Friday, January 4, 2013

Microbrewery Rules

Mile High Brews: Rules for Enjoying a Microbrewery
It’s one thing to just go to a microbrewery, but it is another thing to actually visit a microbrewery. When you go to one you sit at a bar stool, drink beers, pay your tab, and leave. When you visit one you make it more of an experience, you soak in the atmosphere, talk to the bartenders/owners, taste the beers, and ultimately find out what it is that makes each microbrewery so unique. After all in Colorado there are close to 140 microbreweries, so each one has to have a story behind it, or a beer that makes them stand out and unique in an business that is booming. So with that being said there are certain rules or guidelines that one should follow every time the visit a microbrewery for the first time.
1)      Be Observant: Pay attention to the environment that the brewery has created, and the area they chose to set up their tap room.  Is it in a town with multiple breweries or are they the first microbrewery in a small town? Is the brewery in a high traffic area to serve the masses or are they in a more local area to create a smaller neighborhood environment?  Regardless of your answer it is important to observe your surroundings when in a brewery. Part of a relaxing visit is not only enjoying a beer that they offer but soaking in your surroundings. Whether it be the art on the wall or the views from their windows the atmosphere of a microbrewery is just as important as the beers offered.
2)      Be Engaging: When visiting a microbrewery it is important to not be distant but open to conversation. If the owners are available definitely make it a point to talk with them on some level to here the story on how their microbrewery came to be. How did they get started in brewing? What made them decide to brew the styles of beers that they do? If the owners are not available talk to the bartender and learn the history of the brewery by asking the same questions. Also it is very important to talk to the regular customers. Find out why they come to the brewery as often as they do, but more importantly most customers at a microbrewery go to several. Learn from them what other microbreweries they would recommend visiting and in turn share your favorites. You would be surprised how the time can fly by talking with customers and exchanging brewery visits.
3)      Be Adventurous: Most beer drinkers prefer certain styles over others but do not let that deter you when visiting a microbrewery. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying a pint of an IPA, ale, or stout at a brewery it should be after first sampling everything else first. Each microbrewery has a specialty that they pride themselves on and while they offer multiple styles each beer may have something unique to it. Whether it is staying traditional to a certain country, or being very experimental with the beers they make it is important to try each one. All microbreweries offer flights of their beers so take advantage of it. Who knows you might find something you like and fall in love with a new style of beer you didn’t know existed.
4)      Go Exploring: Like with rule number 3 it is important to see everything the state has to offer. While it is ok to have a favorite place to frequent it is important to remember that there are over 140 microbreweries in Colorado. Like with trying a new style of beer trying a new microbrewery can allow you to discover that many more beers that you can’t get in other areas. It can allow you to plan on an extra place to visit when in a certain city like Denver, Colorado Springs, or Boulder. Like traveling to other countries, visiting other microbreweries can and will introduce you to new people, places, and beers you wouldn’t have otherwise had.
5)      Have Fun: Like with anything you do in your personal life it is important to have fun and enjoy yourself. At the end of a long work week there is nothing more enjoyable than relaxing with a cold beer and spending time doing what makes you happy. If you follow guidelines one through four than this fifth one will come without issue.
So there they are our guidelines on how to make visiting microbreweries the most enjoyable experience possible. While each brewery is different, and sometimes in hidden locations just remember that the hunt is all part of the experience.
Is there a microbrewery you want us to visit or a certain beer we have to try? Let us know by joining the official Mile High Brews Facebook page at:

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