Next we drove up to Olde Town Arvada to visit New Image. Because it’s at the edge of town, you can park pretty easily as long as you watch for the two-hour zones. New Image seems to try for the trendy/Highlands vibe, both in the décor and long-winded explanations of their philosophy and processes surrounding food and drink. Sadly these don’t seem to include key words like organized or tasty. Our group was disappointed by the way our server, occasionally carrying a random scrap of food or drink, would haphazardly pop out of the woodwork. That was compounded by the uninteresting flavors of whatever stray food happened to make it to the table. However this blog is about beer, so if you can get them to serve you one and like things in the sour, brett, and hoppy categories, you might be able to overlook the service. See the Brewery Snapshot for more info. New Image also has a full bar including guest brews if you New Images’ beer isn’t your style.
Finally, we walked a dozen steps next door to Grand Lake Brewing Co. Grand Lake delivered the opposite experience from New Image in many ways. The first impression is of a relaxed ski lodge (appropriate given Grand Lake’s mountain origins) with lots of wood and vintage décor. Digging into the important things, Grand Lake’s beers run the gamut from light to dark, with the addition of a few seasonals like pumpkin or chili, and most importantly they stay true to style for a solid beer-drinking experience. The beers I tried had just the right amount of whatever they were supposed to have for their style with nothing overdone or missing. Similarly, the service and food were both great. Even though she was busy, our waitress worked her butt off to make sure each person at our table got to sample whatever they wanted and got their chosen beers quickly. She even found time to offer guidance and opinions for the undecideds. With a number of tvs, Grand Lake seems like somewhere to cozy up with a favorite beer or two on a winter night to watch some hockey or basketball with friends.
So that ends our brewery tour. Given the walkability in Olde Town Arvada you can certainly add another pub or a taphouse such as Kline’s Beer Hall, which is about 2 blocks away and looks to have a large and diverse taplist.