Brewery Snapshot: Cerberus Brewing

With a huge beer garden offering mountain views and tasty gourmet-pub fare, Cerberus Brewing has created a great place to enjoy Colorado’s beautiful weather and relax outdoors. Add in a full spectrum of tasty beers and it’s the perfect combination for an afternoon of chilling.

20181026_125314_hdr1.jpgBEER LINEUP: The broad taplist offers up a full range of styles, from the 2018 World Beer Cup bronze-medal-winning Kolsch to stouts and a tripel. Some have creative twists while others stick close to style.

ATMOSPHERE: On our lunchtime visit the indoor industrial-looking taproom was mostly filled with working folks taking a lunch break while the outdoor patio and huge, comfortable beer garden seemed to have small groups of friends a grabbing a beer and food with nowhere to rush back to. Regardless, the environment felt very relaxed and pleasant for hanging out and enjoying the great food. The sunny day and mountain views from the patio no doubt encourage a more relaxed state of mind, although the traffic blasting by on the adjoining  thoroughfare counter-acts that to some extent. Cerberus had a full kitchen and specializes in brisket, which infuses the parking lot with the mouth-watering smell of the smoker.20181026_125857_hdr.jpg

SERVICE: The servers were all very friendly, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable about both the food and drink. We sat on the patio which can sometimes be a blind spot at craft breweries but we still received extremely attentive service.

LOCATION: The area has a mix of older residential houses and varied retail, service and restaurant businesses on the main road in front of Cerberus and the surrounding area. You could easily pair a quick beer and bite with other nearby errands. Whether you make Cerberus a destination or a quick stop, the medium-sized lot and additional street parking should let you stash your car, and there’s a bike shop across the street if that’s more your style.

STANDOUT BEER: Hathor California Common. This actually rather un-common style fit the warm fall day perfectly with a medium-bodied dryness bringing forth flavors of straw and non-floral hops. While that was the most noticeable flavor it was not excessive and was nicely balanced by the malt. The orange/yellow color also fit right in with the fall season.

Patio Weather in the Springs

The patio-drinking season is winding down so a friend and I decided to take a trip to Colorado Springs for a short hike and a few patio beers.

After a morning hike we stopped at Cerberus Brewing Company 20181026_125401_hdr.jpgto enjoy their expansive patio/beer garden and some lunch. Cerberus serves up what I’d call “gourmet pub food”, which seems like overkill for a brewery, but was certainly tasty. They specialize in smoked brisket and our hunger was piqued when we smelled the smoker as we pulled into the parking lot. As far as the beer, my friend went light and I went dark and we both enjoyed all of the beers that we tried. They offer a varied selection for all tastes and exceptionally friendly and efficient servers. The overall atmosphere definitely encourages lingering, chilling, eating and drinking – especially on a warm sunny day.

From there we headed 10 minutes through downtown Colorado Springs to Goat Patch Brewing Co., which looks like a dated strip mall from the outside but inside is an old 20181026_142228_HDRschoolhouse converted to retail with businesses in the old classrooms and gym. The taproom offers up the standard craft-brewery experience; light-industrial design, garage doors opening to a patio, and a handful of beers that stay reasonably true to style and cover the full spectrum. The brewery offers up a pleasant experience but nothing about it would make me go out of my way to visit. In the context of this little tour, it’s a fine drop-in between Cerberus or Atrevida but you could easily substitute one of the other downtown breweries and not miss out on anything.

Our last stop in The Springs was Atrevida Beer Co., which was  a spur-of-the-moment choice but a fortuitous one. Located in a depressing-looking industrial park/strip mall, the exterior did not inspire confidence. However the indoor Mexican-themed taproom felt warm and cozy, enough so that we didn’t even bother with the small front patio. The 20181026_154621_hdr.jpgbeers mostly focused on traditional styles with interesting additions such as the Fresas con Crema strawberry cream ale and Boriqua Belgian blonde with pineapple and citrus. Based on all the brews we sampled, Atrevida has that approach dialed-in. We greatly enjoyed the creative beers, the friendly server, and checking out the tiny production units that make these small-batch creations.

Finally it was time to head back to Denver but not without a mid-way refreshment stop in Castle Rock at Wild Blue Yonder Brewing Co., which had just held their grand opening the previous day. We expected a quiet environment20181026_173437_hdr.jpg to wind down our day but it seems like the place has already become the go-to stop for Friday Happy Hour. The trendy-industrial taproom, front patio, and huge beer garden were packed and buzzing with energy. Although I didn’t try any of their food, the two beers I enjoyed while playing cornhole outdoors were absolutely fantastic. It often seems to take time for a brewery to settle into  their recipes and equipment but Wild Blue Yonder appears to have hit the ground running. It’s definitely worth the short drive from Denver.

From there it was back to the city and on to other Friday night Halloween-ish fun. Despite the fact that we packed in a drive, a hike and four breweries this day trip didn’t seem at all rushed and would also make a great weekend excursion. And if hiking isn’t your thing, Colorado Springs offers up a bunch more breweries that could give you an early start! Note: The earliest-opening brewery we found was 11 a.m.

Route Map and Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/bsQRzWDRyFQ2

 

Weekend Beer Update

It’s my favorite time of the year, with Oktoberfest season coming into full swing and the Great American Beer Festival right around the corner! This weekend offers up a  preview of the fall beer fun in store, plus lots of other interesting brew-related activities.

Thursday 6 – Saturday 8: Wanderfest 2018 comes to New Terrain Brewing Company in Golden with a beer garden featuring over 20 beers, bands, food trucks and family fun. Note: This is a ticketed event.

lowry-beer-garden-night.jpgFriday 7 – Saturday 8: The 6th annual Oktoberfest Celebration at Lowry Beer Garden takes center stage this weekend with Oktoberfest beers from several front-range breweries, German food, music and games. Dress up in your favorite German outfit and get your first beer free!

Saturday 8: Docktoberfest rolls into Dry Dock Brewing Co.’s South Dock in Aurora with the annual release of their Oktoberfest beer, pouring of their other German-style beers, polka music, 20171021_163608_HDRfood, a stein-holding contest and the announcement of homebrew competition winners at 1 p.m.  German attire is strongly encouraged of course.

Saturday 8: Join Coda Brewing for their grand opening in Golden with 14 new small-batch beers, music and food.

Saturday 8: Cerberus Brewing Company in Colorado Springs turns two years old with new releases, throwback favorites, giveaways, food and music.

Saturday 8: Several breweries from north of Denver also celebrate milestones, starting with Gravity Brewing in Louisville’s 6th anniversary party featuring music, food and barrel-aged & small-batch beers.

Saturday 8: WIBtoberfest takes over Wibby Brewing in Greeley with hourly special releases and re-releases, music of every variety, unusual games, raffles, interactive art, and food in celebration of Wibby’s 3rd anniversary.

Saturday 8: Once you’ve had your fill of Gravity and The WIB, head down the road to Sanitas Brewing Company in Boulder for their five-year anniversary offering up more music, a pig roast, and five new beer releases.

Saturday 8: Even though they’re not on the front range, Ska Brewing in Durango deserves a mention for 23 years of great beers!  The anniversary party is sold out but their distribution network means that we can still hoist a Ska in their honor.

Sunday 9: If Saturday’s festivities didn’t keep you up too late, join Copper Kettle Brewing Company for Beer and Breakfast starting at 11 a.m. In addition to Copper Kettle’s own coffee beer release, several Spice Trade Brewing beers will be available along with coffee from Sonder Coffee & Tea. To complement all that coffee goodness, several breakfast and pastry trucks will offer up food and snacks.