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March 18, 2012
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Eat, Drink, Play: Leave the keys behind on Summit beer tour

Colorado has been called the Napa Valley of the beer world and Summit County holds its own when it comes to respectable - and awarded - micro brews.

But getting around to the four local breweries to sample their wares in the past has presented an obvious logistical problem: transportation.

Joel Godfrey, known locally for offering shuttle service with flare to nearby casinos and scenic train routes, has taken care of that problem with his latest venture.

His company now features a full-service brewery tour of Summit County, getting brew-enthusiasts between pints without, as he puts it, the stress of seeing flashing red lights in the rear-view mirror.

The tour takes care of all the necessities: doorstep pick up, transportation between pubs, lunch or dinner, one beer at every brewery and bar tricks and trivia along the way. Godfrey even offers a shot at $500 to the person who can complete a series of seemingly simple tasks involving everything from straws to fire. While chances of winning the money are pretty remote, participants will de-board the party bus at the end of the night armed with at least a few party tricks that will win bets in the future.

The tour lasts about five hours, which sounds like longer than most people who know what they're doing need to drink four beers. But it operates more like a pub crawl than a structured sight seeing trip.

Godfrey comes armed with games, toasts and trivia, but the tour and timing belong to his passengers, who are free chat, take their time and order additional drinks on their own tab.

"It's their night out, we're just going to facilitate the good times," he said.

When it comes to beer, each of Summit County's four breweries is unique, and the tour hits them all.

The Breckenridge Brewery has one of the bigger selections of beers in Summit County, but has built its reputation and success on the Avalanche, an amber ale with a clean finish.

The Backcountry Brewery in Frisco, where the tour will stop for food as well as drinks, is a more relaxed atmosphere and prides itself on serving beer that is never exposed to the open air before it's poured into the glass.

The Dillon Dam Brewery in Dillon is a favorite with locals, with a big bar and bigger menu. The Dam is known for its Sweet George's Brown, a creamy English-style ale.

Pug Ryan's Steakhouse and Brewery, also in Dillon, brews in small batches, which allows brewmasters to experiment with recipes, creating unique and flavorful beers.

The tour runs seven nights a week and on weekend afternoons, but must be booked in advance.


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The Summit Daily Updated Mar 18, 2012 05:44PM Published Mar 18, 2012 12:11AM Copyright 2012 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.