Brewery Time: Prost Brewing

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Last Wednesday I had the privilege of getting a tour of Prost Brewing by brewer Ashleigh Carter. My sister was my guest and John Carlson of the Denver Beer Guild also joined us. Prost is one of my favorite breweries in Denver (still a lot to try) and it was super fun to learn about their brew house and what makes them different. First we went up the stairs and got a good look at the copper mash kettle and the lauter tun imported from Germany. They are beautiful. They are manually run vessels and all the buttons on the mechanical part are in old German. “We paid a good amount of money to have a company label the parts so it would be easy to put it together once it was here but when we laid it all out it was like does that green dot go with this green dot? It was very hard to figure out,” says brewer Ashleigh Carter. Once it was all put together and they started working with the machines she really started to figure it out. Now Ashleigh can probably step into any brewhaus in Germany and be able to work their machines.

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Ashleigh gave us a in depth tour of how the beer is made and John Carlson chimed in with any extra information that he had. For anyone who has not met John he is a beer wiz. Anything and everything there is to know about beer he knows. Seriously.

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My first beer I had was the Keller Pils that took gold in the Keller or Zwickelbier category at the Great American Beer Festival. Then my second beer was the Oktoberfest or Märzen and the group I was with also got the Oktoberfest and we finished the last bit of the seasonal beer.

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My sister Kara and I split two hot dogs; wild boar and a pheasant dog from Dogtown Concessions cart. Delicious! Nice game flavor but not overpowering so it still has the hot dog essence I love. I will definitely be going back for more.

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We finished our night sitting at the picnic style table with Bill Eye and Ashleigh Carter from Prost, John Carlson from the Colorado Brewers Guild, Kara and I, and then an unexpected guest Stephen Kirby from Hogshead brewery. Listening to Ashleigh describe the passion behind the German beers she makes made me ready to hop over to another country…England! Hogshead is next on our Denver brewery tour. Stand by…

From left to right: Bill Eye, Stephen Kirby, Ashleigh Carter, Kara Colt (sister) and John Carlson

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Tuscan Sun Wines!!

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(Frances and Edward Mayes)

Last night I had the privilege to sip on some Tuscan Sun Wines with wine creator and best selling author Frances Mayes; best known for her book Under the Tuscan Sun. The event was a media event held at the Denver Art Museum last night and I was invited on behalf of Denver Eater.

The wine line up consists of four reds, two whites, and a Prosecco that is set to join in 2014. We enjoyed appetizers as well provided by chef Kevin Taylor.

Each wine is named after a Italian saying; the Pinot Grigio is called Pensiero or a little gift and the Sangiovese and Montepulciano blend is called Sentiero alla Casa or the path to the house. “I think the marvelous thing about these wines are their price,” explains Frances Mayes, bottles range in price from $13-$23.

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(My sister was my guest)

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Sour Beer

The past two days have been pretty exciting for me. As a contributor for Denver Eater I got to do a few exciting projects, lets start with Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project.

I met with owner and brewer, Chad Yakobson, for a quick interview and snapped a few pics of their barrels and oak foeders!

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St. Bretta

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This holds 100 barrels.

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Sip, Savor, Brew and Hopefully Repeat

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I had the privilege to be invited to the Sip, Savor and Brew event at Cascade Vail Resort this past weekend on behalf of Denver Eater (I’m happy to announce I am a contributor). Ever since I tasted my first beer in Colorado at a local brewery I have been getting lessons because it’s what they love. The it I am referring to is a Coloradoan. I’ve received lessons on how Colorado breweries work; lessons on the different flavors; lessons on how you make beer. This weekend was exactly the same; Colorado teaching what it loves.

I met John Carlson of the Colorado Brewers Guild, Brian Lutz of West Flanders Brewing Co., Charlie Berger of Denver Beer Co., and Steve and Leslie Kaczeus of Bootstrap Brewing Co.  All of which are such amazing people who anyone would be lucky to spend a weekend learning about beer with. The weekend started with an informal discussion in the Library about “Craft Beer: Past, Present, Future.” This set the tone for the weekend and started the bonding. With such an intimate group, about 10, and the brewers discussing their passion it was hard for everyone not to have a great time.

We then proceeded to dessert where we all sat drinking beer floats, homemade brews and mead, which who those who don’t know, like I didn’t, it is made by fermenting honey and water, but you can also add flavors like black raspberry or apple.

The next day started off right with cheese and meat with the beers pairings. Honey goat cheese paired with a Pineapple Pale ale from Denver Beer Co. A creamy blue cheese and duck prosciutto with a smoke spicy ale. The really were perfect compliments for each style of beer.

We spent the rest of the day tasting and learning. Then had a dinner and beer pairing and had some incredible pairings there as well. One that really stuck out was a pork cinnamon roll paired with the Oh Face Saison Provisional from Trinity Brewing Company. The cinnamon with the pork really enhanced the savory aspect of the meat. There were golden raisons and a vinegar cut through the sweetness to bring a delicious savory cinnamon meal.

We finished the weekend in the same way we started with beer and dessert, but we added the hot tub and pool.

Beer Float

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Home Brews

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Mead!

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It was also Oktoberfest in Vail so we stopped by

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Wine Wednesday and Beyond

Beyond wines are the star of this weeks wine Wednesday for three great reasons.  The label is amazing it is bright and catchy which is of course my first reason.  Second the concept of naming the wines Beyond wine is pretty awesome.  It comes from a vineyard in South Africa called Buitenverwachting, which translates to “beyond exception.”  So the way the vineyard describes the wine is, “Inspired by an estate deemed “Beyond Expectation,” wines that rouse the same sentiment.” And last but not least it is a great wine for the price. You can find the Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon for under $10.

So go and take a sip of these wines and let your taste buds taste a flavor way beyond their expectations.

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Would You Like Peanuts, Pretzels or Cookies?

While texting my sister last night as I packed for my trip, I felt my bag was a little too empty so I asked her what I could possibly be forgetting. She pointed out that as long as I have a dress and shoes for her engagement party this Saturday then I was good to go.  I quickly ran through what I had packed again and then let my thoughts settle with the agreement of Kara’s text and drifted to sleep.  I woke up startled at 5 am to my roommate waking me five minuets after my alarm was supposed to go off, luckily I still had 20 minutes to get ready.  I hoped out of bed without my usual grace and with a rushed feeling of being a little later than planed.  That’s when it hit me, I knew what I had forgotten; I forgot to list myself for the flight.  Normally this wouldn’t be that big of a deal but our internet was out so I couldn’t list myself.  I tried calling my dad and my sister but it was 4 am their time and I knew they weren’t going to wake and I felt bad calling till they answered.  I left them both a hopeful text that read, “if you roll over and see this call me” knowing perfectly well they wouldn’t.  I decided, well I had a ride to the airport so I’ll go and hopefully get there in time to list on my computer at the airport.  What do you know I did.  Things ended up smoothly and I am now on my way to Michigan for a few days before heading down to Dallas, Texas for my sisters’ engagement party.

This post wasn’t supposed to be about my forgetful tendencies but about in flight beverages. I’ve been traveling since I was little and I developed a beverage habit.  That may sound weird but it is just something I did.  My go to were ginger ale and Mr. And Mrs. T’s Bloody Mary Mix; ok that may be a weird combination.  I originally started with plain tomato juice but as my taste buds grew I was able to handle the spiciness of the bloody mary mix.  I was probably obnoxious to the fight attendants.  I would order both of these drinks and ask for the can.  The occasional flight attendant, who actually enjoyed her job, would respond with a smile and unhesitatingly hand me both.  I must say though those were the days when you still got meals in coach domestically and butter dipped pretzels.  Other times though I would be told no to the can, or I would even be too embarrassed to ask for the cans.  I would get my dad to order one of my drinks for me.  I would go sip for sip. Sip of the spicy tomato juice then washed down by the crisp ginger ale.  I even took it too far once and mixed both of them in a cup, it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve tasted.

It’s weird but it still something I get excited about every time I fly.  It is an added treat to the fact that I am traveling somewhere because tomato juice at home just isn’t the same.  Now I am back to just plain tomato juice and pretzels.  It’s a cycle and I’m sure once again I will revisit Mr. and Mrs. T’s.

PS the cookies on Delta are famous and delicious.  Get them next time you fly and dip them in coffee…yum!

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Wine Wendesday- Drinking with Friends

This wine Wednesday is about drinking with friends.  All of my best friends, well most of them, and family live in a different state than I do.  Ranging from Colorado to Texas or Ohio to California.  Skype has been a great tool for us to us to stay in touch.  One of our favorite things to do together is drink wine and catch up. We are doing the next best thing to actually being together, skype wine dates.  Grabbing a glass of wine and catching up via skype almost makes me forget I’m 1,700 miles from my friend in Denver.  

In honor of this week of drinking with friends we are drink Reunion wine.  It is a 2010 Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina.  It is delicious very dry and full flavored red.  The label is simple rustic and invtiting with the hand drawn table setting.  My roommates and I enjoyed this with a pizza made on a baquette with pesto, goat cheese, tomatoes, artichoke hearts topped with proscuitto.  The food and wine were so good, the bottle accidently got drank before the photo. Oops.

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Thirsty Thursday- IPA

I found a cool recipe for adding mixers to beer so I thought I would try it out.  This one calls for an IPA, campari and fresh orange juice.  I chose a Westbrook IPA because it is a local South Carolina brewery and it brews great beers.  I had never had campari before this and it taste almost like grapefruit, so it complimented the IPA perfectly.  This is without a doubt the perfect drink for some summer front porch happy hour sittin!  The instructions are pretty simple…

Take a big gulp.

Add equal parts campari and fresh orange juice; so I did a shot glass of each.

Poor into the beer and enjoy!

YUM!

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Wine Wednesday- Cooking with Wine

Tonight was a night for cooking with wine and of course drinking it as well.  I’ve been eyeing a linguine with clam sauce recipe for some time now and finally decided to make  it tonight.  I was doing the food and my friend was bringing the wine.  As I was shopping I remebered I needed a dry white for the recipe.  Knowing that she was going to be bringing a nice bottle of wine for us to drink, I allowed myself to give into Whole Foods wine deal of a bottle for $2.99.  I was slightly hesitant but clearly not that much because I did indeed buy it.  Staying true to my $2.99 bottle of wine classiness I didn’t even wait for it to chill before I tried it, I just added an ice cube.  Believe it or not it was not bad. Three Wishes Chardonnay, I think, actually is a nice dry wine to cook with and sip on.  And of course I loved the whimsical look of the label.

We also enjoyed Mirassou Chardonnay with our dinner.  It was a crisp chardonnay but with heavy sweet notes.  It was a bit sweet for my taste but if you are look for that in a chardonnay I suggest this one cause you will love it.  The label is simple but elegant with the sun around the “M”.

Linguine with Clam Sauce from Big Girls Small Kitchen

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