This is how yesterday began: The two of us and our good friends Shawn & Jessica were heading up to the mountain town of Nederland for a crazy outdoor celebration/drink-fest knows as Frozen Dead Guy Days. It is exactly what it sounds like, a celebration of a frozen dead guy who has been kept on ice in a Tuff Shed for centuries, waiting until he can be brought back to life. Sounds awesome, right?
Unfortunately, when you have an outdoor festival in the Rocky Mountains the first week of March, things can get squirrely. On this particular Saturday, frigid temperature and blustery winds caused the Dead Guy Fest to cancel most of their planned events. That left us ready to have some fun, but looking for a Plan B. What better day to start our Colorado Brewery Challenge!
Oskar Blues Brewery
We decided to visit Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont for several reasons. First, Jeff and I had been up to Oskar Blues last year, and we really dug the place. Second, they have a fun and super-tasty restaurant called Home Made Liquids & Solids that’s just a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from their actual brewery and tasting room, the Tasty Weasel. That meant that we could easily hit two beer spots in one day. Finally, it was just far enough out-of-town to justify the car being full of road-trip food we’d already packed for Nederland.
Honestly, we give all the credit to Jessica (JessiFunn) for making the suggestion. Once she mentioned it, we all quickly decided it was a done deal and hopped in the car to Longmont.
Homemade Liquids and Solids
We arrived in Longmont at 11 AM and the Tasty Weasel doesn’t open till noon, so our first stop was Homemade Liquids & Solids. While they don’t actually brew beer at this location, they do serve an amazing selection of craft beers – their own and plenty more. They also smoke their own BBQ in-house. Though none of us were hungry, everything looked and smelled delicious.
The beer selection at Homemade Liquids and Solids is so great that it’s almost overwhelming. Fortunately our friendly bartender, Nate, was always ready to give a suggestion or a taste. He also shared with us some great details about Oskar Blues (though he wouldn’t give out any trade secrets, unfortunately.) In a word, Nate was awesome!
We truly love Oskar Blues in general, and Homemade Liquids and Solids in particular. Its vibe is a comfortable, down-south, BBQ joint with some Cajun flair and amazing craft beer. They have their own farm nearby called Hops & Heifers, where they raise their own cows, pigs, and hops, of course. Scraps from the restaurant go to the farm to feed the livestock. You’ve got to appreciate a place that understands the importance of sustainability.
We partook in many beers at Homemade Liquids and Solids. Their selection is described as “No imports. No bottles.” And finding a great beer was no problem. We had a few Oskar Blues beers, including the Priscilla Wheat. This brew was new to us, but really tasty. Beyond Oskar Blues we had some great beers too. Jessica and I liked the Maui Brewing Passion Pale. The fellas in our group are both hop-heads, so they really enjoyed the Boulder Cold Hop. Needless to say, it was hard to pry us away from the bar. But the Tasty Weasel was waiting, so we eventually had to move on.
The Tasty Weasel
The Tasty Weasel Taproom is located inside the Oskar Blues Brewery. Here you can enjoy your beer whilst in the shadow of the fermentation tanks. Having visited here before, we knew to sign up for the tour as soon as we arrived. We were shocked how much the brewery has grown their canning operations since out last visit. It made the tap-room a bit cozier, but it was still just as much fun. We were lucky enough to be there for a special small-batch tapping of Double Dry Hopped Deviant Dale’s. Wow, that’s some hops!
Jeff and I opted to do the sampler flight, but didn’t quite do the math on how much beer that meant we had to finish in the short time before our tour began. Needless to say, the quality of our pictures, and my memory, may have been somewhat impacted. A few of our favorites were Mama’s Little Yella Pils, Ten FIDY, and of course, Dales Pale Ale. I would tell you what else we liked, and what he others in the group liked, if only I could remember. Let’s just say it was all really good!
Next on the agenda was the tour of the Oskar Blues Brewery. Our tour guide for the day was Garrett. He was great, and seemed very experienced dealing with our type before: wide-eyed, somewhat-buzzed home brewers who are full of nonstop questions. We learned a lot about the operation, even more than our first tour several months ago. A new canning line has recently been added, and its incredible. We wish we could have seen it in action, but apparently they don’t can on weekends. We suppose even the most dedicated brewery employee deserves a weekend off. Unless you’re Garrett. Hey, someone has to show us around!
After the tour we had a few beers at the Tasty Weasel, then we decided we needed some food. It wasn’t a tough decision to head back to Homemade Liquids and Solids. By that point in our long day of beer sampling, we decided to stick to non-alcoholic beverages. We did have plenty of food, though, and it was all delicious! I could live on their Mac & Cheese alone, though that would probably be ill-advised.
So, that’s it for our first two stops on our Colorado Brewery Challenge! We had a really fun time! We also learned a few things for our future brewery visits. Like, take notes. And get all the details and photos done before you have too many beers. Still, it was a successful day, and a great time. We can’t wait to do it again!