Over the weekend a friend put together a nice route through some good RINO breweries that I’ve described below. However with such a heavy concentration of breweries in that area you can easily add or substitute other establishments to fit your beer tastes and/or your appetite for walking. Our 1.8-mile trip started in the heart of RINO, then crossed the train tracks down to Brighton Boulevard but you can definitely mix it up a lot of ways.
Our journey started at Epic Brewing Company on the corner of 30th and Walnut, which offers a bright and sunny taproom which opens to the brewing equipment and also accesses a spacious patio for sunny days. Epic was a great place to begin, because there’s usually plenty of free street parking within a block or two. The taproom was packed with a younger and energetic crowd that had streaks of hipster running through it. Mostly it seemed like just a bunch of people spending the afternoon with a tasty beer or two. The servers didn’t seem particularly organized and while they seemed to want to be able to keep up with the busy crowd, patience was required. As always, the beer selection was solid with a few lighter beers but a focus on the darker, barrel-aged, and more flavorful beers including a sour or two.
From there, a short two-block walk brought us to Beryl’s Beer Co. near 31st and Blake. The name sort of indicates their specialty: barrel-aged beers. While Beryl’s offers a limited menu of traditional styles, they emphasize barrel-aged, high-gravity and more intensely-flavored brews. The taproom feels more industrial than Epic and definitely dials back the crowds and energy. While full, the place had a relaxed vibe with a mixed crowd of younger, older, and families. Beryl’s is bar service only, where the servers were friendly and deliberate. For better weather or as an alternate starting point, Beryl’s has both a patio and small parking area in front.
We planned to reach the next stop by navigating up and over the railroad tracks to Mockery, but given the cold, the wind, and impending dusk we elected to cheat and drive over, particularly given the friendly parking situation at Mockery. However on a nicer day the walking route involves turning right from Beryl’s and going up Blake to the pedestrian overpass between 35th and 36th, crossing the tracks, and going left on Wazee til you reach 35th again. From there it’s a straight shot down 35th to Mockery.
When we regrouped at Mockery Brewing Co at 35th & Delgany we found their smallish taproom busy and packed with a crowd similar to Epic. Within just a few minutes we lucked into an empty table but much of the taproom was standing-room-only. In warm weather the large patio alleviates much of the congestion but this was most definitely not a patio night! Fortunately Mockery came through with their usual broad spectrum of beers that included a number of darker and warming options. I’m always impressed with Mockery’s breadth of offerings from light to dark with a few experimentals thrown in, and that they generally deliver on flavor. One note for IPA-lovers is that they often have a rather limited IPA selection, but always something.
By that point it was time for me to get home, but the more intrepid brew-crawlers headed a block up the hill to Great Divide Barrel Bar, which offers the standard Great Divide beer selection plus a few selected barrel-aged offerings in a cozy, woodsy taproom. From there the original plan would have been to reverse course across Brighton Boulevard and up 35th, back over the train tracks, and back to our origin at Epic.
This itinerary offers many options on either side of the tracks that allow you to customize this route or take ad-hoc diversions. On the RINO side, among others, you could visit Ratio, Bierstadt Lagerhaus, Stem Ciders, or Black Shirt and on the Brighton side Blue Moon and Crooked Stave in The Source are within a block. The map of our planned route is below – happy drinking!
Walking Route Link: