Saturday, November 6, 2010

BBC 2010 - Pearl Street Pub Crawl

Firkin Around...Boulder, Colorado.

November 6th Pub Crawl on Pearl Street
How do you top a satisfying meal coupled with Boulder Beer's brewery fresh drafts and an all access brewery tour? The answer is to get lost in the throng on Pearl Street in a good old fashioned pub crawl.  The Beer Blogger’s Conference hosted by Zephyr Adventures had made arrangements with several local establishments for us, the bloggers, to visit. All establishments offered a free sample of beer to those attending the conference. All we had to do was show our badge.

West End Tavern - 926 Pearl Street
Decisions, decisions. Where to begin?
First up was the West End Tavern where I sampled some Avery Hog Heaven. It was a deep ruby red color with lots of malt flavor and whoo, the alcohol!

The West End Tavern sports a very rough and ready wooden bar that had looked like it was one of the original bars on Pearl. There were many tap handles on the front of the bar, ready to dispense all the local liquid gold you could imagine. Heading out, we chatted it up with some group of local fellows, indulging in some fine craft brews. They asked us questions about our travelling crawl and we broke into conversation about craft beer.  Some bloggers’s cards were exchanged along with smiles.  We bid farewell and departed for our next stop.

Old Chicago - 1102 Pearl Street
Angel's Tears
Old Chicago was the next place on the billet. Immediately upon entering, I spied a Tullamore Dew bar-rubber and asked the bartender if I could get one. Tullamore Dew is what I prefer to drink, when I’m not drinking beer, and you do not see it in many bars. It is my rough measuring stick to judge a fine bar. Well, needless to say, the item was gifted, after explaining this to the bartender. No names, don’t want anyone getting in trouble, but he got a nice tip! Mr. Bartender-dude, you are awesome.  Onto the beer, I glanced down the extensive list of tap handles and made 2 Below from New Belgium my next  selection.

More surprises awaited us at Old Chicago as our group was photographed and interviewed for an upcoming article from Westword Denver. A photo journalist was covering the Beer Blogger’s Conference for Westword Denver; specifically the pub crawl portion of the agenda. Lucky us. Come to think of it, this afternoon, Jason Cormier did mention in his presentation to the beer bloggers, how his New Belgium shirt luck would rub off on us. He considers it his good luck charm, so it stands to reason that the New Belgium 2 Below we ordered, fulfilled his prediction that good things happen. Bingo, right on the money!

The Boulder Draft House - 2027 13th Street
Erik finds a PBR
The third way point on our journey was The Boulder Draft House, situated just off Pearl Street, on 13th.  The Hop’stache beer I selected while there, was a no-brainer. If you have ever seen the walrus mustache I have, you would certainly understand why it was the brew to order. This joint was rocking with a live band and the crowd was jumping to the tunes.  Aimlessly walking around the barroom eyeballing the selection of pub craft brews, we spied someone’s PBR on a small shelf. Hey, not judging, just saying. I have thrown back a few of those in my day too. Good fun.

Conor O'Neill's - 1922 13th Street
Conor O'Neill's is as Irish as it comes and was absolutely packed, this evening. Elbow to elbow we made our way through the place and got split up several times. We reconnoitered back near the main entry.  The long bar that snaked its way throughout the place. Looking up on a shelf behind the other Irish whiskeys, my favorite bottle of Tullamore Dew was looking so alone.  One order of angel’s tears later, I completely forgot about ordering my free beer. No worries. The band was pounding out tunes and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves at this point.

Mountain Sun - 1535 Pearl Street
Find your way back to the hotel.
Mountain Sun was the last call on this tour.  Long and narrow dimensionally and the bar at the back of the room.  Nice selection of drafts on hand here as the multiple crawl groups began to collect inside and out on the sidewalk. Ordered a Pumpkin something-or-other, (it was hard to keep track at this point), and upon finishing, went back out into the refreshing night air. Sandman was calling us now, loud and clear. Not knowing where in the hell I was, I was just hoping for someone to walk with, back to the hotel.  I spotted Greg Koch leaving and asked if he would like company on the walk back. Thank goodness he knew how to navigate the streets. I would have surely taken a wrong turn. Fifteen to twenty minutes later, we were back. safe and sound and bid each other good night.

What a night. Certainly one I won’t soon forget. It was truly a great experience.  All that great craft beer and terrific people made it the best way to spend the night away.

Firkin Cool Pub Crawl !

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