I was hoping I could at least make it to Saturday before waking up and feeling the effects of a lot of good beer the day before. Alas, it came sooner than I wanted and GABF Day 4 is starting off a bit slow.
The evening started out slow too, with $1 sliders and and a spiced pumpkin Isolation Ale firkin with a Beer Betty friend at Choice City. This firkin was amazing. It had the spicy notes I look for in a pumpkin beer but also a nice warm breadyness from the Isolation Ale base. It was the closest a pumpkin brew has been to a slice of actual pie for me. I ended up having 2 pints. Yum.
They also had Hoppin’ Frog Frogs Hallow on, another of my favorite pumpkin brews. I joined up with my home brew club and we tried the firkin and Frogs Hallow side by side. Both delicious but very different. Frogs Hallow was amber, clear and had a bit of a sour punch at the end.
I moved on to a Scaldis Triple. Owner Russ has been telling me to try it, and it was going to be my last chance before heading to Denver. For being a big Belgian beer it was nice and smooth, very easy drinking.
My intentions with the rest of the night was to go to The Forge Publick House as I had not been in yet this week. However, I ended up at Tap and Handle, again. I found out Lauren Salazar of New Belgium was going to be around so I wanted to swing in and catch up with her, and ended up staying until close.
When I first arrived at Tap and Handle I was greeted by some reps from Green Flash Brewing. They talked me into ordering a Barley Wine collaboration called Candela Rye. I snagged my pint and grabbed a seat with my friends The Skiing Ninjas. The place was packed and full of several faces from the whose who of Fort Collins brewing scene.
I finally got to officially met Eric Salazar and we discussed a private sour tour of New Belgium that I am very excited to follow through on. I chatted with Lauren Salazar and also another New Belgium rep, Kyle. There were also several Odell reps milling. Nico who was also at my cheese pairing earlier in the week, got me a Hog Heaven Barley Wine from Avery (Thanks Nico!) while we chatted with Josh, another Odell rep.
I received one of the best compliments from Nico when he told me that another prominent person in the community had said to him that while I am young, I know what I am doing and will be big one day. Knowing someone said that was huge, and I am so greatly flattered by it. It didn’t take long for me to realize the truth in that statement because Josh called me out on a post I wrote months ago about a promo event they did in which I didn’t think the reps were as engaging with the customers as they could have been. We bantered back and forth for a bit about details of the night in question, and I even admitted that I still use the key chain opener he remembers giving me that night. As it was one of the first posts I wrote I didn’t think it got much traction, but it was apparently brought up in a staff meeting at Odells. After “apologizing” for getting him in trouble he looked at me and said, “No, I’m glad you wrote it, all it did was make us a better company”.
It is attitudes like that that have made Odells successful and Fort Collins such a mecca for beer enthusiasts. Through out the rest of the night while sipping on my Epic Imperial Pumpkin Porter, I met Ken of “Ken’s Hefe” fame from New Belgium, Ezra from New School Beer, Kerry Finsand the founder of Taplister, Geoff Phillips owner of Bailey’s Taproom and Konrad Conner the head brewer at Redwood Brewing Co. I love that I can live in a town that attracts such amazing people to come spend time here.
I spent the rest of the night just shooting the breeze with the owner Jeff and a few other stragglers. As I getting up to leave since I was the only person left in the bar, Jeff said “nope, sit down, we’re having another beer”. So, Jeff, I am blaming you for my headache today, but thanks so much for the beer. The style or name of which I do not remember.