A 15-minute drive east in Palisade is Palisade Brewing (www.PalisadeBrewingCompany.com, 200 Peach Ave.), housed in a brewery that has changed hands more than once. But you have to love a brewery with a flagship called Dirty Hippie that’s fittingly a Dunkelweizen, not unlike the color of old bathwater.
Right next to the brewery is Peach Street Distilling from the guys who gave us Ska Brewing down in Durango. In addition to making Colorado Straight Bourbon, they make brandies because Palisade is a grape-growing region with several wineries. And for fans of honey wine, there’s the Meadery of the Rockies (www.MeaderyOfTheRockies.com, 3701 G Road) a mile away. Visit the tasting room to sample their range of dry-to-sweet meads. Among their fruit meads or melomels is Raspberry Chocolate Satin, though it’s hardly the stuff of campsite fires.
In Fruita, on the next block from Over the Edge, is Hot Tomato (www.HotTomatoCafe.com, 124 N. Mulberry), a café and pizzeria.. Beer-wise, they exclusively carry New Belgium, which means patrons are among the first to test-ride new products coming out of Fort Collins, even before the rest of us get to buy them.
As for where to rest your exceedingly tired bones, if you’re not camping,, Snazzy said that there are two mountain-biker oriented accommodations nearby. Happy Trails Inn (www.beerandbed.com, 1249 M Road, Loma) has got to be one of the best options for the beercationer. The guesthouse is just two miles from the start of the Kokopelli Trail. Guests can help themselves to proprietor and brewmeister Doug Luck’s homebrew, and mornings start with the Lucks’ homemade muffins and nutritious munchies to power through the trails. The rate is $125/night with off-season discounts. There’s also The Balanced Rock Motel (126 S. Coulson St., Fruita, 970-858-7333). It’s both frugal and regarded for being bike-friendly.