Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Colorado: The Non-Running Stuff Part Two

After lunch we took a very short drive to Longmont's industrial park area to have a sampling at Left Hand Brewing. Dave discovered this place last year when he was visiting his aunt during a work trip. Left Hand's Milk Stout is one of our favorite beers. It was crowded when we arrived because a tour was about to start (we opted-out) so it took a bit to get our beers. We had a sampler of darks and a glass of Oktoberfest. At first, we took our samples outside, but the sun was hot and there was no air movement, so we moved inside. The tasting room has ample seating and lots to look at on the wall.

The beer of note this time was Beer Week Sauce which is described as:

In honor of Craft Beer Weeks all around the US, Left Hand created a special one-off beer called Beer Week Sauce Porter. This American-style porter contains a fair amount of coffee; which is just the thing that you’ll need to keep going through this week!
You could really taste the coffee.

After purchasing a couple of souvenirs we got back in the car and headed down to Boulder. It was a great drive with the mountains on our car's right side. We stopped into Fleet Feet to pick up Holly's race packet and a new running skirt (used coupon in the race packet). After that we made our next stop at Twisted Spoke Brewery. This brewer was also in an industrial park and was not well-marked. On the plus side, they had umbrellas and lots of outdoor tables. Another difference from Left Hand was the fact that they also served food.

We picked up a few samplers that included a raspberry wheat, regular stout, coffee stout, raspberry expresso stout, and honey nut brown. All beers were pretty good. One thing we noticed is samplers cost more in Boulder than in Longmont.
Note:  Some time does elapse between samplings

Next, off to our hotel: The Quality Inn. It was rated very high and a decent price for walking distance to the downtown area. We relaxed a bit before going out. It was about a 10-15 minute walk to the. Start of Pearl Street Mall. The street was turned into a few block long pedestrian mall that has a mix of shops, restaurants, and public square areas. It was very crowded at this time. Lots of street performers ranging from the 60's throwbacks, modern hippies, world beat drummers, balloon artists, and children forced to play the violin.

First stop was Rio Grande famous for it's rooftop seating. This place was hoppin'!

Next, we went to the upscale St. Julien Hotel and had a cocktail in their lounge.  There was a pretty wedding reception occurring in their courtyard:`

Afterwards we went to The West End Tavern before heading to dinner at SALT. This is where we learned how casual Boulder was. SALT had a fine dining menu, but everyone just came in as they were. We saw a couple stow their kid (no better way to put it) on a decorative pillowed ledge almost on-top of other diners and they didn't care. We had some Colorado wine and shared mussels for an appetizer. Dave had chicken with risotto and roasted carrots and Holly had pork with a polenta cake. All was excellent. Dave had their coffee ice cream with cocoa nibs and proclaimed it the best ice cream ever!

The final stop of the night was to hear some live music at Chez Cuvee Wine Bar. They had a great jazz trio called Artful Dodger featuring a female vocalist, male bassist, and male guitarist. Both guys were also good singers. Unfortunately the band ended at 10 and the bar closed afterwards. Oh well, time to go home.

We'll finish up the Non-Running portion in our next post!

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