At almost six years old, Copper Kettle Brewing Company finds itself as one of the elder statesmen of Denver breweries and has a fairly well-established lineup of beers and regulars at the taproom. Full disclosure: They’re my local brewery and I started going there about a week after they opened so I might be a tad biased. Over the years Copper Kettle has always offered a welcoming staff and solid beers. Depending on where you live the location on the edge of southeast Denver may seem far but it’s well worth a summer visit for the patio, and you can easily make it a two-fer with Comrade Brewing Company right down the street.
BEER LINEUP: Copper Kettle classifies its beers into three categories – regular, barrel-aged, and seasonal. Between the regulars and seasonals most beer-drinkers will find something to like, although the lineup typically goes light on IPAs. The barrel-aged and certain seasonals offer adventure if you want to go off the beaten path.
ATMOSPHERE: Outside it’s light-industrial office park, with the addition of a nice patio for warm weather drinking. Inside it’s a small-ish space with cozy wood and industrial furnishings. At times it can get crowded and hard to find seating, especially when it’s too cold for the patio. However the large contingent of friendly regulars will generally share tables. It definitely seems like everyone, including servers, knows each other and is happy to chill over a beer or two. Copper Kettle is great about scheduling food trucks and has local menus too.
SERVICE: Expect reasonable bar service but iffy table service when things get busy. Regardless, the servers are always very friendly and more than happy to offer samples or opinions to help you decide on a beer or several. If you plan to come back ask about their Beer bucks Brogram to earn free beer.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Definitely nothing to get excited about (but you’re here for the beer, right?). Expect light industrial with attractive views of a gas station and body shops.
STANDOUT BEER: I’d probably get crucified if I didn’t pick Mexican Chocolate Stout, the beer that won a gold at GABF right after Copper Kettle opened and became the mainstay of their operation. It’s been much-imitated since then but still has a pleasant warming effect on a cold winter day with the combination of light chocolate and cinnamon flavors combined with a couple varieties of peppers, which vary in hotness by batch. If that’s not your thing, give Belgian Blond a try – just trust me.