Broomfield Colorado Brewhaha Brewery Festival

You can’t swing a cat around here without tripping over some sort of festival – and that’s just the way I like it! Our little town of Broomfield, Colorado, recently had a local brewers’ fest called BrewHaHa, it’s fourth annual. It was held at what I think of as a pop-up town, which is to say, there are a couple dozen apartment buildings surrounding a little main street. The main street area has a small park in the middle surrounded by some restaurants, a tap house and offices. I actually looked at apartments here before we moved – the community’s name is Arista, it’s very new, and I loved the people I met here. I believe it exists primarily as housing for the staff of a new hospital nearby. That and the thousands of people who move to the area every month or so.

At any rate, my husband and I drove the 15 minutes to Arista and availed ourselves of the great, free parking garage. As we approached, we saw the ID check station:

We got a wristband saying we were of age (admission was free) and then we made our way past the temporary fence to the common area. First, a cool-looking fountain:

On our right were some tents with several city organizations, where I got to thank the library people for their good work and the DMV people, who, believe it or not, are wonderful and helpful and I never have to stand in line. There were a few vendors, too, such as a soap maker and some gyms, etc.

And the all-important ticket tent:

In the middle was the green area a cover band was doing a nice job of entertaining us:

You can see that people showed up with camp chairs, wagons and such. Dogs are allowed, too, though we’d left all our equipment, including the pup, at home. Lots of family games held people’s attention and kept the kids occupied:

Especially this guy. He must have pounded that thing a hundred times as I stood there, never hitting the slider above 11. But he was undeterred, even after his older brother came over, wrested the hammer from his hands, and knocked the slider all the way up to ring the bell. This guy just picked up the hammer where his brother had tossed it and continued his barrage.

The street on the other side of the green was lined with food trucks, including ice cream and shaved ice for this hot, sunny day.

And, of course, there were breweries represented. I’m including Frolic here because that’s the one we tried – we’d tried the others on the list at one time or another elsewhere. It was good, fresh beer and not as bitterly hoppy as some of them get.

We didn’t spend long there, but it was a cozy little fest, celebrating the local gig. And it was free, even the parking, so we were quite satisfied. My last shot of the day was this one of my angelic husband:

We’d been sitting on that bench for a few minutes before we noticed it had the wings there for selfies!

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Heritage Lavender Farm, Berthoud, Colorado

Recently my friend Laura and I visited a lavender farm in Berthoud, a town north of Denver and about a 45-minute drive from my apartment. In fact, it was quite a distance west from downtown Berthoud, which Laura and I had visited previously, and which I’ve posted about before. It was a glorious spring morning and we found ourselves wending through various country roads until we reached the Heritage Lavender Farm. Laura had discovered a notice about the farm’s annual plant sale so we were investigating.

My expectations of vast fields of fragrant purple lavender and some sort of quaint country farm stand weren’t exactly met, but it was wonderful all the same. It turned out to be a house in a rural subdivision with the lot next to it planted in a few rows of lavender clumps. Admittedly, though, the lot was huge.

You can see the lavender wasn’t quite in bloom:

Behind the house were some outbuildings in which classes for making lavender-derived products like tinctures were held, plus a somewhat smallish greenhouse. That’s where the plants were for sale, with a canopy nearby where we found soap, tinctures, dried lavender, and so on. The cash box was there, too.

 

Small though it was, I thought it was wonderful! I bought a bundle of dried lavender, a few sachets and a small jar of culinary lavender I am looking forward to experimenting with. I also managed a few nice photos as follows:

Among my purchases was a small lavender plant and a rather large jade plant for only $4! Plant prices were very low, but the lavender-derived products were on a much higher scale.

Heritage and other lavender producers in the area are all taking part in a Lavender Festival this coming weekend at Denver Botanic Garden Chatfield. Chatfield is a former farm/ranch that is now part of the Botanic Garden organization. I haven’t made it down to visit yet, but they always have such interesting programs scheduled. I probably won’t get to the Lavender Festival this year, though, because temps are forecasted to be over 100. Therefore, I’m doubly glad I visited Heritage when I did!

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The Roost Restaurant in Longmont, Colorado

Often my husband and I seek out restaurants that have been featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives TV show. That’s the case with The Roost restaurant in Longmont, Colorado. I’ve been there three or four times now, and I’ve not been disappointed.

I like Longmont so much. It’s just north of Denver, but it has its own thing going, with lots of restaurants, shops and events. The Roost is at 526 Main Street, just up from Cheese Importers, another of my favorite places. I’ve also posted about the town’s museum (Lowrider exhibit), Teddy Roosevelt sculptures and the gorgeous McIntosh Lake.

The front door of The Roost is actually off Main Street in a smallish pedestrian zone that leads to the parking lot in back. The entrance architecture somehow reminded me of St. Augustine, FL!

The digs are spacious, with a large indoor dining area on the ground floor:

and an equally spacious bar area on the opposite side of the building, complete with bandstand for the live music on weekends.

My favorite part is the upstairs, outdoor patio area:

which also has a bar:

You can’t see him in this photo, but the first time I was there the bartender was excellent! He did the whole Cocktail routine when making drinks and even had curled, waxed mustache tips!

One of the featured dishes on DDD was the Bangin’ Cauliflower. If you’ve ever had Bang Bang Shrimp at Bonefish Grill, that’s the flavor. But instead of shrimp they use cauliflower florets. Excellent!

My absolute favorite dish there, though, is the Steak Frites. OMG!!! I may have to go there for lunch from writing about it!

It has tenderloin, bacon, parmesan and fresh scallions. And I will someday acquire that delicious brown butter sauce recipe!

They have a unique menu that has a little bit of everything, not just bar food or regular fare:

Here’s a Cuban sandwich I had once – it was good, but my Florida background told me it wasn’t truly Cuban – the bread was wrong:

The burger is awesome, too:

A quirky thing they do is bring the check inside a used book:

We’ve taken to writing things on the pages of the book, but we weren’t the first to do it. I usually put my website address in there, in case anyone is curious to visit here.

The Roost has decent prices, and definitely fair, considering their wonderful kitchen. On pleasant days the upstairs patio is the best place to be! The service is very friendly and accurate, though sometimes it’s a little slow if they have a full house. I don’t mind the wait for that food, though.

So I recommend and Invite you to The Roost on your next excursion to the Denver area. I hope you give Longmont a try!

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Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum, Colorado

Because I had such a great experience exploring Broomfield Depot Museum, I’d had the intention to visit their more-or-less sister museum, the Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum. I didn’t even know about it at the time, but the museum director, who’s in charge of both sites, informed me and invited me. Since I had such a great, welcoming experience at the Depot, I looked forward to seeing the Veterans Museum as well.

I finally got my ducks in a row a few weeks ago and ventured out. It’s a few minutes from the Depot Museum and actually a few minutes closer to my apartment. It’s in a strip-mall type of area but in a standalone building. There was no mistaking the place; look at all those flags!

I was greeted by one of the volunteers who had the tasty name of Bill Bacon, himself a veteran of Guantanamo Bay and the Cuban Missile Crisis. He explained that the museum building itself has an interesting history. It was built in 1963 to house the Broomfield library, which had been in donated space since it was established in 1960. The building was renovated to its present 7,224 square feet in 1975. When the library moved into its current location, which is even closer to my home, the old building became offices for city departments. Incidentally, the library’s name is the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library. I’ve learned that she and her husband, President Dwight D., spent lots of time in Colorado, and Dwight himself was an investor in the project to build Broomfield in the 50s and 60s.

Anyway, it wasn’t until later that the Veterans Memorial Museum came to be and came to be in this building. The museum website says that GIs and their GI bill money from WWII were a large part of the homeowners in those early days, so the museum is quite relevant. And it contains LOADS of memorabilia donated by local veterans.

I really liked the layout of the place. Each room or area of a room contains artifacts from different wars and conflicts. They are organized in chronological order, though I warn you I might present these pictures out of sequence.

First room: Civil War:

I never thought of the Civil War as having much impact on the western states, but I’ve learned differently. When the war was imminent, this area was part of the Kansas Territory. Politicians in Washington were arguing over whether new states carved out of the territories should be free states or slave states, or if they should be allowed to choose on their own. As soon as the representatives from the South left DC in a huff to head back home to prepare for secession and war, Honest Abe and his band quickly mapped out the western regions and declared them free. It’s a little muddier than that, but you get the idea.

Anyway, there was quite a lot of Civil War stuff there, including personal diaries of some local Civil War vets:

Frontier forts and Spanish American War display:

WWI:

Here’s Bill in front of a rotating display area:

WWII:

I’m just gonna let you read this horror story for yourself:

A flag from WWII before Alaska and Hawaii entered the Union:

You may have caught my post about Vail’s museum, where I learned about the Tenth Mountain Division:

A few Nazi spoils:

Denver celebrating the end of WWII:

Women in the military were given their due – I totally want one of those bomber jackets!

There was lots about the domestic situation in WWII as well:

Of course, I liked the recipe book:

Although it wasn’t ready yet, the museum is working up a fallout shelter display:

And who remembers hiding under one of these desks during the “atomic bomb drills”?

Now it was time to cross the hallway into the more modern era. In the hallway were two great displays. One was a pictorial history of American solder uniforms in chronological order. Opposite that is an exhibit about each branch of the military.

At the end of the hall is an account of Colorado’s Medal of Honor recipients. They’ve wasted no space!

Once we crossed the hall, there were items that were more familiar to me:

Remember the deck of cards from the Gulf War?

New fact for me: this fabric foils night-vision goggles!

And they had this poignant display in honor of those who didn’t come home:

The Hands-On Area is where the school kids get to try on uniforms, flak jackets, Kevlar vests, boots and such. I would have, but Bill was watching! Just let me tell you how heavy those vests on the floor were!

I was pleasantly surprised at the extensive collection on display there, and of course I didn’t include everything here. The Korean Conflict, Vietnam War and Iraq War were some things I saw but didn’t post. And Bill told me there was much more in the preparatory stages. Although the museum is open only on Thursdays from 10am-2pm and Saturdays from 9am-3pm, it’s definitely worth a visit. Admission is free, though I recommend a generous donation to keep this important piece of history open to the public. They have speaker series and other events, too, such as Q and A sessions with local vets. I’m so impressed with the dedication to local history and the way it’s presented as relevant.

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Moxie Bread Company: Bakery in Louisville, Colorado

While my friend Laura and I were in Louisville, having had a wonderful lunch at Waterloo Restaurant, we also checked out the rest of the small Main Street area. One business that had an obvious draw for the locals on this rainy, chilly weekday afternoon was Moxie Bread Company.

This wonderful house-turned-bakery was so inviting and felt so good to be in! They had, of course, baked goods like bread, muffins, pastries and the like, plus a typical espresso/coffee menu. But they also had locally concocted teas and any number of local-connection packaged food items.

To give you an idea of the decor, which is tastefully hodge-podge, here is the old drugstore scales outside the front door. Notice the platform built over the street for outdoor seating on the front side:

‘Round back is another seating area whose seats were mostly made of tree stumps:

I’m interested in that pizza oven, btw. Inside, I ordered my latte while Laura perused the teas. Here’s what I got:

I love that glass tumbler that serves for everything from cold drinks to milkshakes to even wine in places I’ve been.

I confess I don’t have any other indoor shots, but the place was busy and a little small to be taking pictures of others as part of the scenery. Suffice to say that it was comfy, with ample local art pieces on the wall and straggly plants that couldn’t wait to get back outside once this weather cleared up.

I did take this one:

It shows their connection and commitment to local and heirloom produce. They use the heirloom wheat in all their baked goods. Although I didn’t make it to the Heirloom Wheat Day advertised, I thought it would give you an idea of what the place is about and the owners’ philosophy. Shoulda entered the pie competition, though…

Moxie is open daily from 7am to 5pm. If I lived closer I’d go there lots more! They won Best of Boulder Bakery category last year, as well as numerous other citations. I can see why. They serve breakfast and lunch until 3pm, coffee after that. I really felt at home there.

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