This ride takes in four breweries located just blocks off the Cherry Creek Trail. The mostly flat trail parallels the creek through relaxing natural surroundings and spans the edge of downtown to the city border. All of the stops either serve food, have a food truck, or have adjacent restaurant options.
We met at Crazy Mountain Brewery in Glendale, which pours a handful of their own beers along with numerous guest taps plus a little wine and liquor. On our early -afternoon visit the place was virtually dead and offered a chill way to start the day. The taproom offers patio seating but with the southwestern exposure and the already-hot day we skipped the patio for the indoor shade and A/C.
Leaving Crazy Mountain, we crossed Cherry Creek South Drive and headed down the ramp at Colorado Bouldevard to catch the Cherry Creek Trail northbound toward downtown. This part of the ride gets more city-like as it passes Cherry Creek Mall, heads under University, and parallels Speer Boulevard. We exited up the Lincoln Avenue ramp, headed one block west to Broadway, then directly south for about 2 blocks until we arrived at Banded Oak on our left.
Banded Oak Brewing Co. has a very small seating area indoors so our group landed on the large, shaded patio with misters to help stay cool. The brewery focuses on wine-barrel-aged beers but also has a handful of standard styles that they usually keep on tap. We agreed that the barrel-aged beers were the stars but had to be careful due to their high gravity and the remaining ride to two more breweries.
From Banded Oak we reversed course up Broadway and headed south on the Cherry Creek Trail toward Cherry Creek State Park. This is the longest stretch of the trail and transitions from a city feel to a more natural environment as you head south. Midway through the ride, Four Mile Historic Park has a bike-repair station with tools if needed, and also has a shaded picnic area with a (non-working) water fountain for a break. Eventually the trail reaches Iliff Avenue. Exiting on the north side of the Iliff and turning right (west) for about a block will bring you to Comrade Brewing in a auto-service strip mall.
Comrade Brewing Co. focuses on IPAs but has enough other styles that most people will find something to their liking. The busy taproom offered great service and a cool respite from the long, hot ride along with water and a food truck. While they do not have a patio, on pleasant days Comrade will open up the big garage doors for an outdoors-ish experience.
Finally, it was back to the Cherry Creek Trail and back north, where we exited on the South Cherry Street ramp and crossed over both Cherry Creek and Cherry Creek Drive South to reach Bull and Bush Brewery.
Bull & Bush Brewery models itself on an old English pub, both inside and out, and provides a cozy place for a beer and some British food from their kitchen. They offer a broad selection of their own beers, both on tap and in bottles, along with guest beers and a full bar. While Bull & Bush does make a number of English-style beers like bitters and browns, their extensive selection will satisfy any taste. Because a band was setting up in the main room we chose to sit on the large shaded patio to enjoy the evening with a final beer and some food before heading one block west back to Crazy Mountain.