What was originally supposed to be a bike tour to a number of far-flung breweries, quickly turned into a local walking tour thanks to last Saturday’s snowstorm. While we still started at Great Divide Barrel Bar and ended at Mockery Brewing as planned, we changed our transit mode to the safer choice of walking and reduced the midpoint stop to just one – Beryls Beer Co.
Starting at Great Divide Barrel Bar off 35th and Brighton offered everyone a reasonable place to park and a creative start to the day. Despite the snow, the intimate taproom was packed. The place feels like a mountain ski lodge and offers, of course, barrel-aged beers. You can of course get the Great Divide standbys but for me the point of coming here is trying out their latest experiment in a barrel. Given the higher alcohol and pricepoint half-pours usually feel right and that seems to put the patrons in a happy mood to despite the packed-in, standing-room-only taproom.
From Great Divide we decided to get some exercise in the snow and walk to Beryls Beer Co. Someone’s phone seemed to think it was .4 miles but it felt much longer. Regardless, the walk is pretty straightforward: Turn left out of Great Divide, right on 38th, either go beneath the tracks in the skanky underpass or climb over them at the light rail stop. That puts you in the heart of RINO where it’s a few blocks to the right on Walnut to 32nd where you’ll turn left and go one block to Beryl’s Beer Co. The neighborhood feels a little deserted and dirty, but overall relatively safe. In this case our biggest danger was all the construction sites, closed sidewalks, and general upheaval we had to navigate.
Beryl’s Beer Co. feels like a less-interior-designed Great Divide Barrel Room. It has more of a mountain ski-shop vibe and also not-surprisingly serves up barrel-aged beers along with some traditional and experimental concoctions. Beryls definitely seems to like to shake things up by aging in atypical barrels like gin, putting unexpected beers in barrels, and generally altering traditional styles to make things like strawberry wit. As far as the experience, Beryl’s has a laid-back vibe and chill patio for a beer or two in warmer weather.
Heading back across the tracks to Mockery Brewing, just retrace your steps and go one block further off Brighton and you’ll see the bright colors of Mockery. Although the taproom is small, the beer list is big and interesting. I always recommend getting a flight or some tastes because, like Beryls, they tweak traditional beers with an extra ingredient or two – usually with awesome results. The taproom can get packed, which is why this works particularly well for a summer walk since they have a large patio and outdoor game room.
Although the weather kept us from making the most of it, this would be an awesome walk for a sunny summer day when you can take advantage of the great patios and be back across the tracks at Mockery enjoying some food-truck dinner before dusk starts to fall on the railroad tracks.