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Thursday, December 24,2009

One couple's exploration of the best brewpubs in Colorado

By Margaret Grondorf

When Kathy and Lee Hayward took their final bows and said goodbye to the teaching profession almost two years ago, instead of staying at home and driving each other nuts, they decided to embark on a one-year road trip in their RV, visiting different towns throughout Colorado.

“We started running into these small brewpubs and found them to be a unique reflection of the small communities in which they were located,” says Lee Hayward. “We bounced the [book idea] off of some friends and everyone thought it was a good idea.”

The result is their guidebook, Drinking and Driving in Colorado: A Guide to Colorado’s Brewpubs. While the title is somewhat controversial, Lee maintains that it is all in good fun and asks the reader to make responsible decisions when patronizing the pubs.

From Denver to Salida, Lee and Kathy hit all the major pubs and many of the more obscure ones. The guide is broken down by area and gives a brief history of the towns as well as pub-related quotes to enliven the directory. In addition to describing the different pubs’ beer on tap, Kathy and Lee also highlight their favorites.

And because this is a guide to brewpubs, there were a few breweries that didn’t make the list.

“For our book, we defined a brewpub as a place that brewed their own craft beer and served food, not just munchies,” Lee says of the establishments they visited. “That eliminated breweries like Odells, New Belgium and other great craft breweries, but we did include them in an index with their contact information.”

The last book of this variety to be published in Colorado was in 1997 and hence was a bit outdated. Lee also indicated that part of this exploration was learning of the fragile nature of brewpubs in general. He and Kathy had to remove a listing before the book went to print, because the pub had closed down in the time since they had visited it.

Besides making for a great almanac and fun story, Lee says that a lot of their experience surrounded the brewers and drinkers themselves.

“Drinking great beer develops camaraderie among beer drinkers, and the most exceptional experience we had was meeting and visiting with fellow connoisseurs. The conversations that followed brought many interesting tales of the unique beers being brewed, the history of the building, and often some engaging stories of the community,” Lee says of the year and a half of research and tasting at the facilities.

Drinking and Driving in Colorado: A Guide to Colorado’s Brewpubs is available now at the Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, the Artisan’s Center in Cherry Creek North, the Anthology Book Company in Loveland, and online at www.drinkingdrivingcolorado.com.

The Haywards’ guide is a formidable addition to any reference library and a must-have on statewide road trips.

Lee adds that “Colorado has a lot of fine craft beer, go out and enjoy some, but don’t drink and drive!”

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Thanks man


Well, this could actually turn up in helping some people who are in north carolina senior living need. I need to make sure that I take in all the information before I start up my own. I think I will just get their book and read it.