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”

Cherry Creek Trail Fall Colors Ride

This ride is similar to one I posted earlier in the summer but visits a new-ish outpost of Crazy Mountain in Glendale and drops one stop to account for the shorter days. You might not get much of the beautiful fall colors along the Cherry Creek Trail any more but the ride still offers pretty creek and mountain views.

We started at Crazy Mountain Brewery in Glendale, 20171022_120349_hdr.jpgwhich took over the former World of Beer location. They’ve slowly built up their taplist to about 35 beers including their own brews and guest taps. The vibe is seriously laid back, especially on a weekend afternoon, and if you can catch a nice day the patio offers some sunning opportunities. Although Crazy Mountain doesn’t have food there are numerous places nearby that deliver if you want to avoid drinking and biking on an empty stomach.

Leaving Crazy Mountain, we crossed over Cherry Creek Drive South to access the Cherry Creek Trail and headed south before cutting off to the left at Place Bridge Academy and catching a trail at the backside of their parking lot that leads to Quebec & Florida. Crossing Quebec we headed up Florida to Parker Road, crossed at the light, took a sharp left in front of Walmart, then rode briefly northbound along Parker before turning off at Valentia to reach Copper Kettle. This is by far the trickiest part of the ride because Florida has a rather steep hill and you pretty much need to ride on the street.

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Copper Kettle Brewing Co. was quite disappointing, with a very small selection of beers. We may have just caught them in between batches or something because normally they have a broad range of tasty beers. At any rate, the taproom offers a cozy place to hang out and sip one of their brews, or if it’s nice you can take your beer out on the deck. They typically have a food truck.

From Copper Kettle we reversed course 20171016_170145_HDRalong Parker, down Florida, and past Place Bridge to get back to the Cherry Creek Trail where we took a left to continue south. After a flat and easy ride we reached Iliff, where we exited the trail to the right and headed west a couple blocks to a strip mall with Comrade.

Comrade Brewing Co. continues its reputation for making solid beers and this visit did not disappoint. Although I’ve generally found their taproom to be a bit sterile, the service always impresses and the beers help compensate as well, particularly if you are a hop-lover. Comrade also consistently has a food truck.

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From Comrade it is an easy return to Crazy Mountain, heading east on Iliff to Cherry Creek and taking the trail all the way back. In the past we have done similar rides with a stop at Bull & Bush so if you want bonus beers that’s an easy detour on the way back to Crazy Mountain. Just exit the trail a little bit early at Cherry Street and cross over the bridge, then when are done you can just ride the few blocks on Cherry Creek South to Crazy Mountain.

Route: Fall Cherry Creek Trail 

 

Hilly Southeast Ride

This ride packs in a lot of beers and a fair amount of riding, taking you from Glendale to Aurora via Cherry Creek State park using mostly paved trails. There are several big hills and it is exposed so riders need to be in decent shape and keep an eye on the weather.

The ride starts in Glendale at Bull & Bush Brewery , a British-style venue that offers good parking, nice outdoor seating, food, and of course beer! Bull & Bush has been making beer for 20 years and offers a broad range of house-brewed styles along with bottles and drafts from domestic and British brewers. We visited with a large group and the servers were extremely accommodating and efficient, juggling beer and food orders and getting everything right.

From there we crossed the street and headed south on the Cherry Creek Trail til we turned left at Place Bridge Academy, then right onto a trail that aligned us with E Florida Ave and our first big hill of the day. This portion requires the only (brief) street-riding of the day and after crossing Parker Road and turning left on the sidewalk we quickly arrived at Copper Kettle Brewing Co. In comparison with Bull and Bush, Copper Kettle is a stripped-down craft brewery. The taproom and patio are smaller and food comes from takeout or food trucks. However the focus on beer remains and Copper Kettle keeps crowd-pleasers on tap like the light Helles, an IPA or two, and of course their Mexican Chocolate Stout. They also roll out seasonal and experimental beers so you may luck into something adventurous. Continue reading “Hilly Southeast Ride”