Oskar Blues Brewery and their beers are iconic in Colorado.
What started as a restaurant/brew pub in the small town of Lyons in 1997, turned into packaging their popular beer in 2002 (revolutionizing cans nonetheless), turned into the New York Times naming Dale’s Pale Ale the Best Pale Ale in 2005, turned into opening their 35,000 square-foot brewing facility in Longmont in 2008, turned into opening Homemade Liquids and Solids Restaurant in Longmont in 2009, turned into their Hops and Heifer Farm opening in 2010…and to this day, standing as one of the most loved and respected breweries in the state of Colorado (and beyond).
I was recently invited to attend Oskar Blues’ first Hops and Heifers Beer Farm dinner. We met at their brewing location in Longmont and the Oskar Blues trolley took us on over to the 50-acre Hops and Heifers Farm.
With beautiful rolling hills facing East and the Flatirons to the West, it’s a serene location. We met with Farmer Geoff (Hess), and even had a hayride tour around the farm to meet the animals and learn about their operation.
It was quite involved (glad I wore my cowboy boots) and if you’re allergic to hay, maybe stay back. The farm has Oskar Blues raised Black Angus cattle that are integrated into their sustainable model and pigs. They have 3,500 hop plants across two acres and their hopyard is varied. Their focus is to provide meat to not only their restaurants but others going forward.
Alongside live music, we sat amongst the hanging hops (very whimsical) and enjoyed a five course dinner, paired with special beers.
It was a special evening and as always, you felt the strong tie of community, collaboration and love of good beer from the crew at Oskar Blues that helped the dinner run so smoothly all night.
Beer: Can Can Saison | Pickled deviled eggs, local chicken liver pate, pickled asparagus, prosciutto and chive crostini. Served on the patio as small bites.
Beer: Reeb Rye’d Rye Pale | Grilled Colorado white bass with tarragon, spring onion, garlic scapes, spring greens and radishes
Beer: Running Man American Pale | Hops and Heifers smoked pork loin, pinto beans, grilled asparagus and microgreens
Beer: Velvet Elvis Oatmeal Stout | Braised beef and tenderloin tartare braised brisket, Hazel Dell mushrooms, whipped russets chive oil and spicy greens. This was consumed swiftly and a photo was missed. You can see the aftermath.
Beer: Fresh Cherry Old Chub Scotch Ale | Chocolate cherry crumb tart, made with Old Chub
We watched the sunset and the moon rise high in the sky, music played quietly behind us, glasses clinked, new friends were made, and the wind gently breezed through our hair – you then start to think – this really is what life is all about.
The sunset and iridescent moon was a perfect cap to the evening.
Note: Thanks to Oskar Blues for inviting us to the inaugural dinner and for hosting us.