For the Christmas holiday, I flew out to Denver to be with my family in Laramie. Evan picked me up at the airport on Thursday after a packed flight. We headed straight to Fort Collins to visit a few breweries before we drove up to Laramie.

First we headed to CooperSmith’s Pub & Brewing for lunch. I had a great Ring of Fire burger and had the Punjabi Pale Ale, Cask Conditioned Punjabi, and tried a sample of the Sigda’s Green Chili which was pretty crazy. I’d never had a chili beer before, and the chili flavor (they used Anaheim and Serrano peppers) was strong. It was also spicy. No one else at the table seemed to enjoy it, but I thought the sample 5 oz was great. I wouldn’t have wanted any more though.

After SooperSmith’s, we went to Equinox Brewing and had a couple of flights of their beers. They were brewing a lot of Pale Ales and I guess super hoppy beers aren’t my family’s favorites. I really enjoyed them though, especially their Remy’s Saison IPA.

Local homebrewer extrordinaire, Remi Bonnart, won the title of National Homebrewer of the Year in 2010. To celebrate his victory, we brought Remi in to brew one of his recipes. This Saison IPA incorporates the dry, spicy profile of a saison with the bitter, citrusy hop profile of an American IPA. ABV 8.1% / IBU: 45

Then we headed out to Odell Brewing and had a couple of their flights. Their Easy Street Wheat was one of the beers served at Amanda and Evan’s wedding, so the brewery wasn’t completely foreign. I wanted to try a flight that was heavy on IPAs but I got overruled. The beers were pretty good. I really liked the 90 Shilling, Levity Amber Ale, and the Isolation Ale.

After Odell was the highlight of the day, a tour at New Belgium Brewing. The whole place was pretty impressive and I’m glad we experienced it. Out of all of the beers we tasted, I enjoyed the La Folie, a sour brown ale. I’d never had anything like it and it was spectacular. Nothing I’d want to drink much of, but definitely a great sipping beer.

Once we got to Laramie, we were greeted with a bunch of snow on the ground, and some cold weather. It’s really pretty out here and I really would like to live around Colorado/Wyoming.

We haven’t been running yet, but I went cross country skiing with Evan. Well, tried to learn skate skiing, but it didn’t go too well. We’ll get back out there on some classic skis tomorrow probably. Today we’re going sledding up near Happy Jack, and I’m really excited.

I’ll post some more photos later on.