march: burgers, beer and backyard camping

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Scott & Mandy at Casey Brewing

March roared in like a lion in terms of workload, so our getaway for the month was a date day followed by an overnight campout…in the backyard. It’s easy to plan a staycation here with so many things to do, see, eat and drink.

We started the day touring a nearby camping spot, Elk Creek Campground, that our good friends purchased and have been renovating. This is a beautiful spot in New Castle, Colorado, that’s about 20 minutes from home and, now that we’ve seen it, is bound to be on our list for the year. It’s located in a beautiful, wooded valley right on Elk Creek. The new owners have cleaned things up and invested in lots of infrastructure upgrades—including full hookups at every site. There are sites in all sizes, including a couple for big rigs, and multiple cabin options. A new laundry area and rec room are in the works now and should be finished by the May 1 opening day.

Our next stop was for burgers at Grind in Glenwood Springs. This place has won so many awards, it’s hard to keep up. Grind is a farm-to-table burger joint that grinds the meats for its burgers daily. And it’s not just beef, you can get buffalo, chicken, pork, AHI tuna, falafal and black bean burgers. The shakes and fries are perfect, and their craft beer menu is extensive with 20 on tap. I’m always happy to see non-alcoholic options at restaurants and am pleased to report that they offer several mocktails and NA beers. Kudos!

Burger at Grind Glenwood

The bar is a fun place to watch a game, which is what we did that day. As I was sitting down I commented on the fact that our alma mater MIZZOU was playing. The man next to me laughed and told me colorfully to get out. He was from Columbia, Missouri, but was a Kansas fan. Boo! The bartender and a server—spouses—are also from Columbia and were big MU fans. Small world!

This filling meal was a prelude to the main attraction of the day, a tasting at Casey Brewing and Blending with the owner, Troy Casey. He created Casey Brewing and Blending in the fall of 2013 after years of experimenting with oak barrel aging and wild yeast and bacteria. He realized these types of beers were his true passion and decided to create a place where he could focus solely on 100% oak barrel fermentations while using local Colorado ingredients. I keep referring to Troy because he’s the brewer and our contact for our liquor store, but Casey Brewing is a family affair that includes his wife Emily, brother and sister-in-law.

Troy has a cult following that began soon after he started brewing. At that time, he released one beer a month for one day. People would camp out overnight to make sure they got some before it sold out. That was hard to manage, so he started a club and members got special privileges, which they still do today as part of the Extended Family. In 2019, he opened the Casey Brewing Taproom in downtown Glenwood Springs. It’s one of our favorite places to hang out. I’m a sucker for sour beers!

He holds private tasting events once or twice a month, and I highly recommend signing up for one. There were just seven of us for this one, a Funky Blender Experience. Funky Blender is a tart Farmhouse ale made with 100% Colorado ingredients. The first vintage was 2016, which is where we started. We tasted our way through seven varieties leading up to 2020. The fruited versions, particularly the cherry, are my favorites.

Brewer and founder Troy Casey at Casey Brewing and Blending in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

There were two women from Denver next to us who’d heard about Casey Brewing in Canada. They’re Extended Family members now and make the trip regularly. There was a group of three on the other side of us, including one Extended Family member from Oklahoma City who brought two friends from the Front Range. He also makes the trip regularly. Turns out, those three also ate lunch at the bar at Grind that day. People who love beer and burgers know how to spend a day in Glenwood Springs!

We’ve been going crazy waiting to get out in our new-to-us motorhome that we purchased in late October, but the spring weather is in no hurry to get here. So, we grabbed some snacks and drinks, packed our PJs and spent the night snuggling in front of the fireplace watching a movie. Yes, there’s a fireplace in the motorhome…but not our actual home. Go figure. We spent several hours the next day getting things organized and decorating so we’re ready to roll as soon as the temperatures allow.

Our April and first May getaways are scheduled and will be here before we know it. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more Tales From the Empty Nest!

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2 thoughts on “march: burgers, beer and backyard camping

  1. If we leave Hotel Colorado, and that’s still up in the air, we need to get to Grind in April! I haven’t even heard of it and it sounds like our kinda place.

    Alas, we always end up at Slope & Hatch so we’ll have some decision to make!

    I don’t think we’ve been to Casey Brewing, although maybe because we’ve been to a lot of breweries.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know how hard it is to not go to a favorite place to try something new, but I do think you’d like Grind. Plus, the Casey Brewing Taproom is right next door. 🙂


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