After a long, hot, and somewhat treacherous day riding my bike over Kebler Pass into Crested Butte, I knew I needed some refreshment. As part of the rolling contingent of riders on The Bicycle Tour of Colorado, I have been pushing myself up, and over, various mountains passes all week. The beauty of Colorado’s interior is stunning this year. But, after four to six hours on a bike the most beautiful thing is an ice-cold beer. So rolling into the often rambunctious and fun-loving town of Crested Butte I knew something good was awaiting me.
How couldn’t it be? This is a town famous for their costumed cavalcades (Halloween Party and Al Johnson Uphill/Downhill), ambitious athletic endeavors (The Alley Loop Ski Race, the CB3p and the Chainless Downhill Race), and renting their town out to a mega-brewery (Budweiser’s Whatever USA party last year). They know how to cut loose and have fun. And they also love good beer.
Almost every bar in town has a bristling array of tap handles greeting you upon entrance. A vast array of Colorado craft beers is readily available alongside substantial selections of other beers from across the nation.
So as my friend Craig and I rolled into town we headed straight for the Brick Oven Pizzeria & Pub on Elk Ave. With over twenty-five brews on tap, and a kicking outdoor deck it was the ideal spot to rest our aching bodies, and imbibe in some golden goodness.
With a selection of bold Belgian, Sour, Barley Wine, Cask Conditioned, and Nitrogen Tapped beers alongside the diverse selection of Lagers, Pilsners, Ambers, Porters, IPAs, and Pale Ales, it is an oasis in the high country. It ranks as one of the better beer lists in Colorado ski country, and the best in Crested Butte.
My Elevation Beer Company’s 8 second Kolsch was the perfect elixir for my aching body. Soon the rest of our group joined us and the table was filled with some excellent offerings. There was a Stone Arrogant Bastard, Avery’s Liliko’i Kepolo, Palisade Laid Back Blond, and a Pliny the Elder being enjoyed. Locals were asking us about our ride, tourists were strolling by, and the sun was shining. It was the perfect day sitting on the deck enjoying the beauty of the East River Valley.
So the next time you are heading towards Crested Butte, and you are thinking about where your first stop should be upon reaching town, head to Brick Oven a enjoy some excellent beer.