Monday, February 29, 2016

Denver Beer and Connecting with Friends

It was day two of my press trip with SpringHill Suites Downtown Denver and Infinite Monkey Theorem Wine.

We had tasted and paired the wine on day one, and now it was time to check out some more food and beer.

Our schedule didn’t start until 9:30 a.m. so we got to sleep in a bit, which was much needed after the late night.

We got started by all meeting for breakfast. The SpringHill Suites offers a nice hot breakfast to begin with, and the chef from the Degree restaurant next door brought us some scones and treats to go with it.

After breakfast, we all piled back into our limousine to hit some of the breweries of Denver in the nearby LoDo and RiNo Art District.

Even though I don’t drink beer, the tours were fun and informative as we went through Wynkoop Brewery, Falling Rock Tap House, and Epic Brewing.

We then went back to the SpringHill Suites to say goodbye. Most of the group was heading home, but I decided to stay another day.

Since I was finished with the press group, I was able to make more plans for my last day in Denver.

The first was with Jesse Davis, Director of Public Relations for the Denver Convention and Visitors Bureau.

We had a nice talk about all the improvements coming to the city, including a train directly from the airport.

After Jesse left, I headed to Avanti Food and Beverage to meet up with Chris Moose Koons, whom I had met during a trip to Colorado. He does marketing for Peach Street Distillers, a favorite artisan distillery of mine.

We had kept in touch over the years and I was glad to hear the company was doing well. We toasted to it with the Peach Street Gin.

He took me around Avanti Food and Beverage, a very interesting concept.

They had all types of food booths as well as a bar, set up with general seating in between. The seating ranged from tables and chairs to couches and loveseats.

Avanti also has a great rooftop with terrific Denver views.
We left together and he dropped me off at Amato’s Ale House.

I’d known my dinner partners for more than half their lives, but hadn’t seen them in a few years and not together in more than five.

Catrina and Christian Thompson, and Christian’s boyfriend Stephen Bass, had all played junior tennis while I was covering it and then later on played for (and graduated from) Notre Dame.

Catrina had ended up back at Notre Dame as an assistant coach while Christian was now the Head Coach of the University of Denver. As luck would have it, Catrina was visiting Denver with her boyfriend Matt the weekend I was there.

I had a glass of wine at the Ale House while I was waiting for my friends. It was so great to see them and catch up. Although most of my writing now is travel and not tennis, I am grateful for the relationships like these I’ve made and kept.

I also have to give a shout out to the Ale House’s Four Cheese Penne.

Christian and Stephen brought me back to the SpringHill Suites.  

I went straight to sleep when I got back. I had an early flight to head home.


The trip ended as good as it began, with my second straight upgrade on American Airlines and looking forward to visiting Denver again sometime soon. 


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