Aspen – many times I only correlate that name with skiing. But every once in a while something else gets partnered with the name. For me this time it was the Aspen Food & Wine Classic. I had heard about it awhile back and it sounded amazing. But when I glimpsed at the ticket price I had no interest in going; costs a little shy of $2,000 to attend.
But this year a company that I work for reached out because they needed some help at their table. So, that meant free entry. Bring it on! I got to experience this at no cost.
This festival is amazing. While I didn’t get to take part in most of the seminars or do as much wine tasting as I would have liked, I still got a feel for all of it. Was able to get some quick sips of wine here and there, little nibbles of during prep time and meet lots of folks. Many regions of the world are represented, so many varietals of wine, so many cultures, so much fun. And you get to see the town all around you. These pictures are just a tidbit of it.
I found out that volunteers at the event get a one day free pass. Going to consider doing that next year…help out the amazing event then enjoy it, too.
Had to continue enjoying the local brews while in Ft. Collins. One must take in as much as possible when not at home. So I took one for the team…
Brewery 5: Odell Brewing Company. Sample — $4! For 6 tastes! This is another one with the whole (unfortunate) issue of 5 oz pours, 6 beers, 5,000 ft elevation… This was my first stop of the day. Hey, I was fresh right. I had to be so careful and drink responsibly in the sense that there was more to come. My total favorite was Levity with several close runner ups.
Brewery 6: Fort Collins Brewery. Good name considering where I was. I found another chili beer here. After sampling a few I ended with this amazing smoky beer, that was that chili one — Mesquite Chili Lime Ale, part of their Out of the Ashes Smoke Beer Series. Not describable in words. Go to the store to find it, or better yet, just head out there to have some (limited edition though, so hurry)!
Brewery 7: New Belgium Brewing Company. This is one of my favorites! Went on the brewery several years ago and the twirly slide at the end if priceless! This time I just went to sample. So many options, so little time. Many new Lips of Faith to try, other random stuff to sample. It was packed that it was tough to even move. I just had sips of some new stuff then finished with my favorite Fat Tire. Oh happy day.
All good things must come to an end. I eventually had to get on a plane and come back east. I do have a brewery tour scheduled at Flying Dog soon. Looking forward to that!