Lost a little steam last night and couldn't finish day 3, which, incidentally, is sort of how day 3 itself felt.
After the Avery excursion, I still had enough juice to cram in a stop at Boulder Beer, but was apprehensive, knowing that the product probably wouldn't match. Maybe I set myself up from the start, but despite its grander exterior, larger tap room and more global following, Boulder Beer is no Avery.
Nine samples for $11. Not bad. Of the nine, I'd had only two (the Singletrack Copper Ale and the Buffalo Gold Ale, both average), so this was a quick way for me to add seven new beers to my index. And of those seven, only two again were above average. A very disappointing collection. So disappointing that it was all I could do to muster some bullet-pointed, four-word reviews of each. In the order that I drank them and with the words used and ratings given at the time:
Pass Time Pale Ale: "Graham cracker? Sweet, but not good. Whatever. 2.5"
Sundance Amber: "Nothing to say. 2.5"
Sweaty Betty: "Frozen pea aftertaste. Banana is there. 2"
Hazed and Infused: "38 IBUs for dry hopped? So subtle. 3.5"
Planet Porter: "Yes coffee. Nothing else. No depth. 2.5"
Mojo IPA: "Tangy orange tangerine. 4"
Cask Planet Porter: "Bigger head. Flatter. Warmer. Less flavor. 2"
So there you have it. Boulder Beer may as well rename itself Boulder Below Average Beer. I'd like to get a bottle of each of these and systematically refute the brewery-given descriptions of each. Ugh.
Maybe I'm giving Boulder Beer a hard time. They were one of the first microbreweries and obviously have had tons of success. The Mojo was delish. They've probably had other specialty beers throughout the years that are worthwhile. I just haven't had any of them. Have and of you?
One final stop for the night at the Mountain Sun Pub and Brewery for dinner and what turned out to be just one half pint of suds. I was stuffed with beer, a bit worn out from the heat and ready for a nap. There were plenty of options to choose from, and I took a stab and went with the nitro tap Illusion Dweller IPA. The results were not what I had in mind. This was not an American IPA, and there was not literature telling me so. Had the sweetness of a British IPA and was flat as could be. There was a certain amount of dry bitterness, but it couldn't offset the sweet flatness. A disappointment and not how I wanted to remember a well-reviewed brewpub.
With that said, the staff was incredible and accommodating, we were greeted with a free appetizer, and though the service and speed were fine, the manager knocked a third of our bill off because of some minor, everyday mishaps. I would go there again if I found myself back in Boulder. And do a little research beforehand.
After three days:
28 new beers (16 samples, 6 bottles, 3 pints, 2 cans, 1 half pint)
Best beer: Avery Hog Heaven Barleywine
Worst beer: Left Hand Polestar Pilsner