Spring Break 2011 Day 6 Fort Collins Brewin’

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We got to bed early and slept so good I got up kinda early. I put up a post and moved some photos to the computer then the phone rang and Heath woke up. It was the other room and they were ready for breakfast. We headed down and ate. Pumpkin’s cold was pretty bad and she needed an early nap. So after breakfast we took the kids to the hot tub and let them play a bit. Then we laid Pumpkin down and she napped for a few hours. While she was out Heath and I unpacked the van entirely then repacked it better. We got all showered and packed up. When Pumpkin woke we quickly checked out and headed to Hose tooth mountain.

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It was not far but took us a while to get there driving through town and getting gas and stuff. Once there it was really windy so we put on jackets, stuck Pumpkin in the pack and hit the trail.

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We only had about an hour of free time so we made the best of it and hiked for about 30 minutes then turned around and hiked back. It would have been a really cool area to hike more at and check out the actual hose tooth rock and some waterfalls and stuff. In the short hike we saw some diverse areas. It started out really grassy and hilly.  IMG_0394
Then we got into some trees

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We got to a big canyon that lead to a reservoir.

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And we turned around at a really rocky area and headed back to the car.
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We had a 2:00 tour appointment at the New Belgium Brewery so it was our next stop. We parked and noticed it was a cool building with a lot of bikes out front kinda like this.

We checked in for the tour and got a few drink vouchers and tour tickets then Peanut and Heath bellied up to the bar.
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Heath and I shared a sample of their winter seasonal then the tour started. Our guide brought us all into the original brew house and have us a sample of Abby the first beer the founder came up with.  IMG_0408

The equipment behind the guide was used in the founders basement when he started the brewery. Once the Abby beer won some awards they had to move to something bigger. After this we moved from the original brew house to the 2nd one and passed a bunch of pipes and stuff.

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From the 2nd brew house we moved up a story to a little bar area near the top of the tanks they heat the wort in.

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The tour resumed and our guide opened a few cases and gave us each a full can of IPA.  IMG_0417

Donna did not like her first 2 beers so Heath and I drank them for her. At this point we talked about the brewing process and how they do it. After this we went outside and wondered around the other buildings a bit. We found out how “green” the company is and how good at reusing resources they are. The next stop was the Thunderdome the name the employees gave the bottling/canning facility. At the start of this room was the next sample. It just happened that this was the day they first bottled a new summer seasonal beer that will come out in a few weeks. We got to sample this new beer called summer sand I think. Even the guide had never tasted this in it’s final form.
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It was really good and light and unfortunately Donna liked hers so we only got 1 sample. We headed upstairs and watched the beer go into bottles and caps go onto bottles and bottles go into boxes.
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This was Peanut’s favorite part but Pumpkin was not impressed and passed out on a beard pillow.

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Speaking of beard. I have to mention the beard love I experienced on the tour. When the tour first started our guide started off by saying how good looking a group we were and how nice my beard was. Then on our way outside another employee saw me and said “Hey man, congratulations on that beard… ohh and the baby is nice too”

The next stop on the tour was the slide. It was a curvy one and went down at least a story.  IMG_0431
Heath and Peanut did it and in the excitement Pumpkin woke up so we quickly ran up the stairs and got in line before the group was done. Then we gave it a go.  IMG_0432

Then we went back to the first building and had our last two samples at a really fun table.

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Besides samples we made up some post cards and took some fun pictures.
Peanut, Heath, Pumpkin
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Then the tour was open and we headed back to the bar to use our last sample voucher and we got a 1/2 gallon growler of Heath’s favorite 1554. They also had a grape soda stuff for Peanut.  IMG_0442

Our next stop was nearly next door at the Odell brewery. Tours ended at 3 and we were too late for that so we just peaked in the window.

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The tasting room was open though so we ordered a sample platter.  IMG_0444

There were lots of tasty ones but our favorite taste and name was the hoppin goat.

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They don’t sell this anywhere and the $4 tasting trey came with a $4 coupon so we got a growler of this too. It sounds crazy but after this and a water break we started our 11 hour trip home. I drove first and got us to a really tasty Mexican place called Corona outside of Denver. We ate hear on the end of our last trip and knew it was good. I ordered a hot pulled pork chimichanga and boy was it hot.

Once we were all stuffed we headed home. Heath drove the first 1/2 and I drove the second. We listened to 15 episodes of The Moth podcast then listened to a handful of episodes of radio lab. These were both too interesting for Heath or I to sleep during so we didn’t sleep much on the way home. We got home between 3:30 and 4:00am. Heath got Peanut in bed and I changed Pumpkin and put her in bed. Donna went home and I made a big turkey sandwich ate it and headed to bed.

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