Hannah's and my vacation to Colorado can basically be broken down into three categories: science, walking and beer. Quick synopsis: we flew to Denver (me from NYC, Hannah from Texas), spent a day in Denver, spent two days in Boulder (where I did my science stuff), spent two days in Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park (where we did the walking stuff), spent two days around Fort Collins (including a trip up to Cheyenne, WY), then flew back to Texas. Throughout the trip we did the beer stuff.
To keep everyone's interest, I'll start with the beer post, then I'll back into the walking and science stuff.
You might be surprised to learn that Colorado has quite a lot of good breweries. They also have Coors (ha. ha.).
Here's Hannah about to be crushed by a giant kettle (drum? vat?) at the Coors factory. She has a habit of standing in front of giant things that can crush her when we go on vacation. She'd probably blame the photographer for that.
This was the first part of our week-long beer tour, during which we tried to get to most of the local breweries on the Front Range. Between this trip and last year, I think we hit all of the ones north of Denver, except one in Lyons.
Not surprisingly, the beer tours didn't lend themselves to the greatest photo opportunities.
If you think that's exciting photography, you're probably going to be disappointed that we didn't take any pictures at the microbrew places. On the other hand, if you're bored (that is, normal), you'll understand why we didn't even bother bringing the camera with us to the small breweries. Everything was really interesting, just not photogenic.
While the Coors tour was neat, it would end up paling in comparison to the Budweiser tour we took at the end of the week. We were both a little disappointed in that -- since Golden is the flagship brewery for Coors ("tap the Rockies" and all), it was a bit of a let down. The sampling beers weren't all that impressive either, but it might be because Coors beers themselves aren't all that impressive. They're not bad by any means, but we were much more impressed by the Bud options. It might be because Coors doesn't have a "top end" option, while Budweiser has Michelob and a bunch of different seasonal options.
The packaging assembly at Budweiser was really amazing to see. At one point, there was this crazy articulated robotic arm that was doing something cool on the packaging floor. No, we don't have a picture of the cool thing, but we do have one of me staring intently at it.
They also have lots of vats of beer fermenting and whatnot.
Trust me, the pictures will get better when I get to the hiking.
Basically, all but a small amount of the beer we sampled was great. I assume the stuff that I thought was awful is good to someone, but I prefer my bourbon and my beer separate. By that I mean I'll drink the beer, but keep the bourbon in another room well away from me -- please don't make some super-drink. Hannah liked it though. And my brothers probably would as well. So there's clearly a market for it. Me and the sorority girls will take our wussy drinks over here.