Six Pack Sunday: Living Socially

Wait a minute, wait a minute.

I know a lot of big things happened this week.

Movember/No Shave November ended. I mourned the lost of beardy men all over. I had the best grilled cheese of my life. MTV’s Buckwild trailer premiered. News of Girl Meets World swept the internet. But, for me, there was something even more momentous that went down.

I Lived SO Socially.  In fact, I lived socially TWICE this weekend. Winter Winery Tour followed by a Brewery, Distillery, and Winery tour. Too cool, right?

There were highlights from both.

1. A Match Made in Heaven

Cheese and Chocolate: Wine's best friends!!

Cheese and Chocolate: Wine’s best friends!!

2. Road Wine

Ever think that you’d like wine a lot more if it tasted and smelled like apple pie and Christmas?

Both ALPINEY andddd Spicy!

Both ALPINEY andddd Spicy!

Alpine Spice, from Sand Castle Winery in Bucks County. Serve warm in the winter. Consider yourself educated. Get this wine.

3. New Friends

I made a few, but I don’t wanna start blogging about them without clearing the air. However, I did meet this one stud…. He was the strong, silent type, but I think he liked me.

Cute hat, right?

Cute hat, right?

4. Pasta Salad

Yeah, that doesn’t always sound like a highlight. In fact, at most silly picnics and potlucks, I don’t really get excited over pasta salad at all. But, if it’s oriental pasta salad…. all bets are off.

Feast your eyes on THIS!

Feast your eyes on THIS!

Making this, POST-HASTE!!

5. Whiskey Wednesday (or Sunday. Or every day.)

I don’t even like whiskey. 90% of the time, the sound of the word “whiskey” makes me feel like running away in fear. But what about when the words BEFORE whiskey are “Salted” and “Caramel”?

Yup, taking you home with me.

Yup, taking you home with me.

Here’s hoping there’s a boozy cider night in my VERY near future. Because I brought a bottle of this bad boy home with me. Courtesy of Philadelphia Distilling… CRAFT LIQUOR, Y’ALL!!

6. THE BEARD LIVES ON!!

So, for some fancy beer guys, No Shave November is more than a fundraiser. It’s a lifestyle.

Here’s to one of the best beer beards I’ve seen in Philly, a la Yards Brewery.

Sweet, brah.

Sweet, brah.

Love it.

And, with the end of the semester looming quite menacingly on the horizon, it’s back to reality.

Oh goodness, it was just so nice to not be in a library for a weekend…..

 

Scenes from New Belgium

The Saturday after we went to GABF, we got the chance to do one of the things I’d been looking forward to more than anything. Yes, I was excited to head to the festival. Yes, I was excited to try Biker Jim’s. Yes, I was stoked to see Denver.

But there’s a little spot about an hour and some change away from Denver called Ft. Collins, CO. And Ft. Collins is the home of this not-so-little brewery called New Belgium.  This brewery consistently puts out some of my favorite beers including, but not limited to:

  • Shift
  • Tart Lychee
  • Ranger IPA
  • Somersault
  • La Folie
  • Cocoa Mole (OOoh baby)
  • Kick
  • Vrienden
  • Valentine’s Day Beer (does this have another name I’m unaware of? Either way, it’s DELICIOUS!)

Unfortunately, New Belgium doesn’t (yet!) distribute to PA/NJ/DE. I’ve been itching to get my fix. What better way than to go straight to the source?

We had a brief (2 hour) wait in the tasting room since we missed our scheduled tour time…. but that was okay, there was plenty to do drink.

I’ll take one of everything.

Just a sample of the samples…

Can this be my bedroom wall?

Two hours of enjoying some delicious NB Brews, and we managed to squeeze into a tour.  YES!! The luckiest of ducks.

I’ve been on a number of brewery tours in my day but there are few that truly stand out as both educational and fun.  Yuengling had the title before this…. Now, I’m not so sure.

Our AMAZING tour guide, Lauren (who I mistakenly called Kate maybe 3x)

Our tour guide was incredible. She taught us to romance our beer, warming it with our hands (and our hearts).

Getting pretty intimate

We tried a number of delicious beers as we traveled through the brewery, getting up close and personal with the inner workings of New Belgium.

Gotta catch em all.

 

Mmmm it smelled like oatmeal.

We even got to check out some of the barrels they use for whipping up those tasty barrel-aged beers (one of which we got to try later).

Beautiful Barrel

Oooh la la, Leopold?! (Which we tried later that night!)

True Love

At the end of the tour, full of beer and overflowing with happiness, I couldn’t resist nabbing a sweatshirt (that I’m currently wearing). AND a chance to model that shirt in front of their sign.

Sorta Sorority Squat

This tour was whimsical, educational, and DELICIOUS! If you’re ever ANYWHERE near Ft. Collins, please, do yourself a solid, and book the tour! For the low cost of $Free.99, you, too, can enjoy the heck out of a magical Willy Wonka-esque beer factory.

Just make sure you are careful when you slide your way back to the real world.

Too fun.

What would be your ideal factory/brewery to tour?