I forgot to post all about our OTHER brewery tour. The day before ER (Wednesday) we drove up to Fort Collins and toured the New Belgium Brewing Company, makers of Fat Tire beer! For Brett's MBA last year, he did a case study on this company because they are a tremendous success of employee satisfaction, environmental stewardship, and community responsibility. After his case study, he told me this is the kind of place he could get into working at. So, we had to go (actually I think we had to go more b/c of the beer, but I didn't say anything:-)). The town of Fort Collins was really pretty and is home to many breweries b/c it is abundant in clean water, ideal for brewing beer.
At the start of the tour, you are told that you are free to have 4 samples of beer that you can sit and enjoy before the tour or when the tour is done. We were early for our tour so we sat and sipped first. They give you a long sheet with all their beers on it and you pick 4. We picked 4 different ones b/c I wasn't allowed to actually drink it, could only take a taste and we were both curious about some of the rarer ones we hadn't tried before. Like Abbey Lager, the new seasonal 2 below, the standard Sunset Wheat, Fat Tire, 1556 Black Lager, and a bunch more. The tour itself was fun and during that we got to try some of the more alcoholic beers that they keep up in the brewery - Big John's Voodoo which has about 8.5% alcohol and contains Yerba Mate for a caffeine kick too (oh great, the doc said stay away from caffeine and alcohol and this one supplies both) and a kicker version of Abbey that had about 10% alcohol. It was fun.
On a side note, out of only 8 people on the tour, including us, 5 of them had ties to Syracuse! Isn't that nuts? some were from Syracuse or nearby CNY, others had gone to school there. We were surprised. Anyway, if you ever come to Denver, you should take this tour...it is worth it!