Author Topic: Denver Hidden Gems  (Read 1886 times)

Offline jtonole

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Denver Hidden Gems
« on: September 10, 2010, 08:26:16 PM »
I'm going to be in Denver for the GABF and doing some brewery touring in the area. I know where all the major breweries are and which ones I'm going to visit, but I'm looking for suggestions on "hidden gems" -- small, off-the-beaten-path breweries/brewpubs that are unique or outstanding.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and opinions.

jeff t
Ithaca, NY

Offline wiley

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Re: Denver Hidden Gems
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2010, 09:06:05 PM »
What's your transportation and timeline like?

Offline jtonole

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Re: Denver Hidden Gems
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2010, 12:41:23 AM »
I have a car and a couple of wide open days, but I'm not looking to make any major road trips.

Offline tom

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Re: Denver Hidden Gems
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2010, 09:07:48 AM »
As far as Boulder? Or just in Denver?

The Dry Dock Brewery is in Aurora, a suburb 15 miles southeast of Denver, at the intersection of Chambers and Hampden, just East of the Cherry Creek Reservoir. They won Best Small Brewery at the GABF last year. They are having their Oktoberfest today.

In LoDo Denver there is Great Divide, Wynkoop and the Falling Rock Tap House. The Falling Rock has 70 taps, hundreds of bottles and is having special tappings every day beginning Monday at 5 pm. If you get into a Rockies game the SandLot Brewery is downstairs below the pub. The brewers are all ex-homebrewers and keep the good stuff down there. They were also Best Small Brewery of the year at GABF in ?'07.

There are 2 new restaurants in LoDo which specialize in beer selection and food pairing: Euclid Hall and Frescraft. I have heard good reports, but haven't been to them yet.

The Rackhouse Pub has 20 Colorado taps. They are having all GABF medal-winning beers this month. They are near I-25 and Alameda. And their food is good. And they are neighbors of Stranahan's Whiskey. And just up the street from there is the Breckenridge Brewery with their tasting room and barbecue restaurant. Pint's Pub is near the art museum. Their beer isn't so hot, but they have a great Scotch selection.

The Cheeky Monk on Colfax has several Belgian taps and a new beer place just opened called The Uptown Brothers Beer Bar.

Further into Cherry Creek is the Bull & Bush brewpub. They have also had several GABF-medal winning beers.

If you are heading toward Boulder there is a brewpub in Arvada called Yak and Yeti's. It was previously the Cheshire Cat English brewpub, but was bought and is now an Indian Restaurant. The Floyd Brewery should also be opening any day now in Old Arvada.

Golden, just West of Denver, has the largest brewery in the world - Coors (or should I say SABMolsonCoors?). And the 2nd largest brewery in Golden, the Golden City Brewery.

There are several breweries in Boulder worth visiting; Avery, Boulder Beer, Asher, and Mountain Sun Brewpub. Mountain Sun has a beer restaurant in Denver on 17th called the Vine Street Pub with some of their beers and some guest beers.

Longmont just North of Denver has the Left Hand Brewery and Oskar Blues production brewery which has a tasting room and a restaurant across the street.

North of there in Loveland there is a new brewery The Grimm Brothers which just opened this year and specializes in German biers.

Of course, Fort Collns just north of there has New Belgium, Odells, Fort Collins Brewery, CooperSmith's BrewPub and a new brewery the Equinox.

If you are tempted to visit the mountains, just about every town hs a brewpub. There is Breckenridge Brewery in Breckenridge. The Dam Brewery and Pug Ryans in Dillon and Backcountry Brewery in Frisco - about a one hour drive. All prize-winning breweries. As well as the Glenwood Brewery in Glenwood Springs (about a 3 hour drive West of Denver on I-70).

And a lot of the breweries are having special events. The local homebrew club KROC has an event Thursday night with homebrews and talks by the brewer at the Bruery and White Labs - highly recommended. And this is the 2nd year of Denver Deer Week:  for more info check out www.denvergov.org/denverbeerfest

I'll pretty much be at the GABF and the Falling Rock. See ya!
Brew on

Offline wiley

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Re: Denver Hidden Gems
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2010, 07:16:58 AM »
Tom pretty much got them all! The ones that I would recommend hitting are:
1) Avery - big beers and lots of hops. Well worth every penny you spend as well as the drive from Denver (maybe 30 minutes or so)
2) Great Divide - unique, innovative - right in the heart of downtown Denver.
3) Strange Brewing (I don't think Tom mentioned this one) - if you've ever dreamed about owning your own brewery, these guys might put you one step closer to taking the plunge! Super small operation that make you think, "These guys are ridiculously inefficient". But, their beer is decent, the brewery is just south of Invesco field and a few miles south of downtown Denver, and they've got some interesting things going.
4) Oskar Blues - their tasting room is great, beer is awesome, but the food at their restaurant is just as good as you would expect. The brewery and tap room are probably 15 minutes away from the restaurant, but you could easily hit both in an afternoon. You may want to do call ahead seating / make reservations if you're going to do lunch / dinner at the restaurant though.

Alos, the KROC World Beer Forum as Tom mentioned should be an awesome event. Thursday night from 8pm to midnight at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Denver (on California between 17th and 18th).

Hope you enjoy your time in Denver - cheers!

Offline 6thstreet

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Re: Denver Hidden Gems
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2010, 12:06:44 PM »
I'll be in Denver the same weekend...but wont be hitting the fest  :'(  Taking my little girl to see the hawks play the broncos.  Im sure we can hit a pub or two though.