Our next location (after sampling a little homebrew cider) was Left Hand. We get some of Left Hand's beers in Texas, so I was excited to try more. Although we did not take the tour we did spend some time in the tap house. I drank Sawtooth, Left Hand's ESB, on nitro. It was a really delicious session beer. I also sampled a barleywine, which I don't believe makes it out of the brewery. It was a great, smooth, complex barleywine. The tap house was very busy early Friday night but the people were very friendly (on both sides of the bar) and we had a great time. We didn't take the tour because my friends in Colorado and my wife took the tour when she visited in August. Next visit I would like to take the tour. Great beer. I also saw that Left Hand is going to bottle/can the milk stout on nitro so that will be pretty cool since it seems most bars are selling the milk stout on draft by nitro rather than CO2.
Oskar Blues Brewing
Next we visited Oskar Blues. More specifically, we visited the separate tap house for dinner. Although Old Chub was calling out to me, I decided to swill some Alaskan Brewing Smoked Porter because it was on my list of must-try beers (for good reason -- excellent smoked porter). The tap house did not have some of the more unique OB offerings but my wife did try their smoked porter, which was also pretty good (but not as good as Alaskan's). The waitress cautioned that the OB smoked porter contained meat, but I'm pretty sure that's not true. I think she just believed that because of the taste. Anyway, I had a great time tasting the beers and the food was delicious. Definitely worth the visit, especially if you can score some of OB's "oddities" that don't get canned.
This ended day one. We were all pretty buzzed and full. What is immediately apparent is that the good people of Colorado appreciate all the good beer available to them and are happy to take advantage of it. Back in Texas, well, everybody is still downing Miller and Coors before it warms up and they can taste it.