The Bolder Life: The Fork in the Road


Tyra Sutak

Published on: November 1st, 2011

Most times in life, we are forced to pick a path when we reach the fork in the road, but at the Fork in Lyons, CO—the choice is simple—take the path of least resistance and head inside to the bar.

The Lyons Fork is a restaurant, Beer Union and local hang out located in Downtown Lyons at the end of Main Street where Highway 66 splits and gives way to two of the areas busiest mountain roads, traveled by thousands of Rocky Mountain National Park visitors each year. Opened in 2010 by Lyons locals, Wayne and Debbie Anderson, the Lyons Fork is quickly making a name for itself in the budding Colorado foodie scene.

Over a century ago, the sandstone structure at 450 Main Street housed the McAllister Saloon. Today, the building is still home to one of the most popular bars in town—but instead of moonshine and whiskey, the Lyons Fork is serving their customers some of the best brews coming from the craft beer nation. From local favorites, Avery Brewing Co. and Left Hand Brewing, to nationally acclaimed breweries such as Stone Brewing(CA), Port Brewing (CA), and Victory Brewing Co. (PA), the Fork is offering up specialty, aged, oaked, drinkable and unique brews that make up their ever-changing and diverse beer list.

With over twenty years of combined sales experience in the craft brewing industry, it’s no surprise that Wayne and Debbie Anderson take special measures to offer their customers the best of the oldies and goodies of craft beer. These days, the Anderson’s are also educating their guests on the craft beer world as well, by holding Beer Dinners every few months with a representative from a guest brewery pulling out all the stops, bringing in popular and specialty beers from their brewery and introducing each beer that is carefully paired with a menu created by Executive Chef, and beer/food pairing genius, Ian Rubenoff.

Although Fork Beer Dinners typically consist of five-courses paired with five beers, I was lucky enough to snag one of the last seats to the three-course, Stone Brewing Bastard Series Beer Dinner held last Thursday. I dined on duck confit with an orange marmalade sauce, smoked pork loin stuffed with Haystack mountain goat cheese, herbs, (and a little bit of heaven), a sweet potato mash, and a toffee crusted, coconut, almond and chocolate torte that left the entire group speechless for the majority of the dessert round. Representatives of Stone Brewing walked guests through the brewing process and history of each brew which included the Arrogant Bastard Ale, an Oaked Arrogant Bastard and a 2010 Double Bastard.

As usual, I left the Lyons Fork with a full belly, a better knowledge of craft brewing and new friends. If you haven’t been to a Beer Dinner at the Lyons Fork, I suggest you hurry up and sign up for the December 13th, five-course dinner with Boulder’s newest microbrewery, Upslope Brewing. Tickets are $60.00 and always sell out fast. Sample one of the Fork’s popular margaritas before dinner, say hello to Wayne and Debbie and enjoy one of the best meals that you’ve ever eaten with forty-five of your newest friends and craft beer converts.

The Lyons Fork is located at 450 Main St. and offers dinner service from 4:00-9:00 p.m., Monday-Friday and brunch from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.Click here for more information on the Upslope Beer Dinner.     

The Bolder Life: An Evening Under the Stars


Tyra Sutak

Published on: August 26th, 2011

Last weekend marked the 21st time that the fine folks of Planet Bluegrass hosted the annual Rocky Mountain Folks Festival which is currently being held on the musically sacred grounds of Planet Bluegrass in my tiny hometown of Lyons. Having not bought passes for any of the 2011 Planet Bluegrass festival offerings this year, I might have been a little more than absolutely excited when I friend called with a lead on an extra pass for Sunday night. Along with hundreds of other music lovers—most lacking footwear and more than half carrying a compostable New Belgium cup filled to the brim with one of the popular brewery’s offerings—I posted up on a friend’s blanket near the old Silo on the grounds, and watched as crowd favorite, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, brought the crowd to their unadorned feet with the energetic sounds of a combination of strings, vocals and beat boxing. Missy Higgins took the stage next and offered a mix of upbeat, mellow, and beautifully performed songs (some of which are currently receiving some mainstream radio love)—and then it happened.

With the lights from the stage dancing around the surrounding red rock cliffs, underneath the kind of star-filled sky that can only be found away from the city lights—whistles and cheers erupted as music legend Jackson Browne took the stage. Only sharing the spotlight with his ten guitars, the singer/songwriter performed a set of self-written songs sung with a voice that would make even the crankiest, crying newborn baby stop and listen. The night concluded with the sounds of campers packing up their tiny square plots of land, marked with tarps and blankets—and a very mellow exodus to the Planet Bluegrass exit.

Although the festival season is over for festival director Craig Ferguson and the rest of the Planet Bluegrass staff, the fall concert series is just beginning. September 9th kicks of the first concert of the Wildflower Concert Series, and it is definitely not one to be missed! With doors opening at 7 pm and music starting at 8 pm, local bands, bands with Grammy winning musicians and bands with all around masters of the professional jam session will be performing a tribute to the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe,  in the 4800 square-foot pavilion on the Planet Bluegrass grounds. As always, beer, wine and popcorn are served from the indoor bar, all ages are welcome, and entry into the show is a fraction of what most pay for a show at Planet Bluegrass.