LYONS - I was on assignment last week at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in the small town of Lyons, Colo., which is home to Oskar Blues, one of the state's top breweries.
I know some readers hate it when I write about non-Lincoln restaurants.
But others - especially hard-core foodies - are more open-minded and like to hear about different places.
Around since 2002, Oskar Blues is known for its craft beers, including its signature Dale's Pale Ale, named for brewery founder Dale Katechis.
Unlike most brew pubs, Oskar Blues sells its beers in cans, which began as novel and evolved into practical.
"We thought the idea of our big, luscious pale ale in a can was hilarious," Katechis said on Oskar's Web site. "And it made our beer immensely portable for outdoor enjoyment fun."
I bring home some on any visit to Colorado because Oskar Blues hasn't reached into Nebraska yet. I'm a fan of the pale ale Old Chub (a Scottish ale) and the new Mama's Little Yella Pils (a very easy-going pilsner).
To complement the beer, Oskar Blues created a "mighty menu of Cajun, creole and Southern-style comfort foods."
I've eaten at the Colorado restaurant at least a dozen times over the past three years and have never been disappointed. I'm partial to the gourmet burgers and discovered a new favorite on my most recent visit, The Silo.
The burger ($9.49) is topped with smoked pork, bacon, pepper jack cheese and hot sauce and served with a choice of side. Sweet potato fries are customer favorites, but I go for the hand-breaded onion rings.
My companions enjoyed a variety of other menu items:
* blackened red fish ($10.99), served over rice and beans
* a grilled chicken and avocado sandwich ($8.99) served on naan
* a chicken and andouille sausage jambalaya ($11.99), the Saturday special
Other house favorites include a crab cake platter, shrimp and grits and one of the brick-oven pizzas.
The restaurant is also an entertainment center of sorts. In the basement is a variety of vintage video games. The place pays tribute to its music roots, with pictures and memorabilia spread throughout.
Lyons is near Denver, Boulder and Estes Park, so if find yourself traveling, the town and restaurant are worth a visit.
The beer can be had at most Colorado liquor stores. We brought home two 12-packs.
Reach Jeff Korbelik at 402-473-7213 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jeffkorbelik.