I recently had the opportunity to spend a few hours at a nanobrewery with delicious beer and a unique concept – nonprofit, community-supported brewery. Lady Justice Brewing
in Mountain View (I70 & Sheridan) has the unusual dual mission of brewing great beer and giving all profits to women-focused charities. Their motto is “Great Beer, Better World” and the three ladies who founded the brewery have a longstanding commitment to building better communities and also to making great beer. Their current model is a subscription club, where subscribers pick up a bomber every month and often a sampler of a new recipe too. The brewery then donates the proceeds through a grant process.
While hanging out with Kate, Betsy, and Jen I had the opportunity to watch them brew, sample some of their beer, and meet their community supporters. They build their beers with the malt as the foundation, then layer on the yeast, and then other fruits & spices. I tried the Sage Saison, Cardamom Porter, and Peach Brown. Both the saison and porter were very clean, with clear, traditional saison and porter tastes spiked with the specific flavors of the spices. Unlike some beers, the flavors didn’t get muddled or distorted by other ingredients or the brewing process. The brown had a similar clean base, but I only got a hint of the peaches. Overall, the beers were very much my style although only half the fun. The enthusiasm and passion of all the Lady Justice ladies, along with their subscribers, made for a truly awesome afternoon of beer and good people.
There’s not currently a taproom so you have to become a subscriber if you want try their beers. They expect to start the next 6-month subscription mid/late spring and you can visit www.ladyjusticebrewing.com
to get on the mailing list or just learn more about the cool business model that Kate, Betsy, and Jen have created!
Fitting for the season, Declaration Brewing Co.‘s Brewtonium Brown will keep you warm with all the dark-malt flavors you’d expect in a brown, along with with some unexpected bittering-hops notes. As the beer warmed, a little bit of floral hops even started to sneak in. The big picture is a balanced, medium-bodied beer that isn’t as heavy and filling as many traditional browns (translation: you can drink a few of these!) even though the initial glimpse of its dark brown color might make you think otherwise.
On a recent visit to the Stapleton Tap House the bartender recommended the Little Machine Sully Irish Red as a good medium-bodied beer and upon delivery it came across as a solidly-crafted brew. Stapleton Tap serves the Sully on nitro, giving it and exceptionally smooth and creamy body, with light malt and caramel flavors. Aside from these the beer contains no strong flavors or hoppiness, which makes it pleasant and quite sessionable, if unchallenging. Adding to the sessionability is the low (5%) alchohol content
Recently some friends and I spent a chilly afternoon touring four RINO breweries on foot. Given the number of breweries practically side-by-side in RINO one could literally run them end-to-end, GABF style without any breaks. However in the spirit of getting a little exercise and not getting outstandingly hammered we threw in a few that required a walk.
We met at Epic Brewing Company
, which usually offers decent parking if you choose to drive. The taproom sports the standard RINO-brewery decor – concrete & steel, lots of glass & garage doors, and an open brewing area. It also has the bonus of a cozy fireplace and a bunch of tvs with various games on. The beers lean toward barrel-aged and/or high-alcohol but there’s enough variety that anyone ought to be able to find something pleasing. Our group tasted some great IPA’s, an unusual lime lager, porters, fruit beers, and a barleywine. The Sage Saison
stood out, seeming appropriately seasonal with light earthy flavors and strong sage, as did the Pumpkin Porter
, with rich malty flavors and undertones of pumpkin spice.
A few Epic beers fortified us for the 20+ minute walk to the Great Divide Brewing Company
Barrel Room on Brighton Blvd. Heading left from Epic you’ll walk down to 38th and go left, either up and over the tracks at the light rail station or under them on 38th itself. It’s definitely a developing area but seems more deserted than sketchy. The Barrel Room has a ski-bar vibe going, which would be cozy on a cold winter day. Even nicer are the warming high-alcohol barrel-aged beers. Great Divide seems to try different combinations and rotate frequently so it’s best to check out the chalkboard and chat with the bartender for the latest and greatest. Of course they also serve the traditional Great Divide offerings – Collette, Yeti, Claymore Scottish
, etc. One caution is that their small space gets jammed if a bus or large group comes, which happened to us.
Continue reading “RINO Ramble”
If you happen to find yourself in southeast Denver and want to get in the Christmas spirit, Copper Kettle Brewing Company is again hosting their 12 Firkins of Christmas. Every year Copper Kettle releases one firkin per day in the 12 days leading up to Christmas, presumably to kick up the level of holiday cheer, or at the very least give an excuse to get out of the house and away from the visiting in-laws. Looks like they’re again bringing some interesting flavors to the holiday season.
- 12/ 13 – Basil Cherry Blond
- 12/14 – Cranberry Helles
- 12/15 – Rum Eggnog Stout
- 12/16 – Holiday Spice Ale (barley wine with spices)
- 12/17 – Well Bred Small Batch (aged in whiskey barrels)
- 12/18 – Aurora Strong Ale (aged in bourbon barrels)
- 12/19 – Vanilla Chai Coffee Stout
- 12/20 – NE IPA with Grapefruit
- 12/21 – Vanilla Bean Mexican Chocolate Stout
- 12/22 – Pumpkin Mexican Chocolate Stout
- 12/23 – Smoked Porter
- 12/24 – Apricot Sour Blond
Depending on where you live, Two22 Brew is a bit of a ride, located deep in SE Aurora, but usually good for an adventurous/experimental beer or two. However on my most recent visit I steered away from experimental and tried the Reformation Scottish Ale which I wouldn’t call particularly adventurous, or even that typical of a Scottish. The beer showed the typical reddish-carmel color and had a Scottish-level ABV but lacked the sweeter malty and carmel flavors that I’m accustomed to in Scottish ales. What did come through loud & clear were the dark-roast malt flavors and an unusual bitterness, almost like an English-style mild or bitter. Overall I’d call the beer pleasant but lacking in the “Scottish” part of the ale
Those willing to venture to Parker for a visit to Barnett and Son Brewing will find a relaxed taproom with very friendly staff, along with what I would call “comfort beers”. The tap list contains almost exclusively standard styles with no extreme variations within style or unsual flavor combinations. The ones I sampled stayed true to style – comfortable & accessible with no suprises. In other words no triple-hopped IPA, or chocolate mint stout. I found the Irish Red to be the most comfortable of the bunch – medium-heavy body, light malt, light hops, and a good balance between them. Definitely nothing adventurous but a good beer to settle back with on a crisp fall evening.