Vail (food) and Edwards (beer)

I’m sure that Vail is a different place altogether during ski season but not being much interested in winter weather I’m not too anxious to find out. Our three visits to this major ski resort town have all been in the early summer and we enjoy the mild weather, the beautiful flowers and the Bavarian look and feel. PepisOne of our favorite aspects of the Bavarian look and feel is the German restaurant with the unlikely name, Pepi’s Restaurant and Bar. After checking out a few shops and sharing a pint of 1554 at an outdoor table of an establishment whose name I failed to pay attention to, we decided it was time to head over to Pepi’s. Well, our timing was off and their dinner service would not start until 5:30 and it was currently just a little before 4. Instead of disappointment, I saw this as a great opportunity to go check out the brewery I had seen online just 15 miles west in the town of Edwards. I called to make sure their taproom was open, plugged them into our GPS and headed to Edwards, Colorado.

CrazyMountainGrainSiloWe missed it on the first pass but then on the second attempt we saw the sign for Crazy Mountain Brewery. CrazyMountainTapsTheir taproom is reminiscent of some of the small breweries we visited in Portland which was a good omen. If it had been available I would have tried their Cara De Luna Black Ale but since it was still conditioning I opted for the Boohai Red Ale. CrazyMountainRedAleNot being a hop-head, the hop flavor was near the higher end of the range that I find enjoyable but it was within those limits and enjoy it I did.

I asked if I could take some pictures of the brewery and that led to a quick tour.

Mash Tanks

Mash Tanks


Fermentation Tanks

Fermentation Tanks


Aging Barrels

Aging Barrels

Bottling Line

Bottling Line

The blurb I had read online about Crazy Mountain said they would be acquiring the brewery in Denver that will be available when Breckenridge Brewery moves into it’s new facility so it looks like they’ll be expanding big time soon.

According to my iPhone there was another brewery in town and since there was a chocolate stout on their brew list we decided we could drive the half mile to the Gore Range Brewery. GoreRangeBreweryDue to parking lot construction we found the rear entrance and made our way to the bar. GoreRangeTasterSure enough, there was a chocolate stout on the menu and that’s what I ordered. Karen, being a little more discriminating, asked for a sample first and upon sampling, she ordered one, too. GoreRangeChocolateStoutIt is a black beer with a frothy head and a definite chocolate taste. The body is a little thin but it was very good and well worth the half mile drive – hey, even the 15 miles drive!

We returned to Vail, got parked and made our way to the restaurant. It was just past 5:30 – great timing! We’ve eaten here before so we knew it should be good. Karen is always on the lookout for good Wiener Schnitzel and is often disappointed but at Pepi’s they actual make theirs with veal (like they’re supposed to) WeinerSchnitzleinstead of pork (like most PC-conscious restaurants do) and it has been very good before. Me, being Texan, prefer my chicken fried steak with cream gravy and I usually order bratwurst but since it wasn’t on the menu this evening I had the Wiener Schnitzel, too.

We had a little bit of excitement on the way home. Just as we had pulled into Vail to park the low fuel light came on. That didn’t really alarm me because in my mind we still plenty of fuel to get to a station. ConocoReceiptThat erroneous thinking was because I’m used to my truck that still has a 50 mile range when the warning appears. As we were leaving Vail I tapped the info button to see that we had a cruising range of – 13 miles! I watched it go down quickly as we climbed up Vail Pass. I was hopeful that if we made it to the top we’d be able to at least coast down to the Copper Mountain exit where surely there was a gas station. Prayers were answered when we made that exit and drove into the Conoco with less than 2 miles to spare! I’ve never paid that much per gallon for gasoline in the United States before but I would have gladly paid twice that at the time.

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