Weekend Beer Update

There are a lot of events this Saturday from one end of town to the other, and particularly downtown in between. Given the beautiful summer weather there’s no excuse not to get out and about and explore a new part of town!

Saturday 11: Starting in RINO, Bierstadt Lager celebrates two years of making fine German beers. They’ll have some music, yard games, and Helles specials, but really it’s about – as they explain – “drinking large quantities of pale lager.” And who can argue with that?

woods-boss-beers.jpgSaturday 11: In the same neighborhood, Ratio Beerworks throws down an all-you-can-eat-and-drink Crawfish Boil starting at noon. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 11: At the other end of downtown Wood Boss Brewing Company will partner with other local businesses to transform California Street into a biergarten with music and special beer tappings all day.

Saturday 11: The final downtown event of the day is Denver Beer Co.’s 7th anniversary party, which will also spill into the street with food, music, games, a photo booth and beer. Note, the party happens at the original Platte Street location.

Saturday 11: The Arvada Center hosts Arts and Ales 2018, featuring local artists exhibiting their wares, beer sampling, food, music, and activities. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 11: On the opposite side of town in Lowry, Wings Over The Rockies puts on Hops in the Hangar which features beer tasting, a car show, music, games and giveaways all while surrounded by classic aircraft. Note: This is a ticketed event.station-26-taproom.jpg

Sunday 12: The monthly Bluegrass Brunch comes back to Station 26 Brewing Co. with food, music, and of course beer! The fun starts at 11 a.m.

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”

Brewery Snapshot: Denver Beer Co. Arvada Taproom

Similar to the Highlands location, the Arvada outpost of Denver Beer Co. (DBC) boasts a trendy look & location but comes out bland where the beer is concerned. Although DBC Arvada has its own brewing system, I didn’t notice an appreciable difference in the style or taste of the beers vs. the Denver location.

BEER LINEUP: On our visit the tap list trended lighter with plenty of wheats, kolsches, and IPAs plus a handful of slightly darker and specialty brews. Dark-beer-lovers will find a limited selection but DBC has options for most every taste. As always, the beers seemed pleasant but plain and stripped of flavor. Although many have ambitious names involving pretzels or graham crackers, everything I tried had only the faintest hint of those flavors.

ATMOSPHERE: The taproom and large, pleasant patio20180527_170906_HDR on the corner of Olde Wadsworth and Ralston Road encourage relaxed lingering, particularly in the summer. A food truck parked inside the taproom serves tasty burgers and similar fare. It’s clear that a lot of design and thought went into equipping the taproom with a  combination of modern and retro for a trendy feel. The overall vibe seemed relaxed, with a younger crowd chilling in hang-out mode on a pleasant weekend afternoon. The taproom allows dogs and, on our visit, even a local pig (seriously).

SERVICE: The Arvada location beats its Denver sibling hands-down. The bar-only service was very fast, friendly and without attitude.

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NEIGHBORHOOD: The taproom location at the corner of Old Wadsworth and Ralston Road offers a convenient starting, ending, or midpoint for a day spent wandering Olde Town Arvada or cobbling together a brewery/taproom crawl. Olde Town offers convenient street and lot parking (watch the time limits) along with great bike and public transit connections.

STANDOUT BEER: Nothing I tried really jumped out.

Brewery Snapshot: SomePlace Else Brewery

If you’re not familiar with Arvada, the effort of finding SomePlace Else Brewery can leave you jonesing for a beer, and fortunately Someplace Else stocks a wide variety of styles to satisfy your craving. The inviting interior offers a haven for Star Wars lovers with character cutouts lording over the taproom and themed beer names like Darth Saison.

BEER LINEUP: Someplace Else features a diverse lineup from light pilsners to dark stouts. Some track closely to the advertised style while others add subtle new flavors. Regardless, all of the beers I tried were flavorful and tasty.

ATMOSPHERE: Fun and quirky. The brewery crams a lot into the narrow industrial space including a rustic bar, pinball games, popcorn, and their tiny brewing system, while Star Wars characters observe the action from the balcony. The indoor space offers decent seating and also hosts unique events, such as the Intro to Sewing class the day we visited. Although the parking lot doesn’t really allow a patio, the open garage doors help bring the outdoors in.20180527_143822_hdr.jpg

SERVICE: Our server offered friendly and knowledgeable bar service while deftly serving the beers with an ironic, or perhaps thrifty, spin. All the beers 20180527_134925_hdr.jpgcame in glasses with major-label logos corresponding to the beer style (i.e. my stout came in a Guinness glass).

NEIGHBORHOOD: The industrial surroundings won’t win any charm awards, sandwiched between railroad tracks and I-76. Because of the limited access, getting to SomePlace Else takes decent navigation skills and parking is kind of scattered around, but available. Additionally, I didn’t see any food places nearby and there was no food truck so if you think you’ll want food, it’s probably best to BYO. Bottom line: this is a destination brewery, not a neighborhood one.

STANDOUT BEER: Padme Pilser. This light-colored and light-bodied beer offered perfect refreshment after biking to the brewery on a sunny 80-degree day. The crisp, fresh flavor with light hopping and a mild malt aftertaste might not be an all-weather choice but it surely hits the spot on a summer day.

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”

Brewery Snapshot: Odyssey Beerwerks

Northwest Denver Afternoon

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