t mad at that.

lee.s.hart@crujonessociety.com