Savor, dear readers, the rare industry that doesn’t require constant branding and marketing. There are tons of opportunity for branding in the craft beer industry, of course, but there isn’t a pathological need for it like with cars or cookies or coffee or most everything you can think of.
But when Baile came by, we couldn’t help but ask whether the Cucumber Cream Ale was ready. Soon it was sitting in front of us, and I was, as I said, filled with fear, dread and doubt. And you thought writing about beer trips was all fun and games.
Much is made of Boulder County, and particularly the city, being different from the rest of the country. I can’t speak to that as a whole, but I can say it’s pretty different from my hometown in Northeast Ohio. And nowhere was that more apparent than Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place.
We have a tendency here to be fascinated with the new. Uh, we’re journalists. This whole beer tour was inspired by the explosion of new breweries in the county in the last few years. But celebrating Boulder’s beer is just as much about the long-standing as the new, and we’re certainly not ignorant of history.
There’s a lot of sharing on our beer tour. When I describe six of a brewery’s beers in this column, I didn’t order six beers. I just brought five people. We pass everything around, and even trade or give away beers we don’t care for.
The beer tour launched its Longmont leg last week, heading up the Diagonal to longtime standout Left Hand. For the next two weeks East County is our home, as we hit Oskar Blues this week and the Pumphouse the next.
It’s easy enough to name the most obvious trends in Boulder County brewing. Three breweries are planning to open this summer in Lafayette; Boulder loves beer that’s heavy on the hops; barrel-aging is big.
We didn’t have much hope for food in Gravity Brewing’s Louisville warehouse. They’ve got a billionfoot-long bar and pool and pingpong tables, but there’s no sign of dining until we smell someone else’s fries.