The west side of Denver seems perpetually underpopulated by breweries, particularly in light of Caution’s 2018 closure. However one bright spot remains in Landlocked Ales, which opened in 2017 near Wadsworth Boulevard and Hampden Avenue. The brewery offers a comprehensive lineup of beers that will likely satisfy most palates, served in a standard suburban taproom. Perhaps not worth a special trip, but not bad if you happen to be in the area or coming back from the mountains on US 285 (Hampden).
BEER LINEUP: The tap list includes typical representations of most major styles, and the beers I tried were pleasant. Nothing on the list was particularly experimental (the most adventurous beer was a winter warmer), but everyone ought to be able to find something to enjoy.
ATMOSPHERE: In typical strip-mall setup, the taproom features a bar, some tables and an opening to display the brewing equipment. On our visit the place was quiet, with small groups of young and middle-aged people chatting or watching sports and occasionally grabbing a bite from the food truck. It seemed like most people were one-and-done, with constant turnover. In other words a pleasant, if unremarkable space.
SERVICE: Our servers were friendly, attentive and eager to share their beer with us. Service is bar-only.
NEIGHBORHOOD: As you might imagine from the location, the area is saturated with strip malls which are surrounded by suburban houses and apartments. Landlocked is clearly either a neighborhood stop or driving destination and not really walkable. There might be some shops or restaurants in the surrounding area worth stopping in for some shopping or a bite since Landlocked does not have a kitchen, and there’s plenty of parking.
STANDOUT BEER: Ghost Porter. Landlocked takes pains to communicate that this beer in no way involves ghost – or any other – chili and really it’s a straight-up porter, though more robust than many. The mahogany-colored opaque beer has little head but a relatively thick viscosity that yields to deep roasted-malt flavors with noticeable chocolate notes. The overall richness makes it a heavier porter, almost heading into stout territory, and on a cold and snowy winter day it was perfect.