Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

You Can Get High in the Rockies

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

You Can Get High in the Rockies

Article excerpt

Byline: John Bishop

DOWNING my third sampler from the Monkeygland brewery in the cold spring morning sun in Denver, I spied a truck drawn up with the driver opening the sides. It was a food truck, in this case one selling Middle Eastern-style kebabs, falafel and the like. This is how bars feed drinkers in this city, I was told.

The host has no obligation to supply food (or non-alcoholic drinks), and in one brewery I visited on a tour of Denver's best, the only edible of any kind on offer was popcorn, and that was for the children of the afternoon imbibers.

You can also forget any idea of fulfilling the hippie dream of a joint in one hedonist hand, a cold lager in the other, lounging in the sun listening to sweet tunes and waiting for the munchies to strike.

You can't smoke dope in public, and by law a bar can't also be a marijuana dispensary. The breweries made sure of that. This isn't Amsterdam. Buy it, take it home and smoke it there, not in parks, the great outdoors, restaurants or any other public places.

Those considerations aside, Denver is a hub of alcoholic and culinary pleasure. As a foodie destination, the city is carving out a well-deserved reputation for quality, variety and innovation.

Leading chef Josh Niernberg served me an apple, fennel and kombu braised wagyu short rib, served with preserved apricot butter, puffed barley and micro mustard. It simply melted in the mouth, and the combination of flavours was delicate and sweet: one of the nicest dishes I have ever eaten.

The state has numerous craft beer makers (as do many other states). Colorado also makes wine, and there are many makers of spirits too.

For an Aussie or Kiwi, the local wine isn't up to much (and a good deal of it is sold in cans for hikers), but the whiskeys and vodkas are top notch.

Denver, the capital and main city of Colorado, is literally a mile high (5280 feet above sea level) and the height makes the air fresher, the legs tire more quickly and adds extra oomph to alcohol and other stimulants. …

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