Next we drove up to Olde Town Arvada to visit New Image. Because it’s at the edge of town, you can park pretty easily as long as you watch for the two-hour zones. New Image seems to try for the trendy/Highlands vibe, both in the décor and long-winded explanations of their philosophy and processes surrounding food and drink. Sadly these don’t seem to include key words like organized or tasty. Our group was disappointed by the way our server, occasionally carrying a random scrap of food or drink, would haphazardly pop out of the woodwork. That was compounded by the uninteresting flavors of whatever stray food happened to make it to the table. However this blog is about beer, so if you can get them to serve you one and like things in the sour, brett, and hoppy categories, you might be able to overlook the service. See the Brewery Snapshot for more info. New Image also has a full bar including guest brews if you New Images’ beer isn’t your style. Continue reading “Northwest Denver Afternoon”
BEER LINEUP: Rickoli covers the spectrum of traditional styles from cream ale to imperial stout and also ventures into experimental beers like a barrel-soured red. Even the traditional styles often have a slight twist – an extra ingredient or different brewing process – like their vanilla rye. Best of all, the changes generally seem to enhance the beer rather than detract (unlike some places around town).
ATMOSPHERE: Given the location in a strip mall the physical space is unsurprising and boxy containing a bar, some basic tables and chairs, and a popcorn machine. The vibe is very community-oriented with the bartender seeming to know most of the crowd and families stopping by. The place felt very relaxed like a neighborhood hangout. Rickoli also furnishes a small patio out front.
SERVICE: Outstanding. The server was extremely friendly and welcoming. He went out of his way to make personalized sampling suggestions based on beers we previously tried and admired.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Rickoli is located in a tired strip mall next to a pot shop in a neighborhood of similar buildings. Not really walking territory. Near the corner of 38th & Wadsworth, driving or Uber may be the best transportation option and happily Rickoli features plenty of parking, along with easy access to I70 and Wadsworth.
STANDOUT BEER: In keeping with the “beer with a twist” theme, the two standout beers for me were McGoats, which adds oats to their regular rye beer, and the aforementioned vanilla rye. McGoats has a medium body and the oats serve to mellow out some of the potential rye harshness for a roasty, malty beer giving hints of chocolate, smoke and a mild rye bite. The real twist is a yeast that adds an herbal, minty flavor and aftertaste. The Vanilla in yo’Rye was a pleasant surprise with a solid rye base and a good dose of vanilla flavor. The flavor goes light on rye with just enough to add structure, and heavy notes of vanilla to make for a comforting winter beer.