Thursday, September 24, 2009

Altitude Chophouse and Brewery--Laramie Wyoming

You know, it's hard work watching the snow drift fences swirl by alongside I-80 in Wyoming. Countless numbers of them, mile after mile, arrayed like regiments of soldiers guarding I-80. You build a ferocious thirst. You might not think so, but you do--and hunger for that matter.

I can't honestly say that I didn't mean it to happen this way, but just about lunch time we got within a stone's throw of Laramie which I knew had a brewery/restaurant. So we stopped in for a bite and a pint, just to make things interesting on this milestone journey.

The milestone of not having kids at home anymore. It feels like what walking across the billowy tan head resting atop a pint of Hop Devil might feel like. Or passing through a doorway opening to a new, spicy, flavor of life, that lifts with each unencumbered taste. I love kids. And anyone who has kids knows you never stop being a parent. But for a change, for the first time in 20 years, no kids equals freedom. At least I like to think so. But I digress.

The Altitude Chophouse and Brewery is easy to find and the townspeople are mighty friendly. Just ask and they'll point you to the colorful side of town where the exotic brewery and tempting grill smells come from.

The mirrored windows facing the street are an interesting touch. Although unnecessary as this isn't your ordinary dive bar where you don't wish to be seen. Inside we found a very nice rustic themed restaurant and bar with the brewery off in the distance. It's nice to see rustic--something about the interior reminds me of the hemlock in Rickett's Glen SP. It must be the log bar stools. There was a nice crowd for a weekday lunch.

Our waitress S (I'll call her S-squared) was shadowing a new employee. Didn't get his name but with S-squared as his guide, he'll turn out alright.

Altitude has a wonderful selection of every-day beers as well as a bank of seasonals on draught. Just as it oughta be and ever should be. We perused the beer menu to see what tasty treat we might find to accompany our meals--my eyes settled on the Grizzly Whisperer IPA. Think about that one for a minute. What comes to mind: Dangerous? Powerful? Grizzly Man? Would you whisper to a Grizzly? Well, S-prime does, every morning and she lives to tell about it. So I tried one and I'm here to tell you that it was worth it. A nice balanced IPA with just enough kick and freshness to take the growl outta me after the aforementioned drive across southern Wyoming. S the real deal, I'll call S-prime, ordered up a Tumbleweed Wheat, one sip of which I was allowed to enjoy. This is their best-selling beer and I can see why. If I was in the mood for something lighter today, this would be the beer for me!

For dinner, I ordered a Brew Burger, medium rare, with waffle fries. Excellent on all counts and as S-squared reminded me, it's buffalo and healthier than beef. S-prime, ordered a bowl of bacon corn chowder which she let me try a bit of and pronounced excellent. With that she had a prime rib sandwich with waffle fries. Natch.

This place has a lot of variety in their beers and they fill growlers and sell kegs to boot. I'm a bit surprised how their keg prices can be so low. At least by the standard of what we pay in NEPA. And pitchers? Hmmm. Does One Guy offer pitchers? I don't think so but I could be wrong. I do think it's a good idea though. My place would.

Altitude Brewery and Chophouse serves some mighty fine meals and beer from their own on-premises brewery. Very reasonably priced too. Service was friendly. Unfortunately I only had a chance to try one of their beers--I was driving after all. It is well-worth a visit if you're in town.

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