Friday, October 21, 2022

TRVE and Golden

I've been home from Colorado for almost a week now. The twins have turned five, developed attitudes, ahem I mean "personalities", and I haven't found the requisite few minutes to mention the other breweries I visited while at the foot of the Rockies. If you are here looking for my thoughts on Bierstadt, with a side note about Reverence, and Cohesion, you have come to the wrong post.

The day after our colleague gathering at Cohesion, it was planned that the team I am part of would have our quarterly planning meeting at TRVE Brewing (pronounced "true" I am informed) before heading out to Golden for the company retreat that formed the second half of my week. On looking up the brewery on Google Maps, the entry claimed that they opened at 3pm, which was problematic as our meeting was scheduled to start at midday. My original plan had been to Uber over there with a colleague, but things transpired that I just fancied walking the mile and a half, with my backpack slung over my shoulders as I had to also check out of my hotel. By the time I made it there, and discovered to my delight that Google was wrong and the brewery's website was right that they open at 11am on Wednesdays, I needed a beer...

Now, I am sure there are some who must wonder why I am constantly drinking pale lagers of some provenance, rather than the latest, hypest, hazy IPA that looks like sheep phlegm topped with shaving foam. They are just my sweet spot, and they tell you how good a brewer actually is as you can't hide flaws, so if a brewery has some form of pilsner, helles, Dortmunder, or just plain old pale lager on tap, that will invariably be choice one. In the case of TRVE, it was an excellent indicator, clean, crisp, beautifully bitter, "Cold" is their kellerpils and it was simply lovely. Also delicious was Xtra Good, a collaboration with Austin's fantastic Live Oak Brewing. Xtra Good is a light lager made with corn grits, and really highlighted that light lager need not be flaccid and boring, it was superb. The highlight though was "Bloodaxe" a "Nordic Farmhouse Ale" made with orange peel and grains of paradise, dropping a fairly hefty 7% abv into your bloodstream. Not something I would usually go for, but so good were the kellerpils and light lager, I figured I'd give it a bash and it was well worth it.

Unrelated to the beer, TRVE tout themselves as a "metal" brewery meaning the soundtrack to our team meeting was a eclectic mix of speed and death metal - I loved it. With the meeting wrapped up, it was time to head out to Golden for the first in-person company retreat since pre-March 2019.

We were staying at a place called The Eddy Taproom and Hotel, which had a few own label beers available in their bar, the pale ale being a respectable American pale ale which hit all the right C-hop notes. In terms of breweries though we only went to one while we where there, on our way to dinner on the Thursday night...Golden City Brewing.

Golden City Brewing is located in a mostly residential part of Golden - imagine trying to do that in NIMBY-centric Virginia! - and it being a Thursday night was very quiet. With just an hour to go before they shut for the night we ordered, at Jerry's instigation, a round of The Geologist, a 9% abv doppelbock that frankly has no right to be such easy drinking, and very appropriate given we work in geoscience publishing. I was being sensible though, and pacing myself in line with the rest of the group rather than pouring it down my neck and getting another.

I loved that in the middle of a residential area was a brewery with a fairly expansive beer garden to complement its bar area. It actually reminded me in terms of the vibe of Bar Chýše in the Čimice district of Prague. So taken was I with Golden City that I returned the following night, with just a single colleague as most of the company had flown home. This time I had their imperial milk stout, Eyes Wide Shut, and nursed that for the half hour or so we were there.

The contrast to the Thursday was stark. The place was heaving, as in genuinely busy and buzzing. The food truck on the road seemed to be doing a roaring trade, and something that was evident from the wide age range present was that this is clearly a community hangout spot. Kids, parents, single adults, grandparents all happily mingling and having a good time in their local, it was heartwarming to know such places can exist in the heart of an American residential area. Feeling drained from the constant go of conferencing and company retreat, I finished my beer and retired to my room at The Eddy, a cracking little hotel by the way, ready to fly home to Virginia and my wee family.

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