Beer on a train, and a high plain

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Two upcoming beer-centric events of which to take note: 

• Oktoberfest at the Royal Gorge Route Railroad will be celebrated from Saturday, Sept. 13 to Sunday, Oct. 12. 

Riding the rails along with ales. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Riding the rails along with ales.
This year the outfit is running a German-style lunch train daily at 12:30 p.m.

The menu includes: Colorado farm-raised, grass-fed corned beef; apple cider and raspberry vinegar-infused Colorado cabbage; prepared potatoes with crisp Colorado vegetables and a locally inspired dessert.

Tickets, which include the lunch, range from $59 to $79 for children ages 3 to 12 and are $79-99 for adults; beer is an additional cost. Among the taps, you'll find a custom brewed Royal Gorge Rogue (with English ale yeast, Kent hops and English pale and crystal malts) and special Oktoberfest brew (a German marzan with Munich and Vienna malts and Hersbrucker hops), both by San Luis Valley Brewing Company

Regular trains run through Nov. 2, with other special rides like the Murder Mystery Train and Santa Express Train running on select days; visit the railroad website for pricing and a full schedule. 

• Plan to attend the Bines & Brews Hopfest on Saturday, Sept. 20 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Limbach Park (the corner of Second and Front streets) in downtown Monument, as a fundraiser for Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership and the Tri-Lakes Chamber.

Tickets are $30 to sample from 10 area breweries: 
Strange Craft Beer Co., Red Leg Brewing Co., Black Sky Brewery, Fossil Brewing Company, Smiling Toad Brewery, Nano 108 Brewing Co., Pikes Peak Brewing Co., 38 State Brewing Co., Fieldhouse Brewing Company, and Lofty Brewing Co.

Here's more info from a press releasee:
Brewers competing for the “Top Hop Award” traveling trophy must use Cascade hops organically grown in Monument at The Twisted Bine, where they were harvested in late August. Grown on bines nearly 18 feet tall, the wet hops are delivered fresh from the field, yielding a more dynamic flavor. Shortly thereafter, brewers host hop-picking parties, as the hops must be individually picked from the bines, while still fresh.

“Wet-hopped beer only comes once a year. It has to be used within seven days of being harvested, otherwise it’s considered a dry-hopped beer – and that changes all the flavors, aromas and bitterness of the beer,” said Rick Squires, owner of The Twisted Bine.
Judges certified by Brew Brothers of Pikes Peak will jury the beer. During an award ceremony, the coveted Top Hop trophy will be given for Best Beer. The winning team takes this trophy to their brewery for one year, until the next competition. In addition, there will be a People’s Choice award.

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