Sunday, January 27, 2013

Brewery Tour: Clear Creek Brewing of Buffalo Wyoming

It should go without saying that the Harringtons loved food and traveling in South Korea. Yet, as we recently stated here at THT, the couple is thrilled to be back in a land where going out to dinner sometimes includes incredible BBQ and Bread Pudding. Additionally, the amount of joy the couple has experienced in being able to track down fine craft beers...that joy is also quite immense.

Following their holiday celebrations in Worland, the couple hit the road and made their way through Ten Sleep Canyon en route to Deadwood, South Dakota where the next leg of their holiday celebrations would take place. However, having a desire to re-enter the world of craft brews and perhaps gain some insight to the business potential of such an operation, the couple was eager to get through the canyon and stop off at Wyoming's newest brewery, opened in September of 2012, Clear Creek Brewing Company in Buffalo, Wyoming.

Fingers-crossed, the Harringtons were hopeful that on a Thursday afternoon in the middle of the holiday season the brewery would be open for business. Fortune smiled down on the couple as they found a place to park and made their way into the brew house.

Entering Clear Creek Brewing, the couple was thrilled to see just how much of an impact the company's recent Kickstarter Project, had influenced each corner, each table and each chair. Through their Kickstarter project, individuals were able to give various amounts of cash to help build and design the brewery. Donors of large sums of money were given the opportunity to name fermentors while other donors received some combination of t-shirts, stickers, pint glasses, hats or the opportunity to name tables and chairs. Overall, the atmosphere and decor are simple and fitting for the business itself, however the added touch of plaques showing how well supported this brewery has (and will continue) made customers feel as though they are part of something more than just a good pint of craft beer.
However, it's not enough to have good sense of decor and the pulse of community support surrounding you, you need to enjoy a good brew. Fortunately, Clear Creek Brewing Company comes through on that front and you can enjoy a nice sampler of everything they have on tap or order up a pint or take out a growler, whatever you so desire! If you've got a few minors in your company, have no fear, as you can order up a kettle brewed root beer for them and know that they too are enjoying a quality product.
As for the beers individually, the Harringtons have begun to develop unique tastes and definitely have their specific preferences. Melissa is a lover of any beer that is dark and creamy so was easily convinced that the Bomber Mountain Oatmeal Stout was tops (and what a great name, right?). However, it's also of significance to note that this woman who is deeply passionate about dark beers and who has steadily fallen out of love with light beers, including wheats, was blown away by the Tackle Box Wheat which was crisp, fresh and flavorful in a way many wheat beers seem to be least for one girls taste-buds. As for the man, Mike, he's developing a taste for the hoppy beers and was therefore impressed by the 7 Brother's IPA, but found his real joy in the Misty Moon Pale Ale. Also, worthy of mention is the Fire Hole Chili Porter. Both Harringtons have enjoyed chili beers previously, but always as an ale or lager or who-knows-what, so finding some chili spice added to a Porter was a new and mind-blowing experience. Definitely unique (in the Harrington's experience) and absolutely delicious!

If you're heading toward Buffalo, it's well worth the effort to plan your trip around the current hours of Clear Creek Brewing Company: Thursday - Sunday, 1:00 pm - 10:00 pm in order to sit down for a fine brew and the comfortable embrace of well-supported, community-backed local small business.

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