As a result of a last minute conspiracy, which will be unveiled at the most opportune moment — The Beer Wench is currently sitting at the Denver Airport in route to Napa via Oakland, CA. And guess what. My flight IS F*ING delayed. Grrrrr.
After the 3 hour flight from Columbus, all The Wench could think about was a pint of beer (ok more like 5 or 6 pints) and some delicious food (ok maybe just ANY type of food). Of course, airports are not known for having the best choices for beer … or food.
And on top it of — unfortunately for me, I read a good portion of “Brewing Up A Business” by Dogfish Head founder, Sam Calgione, during the flight. I was craving craft beer like it was my job (hell … why isn’t it my job?!!!)
Lucky for The Beer Wench, Denver is a bit different than other cities. The airport actually has some good options for beer.
Some of you many have heard of this little brewery called … ummm … what was the name … OH THAT’S RIGHT. New Belgium Brewing Company … a brewery that I have coveted and blogged about a few times in the past. Super eco-friendly and sustainable. Plus, they give all their employees bicycles. IDEAL JOB. (MY resume is inthe mail … AHEM).
WELL! Let me tell you how surprised I was to find a NEW BELGIUM BAR & RESTAURANT within the Denver Airport. Of course, though, it was exactly at the OPPOSITE end of the airport from the gate that I needed to be in.
Once again, lucky for me my 2 hour lay-over turned into a 3+ hour layover. And so, I stayed as long as possible (unfortunately airports close early). As for beer, I had 2 Trippels and an Abbey Style Ale (their double). Both were delicious. I also got a sample of the 1885 on draft. Not bad, but the other Belgium styles were so much more desirable.
ABBEY Belgian Style Ale: Winner of four World Beer Cup medals and eight medals at the Great American Beer Fest, Abbey Belgian Ale is the Mark Spitz of New Belgium’s lineup – but it didn’t start out that way. When Jeff and Kim first sampled the beer at the Lyons Folks Fest, reviews were mixed at best. One of founder Jeff’s first two Belgian style homebrews (along with Fat Tire), Abbey is a Belgian dubbel (or double) brewed with six different malts and an authentic Belgian yeast strain. Abbey is bottle-conditioned, weighs in at 7.0% alcohol by volume, and pairs well with chocolate (or boldly served by itself) for dessert.
TRIPPEL Belgian Style Ale: Our Trippel Belgian Style Ale (pronounced triple) opens with a bold blast of hops that slowly gives way to the fruity esters implied by our Belgian yeast strain. The Three Graces hand-painted on the label are Zeus’s daughters Aglaia (splendor), Euphrosyne (mirth) and Thalia (good cheer). In the Belgian tradition of brewing singles, doubles and triples, Trippel is the strongest with the longest fermentation. Remarkably smooth and complex, our bottle-conditioned Trippel is spiced with a trace of coriander.
Unfortunately for New Belgium, The Beer Wench has become a rather large Belgium beer enthusiast these days. And while their beers were rather extraordinary for Belgium style American craft brews, they still did not compare to the real thing.
What can I say? I have become a Trappist Ale Whore … it happens. (To the best of us!!!)
Still, I’m looking forward to Cavalier importing New Belgium across the Ohio Border. After all, the beer is damn good and their dedication to the planet is more than noteworthy.
Cheers to New Belgium!!! Cheers to Denver!!! Cheers to the mile-high city!!!
Oh, did I mention … that I was born in Denver? It might explain a small part of my insanity!!!