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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Beer Trip II: Day One Recap

Well, let me say that Beer Trip II was a huge success, at least in my mind. I had a freaking blast, and I’m already counting down to Beer Trip III. Well, I can’t really count down yet since I don’t know when it will be and where we’re going. But I still am looking forward to it. So, since it will take me a while, here is Part One of my Beer Trip II Recap, to the best of my recollection:

The plan was to leave the house at 7:30 AM on Wednesday, and we were actually ahead of schedule. We (Caddylac, Timmy, the Cruiser, and I) pulled out of my driveway at 7:19 AM, so Beer Trip II was off to a great start. The first stop was in Hays, Kansas, so I’ll not bore you with tales of the road from my house to there, because besides the four of us bullshitting each other (which was entertaining to me), it’s a pretty boring fucking drive and nothing happened. The highlight was probably Caddy and the Cruiser cracking open a beer once we got on the highway at about 7:30 AM. Eventually, around 11:10 AM, we arrived at Gella’s Diner and Liquid Bread Brewing Company and right away we were impressed. The brewpub is located in a renovated Western Union building, and it was beautiful and spacious on the inside. I think Caddylac was the one who said it best: “You could drop this place anywhere (New York, L.A., wherever), and it would fit in and look great!” It was a great looking place. We sat down, ordered some sampler trays of beer, and ordered our lunch. A huge plus for this place was that they had garlic fries. I’m a big fan of the garlic fries, and these were very good. If you have access to adding a menu item to a restaurant, you need to add garlic fries to it. Anyway, lunch went along just fine (we even got to talk to the brewer for a couple of seconds who made us a sticker for the RV) and their beers were outstanding, and we asked for four growlers and our bill. This was at 12:18 PM. Granted, the place was pretty crowded and they seemed understaffed, but we didn’t end up leaving the place until 1:03 PM because it took so long to get our bill and change. Yes, I did keep track of the time like that, because we planned on leaving Hays at 1 PM, so we thought we were going to be way ahead of schedule for our ride into Denver when we asked for our bill. Instead, we were a little behind (since we also had to stop and get gas). Anyway, all it all, it was a great experience, and would recommend anyone driving along I-70 in Kansas to make a stop at Gella’s if you want some really good beer and great food.

We left Hayes and headed to Denver. Wow! Did that ride really suck as well! Western Kansas has a much deserved reputation for being a boring, boring drive, but I think Eastern Colorado needs to be given some credit too. Holy shit was that a boring drive! I must have quoted “Dumb and Dumber” at least ten times saying, “That John Denver’s full of shit!” I didn’t know that Denver was pretty much where the mountains started. I do now. We planned on getting to our posh La Quinta Inn in Downtown Denver at 5 PM, and that was about right. Maybe 5:15 PM or so, but we had plenty of time to take shits, change shirts and put on a new layer of deodorant, and then walk to Coors Field for the 7 PM start. We got to the stadium, and it made me remember why I loved downtown ballparks. It was less than a mile from the hotel to the stadium, and there was so much to do all around the stadium. And inside the stadium too, as we hit our second brewpub of Beer Trip II, the Sandlot Brewery. The place was kinda cool, but I was thinking it was going to be a sit down restaurant with servers, when instead you had to go to the bar to order beers. Now, the bartenders were great, but it just wasn’t what I thought it’d be. The beers were okay, I guess, nice for a ballpark, but nothing too exciting. As for the game, well, it sucked. There was a rain delay before the game, but the actual game is what sucked. The Brewers lost 8-2 and it was never really close. The park was cool, and I even had a Coors Beer at Coors Field, which I always think is a must. I’ll always have a Busch at Busch Stadium and a Miller at Miller Park too. See, I’m not a complete beer snob. Just mostly.

After the game, we went to our final brewpub of Day One, the Breckenridge Ball Park Brewpub. We were all feeling pretty good, but it was so close to the park that we had to go. The place was really cool, and it had a nice crowd for a Wednesday. Now let me state that I am not a fan of Breckenridge beers, but the beers here were pretty good. At least they were to my recollection. It was a long day, and I had had a few, so my memory isn’t 100%. I do know that our waitress was awesome, as she gave us each free tasting glasses and stickers (for the back of the RV). After a few samples and a beer, we walked back home to crash for the night. But not before the Cruiser decided that since the gate to the pool was locked that he’s climb down from the second floor (where our room was) to inside of the pool area and go for a little swim. It was pretty impressive way to end day one.

Coming soon…Day Two recap!

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