Boulder is known for its bike trails — and for its growing craft breweries. What could be better than to combine the two with a bike-to-beer adventure?
Enter the Boulder Ale Trail: 12 microbreweries linked by 15 miles of scenic, rolling trail. Starting at Boulder Beer and ending in Longmont at Oskar Blues, the route is really an extension of the LoBo Trail. Not only can you work off the beer belly as you ride, you don’t have to get behind the wheel after a pint or two (you still have to get on two wheels, but at least most of the trail is car-free).
On a warm night last fall, my husband and I took off on our mountain bikes from our home in Gunbarrel with three other couples to test out the concept. After starting at Boulder Beer, our next stop was Finkel & Garf’s, where we kicked back on plastic Adirondack chairs on a patch of astro-turf with a pitcher of amber ale and felt like we were in heaven. But the plan was to check out more than the first mile of the trail, so we moved on.
Knowing that we were probably only good for a few breweries and wanted to get a few miles in before we imbibed too much, we bypassed New Planet, Vindication and Bootstrap Brewing and headed straight to Niwot, where a country band was playing at Powder Keg Brewing Company. After listening to some boot-stomping music and tasting flights of IPA, we headed out into the now-dark evening to loop back to Avery Brewery for dinner and a final taste-tester.
As we pedaled along the rolling, gravel trail, lit only by our headlights and the moon, coasting through patches of warm and cold air and whooping and hollering, we all felt like we were kids again (okay, maybe the beer had something to do with it).