Fall has always been a time of inspiration for me. This year I got my autumn started right with a visit to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival. I was in town on a business trip all week, so I was fortunate to explore some local establishments before the big night. As soon as I got in, I headed straight to Great Divide . I was torn about what I would find there. On the one hand, I was feeling autumnal and could have gone for some Oak Aged Yeti, or another of their famous winter flavors, but when I saw my old friend Colette Farmhouse Ale, the choice was clear, I had a delicious pint straight from the source.
The pub crawl I had envisioned was cut short by a delayed flight, so there was only time to hit one more brewery before calling it a night. Usually I’m full of research and plans, but this time I just picked a spot based on geography, and it turned out really well. The second stop of the night was at Copper Kettle brewery . I’d never heard of them before, and with time for only one pint at closing time, I went for their flagship Mexican Chocolate Stout. It was sublime, tasty bittersweet chocolate and delicious notes of hot peppers. This GABF gold medal beer had a great balance of heat, chocolate and stout, none of which overwhelmed the other. It was a pleasant surprise, and the bartender’s fantasy football enthusiasm allowed me to stay a bit past closing time an savor this big, tasty beer.
I took a few nights off, and by “off” I only had the occasional beer, the Tommyknocker’s pumpkin harvest ale, a solid pumpkin beer with lunch, and a Funkwerks Saison with dinner. Neither disappointed, although I did have the thought that I’d rather Collette than the Saison, then I shook my head and realized if this was the big dilemma of the day, things were definitely alright.