Brewery Snapshot: Finkel & Garf Craft Beer

In addition to an unusual name crafted out of the last name of the father & son owners, Finkel & Garf Craft Beer also stands out with their attractively-designed taproom and outdoor space that offer plenty of reasons to stick around for just one more pour. Located just a few minutes from downtown Boulder they seem to attract an energetic crowd with a reasonably-diverse set of beers.

BEER LINEUP: The taplist should offer something to satisfy about every palate, from a light Cream Ale to a dark Stout with some hop-heavy options along with various seasonal beers. Finkel & Garf does not appear to focus on any specific 20180729_163326_hdr.jpgstyle.

ATMOSPHERE: Finkel & Garf has created one of the more unique taprooms I’ve visited. All of the decorations and displays seem heavily curated and the industrial-style taproom really pops when you walk in. Combine that with numerous outdoor games on the large fake-grassy patio, active indoor games and traditional board games and the taproom draws young professionals and families that make for an active and fun atmosphere. They sell snacks and food trucks seem to be a fixture as well.

SERVICE: The lone employee working the taproom seemed rather indifferent to the task of serving customers, sometimes focusing on the patrons and other times on her tablet. While functional, the service certainly did not stand out.

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NEIGHBORHOOD: The taproom sits where industrial parks and strip malls give way to residential neighborhoods so it’s relatively quiet and easy to access, with great parking. While there are eateries in the general vicinity, walkability will depend on your level of ambition and sobriety. On a side note both Asher and Avery are just a few minutes away.

STANDOUT BEER: Rye Saison. This beer captured all the spicy and bready goodness of the saison style and accentuated it with even more spice complexity and subtle hints of rye. The dark color and noticeable maltiness were a bit unexpected but neither detracted from the overall enjoyment of the medium-bodied beer. As an honorable mention the barrel-aged Bourbon Stout served up a smooth and syrupy experience where the bourbon blended seamlessly with the dark stout flavors. The balance was great and despite the high ABV there were no overpowering hot-alcohol or liquor flavors.

Short Boulder Area Ride

This ride visits three breweries east of Boulder, mostly using the LOBO Trail, with the option to add more breweries as needed. About 75% of the ride is on gravel trails through pleasant greenways, with the remainder on paved trails and little bit of street riding. Due to the condition of a few trails this might not be appropriate for road bikes. My hybrid handled it easily. Normally the trails offer spectacular front-range views but the day we rode the weather/fires did not cooperate, making for murky views.20180729_131203_hdr.jpg

The ride starts at Gunbarrel Brewing Company, which takes a bit of effort to locate. Driving through fields and farms it seems like there could in no way be a brewery in the area, but you’ll encounter a lone industrial park and that’s your target. If driving, you need to loop way behind the brewery and back to the front to find ample parking. We arrived as the brewery opened and had the cavernous industrial space all to ourselves so  we received fantastic service, although the overall vibe was pretty subdued. Gunbarrel offers a very long list of beers as well as pool and pinball in the back room so if you come with friends you can certainly entertain yourself. The taproom also offers a shady patio for relaxing and it appeared like a food truck was firing up as we headed out.

From the taproom we cut across the grass to the road and headed 20180729_131121_hdr.jpgsouth on 71st Street for a couple minutes to the LOBO Trail crossing, then took a left onto the gravel trail. The trail offers a pleasant ride along a stream with rural views including farms, barns, and even cows. On nicer days, you also get pretty mountain views. The trail has sustained a bit of water damage in some areas so be careful. In Monarch Park pay attention to split left onto the Dry Creek trail to minimize road riding. Regardless of which fork you choose you will reach 79th Street, where you take a left and head down the road to Niwot and Boostrap Brewing on your right. Continue reading “Short Boulder Area Ride”

Weekend Beer Update

It looks to be a jam-packed, beer-filled weekend ahead, with anniversaries, openings, and festivals up and down the Front Range from Greeley to Colorado Springs. With the great weather there’s no excuse to stay home, no matter where in the metro area you live!

Friday 20 – Sunday 22: Kick off a hard-core weekend of wicked-looking beer releases  for Launch Pad Brewery’s third anniversary. In addition to multiple daily releases, Saturday will offer up a pig roast and employee beer showdown, and Sunday features coffee and brunch.

Friday 20: Take a road trip to Boulder for Finkel & Garf Brewing Company’s fourth anniversary party, offering up new beer releases, patio games, and free hot dogs and popsicles.

Friday 20 – Saturday 21: Heading further afield, Wiley Roots Brewing Co. in Greeley celebrates five years with Friday beer releases and a Saturday food truck accompanied by huge patio games (think life-size beer pong). Throughout, the brewery will serve up 18 tap beers and 15 more to go, but you better get there early as kokopelli-beer-logo.jpgall the brews are first-come, first-served.

Saturday 21: Throw on your best Hawaiian shirt and lei to get $1 off your first beer at Kokopelli Beer Company’s  Summer Luau. Specialty tropical beers and drinks will complement Hawaiian pizzas and if you stick around til dusk you can enjoy a beach movie on the patio.

Saturday 21: Get your hop on at Hops & Pie’s Hop Fest on Tennyson Street. The festival features brews from over a dozen breweries, both local and far-flung.

Saturday 21: Also on Tennyson, Call To Arms Brewing will throw a 3rd Anniversary Fun Fest with carnival games, music, and naturally beer releases.

Saturday 21 – Sunday 22: Living the Dream Brewing Company hosts their fourth anniversary Beer Bash with loads of activities including a Saturday cornhole tournament with $700 in prizes.

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Saturday 21: The Stapleton Beer Fest brings over 40 breweries to downtown Stapleton starting at 5 p.m., plus a free concert later in the evening. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 21: Colorado Springs welcomes another brewery to the beer community. Metric Brewing Co. will hold their grand opening starting at noon with a ribbon-cutting, door prizes, and of course brand-spanking-new beers.

Related imageSaturday 21: Celebrate Belgian National Day at River North Brewery! In honor of Belgium’s Independence Day will host a Belgian Beer Celebration with special beer releases and a Belgian-themed food truck.

Saturday 21: Up in Boulder, Twisted Pine Brewing Co. celebrates their 23rd anniversary with beer releases, yard games, and live music.

Sunday 22: The online community of Lets Talk Craft Beer celebrates its 10,000th member with a get-together at Ratio Beerworks for members to meet and chat about their shared interest in beer.