This weekend I went back to my home state – Colorado – for the first time since moving to Columbus, and I have to say, it was great to go back. Columbus is cool and all, but my heart will always be back in Colorado. For this post, I just wanted to share two of my weekend experiences that you can only have in Colorado.
So here’s a random fact about CO: it is one of the best states in the country for breweries of all sizes. For example, Coors is based out of Colorado. Now, I specifically visited Fort Collins this weekend, which is home to the extremely popular brewery, New Belgium (which has not quite made it to Ohio yet). In celebration of my girlfriend’s birthday, we went and did the free brew tour of the New Belgium brewery. I have been on this tour multiple times, but I am always extremely impressed with this company as a whole. They are one of those companies that does a great job of building an extremely loyal customer base by providing high quality products with a very stylish style, so to speak. They are one of the front-runners in the country for having one of the most environmentally conscious breweries in the nation (you can read about that here on New Belgium’s website), and their branding is unlike any other brewery I have come across – it’s almost like an old-timey circus type of theme; the kind where the guys have those big cool twisty mustaches and you would see people riding those bicycles with the giant front wheel and the tiny back wheel. Bicycles themselves are actually another huge part of New Belgium. You can read the whole background on why on their website, but basically, they are huge supporters of bicycles as a means of transportation. So much so that every year they sponsor a huge bike ride in a few select cities across the country called the Tour de Fat where everyone dresses up in some sort of crazy costume and then rides around town in a big group until they reach the end of the road at the brewery for some refreshments. It’s a hugely popular tradition in Fort Collins, and one day I hope to see it come here to Columbus (I think the OSU student body would have a blast with their own Tour de Fat). I’ve decided against posting my pictures from this costume party on wheels, but here are a couple of shots of the very cool brewery.
Another stop I made in Colorado was at the local favorite breakfast spot, Snooze. This is another thing that I wish they had in Columbus, but on the other hand, it makes me love it that much more when I can finally eat there again after waiting. Snooze is a retro-style breakfast joint that puts a great spin on some breakfast favorites. In my opinion, their specialty is in the pancake department – they have some of the most creative/delicious pancake masterpieces I have ever had. The first time I went to Snooze in Denver, I had a pancake called the Cinnfull Pancake, which their website explains as a: “Glorious buttermilk pancake with white chocolate chips, drizzled with our homemade Bacon Caramel, vanilla cream sauce, pecans and topped with cinnamon butter. Brilliance.” Yes, it says “bacon caramel.” I was all set to have this pancake again this weekend until I found out that they keep things fresh and change the menu seasonally, so this time I got to try another instant favorite called the Graceland pancake. This time the pancake was filled with bananas, and then topped with some sort of sweet peanut butter sauce, butter, and of course, bacon caramel. They even top it off with a small piece of bacon sticking out of the center of the pancake. I honestly was planning to take a picture for the blog, but I was seriously too excited to eat it that I didn’t even think about it until it was too late.
Anyone from Colorado can tell you that there’s way more to it than beer and pancakes, but life is in the little things, right? Overall, it was so great to take a quick breather back home (especially at about 4.5 thousand feet higher in elevation – have to keep these lungs up to CO standard, right?), and now I’m ready to get back into the few short weeks we have left for this quarter.