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Ridin' Dirty from Longmont to Brevard

 



On April 1st I will be riding from Oskar Blue's Brewery, the Tasty Weasel in Longmont, CO to Oskar Blue's other brewery in Brevard, NC. I will be biking solo, unassisted, primarily following the Trans American Bike trail, as fast as I can! The route is roughly 1600 miles, touching 6 states.


I could wrack my face against the keyboard trying come up with something that could sound like a good, tangible explanation as to why I want to ride 1600 miles, but truth be told, there isn't a solid thing to point to. I wish I could say there's a charity I'm donating miles to, or that I'm raising awareness for some greater cause, but what really happened was that I woke up one morning and just got the feeling that I would like to bike from my new home in Colorado to my old home in Asheville, and that I thought I could probably do it. Why not? Of course I'd like to do that!


There is a reason though, there's always some reason, its just a little, "squishier."


I'm doing it for the same reason I sneak a few laps in at Hall Ranch before going into work, the same reason I hiked El Camino this past summer in Spain, and the same reason I like to have my coffee outside with the first morning sun, and that reason is "connection." Its more than slowly, yet satisfyingly defining calf muscles, or adrenaline bumps from gnarly rollers at Fruita, (those things are awesome, but there's more!) its that there is so much Wonder out there to be had and that I am fortunate enough to recognize that I am a part of it.


I have never felt "outside" of nature, as though I were looking in on something and foreign, but rather that I was a little piece of it in manifested, animate, human form. Whether its rock climbing, or mountain biking, or a simple trail run through Pisgah, the simple act of being out in the Wonder is like playing with your best friend. The games you play might change, but its still that joy from connecting with something or someone very special beyond yourself that makes this existence so rich. Novelty and grandeur have always been the fuel, the while vehicles and paths may vary; this time it just happens to be a bike, three bags and a lot of pavement.


If this ride could have a cause, it would be to remind people the importance of play; its how we learn, grow and expand, how we engage and connect with what's around us, how we love, and how we can come to appreciate all that we have around us, we just have to show up.

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Goes Nationwide

 


Feeling sluggish? Malaised and confused? At 420 mg caffeine per 12oz can, Hotbox Roasters’ Nitro Cold Brew is the smooth, flavorful kick-in-the-ass you need.


The crew at Hotbox Roasters focuses on ethically sourcing their primo Arabica coffee; then they roast the high-quality goods in small batches at their Longmont headquarters. It’s a crowd favorite around here - most CO OBB employees would tell you the Anti-Corp office pretty much runs on Cold Brew power Monday through Friday(ish).


“Whether you’re running, biking or just need a boost of natural energy, our Nitro Cold Brew will keep you going strong all day,” said Mike Murfitt, Marketing Director at Hotbox Roasters. Murfitt should know – the dude practically lives on a bike when he’s not up close and personal with coffee beans. At the age of 12 he started BMX racing and later got into free-styling and jumping. A few years back his dad bought him a mountain bike as a gift and he started taking it to the weekly REEB rides in Lyons, CO. Long story short, he’s now a sponsored REEB rider and Hotbox Roasters coffee hype-guy.


Anyway, perfectly roasted coffee meets crisp, clean, filtered Rocky Mountain water and the two mingle for 24 hours during the brewing process. Meanwhile, millions of tiny, velvety nitrogen bubbles are infused – giving the brew just the right smoothness for stimulating your nitrogenous zone. The result is a naturally slightly sweet wake-up alarm in a recyclable package. “Minimizing our environmental impact is a top priority,” explained Murfitt. “So we use aluminum cans which are infinitely recyclable and protect the flavor and consistency of all our coffee products.”


Coming up in May 2017, Murfitt and photographer Mike Eldridge will take their bean show on the road, embarking on a three-month-long road trip across the country. The goal is to get folks excited about Nitro Cold Brew with samples and promos, and to have some fun along the way. Part of the project is the launch of Cranks and Coffee, a series of scheduled group rides. “A lot of people like to pair riding bikes with coffee,” said Murfitt. “But this is something that’s never really been done by a coffee company before.” Hotbox Roasters has teamed up with REI’s Mountain Bike Project to make the rides accessible to the public. The schedule and routes can be found on mtbproject.com or by using REI’s app.


Follow these characters on their caffeinated journey by tuning into their
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or Snapchat profiles. Heck, the Hotbox van might turn up in your neighborhood.

In the meantime, crack a can of Nitro Cold Brew and prepare for lift-off. Find Hotbox Roasters’ Nitro Cold Brew at any Oskar Blues Fooderies location including the newly opened Hotbox Roasters CBD Café located in Denver’s RiNo Art District. Major grocers in Alabama, California, Colorado, and North Carolina carry it; and it’s soon to hit shelves in Florida, Kansas and Missouri. Retail partners include Whole Foods, Lucky’s Market, Alfalfa’s Market and coming soon to Kroger brand stores. Check out the Hotbox Roasters website for more info.


SHE'Boogie Bop: A Woman-Powered Beer

 



Four magical words for you, friends: vanilla lavender cream ale. It’s what happens when the women of the Oskar Blues Brewery Colorado production team come together for a ladies-only brewing sesh. The ladies – Kristin Hubbard and Sara Laurienti of the Cellar, Brewster Diana Locatelli, and Brewers’ Assistant Lauren Laquerre – met recently at the brewbarn in Lyons to bring their original recipe to life. Their limited release masterpiece, SHE’Boogie Bop, will be available at CO Oskar Blues locations later this month.

First, a little bit about cream ales - cream ales are a distinctly American style that started out in the 19th century. Most American brewers made ales at that time, but then a bunch of German immigrants moved in and started making damn refreshing lighter-style beers, which became wildly popular. American brewers adopted the lighter-style trend with a couple of differences – mainly the addition of corn for a lighter body, and a vague idea that this new style was neither an ale nor a lager. Staying true to tradition, the lady brew crew made SHE’Boogie Bop using corn, wheat and pilsner malt. After fermentation, they jazzed up the recipe by adding lavender and vanilla beans because really, why wouldn’t you?

Hubbard explained, “For such a girly-sounding beer, I didn’t have that intention when thinking of the style we wanted.” Hubbard is a fan of cream ales, and the flavor combination of lavender and vanilla seemed like an obvious compliment to the light-bodied, slightly sweet style. Everybody funked out to the music of Prince while they brewed, with the song "Cream" inspiring the name of the beer.

The four women are accustomed to working at the Longmont Brewery, which produced around 100,000 barrels in 2016; so brewing at the small Lyons location was a very different experience. “Everything’s ‘cute’ here,” laughed Laquerre. “It is a much more intimate location and gives you the feeling of something special.” Lyons' Head Brewer Juice Drapeau hosted. He's a guy, but he has no qualms about embracing his feminine side (and he also has really great, flowing locks of hair) so he was allowed to hang around during the process.

They rarely get to work all together in Longmont, so they were psyched at the opportunity to collaborate on a woman-powered project.  Laquerre explained, “Every day at most breweries is a ‘guys-only’ brewing session just because they make up the majority of the industry. Our ladies-only session was important because it gave us camaraderie as women in the [Colorado] production department.”

Locatelli agreed, “It’s obvious that the production side of brewing is pretty male-dominated. I think it was a rad way to celebrate being brew chicks.”

Though the modern beer industry is a total sausage-fest, women have historically played major roles in brewing. In colonial America, many taverns were owned and operated by women, who brewed delicious beer for their patrons. Women were also often given the task of brewing in their own households. Remember that people were consuming epic amounts of beer at this time in history. Their average daily schedule probably included breakfast beer, maybe a beer while astride an oxen or some shit, a beer with dinner, then a sleepy-time beer. Those were the days; and colonial women were the driving force behind the production of the ubiquitous beverage.

The ghosts of those bonnet-donning beer goddesses can rest assured that the women at Oskar Blues Brewery are keeping the passion alive on the production floor every day; and now with the release of SHE’Boogie Bop. “It was a real team effort,” said Laquerre. “From now on, we want to make this FemALE project a regular venture.”

If you’re not familiar with the song “Cream,” spice up your day by Googling Prince’s live Arsenio Hall Show performance. That early-nineties fashion, incredible back-up dancing, and Prince’s IDGAF attitude will surely make you thirsty. Then get yerself over to one of the Colorado OBB locations – The Tasty Weasel Taproom, Homemade Liquids & Solids, Grill & Brew, Chuburger, or Chuburger RiNo – and try SHE’Boogie Bop. The limited release will be available March 13.

Calling all female brewers: present your ID (AHA card, business card, or something else official-looking) to get one pint of SHE’Boogie Bop FREE at the Longmont Tasty Weasel Taproom while supplies last.


P.S. For more information on the history of women brewers, visit the National Women’s History Museum Blog.


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