Friday, August 15, 2008

Return to Choice City with Muckney Brewing

Dave JuartAnytime I get the chance to visit with some of my Internet beer friends I jump at the chance. I got a message from Dave Juart of Muckney Brewing the other day. He was on a business trip to Colorado and was headed up to Fort Collins on a beer trek and asked if I was available to meet him for lunch. Heck ya! I didn't need no other reason to break away for a long lunch.

I suggested Choice City Butcher & Deli as a meeting spot. It wasn't more than a month ago or so when another friend Dave of Musings over a Pint came out and we went to the same spot. As usual, Choice City was a busy place at lunch time and there was a small line for sandwiches. Dave and I ordered and looked at the beer menu. There's always an amazing selection of beer on tap as well as in their beer cooler there.

On Tap MenuJust as a tease to what they offer at this little deli can be seen on this daily specials list they had at the check-out counter. Talk about a selection! My first choice, a Chimay Tripel had just run dry on tap, but Dave suggested that the St. Bernardus Abt 12 was an excellent beer so I ordered a glass of that. It was on tap to boot. Choice City poured it into a nice Chimay goblet for me. We grabbed our lunch and sat down.

I wish I would have had a chance to stay longer with Dave as he was an experienced homebrewer that had done 25 batches or more of home brew with his buddy back in Pennsylvania. Seeing how I'm on the verge of starting up homebrewing again, I was eager to hear about some of his creations.

Dave had a few hours before he had to head back down to Denver. I suggested that he visit one or more of the local breweries as New Belgium, Odell and Fort Collins Brewery were just within a mile of Choice City. I believe Dave was heading to New Belgium but I was unable to join him as I had a pressing business meeting of my own to get back to.

As for my beer of the day, I'm glad I chose the St. Bernardus Abt 12. It is a wonderful Belgian quad. It was a bit higher in alcohol (10.5% ABV) than I wanted during lunch but it was damn good just the same. It made my meeting at 2:30pm all the much more tolerable. I noticed that Ratebeer and BeerAdvocate gave this beer a top rating. No wonder why Choice City picked this beer to put on tap. The goblet glass made the experience even the more enjoyable. It's one of the best beers I've had this year. It's right up there with Chimay Blue and the Ommegang Three Philosophers.

Dave Juart chose to try a New Belgium's employee special brew - Jessica's Porter. I've had that ale on tap fresh at New Belgium before and enjoyed it. It's a spiced up porter that gets better as it warms. I didn't get a chance to see Dave's notes on that brew, so I hope he enjoyed it.

Tap HandlesI made the mistake of ordering a full deli sandwich. Their full sandwich is easily enough for two people. I could only finish half of it. The other half made for a tasty lunch today, so it turns out my mistake was a bonus in disguise. So if you go there, bring an appetite or just order the half sandwich.

I'd recommend the Choice City Butcher & Deli to anyone. Not only does it have a full selection of local brews but it stocks some of the best beers available in Colorado. They might just surprise you with what they have in stock. They even had a brand new brew from New Belgium on tap that day: Giddy Up. It supposedly has lemon peel and espresso. Wow, what a combo. I'll have to come back to try that one for sure.

If any of you wonderful readers are ever planning to come out to Colorado, please look me up. I'd love to break away for a bite and a pint sometime and meet you.

Choice City Butcher & Deli - 104 W Olive St, Fort Collins, CO 80524

Related stories:

- Lunch Review - Choice City Butcher & Deli.
- Brew Review - Chimay Grande Reserve.
- Brew Review - Ommegang Three Philosophers.

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