11 August 2009

Gluten Glutton, Pagosa Brewing Company

The Hugger, Pizza at Pagosa Brewing Company

It was a damp, chilly evening, perfect for pizza and beer. Outside, the beer garden is largely covered – thankfully, covered – by an event tent. At opposing ends, a large stage and sound booth take up a good quarter of the covered space. When we arrived the inside was fairly empty and a few tables under the tent were occupied. By the time we left, the place had filled up and the air was warming around the buzz of good food and company.

Pagosa Brewing Company is a local company that produces award-winning microbrews and soda pop. The “tasting room and beer garden” feature the PBC brews and food from Farrago, a popular market/cafe in downtown Pagosa Springs. In the summer, the beer garden is a favorite local hang out, especially on concert nights where professional musicians play (for a small cover charge) under the festival tent.

We arrived early enough for pizza; I had heard of the famous pies but on my last visit, they sold out by the time we arrived for dinner. However, this Friday night was starting off slowly and there were no shortages in sight. We began with the beers (of course); I had the Wolf Creek Wheat, a British-style wheat beer. To me, this was a very enjoyable drink, it was smooth, hearty enough with a good yeasty quality. I always get nervous when I order wheat beers, because I have a love-hate relationship with the good ol “hefes”. On one hand, I love their wheat, starchy qualities but I hate the way they fill me up as if I’ve just taken down a whole freshly baked loaf. But alas, the Wolf Creek Wheat triumphs and leaves plenty of room for the real meal of pizza.

To begin, we ordered the Thai Curry Hummus, the texture was thick and nutty but the flavor was flat. I struggled to find any bit of “curry” or “Thai” in the hummus. It was served with a side of spicy, citrus-pepper dressing; was this supposed to be added to the hummus? It would make sense that this dressing combined with the hummus might just qualify as “Thai hummus” but still, no curry to be found.

One by one, our pizzas arrived. Large, chock full of toppings, and wonderfully cheesy, these pies are not to be missed. At our table sat both camps of pizza eaters: the thin crust fans and the thick crust fans. And both camps were pleased, although Farrago’s pizza has a noticeably thick outer crust, the bottom of the pies stayed pleasantly thin and crunchy. We ordered two varieties of pizza: The Mahoney and The Hugger. The Hugger, the “girls” order, is a veggie pizza with mushrooms, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, tomatoes and whole roasted garlic cloves. This pizza is memorable for a few reasons: the whole roasted garlic cloves pepper the pizza (it is not unusual to find 3 or 4 whole cloves on ONE slice), the feta cheese and sun dried tomatoes steal the show. They are scattered over the top and act as creamy/crunchy sweet foils to the savory scene. The gents all enjoyed the Mahoney, a “man’s” pizza of sweet peppers, Italian sausage, pepperoni, kalamata olives and red onions.

Rain or shine, Pagosa Brewing Company’s Tasting Room and Beer Garden is the perfect place for a summer evening. Enjoy good beer, pizza (I hear the burgers are great), and live entertainment.

Pagosa Brewing Company
“Your Hometwon Mountain Brewery”
100 N. Pagosa Blvd.
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

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