Monday, July 28, 2008

Summertime and the living is easy

Fermentedly Challenged goes campingA weekend in the mountains camping. Ah, nothing better. No phones. No emails. No jobs to do around the house. Just me, the mountains and nature. And for once, I could bring along some beer. You see, normally I'm camping with my son's boy scout troop and alcohol is verboten. But not this time, this was a family camp out. Beer was definitely on the menu.

My daughter was the one who asked to be taken camping. All these years of taking the boys camping with the scouts and not a single time did it include her. She felt left out. So finally, after 19 years, I got the chance to take her camping. Just her and Dad. She's actually quite the outdoors woman now that she's been to college.

The two of us spent an enjoyable weekend away from the computer just relaxing and getting away from it all up near Estes Park, Colorado. The mountain wild flowers were out in abundance. The sky was bright blue and the temperature was just right. Life at 8000 feet elevation seems rather slow in comparison to the hustle and bustle of every day living.

Camping at Hermit ParkThis trip was planned just a week or so in advance. We got a campsite reservation online and just threw some equipment together. The menu was fairly basic but good enough so that we'd have a lot to eat if we wanted to. I had a few beers at home that I could choose to bring along but had a hard time deciding which to put into the cooler.

I had some Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, a few North Coast Red Seal Ale and some good old standby New Belgium Skinny Dip. I decided ultimately to bring along the Skinny Dip as the beverage of choice. It's light and refreshing and has just enough flavor to be interesting. Space was tight in the cooler so I just put 3 bottles in.

Rocky Mountain National ParkSkinny Dip, a New Belgium beer, is quickly becoming one of my standards for a hot summer weekend. It's a good thing I was camping, otherwise I'd have brought along my notepad and taken notes while sampling it. But I decided to forgo the beer geek in me for just one weekend and just enjoyed the beer for what it was. It was cold. It was beer. It was good.

From my past notes I can say that Skinny Dip is a clear, golden brew with a nice white head. It contains a generous supply of Cascade hops and Kaffir Lime Leaf. Quite good. I originally sampled some at a Rocky Mountain Beer festival in Estes Park earlier this year.

Taking a few days away from the computer does one good. I even took the entire Friday off of work to head to the mountains. I could get used to 3-day weekends.

So now it's Monday. I'm back home and headed back to work today. Sigh. My mind is still in the mountains. I think I still have another Skinny Dip in the fridge...

Related articles:
- New Belgium Mothership Wit review.
- New Belgium Dark Kriek review.
- Touring New Belgium's Liquid Center.

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