Helping out friends and family when they’re in need is just a part of life, and depending upon the the relation or friend, coming to their aid usually isn’t a chore, it’s a privilege; paying back karma that will come back to bite you in the ass if you don’t do what is right.
I’ve related many times on this blog how I feel that the craft beer movement is a brotherhood (and sisterhood) of people who feel beer is something more than just a beverage, how it’s a way of enjoying life with those around you. And while most Colorado breweries exemplify this sentiment, some shine far and above in their attitude toward not only their patrons, but also the communities they reside and brew in. Of the latter, at the top of my list is Bristol Brewing Company, just read my previous post on them to find out why. When the wife and I heard that one of Bristol’s employees was injured in a brewing accident, and that Southern Colorado brewers were holding a benefit to help him out, we immediately made plans to attend.
The event was held at Phantom Canyon Brewing, and after the enjoyable visit we had during the Independence Day weekend, we planned to arrive early to get a bite to eat. After the always frustrating drive between Denver and Colorado Springs, the beers hit the spot more so than usual.
You’ll excuse me while I rant a little. We’ve made the drive between the Springs and Denver many times over the years, and have experienced the ultimate in self-serving bad behavior that can be exhibited on the highway every single time. I’m talking about those who feel that the left hand lane is their own personal conduit to wherever they’re going. Never mind that the state law is to keep right except to pass, these morons think they can cruise the lane regardless of how fast or slow they are going, or that others need to get around them. Something about this stretch of I-25 brings out the worst of these menaces. If you are one of these idiots, then I hope you never meet me in a dark alley. You unnecessarily clog traffic and make the highways a dangerous place for those of us who follow proper driving etiquette (not to mention the law). Okay, that’s off my chest, now on to the event.
While we were finishing our lunch, Chris, a Phantom Canyon regular whom we’d met previously, stopped in, allowing us to catch up on what he and his fellow patron Jerry were up to. Yet another example of what I write about; you never know who you’ll meet when visiting a brewery or brew pub, and that those you meet will become engaging partners in your own personal brew trek.
Making our way upstairs to the benefit, the place was packed even though the event had only being open for a half hour. The ten dollar entry fee per person was accompanied by three tickets good for beers from the participating breweries, which we quickly put to use after adding an additional donation to one of several jars set around for that purpose.
We were pleasantly surprised to see that Pikes Peak Brewing was one of the late additions to the participating brewers, and that they had one of the wife’s new favorite beers; The Brits are Coming Mild, a dark and malty draught perfect for a hot summer day when a pils or lager just won’t cut it.
As we sipped our beers, we noticed that Dan York from Pikes Peak was there making the rounds with other brewers attending. Feeling the need to express our appreciation of his labors and establishment, we introduced ourselves. We quickly made a new friend who introduced us to every person of note around, including one of the owners of Trinity, and the head brewer for Phantom Canyon. As we conversed, I had an excellent IPA from Colorado Mountain Brewery, as well as an equally good pale ale from Phantom that Dan recommended. After promising to stop in on the way home, we parted ways, Dan needing to get back to Monument. Much more on Dan and Pikes Peak in the next post.
Finally finding a table to sit and enjoy the last of our beers, we caught sight of the man of the hour, Patrick Tuffield, trying to make his way through the crowd and being stopped every few feet by well wishers. He seemed in good cheer, and judging from the number of people offering their support, is in good hands for his recovery. In case you didn’t read my previous post announcing this event, Patrick was scorched by hot liquor and caustic soda while working at Bristol. The staff at Bristol passed along that he’s back at work with limited duties, but still in some pain. Our best wishes and a speedy recovery go out to him.
When we finally departed, about a half hour before the benefit was scheduled to end, the place was still hopping without any sign of abating. The event proved a success, raising $2,600 (again, thanks to Bristol for the info) to aid Patrick as he mends. If you would like to contribute, I’m sure the staff at Bristol can inform you on where you can, just drop them a line.
This event proved once again that the craft beer community, both the brewers, as well those of us who enjoy the brews, take care of those in need.