I woke up knowing that I had work to do today. I needed to do laundry, dry all my gear out, talk to some gear reps, talk to mom, write, and plan. Not that it would be a hard day, but there was also soccer to watch. I had the house to myself so I quickly set about my duties.
A little after noon, John came home for lunch and for the rest of the day. He had recently thrown his back out and was dealing with an immense amount of pain. The only fortunate part of the injury was the timing: it came after the bulk of their move was complete. Little solace but it’s something. By this time, the World Cup was on and matches were being played. It was time for a beer, or more.
We paced ourselves pretty well thru the afternoon until Amanda got home. Then we collectively made some decisions. It was the end of KC craft beer week and there were several special events. We decided to go the Foundry for O’Dell Brewery’s cask of St Lupulin with cucumber added. It was a good move. The cucumber cut through some of the bitter notes of the hops, and the cask conditioning made it ultimately smooth. Also on tap was Le Friek, their sour cherry ale. Both were outstanding.
Sometimes (really most of the time) I like to introduce myself to the brewers who attend beer events. At this event was the owner of O’Dell Brewing in Fort Collins, Doug O’Dell. After spotting him in the crowd, I waited for optimal timing, then struck. I knew I had limited time but did my best to leave an impression. He was on the way out the door, but told me to email him when I got to Fort Collins and he would try to have a beer with me. Excellent.
From there we went on the hunt for the Boulevard Ginger Radler, a beer brewed for summer and with limited distribution. First to Beer Kitchen, then to Bier Station. No one had it; worse yet we had just missed it at Beer Kitchen. Oh well, no need to chase a beer around town.
While we were at Beer Kitchen, I got a little frustrated with their menu. The printed menu was horribly out of date, as in of the eight on the menu only two were available. The list behind the bar was even worse. The bartender had no answers to why everything was messed up, but they did have a Cambridge Brewing Co. sour beer, so I went with that. It was higher in alcohol than I needed or wanted, but it was tasty (think Flemish red blended with super oxidized old ale).
Bier Station is a rad little spot. It’s a combination package store and beer bar, not very unlike the Louisville Beer Store. Apparently before they opened, the owner tried to contact the Beer Store, who according to him never answered. It happens. The establishment has a mix of train motives, from the “Marienplatz” sign to the conductor’s hat for special guests. Since I am on this epic trip, I was honored to wear the hat and have my photo taken for the online media.
As I was perusing the bottle coolers, I recognized one of the Boulevard Brewers who I had met in DC. I think he had pretty well written me off; after all, I’m not sure I would have believed a random guy telling me he was riding across the US and would be at my brewery in a month and change. The look on his face gave him away, but he was more than amicable. I guess I’ve finally got some street cred.
While there, I spotted Gary Fish, the owner of Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR. I met him six months ago when Deschutes entered the Kentucky market. The whole crew from the brewery had come to town, and I was the lucky bartender to wait on them all. I had already had a good day of meeting brewers, so I reintroduced myself and told him what I was doing. Fortunately, he remember me (or at least said he did) and we had numerous beers and bullshitted for sometime. Needless to say, I’m excited to make it out to Bend even more now.
It had been a long day of consumption, and when we finally made it back home I was out. Hard.