Pub Pass Circuit

In an attempt to check off a number of Pub Pass breweries, a friend20181001_143113_HDR scheduled at short ride (approx. 5 miles) through The Highlands and Edgewater. The route primarily uses residential streets but takes a few trails, most notably through Sloan’s Lake Park with pretty views of the lake and mountains. The shorter ride lets you finish before dark on these shorter fall days but beware if it’s a Broncos Sunday, as the first part of the route runs reasonably-close to the stadium.

Briar Common signWe started at Briar Common Brewery + Eatery, which as the name implies offers both beer and food. The location in The Highlands is reasonably accessible by bike from light rail and other transit but if you choose to drive, parking can be tricky with many streets marked for resident permits only. Briar Common serves up a wide range of beers that should satisfy most tastes, paired with gourmet/trendy food offerings. The location in an old brick building feels cozy and has a wonderful patio on the roof for warm days (and why else would you be out biking, right?)

Leaving Briar Common we rode directly west on 23rd Avenue to Sloan’s Lake Park and beautiful views of the Front Range. A quick ride through the park to the corner of Sheridan Boulevard and 25th Avenue brought us to our next stop at Joyride.

Arriving at Joyride Brewing Company, we used 20180915_135700_hdr.jpgthe bike racks in front and at the municipal lot across the street and dived right in to the diverse taplist. In my experience Joyride can be a hit or miss in their selection but I’ve never been completely frustrated with their offerings. The taproom connects to the outdoors with garage doors opening to pleasant Sloan’s Lake views in front and a patio/biergarten out back. On our visit it appeared that they are building a rooftop patio to further leverage their location. Like Briar Common, this place is best experienced in warm weather. If the short ride calls for some sustenance, food trucks consistently park out front.

Crossing back over Sheridan Boulevard and taking Byron Place along the edge of the park we took a left on Xavier (though almost any of the streets opposite the park will work), headed uphill four blocks to 29th Avenue and took a right to bring us to Hogshead Brewery after a couple more blocks.20180915_152206_hdr.jpg

Hogshead Brewery was busy on the beautiful day we rode, with the tiny interior and big patio almost full. Hogshead’s specialty is English-style cask ales  so we settled in for a few lightly-carbonated bitters, porters, and the like. They do have a few other beers such as a saison and blonde but where they really shine is the English brews. They don’t typically have a food truck but there’s a coffee shop next door for a quick snack, and if you happen to have bike problems a bike shop shares the building with the coffee place.

We continued east on 29th Avenue across Lowell Boulevard and the tricky Speer Boulevard crossing to Zuni Street and Zuni Street Brewing.

Zuni Street Brewing Company was also having a busy day with both patios plus their interior full. The taproom has an island feel to it thanks to the vegetation-covered bar, the openness to breezes 20180915_172342_hdr.jpgfrom both the front and rear patios, and the chill band. As for beers, Zuni Street covers the full spectrum from dark to light but on my visits it seems like IPAs and hoppier styles are their sweet spot. We found a place in the shade on the front patio where we had easy access to both the bar and food truck.

Finally, as the sun and temperatures started to drop we headed back out on 29th Avenue – west this time – a few blocks to Clay where we turned south until we reached 23rd Avenue and our starting point of Briar Common.

This route is pretty easy to shake up many different ways and add or subtract breweries since it’s such a target-rich area (Little Machine comes to mind). Given the short distances you definitely want to pace yourself, though, as it’s easy to travel between breweries in just a few minutes.

For details on our particular route click the link.

Weekend Beer Update

With Great American Beer Festival just a week away,  there are a ridiculous number of things going on! From individual breweries hosting events, collaboration tappings and other fun to places like Falling Rock Tap House which has20171006_191138_HDR[1] become the unofficial home of offsite GABF gatherings. Rather than take up loads of space on this blog with all the crazy events I’ve linked to a couple of great local sources for literally hundreds of things to do. However if you don’t want GABF overload before the fest even starts, check out these lower-key weekend events. 

GABF-Related Links:

 

Friday 14 – Sunday 16: Join Diebolt Brewing Company for a crazy weekend of activities to celebrate their fifth anniversary. In addition to the usual beer releases, music, and food trucks, Diebolt will host a silent disco/toga party, a variety show, cornhole and beer pong tournaments and more.  Note: Some events are ticketed.20170624_203711_HDR

Friday 14 – Saturday 15: Up north, Loveland sponsors their local Oktoberfest with a focus on learning about German heritage, authentic vendors, food and beer from a number of area breweries.

Saturday 15: Drag out the lederhosen and dirndles for one more weekend! 2018 Oktoberfest comes to Copper Kettle Brewing Company with Oktoberfest and Imperial Pumpkin Porter releases, a stein-holding competition, food trucks, and live music.

Saturday 15: If physical activity is more your style, cruise on over to the Sloans Lake Alamo Draft House for the GABF Brewery Bike Loop covering six west-side breweries plus an after-party. Registration starts promptly at 11 a.m.20180129_163411_hdr-e1517590694414.jpg Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 15: Down in Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree Brewing Co. hosts their Oktoberfest and Fall Market with polka music, beer tapping, a stein-hoisting competing, and beer-brat grilling along with over 20 local vendors with a variety of products

Saturday 15: It’s sad to see summer winding down but Liquid Mechanics Brewing Co. in Lafayette makes the most of these final days with their outdoor End of Summer Party with food, bands and new beer releases.

Saturday 15: Also in the northern reaches of Denver, Wild Woods Brewery in Boulder celebrates six years with special anniversary releases (including a smoked-yam offering) and tappings, food, giveaways and live music.

Lady JusticeSaturday 15: Help make the world a better place with Lady Justice Brewing as they celebrate their second anniversary at Factotum Brewhouse. The festivities will include new releases, music and food. Lady Justice is a fully nonprofit brewery with all profits going to women’s causes. Community Supported Brewery memberships will be available.

Saturday 15: In RINO, Our Mutual Friend Brewing Company puts on Gratitude 2018 to say thanks to their customers and the beer community with 30 beers on tap, a special release, giveaways, a photo booth and food trucks.

Saturday 15: For the final anniversary of the weekend, Industrial Revolution Brewing Company in Erie marks five years with beer release, food and music.

Colfax to Santa Fe Ride

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.

Intrepid Sojourner SignAs 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. Continue reading “Colfax to Santa Fe Ride”

Short Boulder Area Ride

This ride visits three breweries east of Boulder, mostly using the LOBO Trail, with the option to add more breweries as needed. About 75% of the ride is on gravel trails through pleasant greenways, with the remainder on paved trails and little bit of street riding. Due to the condition of a few trails this might not be appropriate for road bikes. My hybrid handled it easily. Normally the trails offer spectacular front-range views but the day we rode the weather/fires did not cooperate, making for murky views.20180729_131203_hdr.jpg

The ride starts at Gunbarrel Brewing Company, which takes a bit of effort to locate. Driving through fields and farms it seems like there could in no way be a brewery in the area, but you’ll encounter a lone industrial park and that’s your target. If driving, you need to loop way behind the brewery and back to the front to find ample parking. We arrived as the brewery opened and had the cavernous industrial space all to ourselves so  we received fantastic service, although the overall vibe was pretty subdued. Gunbarrel offers a very long list of beers as well as pool and pinball in the back room so if you come with friends you can certainly entertain yourself. The taproom also offers a shady patio for relaxing and it appeared like a food truck was firing up as we headed out.

From the taproom we cut across the grass to the road and headed 20180729_131121_hdr.jpgsouth on 71st Street for a couple minutes to the LOBO Trail crossing, then took a left onto the gravel trail. The trail offers a pleasant ride along a stream with rural views including farms, barns, and even cows. On nicer days, you also get pretty mountain views. The trail has sustained a bit of water damage in some areas so be careful. In Monarch Park pay attention to split left onto the Dry Creek trail to minimize road riding. Regardless of which fork you choose you will reach 79th Street, where you take a left and head down the road to Niwot and Boostrap Brewing on your right. Continue reading “Short Boulder Area Ride”

Arvada Ride – Downtown Out and Back

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.20180721_135240_hdr.jpg

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. Continue reading “Arvada Ride – Downtown Out and Back”

Cherry Creek Trail Bike Ride

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.dsc06358.jpg

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. Continue reading “Cherry Creek Trail Bike Ride”

Arvada Bike Loop

This short ride combines both trail and street riding and can potentially pack in a lot of brews in one afternoon. If you need sustenance along the way or want to offset the beer, both Kline’s and Denver Beer Co. have kitchens and Odyssey generally schedules a food truck.

The ride starts at Kline’s Beer Hall in Olde Town Arvada, which features a wide range of beer styles on their 50+ taps. A majority of the beers originate in Colorado but many hail from further away and provide more than enough options for every taste. On a Sunday afternoon the place was rather dead but looks big enough accomodate a lively crowd for the frequent live music shows on weekends. A small shaded patio out front offers a relaxing summer alternative as well. After trying a few interesting selections there, our group decided to move on to our second destination, Someplace Else.

Fortunately one of our group lives in Arvada and planned out the route, as SomePlace Else Brewery is hidden down an alley in an industrial park near I-76 & 52nd Ave. To get there we headed east out of Old Town on Grandview, took a right on Lamar, and kept a close watch for the small Brewery banner on the left just before 52nd Ave.

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Look for the alley with the brewery banner

After locking our bikes we enjoyed the cozy, rustic, Star Wars-themed atmosphere of the small brewery along with the great service and most importantly the diverse taplist. The brews ranged from a very light pilsner to stouts and a porter and everyone in our group enjoyed what they tried. Unfortunately SomePlace Else doesn’t have a patio, but the open garage doors helped to bring summer indoors. Continue reading “Arvada Bike Loop”