Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thirsty Thursday: Winter Park, CO

Well, we’re back from Colorado; had a great trip, but glad to be home where it’s warmer…oh, wait…it’s sleeting outside.  Nevermind….ANYWAY!  We’re home, we get to sleep in our own bed, we get to hang out with our pug, we get to go back to work…err…this list just keeps taking wrong turns….

MOVING ON…one of the nice things about Colorado, aside from the great skiing, is beer.  SO many craft & micro breweries scattered across the rocky countryside, I wonder if we’ll ever get to try them all. 

And Winter Park is no slouch.  There’s Moffat Station Brewery, which we visited last year, and the new Library Sports Bar & Brewery, which we didn’t have a chance to visit this trip, but hopefully they’re a success & still around the next time we make it out that way.

There’s plenty of spots along the base of Winter Park to have a nice après ski, with Happy Hour’s running generally between 3-5pm (the ski lifts shut down around 4pm).  The most appealing (in my opinion), being the preciously named “Cheeky Monk” near the entrance to Winter Park Village.

 brew 010

So on Monday evening, the hubs & I decided to go check it out, after a rather full day of skiing (okay, “full” by my definition, was from 9:30am-2pm, when my knee decided it was tired of skiing and crashed me twice on a blue run).

During their happy hour, they offer a small variety of their beers for $3.50.  We went with the two we hadn’t tried:

brew 002 (Ommegang’s Witte and Great Divide’s Samurai…PS—it was SUPER hard to not swipe one of these awesome glasses.)


The Ommegang is brewed in New York & is their take on a traditional Belgian witbier; the Samurai is an unfiltered rice ale.  I’d never had a rice ale, but it’s description of having a “slightly fruity, crisp, refreshing and clean taste” won me over. And the hubs got the Witte; we switched glasses halfway through (cuz we’re nice like that).

Bear in mind—while the hubs & I love beer, we are by no means sommeliers.  Where some people feel comfortable throwing around terms like “lacing” and “floral notes” or “mouthfeel”…we are not.  In fact, we’re the type of people who giggle like 15 year olds at words like “mouthfeel”.

Anyway… my husband thought the Witte was a bit too sweet for his taste; however, I really liked it, even more than I liked the Samurai.  The Witte was very light & fruity—to the point that we both felt it had a “fruit cocktail” finish.  Literally…like, the good fruit cocktail that has the cherries in it.  No lie.  Drink it & try to call me a fibber, I dare you.  Not syrupy like cocktail, just that odd mingling of cherries & peaches & pears that have been cohabitating together.

The Samurai was very pleasant.  I was concerned it would be a bit too “sake”-ish, however I can’t say I really noticed a “rice” flavor to it.  It was just a nice light ale, very refreshing & drinkable.  The hubs noticed a slight “canned peas” aroma, and once he mentioned it, I could definitely smell it as well.  Of course, I like canned peas, so this was a non-issue.

The bar itself is also a really great spot with awesome atmosphere & quick, attentive waitstaff, and there’s a little skating pond out back where you can watch other people make fools of themselves:

 brew 005 (PS—our condo was in that red building back there.  Giant outdoor hot tub on the 3rd floor for up to 40 people.  Pretty Sweet.)

The next day after the hubs finished skiing (I took the day off & caught up on blogging and napping and reading the Harry Potter series) we met at Doc’s Roadhouse in the Zephyr Mountain Lodge.  Happy Hour was $3 pints, so we ordered a round of Mary Jane Ales (made exclusively for Winter Park by Coors, after the mountain of the same name).  Our server compared it to a Fat Tire…which leads me to believe that he’s a) never had Fat Tire, or b) never had the Mary Jane Ale.  We found the Mary Jane Ale to be pretty hoppy…drinkably so, but with a notably metallic finish.  If I had to drink it in a blind taste test, there’s NO WAY I’d call it an amber ale, though.  More like an American Pale Ale.

brew 014 (Mary Jane Ale)


We also pigged out at a “Cajun” restaurant while we were in Winter Park—keep your eyes peeled for that review later on this week!

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