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”

Weekend Beer Update

Wow, so much to do this weekend – particularly on Saturday! Free Baseball Clip ArtThe Baseball Brewfest looks like a fun and creative concept, but if Parker is too far away then take the easier path and jump on one of the bus circuits and let someone else do the driving. For the truly lazy, most breweries have started their patio season so as long as you can motivate yourself to get out the door the rest kinda takes care of itself.

Friday 6th: If you want to pick up that next great painting or sculpture or just want to use culture as an excuse to drink craft beer, check out the First Friday Art Walk on Santa Fe. In addition to numerous galleries you can walk to Renegade Brewing Company, Black Sky Brewery, Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project, and Crazy Mountain Brewery. Sadly the weather looks a bit iffy, though perhaps that just means more taproom time!

Saturday 7th: Baseball Brewfest 2018 comes to FanDraught Sports Brewery in Parker. This sounds like a fun new concept where you can “play” 9 different baseball positions, each serving a taster from a different craft brewery while watching the Rockies game in the background. Best part: You can play each position as often as you’d like! Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 7th: This month’s version of the West Side Brewery Bus Loop starts at 2:00 and includes Joyride Brewing , Diebolt Brewing, Zuni Street Brewing Co and Little Machine Beer. Note: This is a ticketed event, starting at any of the breweries.20180331_150302_HDR

Saturday 7th: If four stops doesn’t sound like enough of a challenge, try out the 8-Brewery Bus Loop that showcases breweries on South Broadway, Santa Fe, and the Mile Hi area. It runs from 2:00-10:00 so if you want to visit all of them you’ll have your work cut out for you. Note: This is a ticketed event, starting at any of the breweries.

Saturday 7th: If you didn’t get enough of Collaboration Fest last weekend, River North Brewery hosts their own little Collaboration Party with four other breweries starting at noon.

Sunday 8th: Get out of bed for Station 26 Brewing Co’s monthly Bluegrass Brunch. Starting at 11:00 Station 26 will have a brunch food truck, bluegrass music, and of course beer!

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 

 

Santa Fe Arts District Walk

This walk near the Santa Fe Arts District visits one of the older craft breweries in Denver and one of the newer ones. It also has the option of tacking on a third brewery.
20161104_175636_hdrI started at Renegade Brewing on 9th between Santa Fe and Kalamath, but I’d suggest starting wherever you find a parking spot. Renegade has been around for a number of years and has the standard urban taproom vibe – lots of steel & glass, garage doors, a patio, and an open brewing area. Traditionally I’ve found them to be Pale Ale/IPA-focused but on this visit they had broadened their offerings to include things like Pancakes maple porter and Hummer imperial pumpkin spiced Oktoberfest . I mostly found their beers solid but not exceptional with a couple standouts. Despite being open many years Renegade still draws the crowds and has an energetic and hipster vibe. Like with past experiences, the service was very hit or miss.

Continue reading “Santa Fe Arts District Walk”