This short ride starts off at Seedstock on West Colfax Avenue, then meanders through the Platte River Valley before ending up at a couple breweries in the Santa Fe Arts District with a stop at StrangeCraft on the way back.
Our starting point, Seedstock Brewery, sits on an interesting section of West Colfax Avenue with a wide variety of businesses and a diverse crowd. The brewery itself offers plenty of bike parking and large patio on which to enjoy their malty, Bohemian-style beers. They also offer a cozy taproom that opens to the brewery, and generally have a couple of other styles for different tastes than Bohemian. The real highlight on every visit has been the service; fast, friendly and engaging.
Leaving Seedstock, we headed south and west through the neighborhoods to 13th Street and Knox Court to pick up the Lakewood Gulch Trail in Paco Sanchez Park. From there we rode to the Platte River Trail, took a right and then a quick left on 13th Street. After passing under I-25 and crossing over several sets of railroad tracks we turned right on Mariposa Street and headed to 9th, then cut up the back alley to Intrepid Sojourner. There are other, shorter routes on the west side of the highway that involve more street riding, and with the grid street system east of I-25 there are countless alternative routes once you turn off of 13th so you can truly mix & match.
As usual, Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project offered up a selection of familiar beer styles, rare foreign recipes, and beers with unique and savory ingredients. Drinking at Intrepid Sojourner is always an adventure. The international-themed taproom stocks travel literature and artifacts from around the world, and on the day we visited had a pop-up craft fair in the small parking lot. The brewery has plenty of seating in the taproom along with a small patio. The only knock is that the service was very hit-or-miss.
Moving on to Renegade involved the exhausting process of traveling an entire block down the alley and crossing 9th Avenue. Perhaps we would have been better picking a more distant brewery to get more miles in, but we had a couple of free beer coupons burning holes in our pockets.
Renegade Brewing Co. has occupied their small taproom for many years and the place has a comfortable, established feel to it. The beer menu always features many of the same IPA and hop-forward beers, the crowd feels like regulars, and everything seems pretty settled. We parked ourselves on the patio to watch the comings and goings at the brewery and the busy surrounding neighborhood and a few riders explored the food truck.
From Renegade we headed down 9th Avenue back to Mariposa Street, took a right to 13th Avenue and continued over the tracks and under I-25. Strange Craft sits on the right, just past the highway.
Strange Craft is another of my old favorites that has changed little over time, with the exception of last winter’s merger with Wits End. With the addition of the Wits taplist, and you can enjoy a more diverse beer selection in either the cozy taproom or cut through the brewing equipment to relax in the beer garden and raise a glass as the light rail trains pass by. We ran into a few friends there, so our planned quick stop turned into a rather long and pleasant pause.
Finally, the weather started looking iffy and it was time to complete the final part of the route, briefly backtracking down 13th Avenue and right along the Platte River Trail before hanging a left onto the Lakewood Gulch Trail back to Seedstock.