This ride includes three stops in Olde Town Arvada, plus a moderate ride along greenways (or perhaps brown-ways this time of summer) out to Bruz Beers in Denver. Given the number of breweries in Olde Town Arvada there are plenty of options for additions and substitutions, and Odyssey Beerwerks lies along the trail to Bruz. As for logistics, Olde Town Arvada is easily accessed from several trails and has lots of parking – just be careful of the two-hour zones. Additionally, for future readers, a Light Rail line runs to Arvada but it remains to be seen whether it will open to the public in our lifetime.
We started at the Yak & Yeti restaurant, which recently renamed their brewing operation Spice Trade Brewing. Yak & Yeti serves up some great Indian/Nepalese food to sustain yourself through the ride and the beers are a mix of traditional styles and unconventional brews using spices, fruits, and other flavorings. In additional to the great food and interesting beers, Yak & Yeti completes the picture with a pleasant patio on which to enjoy them while preparing for the ride.
From Yak & Yet we headed through Arvada neighborhoods (not an easy description so just map it) to the Ralston Creek Trail, then took that west to the Clear Creek Trail and headed north. If you want to detour to Odyssey Beerwerks, just exit the Ralston Creek trail at West 56th Avenue. Here’s where it gets tricky . . . As you approach the Midtown at Clear Creek development project (look for construction) you can either exit on 64th Avenue, head east to Pecos Street, then north til you see the Midtown entrance sign and Bruz Beers on 67th Avenue. Alternately you can keep going and look for the new houses across a dirt patch to the right. I assume some day the trail will link up, but for now you have to ride/walk your bike across the dirt to shortcut into the back of the development, then navigate northeast to Bruz on 67th.
However you arrive at Bruz Beers, you will find a bright, sunny taproom with refreshing air conditioning, a long list of Belgian beers, a few other styles, and likely a food truck. The friendly service and laid-back atmosphere encouraged us to linger for a second beer before the long-ish ride back to Arvada. Additionally, on cooler days Bruz offers a relaxing patio.
Retracing our route (and passing Odyssey Beerwerks again), we rode almost completely back to Olde Town Arvada before exiting the Ralston Creek Trail at Lamar Street and headed south to Grandview Avenue, where we turned right/west. After just a few blocks we reached our destination on the right: The Bluegrass Lounge.
While not a brewery, The Bluegrass Lounge is listed in the Pub Pass and serves beer, which made it close enough for us. They have a small list of craft brews, a long list of whiskey/bourbon and food, which the staff serves up in a rustic dining/bar area. The owner and staff clearly have a passion for bourbon and were very friendly in general.
After a quick stop there we took a short ride further west on Grandview Avenue, made a right on Yukon Street, and found New Image Brewing on our right.
New Image Brewing was absolutely packed with people, specifically hipsters and families. Because the modern steel & wood taproom was full we situated ourselves on the large patio out back. The beer menu focuses on sours, IPAs and little else, although they offer guest taps and a full bar for those who are not sour- or IPA-inclined. They also have food. A word of warning when ordering (or trying to order): The service is exceptionally random. Your table’s orders may come out fast, slow, together, or dribbled out sporadically. You may not see a server for a long, long time and then three will turn up in quick succession. Short version: If you actually want to get a beer, go to the bar.
And that’s it. From there head back to your car, ride a trail home, or take another transit option. Note: This ride involves some tricky navigation on the portions that are off-trail and through neighborhoods. Nothing outrageous, but pay attention to your map app!
Note, there are multiple route options to link onto the Ralston and Clear Creek trails