Now that summer is finally in full swing I’m inspired to get outdoors at do a little brewery-hopping! Last weekend we took a bike ride on the southwest side of town, starting and ending at St Patrick’s Brewing, with a few planned and unplanned stops in between. We stuck 99% to trails and avoided street riding.
St Patrick’s has a great summer setup with a beautiful location in downtown Littleton right on the Platte River with a huge lawn for lounging or playing games. We enjoyed relaxing in the expansive outdoor area and fortifying ourselves for the ride with a few beers and food-truck eats. The current taplist at the lager-focused brewery features summer-friendly beers including multiple blonde styles like Strawberry, Luminosity (lemon & honey), and Peach Mango along with an Irish Berry Wheat and Fire Melon. All that I sampled had refreshing lightness and fruitiness for a hot summer day. As a starting point for a ride, St Patrick’s has the distinct advantage of a large parking area and direct access to the Platte River Trail.
From St. Patrick’s we went out the back gate and took a right onto the trail to head north for several miles. Pay attention as you pass the Overland Park golf course on the right because the end of the golf course is Florida where you’ll turn left for half a block, then cross Florida at Lipan and burn off some beer calories chugging uphill to Chain Reaction.
The recent springtime weather motivated me to take a short brewery ride and warm up for summer riding and patios. This 5.5 mile loop goes from Seedstock Brewing Company to Prost Brewing to Strange Craft and finally back to Seedstock but you could start at any of them and make the loop, and realistically a different sequence would let you put the uphill to Seedstock somewhere other than the end. All of the breweries are easily accessed from the Platte River Trail and there are also a number of light rail stops in the area for those who prefer not to drive.
Seedstock, on Colfax at Lowell, features a German- and Czech-heavy taplist. Expect to see Pilsners, Dunkels, and Bohemian beers along with a sprinkling of other beer styles for variety (including an IPA). Despite the randomness of the surrounding neighborhood the brewery feels very chill and has a good-sized patio that is nicely sheltered from Colfax. Aside from the beers, I didn’t find anything exceptional about Seedstock – just a good, solid place to kick back with a brew.
Though not for the faint of heart, the ride from Dillon to Breckenridge is a beautiful one, especially in the fall, with changing aspens and most importantly breweries in both towns. The only drawback is that the breweries are clustered at the ends, leaving a 15-mile dry stretch in between (or you could stop in Frisco). On a recent Saturday ride I started in Dillon, found the trail along the inside of the dam, then rode mostly uphill to Broken Compass in Breckenridge. The ride skirts Lake Dillon and provides spectacular views of the water, the mountains, and the fall color.I had hoped to get the hard uphill work out of the way first and be rewarded with some beer and a downhill cruise – not so much.
Perhaps a C470 trail brewery bike tour on a 99-degree day wasn’t the wisest move. The trail is hot and exposed and has a couple of decent hills, although overall the ride isn’t that long – approx 7.5 miles. I’d recommend it as a good fall ride. Regardless, everyone survived and perhaps enjoyed the cold beers even more.
Our meeting point was Lone Tree Brewing across from Furniture Row right off C470 (exit Quebec and head east if driving). Their style is mostly what I’d call Colorado Brewery In A Box – taproom with lots of wood, exposed brew systems, patio. The key differences are the merch, which is definitely Highlands Ranch oriented (branded soaps and coasters), and the very-thoughtful “adults-only” section. I thought that was a nice and unique feature for people who may want a more peaceful drinking experience. As far as the beers, almost any beer-drinker, no matter how picky, will find something to his or her taste. Expect every major style to be represented along with more adventurous offerings like their Peach Pale Ale and a Dill Rye IPA. That’s not a typo Dill . . . Rye . . . IPA. Continue reading “Highlands Ranch Ride”
We started out atDenver Beer Co and as usual I think the best description is “adequate”. Yep, they have beers; yes, eventually you will get service. Probably the most interesting thing about it is watching the Highland Hipster scene play out. However it was the appointed start for our ride so after a bland Hefeweizen I tried the Night at the Duxbury Oyster Stout and was very pleasantly surprised with a full-flavored beer (see Beer of the Week)
From there it was a short but circuitous ride along the Platte past broken bottles and bathing homeless to Mockery and a much more flavorful experience. I tried too many to list but overall the whole experience was fantastic. Continue reading “Bike Tour Highlands to Rino”