In January 2010 I was somewhere outside of Aspen, Colorado with my ex-Navy videographer coworker. We had been wondering around Aspen for three days waiting for it to snow so we can grab some snow footage for a video we were putting together. The radar was clear with no precipitation in sight and I was able to convince him that we should go out for a drink that night.
I was only 8 months removed from slamming down Natties in college and was just beginning to come around to craft beer. My eyes were beginning to open after a recent trip to Wilmington, North Carolina where I was exposed to “local beer” for the first time. Well, at this point in my life traveling to Aspen was about 5x further than anywhere I’ve ever been before and figured why not see if this place has something local.
The bar was decently packed for a weeknight. It was dimly lit and there was a bluegrass band jamming away at the rear wall. The Denver Nuggets game was on a few of the TVs. It was a close game from what I remember. I asked the bartender for something I couldn’t get at home and he poured me a New Belgium 2° Below. He told me I’d enjoy it.
Saturday my wife and I hosted our first event in our new home we called Hoppy Birthday and Happy Home. It was a great success that I could have never pulled off alone. My wife spent the two previous days prepping and cooking while I kept worrying if we had enough beer (which we did).
Craft beer was not at a shortage
New Belgium Trippel
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Bell’s Winter White Ale
Blue Point Toasted Lager
Anchor Steam Beer
Port City Monumental IPA
Breckenridge Lucky U IPA
Troegs Java Head Stout
Bold Rock Virginia Apple Cider
Harpoon UFO Hefeweizen
Port City Optimal Wit
No one left hungry
Beer Bread made with Leffe Blond
Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese Dip made with Breckenridge Lucky U IPA
Buffalo Chicken Bites made with Stone IPA
Praline Bacon with stout coating made with Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout
Cheddar and Cottage Mac & Cheese
Hosting always makes me anxious but this went off without a hitch. I’m excited to host more and have some good ideas for next time.
It took 20 minutes of pacing the beer aisle of Harris Teeter last Friday but I decided to pick up a six-pack of New Belgium Trippel, which I had never had before.
New Belgium, out of Fort Collins, Colorado, has brought us great beers such as Fat Tire, Snow Day and one of my favorites, the retired 2˚ Below.
Started being produced in 1992
Hops: Saaz, Liberty, Target
Malts: Pale, Munich, Victory
I poured the Belgian style ale into a Weizen glass. It had a white head that lasted two or so minutes. It was very carbonated and bubbled for a long time. It had an orange-brown color and was extremely see-through, helping to accent the bubbles.
It smelled of coriander and oranges.
It tasted toasty ending with the hops. It had a light/airy texture. I could really taste the spices. The aftertaste resonated for a while after each sip.
Maybe I was craving bacon at the time but I think it’d go great with a BLT on white. Also I think I’d go well with a hard, sharp Parmesan.
Even at such a high alcohol percentage, I could have quite a few of these in a row. I was pleasantly surprised in how much I liked it and have already bought another six-pack.
What new beers have you had recently that you’ve enjoyed?