Ok, so trying out a new thing – focusing on a brewery instead of a beer since breweries stick around but beers come & go. Since I happened to visit Westfax Brewing Company last weekend trying out my brand new Pub Pass it seemed as good as any place to start.
Overall Westfax works as a neighborhood bar, sandwiched next to Casa Bonita, perhaps for parents who need a buzz to be able to deal with the crappy food and cheesy decor. I can’t say that anything about Westfax particularly stands out, and I don’t mean that as a slam. It’s a pleasant-enough place to hang out with good beers. If you live in or visit the area it’s well worth a visit, but if you drive across town for it you’ll probably pass half a dozen similar neighborhood breweries with a similar experience.
BEER LINEUP: Westfax offers a wide variety of standard styles, with a slight tilt toward flavored beers using coffee, blueberry, asian spices and more (thankfully not all in one beer!)
ATMOSPHERE: Standard strip-mall industrial. There’s nothing too unique there. The crowd seemed pretty chill for a Sunday afternoon and the brewery has several tvs for sports. A food truck served hungry drinkers and Westfax seems to have a rotating truck schedule..
SERVICE: The bartender provided friendly service, some tasting advice, and plenty of samples to help with beer selection.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Westfax is in the gritty part of West Colfax full of strip malls and dollar stores. There’s nothing much of interest closeby, although Seedstock is about a five-minute drive away.
STANDOUT BEER: Everyone in our party agreed that the Bluetylicious blueberry wheat stood out. It has an unusual honey-copper color and a thin body. The flavors start with slightly sweet blueberry that is not overpowering and finish with a typical clean, mildly bitter wheat-beer taste.
Fiction Beer Company lists Logic Is Relative as a New England IPA, which differs from the more typical West Coast IPAs with lower floral characteristics and less bitterness. It still contains the hops bitterness one expects from an IPA – just a little more balanced and nuanced. The aroma offers a hint of citrus, which carries forward to the taste. The citrus flavor leans toward the sweeter side – think of oranges rather than grapefruit – without being actually sweet. Logic Is Relative has the typical body and color of an IPA, but with significant haziness. I found this beer to be a refreshing pause between super-hopped IPAs, and it would also likely work as a transition beer between very hoppy IPAs and other beers, or vice versa.
If you made a New Year’s Resolution to explore new breweries you need to check out the Pub Pass (and if you didn’t, perhaps it should reconsider!). The Pub Pass gets you a free beer at about 20 establishments, mostly breweries, for 20 bucks (plus a steep “service fee”). No other strings attached – perfectly . . . free . . . beer. Just don’t forget to tip your server.The best part is that it lasts til Dec 31 so there’s no need to rush, and the breweries are spread across Denver. I can’t think of a better excuse to grab some friends and visit a new part of town, especially since some of the places are grouped for a perfect walking tour or short commute (I’m thinking of you New Image, Grand Lake, and Grandview in Arvada!). Happy drinking!!!
I’ll start off by saying that the taproom description of Comrade Brewing Co.‘s The Spector is rather misleading. They call it a Belgian-style wit ale, but other than perhaps some Belgian yeast there’s not much wit-iness going on; no coriander, orange peel, or cloudiness. However once you get past the words and into the beer things get good fast. The beer has a light body and a color that looks darker than a wit, with some copper and honey tones. The honey theme flows into the flavor, with virtually non-existant hops – just a slight bittering perhaps. Overall it seemed most like a honey wheat beer given the color, body, and flavoring, so if those types of beers appeal to you I’d highly encourage you to get a sample.
I made it to my first Halfpenny Brewing Company Beer and Cheese Pairing last night and it was great! Aside from the attractive presention, the cheese was spectacular and the Whole Foods rep gave interesting background and tasting suggestions for each cheese and beer. Apparently he has the enviable job of coming in to taste all the beers each month before selecting cheese pairings. It seems to work great! I’d highly recommend keeping an eye on Halfpenny’s website for next month’s event.
This month several breweries are doing taproom events involving food that might help break up the dark winter days.
Everything about Left Hand Brewing Company’s Fade to Black says Big Beer. A quick look and swirl shows you the thick body and dark color of the beer. That’s followed by the nose, which is deliciously smoky like smoked cheddar with notes of espresso and chocolate. The first taste starts with the same wonderful smokiness, which is soon complemented by dark malt and light raisin flavors, and subtly accompanied by high-alcohol warmth throughout. Finally, the aftertaste of smokiness and roasty malt lingers long after the sample. In my opinion this is the perfect sipping beer to warm up with on a frigid winter evening while watching the snow fall. Hands-down this is the most excited I’ve been about a beer in quite a while, and I don’t attribute that just to the 8%+ ABV, as I made sure to make my tasting notes during the first few sips.