If you only buy one piece of gear this winter…

Make it this:

raphaco

The Rapha Winter Collar is my favorite piece of gear for cool and cold weather riding. It’s a light weight wool, soft against your neck, and doesn’t feel like someone with weak hands is trying to strangle you slowly. Wear it high over your mouth and nose or just loose around your neck and it keeps you plenty warm on the coldest days but is breathable so you aren’t too hot. $40 bucks is expensive, but I believe it is worth every penny.

Get yours here ON SALE 20% OFF: http://www.rapha.cc/winter-collar/ or at your local Rapha dealer.

Hip, Hip Hop, Hip Hoptimum…

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Double IPA

Pours a crystal clear honey-amber color with a think white head that hangs around forever. Aroma is piney hoppy. First taste was bitter without a bite, citrus hop taste with a dry finish. A hoppy film coats your taste buds. The warmer it gets the shitter it tastes. Overall it was okay. I would drink another one if someone offered it but I don’t think I would seek it out again. I would choose Bell’s Hopslam over Hoptimum.

 

Clarity in Drinking

This past Sunday after arriving home from the Bike Swap I fired up the Internet only to see on the Twitter that Lucid Brewing was having an open house at their new brewery in Minnetonka. A couple months ago I contributed to Lucid’s Kickstarter Campaign for a community fermentation tank. I was due for a Sunday fun day so I fired up the truck and made my way out to their new digs. I arrived to the quiet little light industrial complex off of Baker Rd and the Minnesota River Bluffs LRT trail to meet the brewers and have a beer.
Upon arrival I was amazed by the size of the space which offers a lot of excitement as to the possibilities of what they can do as they grow. Shortly after taking it all in I was handed a glass of Air, Lucid’s refreshing light and crisp Golden/Blond Ale I could certainly see myself enjoying an Air after a trail ride on hot summer afternoon or on a Friday night OMG ride. After chatting with a Friend of Brewers and Wife of Brewer Jon Messier I was grabbed by Jon who along with Craig the GM from the Groveland Tap took me over to the bright tank to grab some Lucid Camo, their well balanced sneaky IPA.

Co-Founder Jon Messier pointing at a beer making apparatus

The Camo had just been filtered the day before and had a creamy almost cask like mouth feel to it and it was even more delicious than what I’ve already had on tap at the bar, so if you see this on tap be sure to grab one but keep in mind at 9% ABV it packs a punch without letting you know it.
From there I went back over to the bar area where I had a sample of the first community brew which is still in it’s test phases called Craig’s Rye Pale Ale, a slightly sweet pale ale with a light hop finish. In speaking with head brewer Eric Biermann he said that they were still looking to make some tweaks to the recipe before it would be ready for the community tank. From the Rye I moved onto a sample of blueberry infused Air, the aroma of the blue air was pretty much all blueberry and on first sip you are given a sweet flush from the blueberries but then the crisp hop flavor of the air comes through and shines even brighter in stark contrast to the sweet blueberry infusion.

Co-Founder and Head Brewer Eric Biermann

In talking with Eric I found out that in addition to the Community tank Badger Hill Brewing had 2 fermentation vessels of their own in the building and were sharing brewing equipment with Lucid. I was then introduced to Broc and Brittany Krekelberg of Badger Hill and talked with Broc about brewing with another company and how they liked it. Broc was really pleased with the generosity of Lucid to help them get a jump start brewing on a large scale and couldn’t say enough about how easy it was to work with Jon and Eric. I went on to press Broc about where Badger Hill was looking to make a permanent home for themselves and one of the locations just so happened to be in a municipality of which used to work with someone who sits in a big chair there. So I called my friend and gave him a heads up and put in a good word for Badger Hill, hopefully everything falls into place and they can ride off into the sunset together. Broc promised me some beer of theirs so when that happens expect to pass some bottles around on the next Friday Night ride, and make sure to take good tasting notes for them.

Broc and Brittany of Badger Hill Brewing

I would like to thank Lucid Brewing for opening up their doors, Broc and Badger Hill for the lively discussion and offer of generosity, and PB and the Jam for making a little get together a funky fun Sunday fun day. Now it’s just a matter of getting the Beer Barron of Plymouth to put in for a brew in the community tank, what do you think? MORBID buys the material The Barron Brews it, Lucid distributes it and MORC could get the proceeds. Now go like these folks on their Facepages.
JZ \m/