I’m sitting on a white sand beach in Panama sipping a crisp Balboa lager, (the local beer), and reading Beer Hunter, Whiskey Chaser, a collection of essays in honor of the late Michael Jackson. It’s an interesting choice for this vacation, we won’t see a craft beer for nearly ten days, but every selection in the book will make my taste buds water for some refined malts and hops.
One essay in particular, When’s the Right Time for Barley Wine? by Stephen Beaumont, gets me thinking about how good the free-flowing Balboa beer actually is, particularly with the sun beating down and the waves crashing. While a Dale’s Pale Ale from Oskar Blues might taste good right now, there’s probably not a Winter Holiday Ale or a Barley Wine anywhere in the world that would be enjoyable to drink at this moment.
Context does matter. And I think that’s one of the reasons Lindsay and I are so passionate about exploring every corner of Colorado for breweries and beautiful scenery. Many places we visit in the Rocky Mountain State have their own character. Whether they’re brewing certain styles, using specific ingredients, or designing a particular brewery atmosphere, brewers often tap into the symbiotic relationship between the beer they make and the place and/or time in which the beer is created.
While we encourage beer drinkers to be “consistent locals,” (as one fan recently described herself), Colorado Brewery Days avidly promotes trying a wide array of beer and breweries in diverse settings throughout this incredible state. So maybe it’s not time in Colorado for SKA’s Mexican Logger, but spiced ales and robust porters await you at taps everywhere.
Get out there and explore!