Self-Guided Beer Tours

Craft Beer Tour 2019: Colorado Springs, CO

These photos were taken Wednesday, October 2, day three of Craft Beer Tour 2019; my annual craft beercation taken before and after the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver. These photos were taken at Bristol Brewing Company in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

A couple weeks before leaving home I reached out to some old friends that I have not seen in over a decade, that happen to live in Colorado Springs. It was decided that I would pop into town on my way to Denver for a visit and a beer; however, they had something come up that prevented the meetup. Since I had already planned on stopping by Colorado Springs anyway I looked at the list of potential breweries and picked Bristol Brewing solely because they have been brewing in Colorado Springs since 1994; once again, my instincts did not fail me; they brew outstanding beer. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2019: Albuquerque, NM

These photos were taken Tuesday, October 1; day two of my Craft Beer Tour 2019. The photos were taken at La Cumbre Brewing and Canteen Brewhouse, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My GPS said it would take 4.5 hours, but I was losing an hour when I entered New Mexico. All I know is that was the longest four hour drive I have ever been on.

Anyway, when I left Flagstaff I set my GPS for La Cumbre Brewing Company. I wanted to go the last couple of times that I have visited Albuquerque, but things just didn’t work out; nothing was getting in my way this time. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2019: Flagstaff, AZ

These photos were taken Monday, September 30, day one of my Craft Beer Tour 2019. Once again, I am on my way to GABF, courtesy of the Brewers Association. As I have done with my previous visits to Denver, I will use this as a craft beercation. I plan on returning to the Pacific Northwest, but Mother Nature may change that; we shall see what happens. My stops today were at Flagstaff Brewing Company, Historic Brewing’s Barrel and Bottle House, and the relatively new, Mother Road Brewing Company brewery.

The day started off well enough, I left the house around 8:30 and hit minimal traffic. As I approached Kingman I recalled that I found a brewery last year, but I read a 3 as a 5 on a sign and didn’t figure that out until I was past Kingman with no easy way to get back. To add insult to injury, I had to pay $.20 a gallon more for gas at the next stop. Continue reading

The Road to Barstow

These photos were taken June 27 and 28 at in Barstow, and Claremont Craft Ales in Claremont. A couple years ago one of Oggi’s prior PR companies had reached out to me about covering a beer release they were having at their some of Oggi’s 15 locations. Unfortunately, none of those locations were local or convenient for me to visit. Last month, my buddy Steve and I drove to Las Vegas to see Aerosmith; it was then that I decided we should stop in Barstow and check out Oggi’s Sports Brewhouse Pizza since you never want to get to Las Vegas before 3:00 PM.

I guess Oggi’s has been around about 20 years, but I never really paid much attention to is since I only ever saw it in Barstow, and stopping in Barstow for more than gas or an Egg McMuffin never made much sense to me. Since Steve and I based our drive on missing as much traffic as possible while not getting to Vegas prior to check-in time at the condo, a stop in Barstow for a couple beers made perfect sense. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2018: Lost Coast Brewery and Dust Bowl Brewing

These photos were taken Saturday and Sunday, October 6 and 7, which were days 20 and 21 of my Craft Beer Tour 2018.

When I left Oregon I set my GPS for Eureka so that I could visit one of my oldest friends (Cathy) and see what had changed in their craft beer world since my last visit in 2010. It turns out not much has changed; in fact the only brewery I could find was still Lost Coast Brewery, which is where we went since Cathy does not drink but would join me for lunch.

Lost Coast Brewery is a brewpub that was founded in 1990; they have since opened a larger brewery and tasting room in 2014. I went to Lost Coast in 2010, but I didn’t remember them being so crowded back then; business must be good. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2018: Western Oregon

These photos were taken on the western side of Oregon on Monday through Friday, October 1 through 5, days 15 through 19 of my Craft Beer Tour 2018. I guess if I want to be specific, this part of my journey took me from Vancouver, Washington to Grants Pass, Oregon, all of it on the western side of the state.

When I left Bend I headed to Oregon City to visit my longtime friends, Matt and Dom. As someone that believes that anyone who says they don’t like beer just hasn’t tried the right beer yet, I had attempted, several years ago to find a beer or style that Matt would like. I was unsuccessful; however, Matt continued his quest and discovered that he did enjoy ciders. The point being, that while Matt and Dom did take me around Oregon, we spent a lot of time at brewpubs because of the ciders that are usually found; oh, and they both enjoy new culinary delights. Luckily, Matt and Dom are self-employed and insisted they needed some time off; I visited places I never would have considered as a result. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2018: Bend, Oregon

These photos were taken primarily in Bend, Oregon on Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30, days 13 and 14 of my Craft Beer Tour 2018. I say primarily because the first set of photos was taken Thursday, in La Grande, Oregon when I was on my way to Yakima.

When I left Boise I had a few breweries in the back of my head as I had received suggestions from friends and Boise locals that named breweries I had to visit. As I did not really know which ones I would really be driving by, I pretty much just looked out for the names of towns that had been mentioned. As I entered La Grande, Oregon I noticed a sign on the side of the road for a craft brewery; I could not tell what the name was, but I figured this must be one of those that had been suggested to me. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2018: Yakima, Washington

These photos were taken in Yakima, Washington on Thursday and Friday, September 27 and 28, days 11 and 12 of my Craft Beer Tour 2018.

To be completely honest, when I started this journey, I kind of figured that my Portland area friend might take me into Washington, but it would probably be a border town like Vancouver; but things have a way of changing when you try to juggle multiple friends, and their schedules.

The night before I left Boise, I contacted my friend Jon Urch to let him know that I would be meeting him in Bend, Oregon the following day; that is when he notified me that he would be leaving Bend pretty much as I arrived, and I should consider going to Yakima, Washington instead. When I contacted my Portland area friend Matt, I discovered he was going to be working a show over the weekend. That sealed it; I headed off to Yakima instead. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2018: Idaho

These photos were taken between September 24 and 26 at Sockeye Grill and Brewery, Payette Brewing, Boise Brewing, 10 Barrel Brewing, White Dog Brewing, County Line Brewing, Home Brew Stuff, and Barbarian Brewing, which were days eight through ten of my Craft Beer Tour 2018.

When I left Rock Springs, I set my sights on Boise, Idaho as some good friends of mine moved there a little over a month ago. While Steve and Catherine are not exactly craft beer aficionados they do have some favorite restaurants; one of which is Sockeye Grill & Brewery on Fairview, so we made that our first stop.

Sockeye has been brewing since 1996 and has a production brewery as well as two brewpubs. The location I visited opened in 2012, where they started brewing and canning to keep up with demand as the production brewery could not keep up. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2018: Wyoming

These photos were taken Sunday, September 23, at Wind River Brewing in Pinedale, and Square State Brewing Company in Rock Springs; which was day seven of my Craft Beer Tour 2018.

When I left Denver I headed out for an eight hour drive to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for Roadhouse Brewing, where a friend has recently become their California representative. It was going to be one of my longest drives of my journey thus far, so I didn’t visit any other breweries as I wanted to get to Roadhouse before they closed, and maybe hit up Melvin Brewing if there was time. I was about 10 miles north of Pinedale on Hwy 191, maybe an hour south of Jackson Hole when the road was closed due to a wildfire or forest fire.

I got out and spoke with the sheriff, who gave me a couple alternate routes to Jackson Hole. One was an additional two hours, the other an additional three. I tried to take to shorter of the two routes “around the mountain” but that road immediately went from a two lane highway, to a one lane paved road to a one-lane dirt road; my Dodge Charger is not meant for off-roading, so after a few minutes I gave up. After a couple minutes of turning around without going into a ditch, I backtracked 10 miles to Pinedale because I had noticed Wind River Brewing as I passed through. Continue reading

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