Little Machine Beer aims for the unique, from a taproom decorated with unusual mechanical devices (yeah, yeah, they do have ‘machine’ in their name) to interesting takes on some traditional beer styles. Unless you’re going to a Broncos game you’re unlikely to stumble upon it, but since it’s located right behind Mile High it’s a relatively convenient stop on the way to a lot of places. Or you could make an evening of it as a destination brewery. The relaxed seating, laid-back vibe, and numerous board games certainly lend themselves to kicking back over some interesting brews.
BEER LINEUP: Good coverage from light to dark with a lot of interesting twists and turns like a coffee oatmeal stout and a mezcal smoked lager made with agave and South American barley
ATMOSPHERE: Little Machine had a very chill vibe on a Saturday night, with about half the seats occupied by people hanging out, playing games, and chatting. The bartenders were equally relaxed and seemed to be having a good time. The space itself feels like some kind of old inventor’s lab filled with random machinery and knickknacks – tending toward Steampunk but without the funky clothes. The best part is the ingenious bar-in-the round, which is surrounded by plentiful tables and couches, and promotes fast service, keeping traffic jams to a minimum
SERVICE: Friendly and quick. The bartenders also have strong personal opinions about their beers that they are happy to share.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Hard to define. At 20th & Federal, Little Machine is sandwiched between Mile High Stadium, a traditionally sketchy part of town, and the southward expansion of The Highlands. While Federal Blvd. is heavily trafficked, the immediate area around the brewery seems quiet and doesn’t feel like a cohesive neighborhood. It seemed like most of the patrons were drop-ins rather than neighborhood regulars. That said, Little Machine offers decent parking and easy access from I25, Colfax, and Federal (except perhaps on Cinco de Mayo and Broncos home games).
STANDOUT BEER: La Perla Mezcal-Inspired Smoked Lager. Being a fan of the rich smokiness of mezcal, this beer had immediate appeal for me. At first pour La Perla showed wonderful copper color, followed by a lightly smoky/tequila nose. Upon tasting, La Perla replicated mezcal flavors perfectly, while complementing them with a malty Vienna Lager taste. Even if you are not a tequila/mezcal fan this one’s worth at least a sample for its uniqueness.
On a recent visit to the Stapleton Tap House the bartender recommended the Little Machine Sully Irish Red as a good medium-bodied beer and upon delivery it came across as a solidly-crafted brew. Stapleton Tap serves the Sully on nitro, giving it and exceptionally smooth and creamy body, with light malt and caramel flavors. Aside from these the beer contains no strong flavors or hoppiness, which makes it pleasant and quite sessionable, if unchallenging. Adding to the sessionability is the low (5%) alchohol content