“Did I just flip over my handle bars?!?”
That was the thought I had as I stood in the road after a successful yet failed attempt at screeching my tires on Saturday.
Let’s digress to about 10:00am that day:
It was a spectacular morning. The type where you know the day is going to be awesome. My cohorts and I were headed to the opening of the new W line of the light rail here in Denver. There were all sorts of events happening at the stops like food, bands, vendors, and activities for kids. The best part was it was free all day to ride. The idea: ride bikes to the start at Union Station, get off at selected stops to check stuff out, and once in Golden we would ride to 2 breweries then hop the W back home. It seemed like such a simple plan.
We started the day stopping at one of Denver’s dive of all dive bars for a quick beer, Bar Bar. Located near Coors field, this place is for the dirty alcoholic in some of us. Being a bar, coffee shop, AND bookstore you can be there early to have an Irish coffee with a side of beer while reading the used copy of Fight Club you just purchased. Sitting there with all the other early morning patrons while watching this one woman dance to the jukebox, the line Cheryl Crow sings kept playing in my head. “I like a good beer buzz early in the morning. And Billy likes to peel the labels from his bottles of Bud.” This places reeks of that song along with many other smells.
The W line: mob mentality. Now, when I lived in NYC, people at least noticed if you were hauling a bike with you and gave you some room to get on the train. Not in Denver. We missed one train at Union Station because it was packed and people kinda pushed us out of the way. When the second train arrived we decided to not be polite and just get on and let the masses work their way around us. The Caddy(my cruiser with side baskets) is a big heavy bike so to lift it up 4 stairs as people are trying to get around me is an event bound for disaster. Fortunately, disaster was averted but I definitely got close-encounter-molested by a young lady’s butt against mine. She kept bouncing up and down. Good thing I’m not a guy.
Against what should have been good judgement, we get off the W line not too far from downtown to catch up with another friend. Again, we just miss a train because people push ahead of us filling the space where bikes can board. Another train comes and we get thwarted by a bum. Yes, a bum blocked us from getting on because he was sitting on the steps inside the train and when he saw us he said, “Are you kidding me?” He decided to move as slowly as he possibly could and the doors closed as his butt was vacating where our bikes should have been. Train #3: so packed even people at the station couldn’t fit on. What do we do? Well, we bike to the other stations on the line hoping we can catch a train that isn’t so full. Train after train I get more and more discouraged and finally decide that it’s not worth it so lets just ride our own route into Golden.
Tired, hot, and beerless, we finally make it to Golden, 3.5 hours after we had set foot on the train at Union Station. Passing by the insane line of people waiting to go on the tour of Coors, I get a bug up my butt to screech the tires on the Caddy. I get a great long one from downhill inertia. Hee hee!!
Golden City Brewery: I remember when it was Golden’s best kept secret. You could always find a seat. On this hot spring Saturday, the beer garden was packed to the gills. For beer-unch I decided to go with the red that was on tap. I’ll admit I don’t remember which red because I was just so happy to be drinking a beer I didn’t actually notice. I like GCB because its staples are easy drinking beer. It tastes good and doesn’t usually smack you in the face with too much complexity which makes it perfect for after biking your ass all over the Front Range. Located near Clear Creek, which splits Golden in half, it makes this brewery a great stop for jumping in the creek and getting a beer. Repeat as necessary on hot days, while kayaking or tubing. After wetting our whistles, we make the arduous climb up Washington Street to the new kid on the block.
Cannonball Creek Brewing Company: I would never have guessed this place opened in January. Usually when I visit a new brewery I’ll find one, maybe two beers, that catch my attention. Out of the 6 beers we tried, I liked 4. The line up:
- Solid Gold Belgian Golden
- High Water Wit
- Liger (Belgian-American hybrid ale)
- Victorville Red
- Ferêt-Noire (Black Sasion)
- E.B.C. American Stout
Oddly the Ferêt-Noire was my favorite(it has a light hint of cherries, my favorite fruit), the Liger came in second(nice fruit and spice with a quaint twang of hop), 3rd place was the wit(it was like smooth citrus Barry White style) , and the Golden came in an honorable 4th(it might have done better if I hadn’t drank that red at GCB first). What can I say except I was impressed by their beers and look forward to what they’ll have as the years pass.
As far as what the location looks like: it’s new. Sound seems to bounce in that place very well, so if you can’t hang in alot of noise, you may want to hit them when they first open at 3pm. But I did hear that a patio might be in the works…along with some other things. Also, if you want the most up to date information you’ll want to check out their Facebook page not the website. Their list of beers is way bigger than what’s on the website.
After getting our fill of beery goodness, hangry(so hungry you get angry) was starting to kick in which led us to the next adventure: Ali Baba and the lack of a stunt double.