It is certainly no secret that we enjoy having both different beers as well as wine during our travels. We had heard about a brewery in Denver that was creating beers with fermented grapes and we knew that we had to give them a try. The Liberati Restaurant and Brewery has 15 different Oenobeers, or beers made with as much as 49% of the fermented ingredients coming from grapes. We sampled several of the beers that they offered and each had its own flavor profile. For some, there was no mistaking the wine component of the beer as the grape flavors were very noticeable. There were others where you wouldn’t even know that the beer was brewed with grapes if you hadn’t read the menu. And there was even one beer that tasted exactly like a port wine and, if you didn’t know better, you would never think it was a beer.
The first beer that we tried was called the Sea of Cherries and it was definitely on the fruity side. It was made with Pinot Noir grapes, but the flavor of the cherries certainly were up front. The second beer was a Franciacorta that was bubbly and the champagne-like qualities certainly came through. Next was an Imperial Kolsch and the taste was that of a traditional beer despite having been brewed with Pinot Grigio grapes. Another beer that was more on the traditional side was a Nut Brown beer that was darker beer with a nutty flavor. The final beer that we tried was the Port Oenobeer, which we have already mentioned tasted exactly like a port wine, bold and delicious.
It is certainly an interesting innovation in brewing beers. Even with the grapes, the beers can have just as diverse flavors as any other beer, including IPA’s. Although we only tasted one-third of the beers on their list, we are excited to try them again the next time that we are in Denver. The restaurant itself has a wide variety of Italian food and a wonderful atmosphere, including an outdoor patio area.
Regardless of where you are, supporting a local cause is a great way to do something good and make yourself feel good in the process. When that support comes in the form of attending an event, then it is even better. Over the weekend, we went to an event called Pints for Paws Brewfest with the proceeds going to the local Humane Society. Several restaurants and breweries provided food and beers and there was a local band providing festive music as well. The cost of the event was reasonable and the cause was certainly worthwhile.
We have always been firm believers in getting a rescue animal if you are interested in getting a dog or cat as a pet. We have had several dogs and a cat that were all rescue animals throughout the years, although we don’t currently have any pets as we aren’t home enough to take care of them properly. Our last puppy lived to be 17 years old and we have very vivid memories of going to pick him out. At the time, our youngest daughter wanted to get a dog and she was hoping to get a golden retriever. We went to the animal shelter and there were a couple of retrievers, but they had a long list of names of people wanting to adopt them.
We kept walking around and then a cute little black and brown dog caught our eye. Our daughter knelt next to him and he raised his paw to give her a high-five. His description listed him as a Rottweiler Mix, but he was much more of an Australian Cattle Dog. Unlike the other dogs where we would have had to wait before we could take them home, he was available immediately, most likely due to people being fearful of adopting a dog that had been labeled a Rottweiler. He was one of the most loving and loyal dogs that we have ever adopted.
Alamosa is a small town in southern Colorado that has a lot of historic charm. We enjoyed spending a weekend there while we visited the Great Sand Dunes. As is typical of the region, there are plenty of Mexican restaurants, but there are plenty of other choices as well. It was very hot during our visit, so having a cold beer that was locally brewed was also a must. In addition to the restaurants, there was a local fair going on and we enjoyed walking through it and visiting the various tents.
We went to a casual Italian restaurant that is actually in an old movie theater that has been redecorated to become a quaint bistro. We had read before going that they offered half portions on their pasta, providing the opportunity to share two different options. Considering the size of the half portions, a full portion would have definitely been too much for the two of us. We had homemade lasagna as well as a very spicy Caribbean with shrimp. Both were very delicious and we took the leftovers from the Bistro Rialto back home with us.
We stopped at the San Luis Valley Brewing Company a couple of times and enjoyed their Alamosa Amber as well as their Valle Caliente, which is a lager soaked on Hatch Chile. The lager had a little heat to it, but overall the taste was very smooth. We did, of course, visit a very popular Mexican restaurant that actually served an all-day buffet. We don’t eat enough to take advantage of an all-you-can-eat buffet, so we ordered a pork burrito, but the food on the buffet was fresh and very popular. It was our last meal before leaving Alamosa and in some ways we wish we would have found Calvillo’s sooner.
One thing that we enjoy about visiting smaller towns are the locally owned restaurants that use fresh food grown in the area. There are always a few chain restaurants, but we avoid those whenever possible. Having the opportunity to taste locally brewed beer that represents the tastes of the area is a definite benefit and almost expected in Colorado these days.