I should disclose that I have been to Steamboat Springs more than once. Okay, a lot of times. One of my best friends lives there and so I’ve been going long before HeidiTown was a thing.
That being said, I always experience something new on each visit. And, I always make sure to take a photo of the Yampa River from the bridge across from Mountain Tap Brewery. I even make a stop here if I am just driving through town, and you should too. It’s a very nice view.
This time, I was in town earlier this month for OktoberWest, the Steamboat answer to the question, should we throw an Oktoberfest? The answer, for the past 12 years or so, is OktoberWest. It is more of a beer festival than an Oktoberfest, thus the name.
We had a room at the Holiday Inn, which is located a brief walk from Steamboat’s free bus, a bus I’ve ridden several times. Taking the free bus is the right choice when attending any beer festival in Steamboat Springs.
Before we checked into the fest, we stopped in at Outdoor K9, because Fritzi is spoiled, and I can’t resist a boutique pet store. We bought Fritzi a cool new Colorado collar in Bronco colors, a leather toy, and treats that smell really fishy, and yes, she loves them. See? Spoiled.
It was truly outstanding to be back at a beer festival. Northern Colorado, my part of the world, is well-represented at OktoberWest, which is pleasing. Not only was it awesome to be at a beer festival, it provided the opportunity to taste some Great American Beer Festival medal-winning beers like the gold medal-winning Barrel Aged Got Beer from BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse.
While they have locations across the country, their brewery is in Boulder, Colorado, and this beer was aged in barrels from Spirit Hound Honey Whiskey barrels. Spirit Hound Distillers is located in Lyons, Colorado, and I highly recommend this beer and visiting this distillery.
I think this was the first outing for many Steamboat citizens. Our friend greeted a lot of people she hadn’t seen in ages. Fun was had by all, and we capped off this new-to-us beer festival experience with Mexican food at La Fiesta Grill & Cantina. Pricey, but good. I recommend the queso fundido, especially after drinking a lot of beer.
The next morning, we ate at Yampa Valley Kitchen & Drink Bar, which opened last summer. You can read about this restaurant in the Steamboat Pilot. Not only is it relatively new to town, but it is also new to me. The garden patio is beautiful, but it was a bit chilly for dining al fresco at 9 a.m. Seated in what appeared to be the upstairs library of this 100-year-old farmhouse, sunshine streamed into our room.
I had the Cubano Eggs Benedict. Served up with ham, pickles, and mustard, it almost seemed German, but I did have Oktoberfest on my mind. It tasted divine, and I certainly didn’t need the side of potatoes I ordered but they too were yummy. Ryan got the French Omelet and was pleased.
While it was a bit slow due to staff shortages that we’ve witnessed all over this summer, we’d go back in a heartbeat. The food was delicious, our waitress was super nice, and the coffee was good. What more do you need in a breakfast spot? I would like to try lunch and perhaps a drink from the well-stocked bar.
All and all, our quick trip to Steamboat Springs was a success. I got my photo from the bridge, I tried new things and went to a new place, and Fritzi got new stuff. I’d say that’s a win. Plus, the drive back via Cameron Pass was punctuated by yellow, gold and reds. It is wonderful to travel Colorado in the fall. I hope you get the chance!