Adventure of the week: Touring Steamboat’s taps | SteamboatToday.com

Adventure of the week: Touring Steamboat’s taps

— To say the least, Steamboat Springs prides itself on being a bike-able community. People ride to the grocery store and through the bank drive-through, to school and work, to happy hour and home again.

In the last year, locals have had a new biking challenge, one that's not difficult — at least not on paper and not at the beginning — but one that offers plenty of rewards.

In the past year, Steamboat Springs has stumbled upon its own Steamboat biking brewery tour.

Stage 1, downtown to Butcherknife Brewery, 2.7 miles

Any discussion between me and former Pilot & Today staffers and close friends Zach Fridell and Margaret Hair is sure to involve a "what's new in Steamboat" segment, and when they made the trek to town for the Fourth of July holiday, I could think of no better way to show off the city's newest assets than a brewery biking tour.

After riding downtown to take in the parade in the morning, we set off for our first destination — Butcherknife Brewery — on Elk River Road on the northwest corner of town.

We opted for the Yampa River Core Trail on the way and breezed into the brewery's driveway about 15 minutes after we started, 2.7 miles into the trip.

Recommended Stories For You

We had hoped our early start would allow us to beat the crowd, but no such luck, and even within an hour of opening, the brewery was hop-ping. (Hop-ping. Get it?)

We eventually commandeered a picnic table and after a few rounds of Amputator — I'm a pale ale guy — and an unhealthy dose of Cards against Humanity, we were on to our next stop.

Stop No. 2, Storm Peak Brewery, 1.0 miles

We roared back down 129 and headed for Storm Peak Brewery, our second stop on the tour. 
We ordered up — 4-Wire pale ale for me, sampler trays for the crew — and quickly bypassed a table in order to play cornhole in the Storm Peak parking lot. We complimented that with popcorn from the tasting room's rarely silent movie-style popcorn machine.

Plenty of other games were options — Uno, anyone? — and from that, a new Steamboat bucket list item emerged: Risk. 
Could a day be spent any better than drinking local microbrew and playing Risk? Doubtful, though as the tasting room is open six hours a day Sunday through Thursday and 10 hours a day Friday and Saturday, it would take some careful planning to dominate the world.

Stop No. 3, Mahogany Ridge Brewery, 1.5 miles

Mahogany is the only one amont the three breweries that comes with a full-fledged restaurant attached (no offense to the food truck parked outside Butcherknife). That makes Steamboat's oldest active brewery a fine spot to hit for happy hour, be it the early edition, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., or the late version, from 9:30 to close, at 11 p.m., for cheaper drinks and great food options.

The ride from Storm Peak is an easy one, on U.S. 40, but without any hills or hurdles. Swing down to Yampa Street when you reach downtown to avoid some car and truck traffic, then swing back up to Fifth Street.

An Alpenglow amber ale is a great way to end a biking Steamboat brewery tour.

It's 5.2 miles in total, not even a warm-up for most Steamboaters, but a perfect day on a cruiser and an ideal new Steamboat challenge.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

Steamboat’s breweries

Butcherknife Brewing Company

2875 Elk River Road

Hours: 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday

Storm Peak Brewing Company

1744 Lincoln Ave.

Hours: 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday

Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill

435 Lincoln Ave.

Hours: 4 to 11 p.m. daily