New Image Brewing Co. in Old Town Arvada seems to favor sours and Bretts on their limited house-brewed taplist, but since those are not really my thing I went with the Olde Town Regular. Olde Town Regular is tough to categorize but relatively straightforward to describe. At first it tastes like a Pils both in body and in the slightly bitter, German-hops flavor. However it ends with a bit of floral hops (just a little). The very light yellow color and slight cloudiness make it look more like a shandy or radler than a traditional clear yellow pils. New Image lists it as a German-style lager hybrid, which I guess pretty much captures the challenge of categorizing it, but shouldn’t scare anyway away from trying it. It’s a solid, light beer that’s easy to drink and probably refreshing on a hot day. Note: Even if this beer doesn’t sound appealing or you’re not into sours, New Image offers a full bar and decent list of other beers on tap and in bottles.
Old Town Arvada has really filled in with small business over the past few years, and at least two of those are breweries. While this hardly qualifies as a walk, since the distance between the two is about as far as the restroom in either establishment, it’s still a pleasant pairing of breweries and an easy journey on a cold/snowy/ice winter day.
As one of the outposts of Grand Lake Brewing from Grand Lake, CO, the taproom/restaurant feels unsurprisingly like a divey mountain bar with lots of log-cabin and wood finishes. The cozy feel complements the long and diverse taplist of Grand Lake beers, guest beers, and full bar. The beer list consists mostly of typical styles like wheat, IPA, and brown with a few slightly adventurous beers in the mix such as a pumpkin beer and a chili beer. The beers I tried solidly represented their styles and had clean tastes, and amongst the friends in our group there were no complaints about any of the beers. The multiple tvs and comfortable atmosphere definitely encourage hanging out for few brews and watching a some football or hockey.
Heading out the door, taking a right, and walking 20 feet will bring you to New Image Brewing Co. and a totally different vibe. New Image feels much more modern and “city” rather than “mountain”. They describe their approach as focusing on non-traditional styles and blending, and the house-beer taplist represents this with sours/Bretts, cider, and various flavor combinations. Like Grand Lake the menu also lists guest brews and features a full bar. Between the beers I tried and the reaction of friends, the beers provided a combination of happy and not so happy experiences. Maybe some were a little too experimental for particular people. That said, perhaps the best plan would be to get a flight or some samplers before going all-in on a full pour. For the less-adventurous, the Old Town Regular offers a fairly uncomplicated pilsner/lager profile, and is an easy-drinker.
Both breweries serve food so if you want to make an afternoon of it you could have lunch in one and dinner in the other. Or you could go for an actual walk and grab dinner elsewhere in Old Town.