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We Survived the Fort Collins Bicycle Breweries Tour

A tour of several Fort Collins breweries (13 as of this writing)? On bicycles you say?

It wasn’t a bike like the one in the photo (that is for next time), but this is a great trip for anyone interested in a leisurely bike ride on some excellent trails. And beer. Lots of beer.

Thanks to Sue and Lee for putting it together.

Did I mention that we had some beer?

A few statistics:

7 out of 13 breweries visited: FCB (The Fort Collins Brewery), New Belgium, ODell, FunkWerks, CooperSmith’s, Pateros Creek, and Equinox (on Sunday). The ones we missed (or saved for next time) were Black Bottle Brewery, Freedom’s Edge, Horse & Dragon, 1933 Brewing, C.B. and Potts. We also missed Anheiser-Busch…on purpose.

We did hit one distillery, which we all agreed was a mistake. The whiskey was good, but the mixing with beer…not so much.

23 beers logged on UnTappd (see below).

We logged many miles ridden, a couple of spills (Mimi’s was the worst! Ouch!) and one trick dismount/remount to impress my wife.

Trails to get there


The map above is an excerpt from the huge map of the trail system in and around Fort Collins, which has many trails for us to try on the next trip. Click on the map above and it will take you to the web site with the larger map.

Audrey and I had not been on bicycles for many many years. We did a short ride in Denver the day before we headed to Fort Collins just to get back in the saddle, and it was a good thing we did. Lee had mapped out a great ride for us to get from our hotel (the Hilton off of Prospect, on the map near where is says “Lilac Park”) down to Spring Creek Trail over to Poudre Trail and up to our first brewery, Fort Collins Brewery.

It was a great day, a great scenic trail ride along side a small stream for a good part of the way on Spring Creek trail, and past a few parks. There were lots of riders out.

As we got to the intersection of Poudre Trail, which goes along the Pourdre River, we noticed several people coming back. Some told us the trail was underwater, but being intrepid and in need of beer, we carried on. What’s a little water?

It was a lot of water. The snow melt had made the trail impassable. There were signs closing the trail as it went south, and that part was obviously under several feet of rushing water. We were able to go north a bit from the intersection of Spring Creek Trail and Poudre trail, and though we could see the other side of the trail, it would have been a nice wade (not ride) through at least waist high water to get there.

Nice Day to ride along Spring Creek Trail

Sue thinks about an attempt – Arrow shows trail resuming out of the water

Untappd on AppAnnie

The Psychology of UnTappd

If you haven’t heard of or used the app known as Untappd, you may not be a beer drinker. But the rise in Craft Beer brewing and drinking in America (see a good infographic here) has pushed many Americans out of their lager drinking malaise and into enjoying the multitude of tastes that are presented by the craft beer industry.

If they treated introductions like a MLM scheme, I’d own part of UnTappd by now :). And that is the beauty of the mixture of social media, location, goals/badges and history/statistics that UnTappd succeeds at: it is an app that you want to share, and after sharing, you encourage your friends to use. That psychology is what all social media type apps should strive for.

The app is simple: you have a beer, you log that beer in UnTappd. If you desire, you can include a ranking (one to five bottle caps), a location (from Foursquare’s massive location database), a picture (which, like all social media photo sharing can come back to haunt you) and a comment.

This app is free, and that, plus making it available on as many platforms as possible, is a genius move by the developers.  By simply giving users the means to track their beers, they are building a huge data warehouse of likes, dislikes and drinking characteristics (when, where, what type, with whom) that any brewery or pub/bar would be mad not to take advantage of. Breweries can register to manage their brand on the site here.

This is the opposite approach of the app which is leading in profits in May 2013 on the iOS App Store, Candy Crush Saga. Candy Crush is also free but makes revenue based on in-app purchases that help get through levels users are stuck on (note that one does not have to purchase anything to get through the levels, a user just needs patience…the fact that Candy Crush Saga is leading in revenues is a clear indicator that US app users want instant gratification and are willing to pay for it).

The appeal and staying power of the app is revealed in this chart from App Annie: since its release in October 2011, the app has stayed in the top 250 for Free iOS App Downloads and usually in the top 100. (chart after the break) (more…)

Karbach and Saint Arnold's Brewery Tours

Karbach and Saint Arnold’s Brewery Tours

More and more craft breweries are popping up in Texas and in the Houston area. We are privileged to have two of the best: Karbach and Saint Arnolds. According to my UnTappd stats (and if you don’t know what UnTappd is, you should!) these are the top two breweries that I have sampled – 19 from Saint Arnold and 15 from Karbach (when Firestone Walker comes to Texas, they may shoot to first!).

The New Yorker’s “Mapping the Rise of Craft Beer” has Karbach as the 2nd fastest growing brewery in the nation (over 8,000 barrels in 2012), with Saint Arnold’s  the 44th largest (just over 49,000 barrels in 2012).

Below are some notes and pictures on “touring” each of these two fine breweries. Karbach is closer and they serve more darker beers which my wife and I enjoy, so we’ll continue to visit them more frequently…but not in the hot Texas summer; the A/C at Saint Arnold’s is a requirement during those months! (more…)

Re-reading MSandT

Re-reading Tad William's Memory, Sorrow and Thorn

click on the image for more info and to support this blog

Dusk Before the Dawn

Dusk Before the Dawn

Software By the Kilo

Software by the Kilo


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