Durango proved to be a great stop for all of the reasons we travel – beautiful scenery, great pizza, craft breweries and lots of buses! Let’s start with the scenery. Our RV park, Durango Riverside Resort & RV Park, is on the Animas River and our back-in riverfront site was able to accommodate us front-in since we carry extra long extensions for electricity, water and sewer and we were able to route all of those to the opposite side for hooking up. The view from Ridge Road was pretty nice, too.
When we were here last year we discovered Fired Up Pizzeria. It was a tiny little place downtown but they had a great wood-burning pizza oven and made very good pizza. We were happy to find that they have moved to a new, much larger downtown location and that they are still making one of the best pizzas we’ve had anywhere in that oven (so good that we had to eat here twice!). It was encouraging to hear the owner, Tad, tell us that he was considering opening up one somewhere in Texas. We could certainly live there!
And then there are the breweries. We had visited only a couple of them last year so we made it a point to go to the other two first this time. Ska Brewing had several good choices that we tasted on a flight. Karen chose the Buster Nut Brown Ale that she had before as a guest beer at West Flanders in Boulder, and I chose the Pinstripe Red Ale. We both had that red ale again when we went to Fired Up as they wisely had it on tap there, too.
The next stop was Durango Brewing Company. There doesn’t appear to be much reason to go here except for the beer. The tap room decor is uninspired and the kids that work there fit in well with that. When Karen heard the cook ask someone what “au jus” was we were glad we didn’t try to eat there. However, their Dark Lager was quite good and I’d certainly go back to try more.
The next day we managed to get back downtown and try the two breweries we had been to last year. The first was Steamworks Brewing. I chose their Backslide Stout but when Karen tasted it and wanted one, too, I let her have mine and I switched to the Lizard Head Red. Both were good. The place could use some updating but we did like their threaded steel pipe shelving behind the bar. From there it wasn’t a far walk to Carver Brewing Company. There were several good choices here and after a taste I chose the Iron Horse Oatmeal Stout and Karen went with the Colorado Trail Nut Brown Ale. While we were enjoying the excellent brews a worker from the back came up front and I immediately thought of Sideshow Bob. What do you think? Even more important, though, was that we found out there was yet another brewery in town that was new since our last visit to Durango. It would be the next day before we stopped by the Brew Pub & Kitchen. At first glance we thought this might be a bust since they didn’t have any of our favorite beers on tap – no porters, stouts, browns, reds or ambers. However, after talking with the brewer Karen had the Cecilia pilsner and I chose their Elise American pale ale. He did mention that he had a porter in the fermenter but it was a couple of weeks away from being ready to keg. If it turns out as good as the pale ale and pilsner, I’m sure it will be a winner.
When we were here last year, we didn’t see any VW buses. This time was quite different, though, probably just because we’ve gotten a lot better at it. We got four one day, three the next day and one more on our way out. Durango is our kind of place!