Back home from a work trip to Denver finally. It's funny how much I love to travel yet it always feels so good to get home. I think it's colder here in Arkansas than it was in Denver. There was snow on the ground from earlier in the week but the temp was in the 50s during the day so it was nice. I was there for work, but did get out each night and hit a few cool spots, since Denver is the beer capital of America.
Wednesday night I hit a bar that will probably go in my top 10 bars for the year by the end, Yard House. It's a chain, with stores mainly in California, but it's got an awesome beer selection. A big row of tap handles had me salivating as soon as we walked in. They had "world's largest selection of draft beer" on their menus and posted, but I'm not sure if that's true of just exaggeration. Could be true, they had a boat load. I tried Big Sky Moose Drool to get it started (decent), followed that with a Left Hand Sawtooth Ale (not bad) and ended with a beer I've had before but can't get around here and I just could pass it up, Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale. It's a delicious big, bad beer. The prices there were pretty decent, the staff seemed to know their beer (the bartender I was talking to did at least) and there was lots of eye candy. If you're in Denver and love beer, go to Lakewood and hit Yard House.
On Thursday I took a trip out in the Rocky Mountains (one a chartered bus even) to a little mining town that is now just a bunch of little casinos, in Black Hawk, Colorado. It's got a great assortment of casinos and you can just walk down the street and go door to door. The view getting to the casino is awesome, with tunnels and high cliffs all around. You'll definitely want a designated driver if you plan to drink at all or you'll find the bottom of a valley on your way home I'd guess. Anyway though, the table games had $5 limits but they've just passed a law to get that upped to a lot more and they also passed to get more table games, so the place should get much better. I played a few slots, video poker and $5 blackjack at Fitzgeralds and had a lot of fun. Stared off immediately with a $50 payout on a quarter slot machine, then slowly lost all of it over a few hours, but recovered it all plus some on blackjack so it ended up a good night. I had $40 more on the bus ride home than I took so that's not too bad considering all the beer, food and tipping I figure.
Hit the New Belgium Hub in the Denver airport and had one of their good Abbeys to end the trip on the high note. There's a great brew pub with a really good selection in the airport, but it's before security for some reason, and security in Denver is always a long, annoying wait so I wanted to get through that before settling in for a beer. The New Belgium Hub is past security and has all of their beers so there's plenty to choose from.
I've been there 5 or 6 times but it's a great city with lots of great beer, beautiful scenery and I met a lot of cool people. My kind of city. I want to go back sometime on a non-work trip and just hang out for a week and explore. Maybe soon.
Here's a few pics. The first one is the view from my hotel window. The last 3 are in Black Hawk.