Brewery Snapshot: Dry Dock Brewing South Dock

As one of the more established and medal-winning craft brewers in Denver, Dry Dock Brewing just celebrated their 12th anniversary and while you can find a few of their staple beers in bars and liquor stores throughout Denver, their taproom has a wealth of additional beers. The original South Dock is attached to the Brew Hut, which offers a wealth of home-brewing & winemaking supplies and advice.

BEER LINEUP: As Dry Dock has grown, their beer lineup has matured and today provides something for everyone, from traditional light styles to dark, plus specialty beers like sours, seasonals, and fruit beers including their famous Apricot Blonde

ATMOSPHERE: Over the years Dry Dock has expanded their taproom multiple times from a Brew Hut closet and their mountain-lodge-style taproom generally buzzes with activity. The feeling is comfortable and friendly, with guests hanging out chatting, playing games, and making new friends at the bench-style tables. The only critique is that it can get a bit loud inside, although they also offer a reasonable patio in front of the taproom.

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Medal Scroll of Fame

SERVICE: Always great. The staff seems like they are having fun and the feeling rubs off on the whole environment. They’re always very engaging and informative regarding the beer selection and quick to offer suggestions and opinions.

NEIGHBORHOOD: Tucked on the far side of Cherry Creek Reservoir, the South Dock can be a hike for those not in Aurora or Southeast Denver, with access from I225 and Parker Road. The surrounding area is typical suburbia with single-family homes and strip malls, and the strip-mall-heavy corner where Dry Dock sits provides lots of parking along with restaurants offering takeout or delivery since Dry Dock has no onsite food.  The neighborhood doesn’t offer many reasons to linger unless you also have a few errands to run.

STANDOUT BEER: Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter. While some may find this beer a little gimmicky I thought it hit the spot on a cool fall day with rich roast malt combined with dark chocolate and peanut butter. The beer had the appropriate deep-brown color and thickness that one would expect for this type. Truly a well-balanced cold-weather comfort beer!

Weekend Beer Update

This weekend is all about the Halloween parties, so put together a wicked costume and go drink some beer!

Friday 27th: Westfax Brewing Company Halloween Related imageCostume Party starts at 6:00-11:00 with prizes including best dog costume.

Friday 27th: Hollowbeer Bash at Caution Brewing Co from 7:00-10:00 with music, Halloween movies, and of course beer!

Saturday 28th: Black Sky Brewing Halloween with live music from Chemically Crippled, Piojos, and EMP starting at 9:00.

Saturday 28th: Alpine Dog Brewery costume contest starting at 6:00.

Sunday 29th: Recover from the nighttime craziness with more serious, food-related event. Briar Common is hosting a beer-pairing dinner from 4:30-7:00. Tickets $65.

Related imageAnd while it’s not on a weekend, there’s one final chance to jump back into costume!

Tuesday 31st: Cannonball Creek Brewing Half Ass, Midweek, Sorta Halloween Party from 3:00-10:00 with a costume contest from 7:00-9:00 and $1 off pints with a costume.

 

 

Cherry Creek Trail Fall Colors Ride

This ride is similar to one I posted earlier in the summer but visits a new-ish outpost of Crazy Mountain in Glendale and drops one stop to account for the shorter days. You might not get much of the beautiful fall colors along the Cherry Creek Trail any more but the ride still offers pretty creek and mountain views.

We started at Crazy Mountain Brewery in Glendale, 20171022_120349_hdr.jpgwhich took over the former World of Beer location. They’ve slowly built up their taplist to about 35 beers including their own brews and guest taps. The vibe is seriously laid back, especially on a weekend afternoon, and if you can catch a nice day the patio offers some sunning opportunities. Although Crazy Mountain doesn’t have food there are numerous places nearby that deliver if you want to avoid drinking and biking on an empty stomach.

Leaving Crazy Mountain, we crossed over Cherry Creek Drive South to access the Cherry Creek Trail and headed south before cutting off to the left at Place Bridge Academy and catching a trail at the backside of their parking lot that leads to Quebec & Florida. Crossing Quebec we headed up Florida to Parker Road, crossed at the light, took a sharp left in front of Walmart, then rode briefly northbound along Parker before turning off at Valentia to reach Copper Kettle. This is by far the trickiest part of the ride because Florida has a rather steep hill and you pretty much need to ride on the street.

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Copper Kettle Brewing Co. was quite disappointing, with a very small selection of beers. We may have just caught them in between batches or something because normally they have a broad range of tasty beers. At any rate, the taproom offers a cozy place to hang out and sip one of their brews, or if it’s nice you can take your beer out on the deck. They typically have a food truck.

From Copper Kettle we reversed course 20171016_170145_HDRalong Parker, down Florida, and past Place Bridge to get back to the Cherry Creek Trail where we took a left to continue south. After a flat and easy ride we reached Iliff, where we exited the trail to the right and headed west a couple blocks to a strip mall with Comrade.

Comrade Brewing Co. continues its reputation for making solid beers and this visit did not disappoint. Although I’ve generally found their taproom to be a bit sterile, the service always impresses and the beers help compensate as well, particularly if you are a hop-lover. Comrade also consistently has a food truck.

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From Comrade it is an easy return to Crazy Mountain, heading east on Iliff to Cherry Creek and taking the trail all the way back. In the past we have done similar rides with a stop at Bull & Bush so if you want bonus beers that’s an easy detour on the way back to Crazy Mountain. Just exit the trail a little bit early at Cherry Street and cross over the bridge, then when are done you can just ride the few blocks on Cherry Creek South to Crazy Mountain.

Route: Fall Cherry Creek Trail 

 

Weekend Beer Update

Saturday seems to be the pick day of the weekend for beer drinking! Check out a few options below, both north and south. You could even combine visits to Dry Dock and Brewability for a 2fer! And on Sunday maybe learn a thing or two . . .

Saturday 21st: Hard to believe but Dry Dock will celebrate their 12th anniversary at their North Dock location from 12-5. Tickets are $35 advance/$40 door and include unlimited pours of 30+ beers including rare and specialty beers.

Saturday 21st: Living the Dream will host South in Your Mouth with eight South Denver pouring and proceeds benefitting the Castle Rock Dumb Friends League.

Saturday 21st: Brewability Lab one-year anniversary will have music, sword fighters, and the inclusive community atmosphere that they strive to promote.

Saturday 21st:  Barrel-Aged Nightmare Fuel Halloween Party at River North Brewing. Get a jump on the holiday with the release of regular and barrel-aged Nightmare Fuel

Sunday 22nd: Cider-making class at the Brew Hut. Learn some new skills and make a hard cider with advice from C-squared Cider Company

Brewery Update: 3 Freaks

3 Freaks Brewery is one of my favorite places to visit because they always have something interesting going on. As I noted when I profiled them earlier, the employees are the brewers and with minimal encouragement will tell you all about the interesting things they have on tap and their exciting plans. As for the beers, they keep a few year-round standards on tap including an IPA, a red, and a stout but their real strength is in their creativity.

At the Great American Beer Festival 3 Freaks 20171005_190941_HDRserved a Watermelon Blond, a Christmas Peppermint Chocolate, a Turkey Beer, and their IPA and all of them were delicious! The turkey is made with stuffing so not surprisingly it has a thick consistency with bready, sage, and spice flavors. Some people find it overwhelming but I can enjoy a pint before moving on to the Christmas Beer, which has nice light peppermint notes and robust chocolate flavors on top of a sturdy stout. Both beers are currently in the taproom with plans to keep them in some form through the holidays.

Just as interesting are their future plans. According to the staff, they will be bringing back the watermelon in season and plan to experiment with  beers as diverse as cinnamon toast crunch, a West Coast IPA, a cranberry wheat, and a beer with ginger and wasabi. They refuse to do the standard fall pumpkin ale and instead have plans for a beer based around acorn squash.

Located near Park Meadows, 3 Freaks is a bit of a haul for many people but I’d highly recommend making the trip, perhaps to wind down from some holiday shopping.

Weekend Beer Update

In the shadow of GABF, this weekend doesn’t have a whole lot of beer events going on, but if you’re still craving more craft beer and fall fun there are a few happenings.

Saturday 14th: Falling Rock Taphouse Fresh Hop Festival with over 30 mostly-Colorado breweries

Saturday 14th: St Dominic’s Oktoberfest is more of a family event hosted by St Dominic’s at 29th & Federal from 2-9pm.

Sunday 15th: Get ready for the Broncos Game with Living the Dream’s Tailgate Party and Pig Roast

Calling all Sour and Pumpkin-Lovers

If you’re a lover of the sours or pumpkin beers (no, not sour pumpkin beers because that might be nasty) check out Copper Kettle Brewing this month. After a recent release of sour batches they have about a half-dozen sours currently on tap, though not listed online, but they’re going fast!

Additionally, they’re doing weekly releases of Pumpkin, Gourd, Cucurbit, Squashpumpkin versions of their beers in addition to the Pumpkin Porter that’s on the menu.

  • Oct 11 – Pumpkin Oktoberfest
  • Oct 18 – Pumpkin Saison
  • Oct 25 – Pumpkin Snowed In