Craft Beer, Fine Wine, Artisan Spirits, and Mouthgasmic Food.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

GABF 2011: The Fantastic Oskar Blues Farm Tour

For the Great American Beer Festival this year, I had planned a very short visit to Denver so I could spend more time with my new puppy at home.  When I saw that there was a series of Oskar Blues tours, I decided to change my flight to allow for an extra day, and I have no regrets about it!

This was the first year for Oskar Blues to host people at the Hop Farm, and it is brand new.  If Oskar Blues puts on bus tours again, I'd go again.  Tickets for the all day affair were a very affordable $25.  Best $25 you'll spend.  *I was invited to attend as a media guest. 

This is not the bus that we took down to the farm, but I'm sure it would be equally as fun.  Woohoo!

We arrived on the farm after a a lovely bus ride from the Falling Rock in Denver.  The entrance had beautiful flowers to welcome us.  This was a welcome sight as Texas's vegetation was and still is mostly dead. 

On the walk to the hop fields, we passed by Ya Ya's (Dale's mother) Garden to see some GIANT pumpkins.  It is difficult to get a sense of the size.  However, Farmer Geoff estimated it at about 500 lbs or so.  It was probably the size of shopping cart.

Farmer Geoff demonstrates just how big the pumpkins can get.  After a brief introduction at the farm, everyone loaded up onto a trailer and went for a ride behind the tractor.  Just a word of advice, do not wear panty hose and sit on bales of hay.  Just trust me on this one. 

We were introduced to the crew, I mean herd.  These are black angus cattle who are know for being particularly friendly.  Farmer Geoff says that they don't use dogs for herding, but rather, the cattle are so friendly that they walk around and follow the food you. 

I did pet some of the friendly heiffers, and they were hungry.  They kept looking at our bales of hay. 

This wasn't just a brunch on a farm.  This was brunch with all the bells and whistles on it. 

Coffee with your Oskar Blues Hot Sauce?  I could not have asked for a more perfect day.  The weather was beautiful, and the company was fantastic!  The plethora of beer samples was also quite nice. 

Oskar Blues has some of the best brew pub food.  When I visited them at the Beer Bloggers Conference 2010, their mac and cheese inspired me to make many batches of mac and cheese at home.  The expanding girth of my rear end is proof.  For breakfast, we had sausage on grits, spinach frittata, pork belly, briskey, and a cheesecake blitz covered in blueberry compote.  All this was served with beermosas - orange juice and Mama's Little Yella Pils

Food so good that even the insects came out for a snack. 

One of the best parts about this tour was that Mama Ya Ya (Dale's mother) served us home tapped (get it?) maple syrup.  This farm is pretty amazing as much of the refuse from the brewery gets used on the farm.  Much of our meal came from the restaurant, and the farm where possible.  Having maple syrup that came from the farm was the cherry on top.  Also, Ya Ya was about the sweetest and cutest woman.  I told Dale I wanted to take her home and to be my mother. 

Here's a photo of what we've been waiting for.  This beer is called HGH, as in home grown hops.  The hops used in this beer came right from the farm.  Is that not pretty awesome or what?

After leaving the Hop Farm, we arrived at the brewery, only to be spoiled.  Here's a 4 oz pour of the Ten Fidy.  This is my favorite Oskar Blues beer.  It is a bold, unrelenting beer that makes you want to say, "DAMN IT, Thank GOD (whichever one you worship) for the freedom to make beer!" 

If that wasn't enough, the tour bus took us to Liquids and Solids where they had a smoked porter called the Honey Badger on tap.  It is served with a meat stick make out of one of the heifers on the Hop Farm. This beer doesn't give a @^!*$.  This beer takes what it wants. I'm working hard on getting this beer to Texas.  Let's cross our fingers that it happens!

A big thanks to Oskar Blues for inviting me out for such a wonderful time.  Cheers!

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