Event Recap | Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival 2016
Cigar purists are just like craft beer purists. That’s not a defamatory statement. That’s a big compliment. They embrace and showcase the vibrancy of their industry, the love of the leaf and the camaraderie that goes hand in hand with their hobby. They fight against regulation and the proverbial ‘man’ that holds them down, that tries to snub them out. While we feel their pain with the latter and their ongoing trials and tribulations with smoking ban after smoking ban, we see the big brands buying up our favorite craft breweries and controlling their distribution.
And while we share the bond of trying to overcome industry setbacks, there is one day a year that we look forward to celebrating the grey cloud with our counterparts. We walk the grounds of the Omni Interlocken Resort in Broomfield and we take a look at the simplicity and luxury of cigar life! That one day a year is the Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival (RMCF), and if you haven’t been, you are truly missing out. This is easily in our top five festivals of the year!
Cigars have always had our interest. I mean, what goes alongside porchside banter better than a nicely rolled cigar?! It has been an ongoing quest to find a cigar that was designed to pair well with beer and what we are finding is that there may be a beer, or beer style, for every cigar or cigar style. Or that is what we are positing, at least. The RMCF is as perfect a place to try out our theories and so it goes, this is our story for this year.
As per RMCF tradition, we know that Burrito Giant is a must to setup a proper base and to prime the palate for the day. When we were once two, then we became four and now we are five deep in this wolfpack. Hippy Werewolves never die. No, this isn’t a total inside joke, it’s a phrase you can read autographed on a photo while you wait for your Burrito Giant. There is some weird stuff in this restaurant. Namely pottery, a chunk of carpet that is 6 x 6 inches but costs $125 dollars and a band photo that is signed by presumably non-dying werewolves with open minds and open hearts. We sit down and dig into the green chile laden nom-noms and we start to make plans for the day. Hopping in the car (no, PorchDrinking doesn’t have company cars but if anyone would like to sponsor us, we would kindly accept) we throw Punk Tacos HD radio on and zoom up to Broomfield.
Parked and parched, we head inside to the vendor check in. We cut through plumes of grey clouds as VIP and other vendors are digging through their festival bags and firing up their new sticks. We are told we only get four tasting glasses. Five staffers, four glasses. What to do?! We use our resources and plan accordingly to grab a glass from one of our friends of the foam.
Walking through more plumes of smoke and taking in the food situation for the day (we are still full of tacos but we spot new tacos, we are stoked). We meander down to Nathan Flatland at Mu Brewery and fill up our festival provided glasses. Mind you, we are still down one glass. A Spicy Marg Sour and a Blood Orange Saison flow from the taplines and provided us with our first quaffs of the day. The Spicy Marg Sour Ale was much less spicy than we were thinking but it wicked refreshing. We notice that Blood Orange Saison is making a return to this year’s festival and Nathan reminds us that, “If you are brewing in Aurora; you better be making a damn good fruit beer.” We agree and give our salutations. We are thirsty; we still need more beer.
Cut to, we are now down at the Ratio Beerworks tent. They’re positioned stage left on a giant spread of green grass. Hunter and Corinne have brought New Wave and Hold Steady. We sample the barleypops and get a cup. Now the five members of the wolf pack are complete and we can tear through the Omni Interlocken grounds looking for the best puff and a pour.
We stop by Oskar Blues to talk shop and skull a coldie, but alas, they did not have their beer yet. As much as we love a good conversation, we must move on and so we dipped the hell out and moved back up the vendor tents look for our next drink. Boom. We spot it. Nope, no alcohol in this tent. This is the Pepsi/Rockstar tent. You know we had to stop to chug a Rockstar, right? We totes did.
We did make a stop with our brethren of the mead world over at Redstone Meadery for a splash of that passionfruit mead because… passionfruit mead. Sweet, bubbly passionfruit mead. Just as we did last year, we all agreed that the Passion Fruit Mead was killer! They also just released their Apple Nectar which was on point too.
We really appreciated all of the new faces and vendors at the event! We can’t wait to see who makes it out next year!
Our Favorite Pours
- Elevation’s Oil Man
- City Star’s Bandit Brown
- Ratio’s Hold Steady and the One Great City Quadrupel
- Redstone Meadery’s Passion Fruit Nectar
- Coppermuse Distillery’s Horseradish Vodka in a bloody mary
Our Favorite Puffs
- Nat Sherman – Timeless Nicaragua
- Drew Estates – Herrera Esteli & Undercrown SHADE
Our Favorite Eats
- Chris Day notes that his favorite eats of the day were eating 3 cookies (to his chagrin, they were delicious cookies)
- Brisket Tacos
- Questionably shaped churros
Our Best Dressed Vendor and/or Patron
- That dude from Foundry in his white suit and pony tail.
- Pastel dude, aka Rocky Pastel.
- Homeboy with the giant cowboy/sombrero hat.
We stopped by some distilleries and a few more breweries and a few more distilleries. You can imagine where things go from there. You’re right! Things do get a little foggy but maybe that was because of all of the smoke. We digress and will just let these pictures speak a thousand words for us.
Thanks to Danny and Mike and Kris for having us out again! We can’t wait for next year!