Experience One of Denver’s Best: A Microbrewery Tour

In Manila whenever you hear of a “factory tour”, you will normally experience literally touring around the factory premises, seeing how a product is manufactured (e.g. soft drinks, pencil, biscuits, beer or even poultry feeds).  I was able to visit Denver for the first time last May and joined a microbrewery walking tour that beer lovers would definitely want to try.  And no, we did not see in actual how each beer is made but we get to try some of the city’s specialty beers.

The guided tour is for 2 or 2 and a half hours of beer tasting.  A guide toured us to 3 breweries explaining to us each type of beer and what was each made of.  I remember I tried about 9 types which I don’t normally do back in Manila, but travelling for the most fun part of it is doing the things you don’t usually do.  We had a generous amount of beer samples. Also, before starting the tour, you will be asked to show your passport just to make sure you’re at legal age to drink alcohol.

First Stop is at Diebolt Brewing Company located at Mariposa St. which is popular for their French-style craft beers.  We have tried about 4 types of beer here and I am no beer expert but a must try is WiggyWiggy.  It is a refreshing drink with hibiscus and fruity aroma which for me tastes more of a juice.  Color is pinkish and very unique. Although, two guys in the same tour who I suppose are beer lovers didn’t seem to like WiggyWiggy because I saw them returned their beer samples in the pitcher.

After less than an hour, we moved to the next stop: Factotum, located at Lipan St.  Factotum Brewhouse is only a block away from Diebolt and is popular for homebrews. My favorite here is Hefeweizen which is made up of wheat ale and has originated from Germany.  At this point of the tour, the beer tasting pace became faster or I have been lagging on the drink as I started to become tipsy.  I have also tried about 4 types of beer here before moving on to the last stop.

The ambiance for me is really good and the place is also very spacious. Factotum is closed every Mondays except the last Monday of each month and we had our tour on a Friday afternoon. Make sure to also check below reference for complete information about the brewery.

Reference: http://factotumbrewhouse.com/about-the-brewhouse/

Now, moving on to the last stop: Post Brewing Company located at 19thSt. that is popular for German-style beers.  From Factotum, Post Brewing is a 15 minute walk via Kalamath St, Osage St and then to 19th St. Honestly, I don’t enjoy walking tours in Southeast Asia because of the warm-to-hot weather. Walking tours for me are best enjoyed in colder countries during the months when it’s not so cold and not hot or humid.  I stayed in Colorado around May and when I visited Pueblo, it was really hot.  Weather in Colorado as many people would agree can drastically change same way I experienced Dublin years ago.

Going back to the Microbrewery tour, I remember one of my friend told me that American beer is weak and that German beer is best.  I am not very sure about that but I think I can agree that there is something about German beer that makes we want to drink a lot.  I have been drinking so much beer as well during my stay in Germany more than two years ago.

In Prost Brewing, I tried their Hybrid Ale which is Kölsch this time not in a small glass, but in a 16 oz tall glass. I then asked myself why did I drink all the beer samples I had earlier and now not having enough space for my tummy to finish the save-the-best-for-last beer here in Prost – I have finished only about half of it.

Also, Prost Brewing is definitely a good place to bond with friends and relatives.  I have seen lots of kids here which I don’t think is usual back home in Manila.  They also have board games and others which you can borrow. During our tour, there was a group of girls playing the giant-sized Jenga and there had been lots of laughter. Just by watching them play makes it also a fun experience for me.

This is the end of the tour and it’s a must-try when you visit Denver – the Mile High City.

 

How to spend a day in Lübeck

Old TownLübeck – former capital and Queen City of the Hanseatic League

I have been to several places in Germany and my favorite so far is Lübeck.  It is located in the northern part of the country and is one of the major ports.  I was at that time staying somewhere around Teutendorfer Weg and I decided to visit The Old Town Lübeck which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  If you check in Google map, the place is of oval shape and surrounded by the River Trave.  I took a day tour on one Saturday weekend from 8:00am to 5:00pm.

From Teutendorfer Weg, I took the DB Bahn bus to Holstentorplatz for about EUR 3.20.  It will take you around 30 minutes to get there.  There is a tourist center where I got my map and included are suggested walking tours for free.  You can actually join a paid walking tour for a few EURs but I prefer to go on a sightseeing my own pace, so I walk toured myself.

One major attraction is the symbol of the City known as Holstentor Gate.  Some say that it is also one of the most famous German buildings in the world.   It has two round towers and an arched entrance.  It was constructed to protect the city against outside threats.  There is also an inscription that says “concordia domi foris pax” which means (“unity at home, peace abroad”).

Currently, the Holstentor is a museum and all information about opening times can be found in the link below.  I chose not to visit the museum because I was afraid that I will not have enough time to tour the entire town if I do so.

Museum is opened:

Jan to March: Tue – Sun 11:00am to 5:00pm

April to Dec: Daily 10:00am to 6:00pm

http://www.luebeck-tourism.de

Next to the Holstentor is The Salzspeicher salt warehouses consisted of 6 historic brick buildings.  During the 16th to 18th centuries it was known that salt which is being shipped to several ports in the Baltic Region were rare but is being used for preservation of food, hence the high demand.

Also interesting is that it was used as a residence of Dracula in the movie Nosferatu with a few more information in this website: https://vampirelestat6969.wordpress.com/2015/09/07/nosferatu-1922/

I have also seen evening shots of The Salzspeicher.  When I get to visit the Old Town Lübeck again, I’ll make sure to drop by during the evening and hopefully be able to take evening shots.

This is The Town Hall of the Old Town Lübeck where social meetings were held.  There were not so many people in the town hall when I visited and there were only a few shops that I have seen.  An area next in front of it was temporarily converted to an ice skating rink.  Again I thought, If I try the rink, I won’t have enough time to tour the entire town.  On the opposite side, are actually shops and restaurants where I think I spent the most of my time during the visit.

If you want to have a magnificent view over the historic town of Lübeck, you should not miss St. Peter’s Church and it’s viewing platform.  It is no longer used as a church but you can still go inside for a visit.  Please also take note of the opening times of the Lookout Platform.  There is a small fee of EUR 3 for adults and EUR 2 for students.  As usual, I was charged for EUR 2 only but I gave back the EUR 1 additional fee because yes, I’m an adult.

You can see from the platform a breathtaking view of the Old Town including the third largest church in Germany in the City of the 7 Spires – that is St. Mary’s.  On the other side, you can also see the Holstentor Gate which is a few steps away from The Salzspeicher salt warehouses.

Reference

http://www.luebeck-tourism.de

Next stop is St. Catherine’s Church (Katharinenkirche in German) located in Königstraße.  While most churches were built with a spire, Catherine’s is unique as it doesn’t have one.  Also, it is a must stop due to its architectural features inside.  I couldn’t go in when I visited because it was being renovated.

Opening times are April to September: Thurs to Sat 12:00pm to 4:00pm

Another popular tourist attraction that was being renovated during my visit is one of the oldest hospitals in Europe: Hospital of the Holy Spirit.  After my tour to Lübeck, had only I got the chance to do a brief research about this very important social institution. Worth reading are the reasons for the establishment of this building which for me is very interesting and can be found in this source: http://www.stiftungsverwaltung-luebeck.de

It has been explained why the wealthy people involve themselves in founding institutions similar to this.

My walking tour ended at the Burgtor (Castle Gate) – one of the two medieval gates in Lübeck which survived, the other one being the more popular, The Holstentor Gate.

The Old Town Lübeck has plenty of popular sights to visit from Museums to Churches and even Alleys.  I mostly enjoyed walking beside the River while watching kids fish with their dads and play around.  The weather at that time was also refreshing, not too cold with a little sunshine (January).  If you are someone who prefers quiet places than crowded, Lübeck would be perfect for you.  A week must be enough to visit most of the interesting places here, at the same time trying the local cuisine and of course shop without the need to hurry.  This is also one of the places that I’d visit again in the future and you should too!

Enjoying my other favorite place in Germany – Seftenberg.

 

Ming Lee Review: Restaurant Across Wat Phra Kaew

After  we’ve visited Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace, we had our lunch at Ming Lee (just across the road) for a local cuisine experience.  Their Menu is both in Thai and English language making it foreign-tourist friendly.

I ordered their Fried Noodle specialty and I actually couldn’t wait before it is served.  It is different from the other type of noodles that I have already tried in different countries though.  It is more of a light snack for me so if you are too hungry after a tour, I suggest you order something else on the side to fill your tummy.  It also tastes sweet and crispy and as my brother described it, tastes similar to the lumpia wrapper used in making “turon” back home in the Philippines when sugar coated.  It is topped with chili and served with a slice of lime for a sweet sour spicy sensation.

We also tried their Roasted Pork and Beef Spicy Salad partnered with small servings of rice.

Service is above satisfactory, I would say.  The old lady can understand a little English so it is not difficult to order or ask for something.  I am not sure what time the store closes but we were there a little past-2pm and we’re the last customer already.  A guy was supposed to enter to dine in but the old lady signaled that the shop is already closed.

Price is also affordable.  Our total bill for 4 pax was only THB 510. (THB 127.50 per pax)

If you are around the area, you might want to visit Ming Lee as well and try their food that’s being served to foreign and local customers for decades.