Weekend Beer Update

This weekend brings a whole lot of activity across the metro area and beyond, with multiple anniversaries, Day of Dorks, a new Beer Bus and other assorted fun & games. 

westfax-bar.jpgFriday 8 – Saturday 9: Celebrate three years on West Colfax with WestFax Brewing Company. Over the course of the weekend they’ll release seven new beers, treat beer-lovers to a concert, bring in food trucks, and have some other fun treats like anniversary glassware, beard trimming and axe throwing.

Friday 8 – Sunday 10: If you’re looking to take a field trip, Gilded Goat Brewing Company up in Ft. Collins marks their second anniversary with a weekend of fun. They’ll have special tappings and bottle releases along with birthday cake, a toast with the mayor, raffles, giveaways and a commemorative glass for the first 50 customers on Saturday.

Saturday 9: Anniversaries continue, with Zuni Street Brewing Co. marking two years with a full-on celebration in their parking lot offering up the usual food trucks and live music along with art from local artists, pottery painting, yard games, a photo booth, and topping it off with a bouncy house.

Saturday 9: Rounding out the anniversary celebrations, New Image Brewing Co. in Arvada brings on the special releases, live music, and new merchandise for year number three.

Saturday 9: The Beer Bus concept comes to southeast comrade-taps.jpgDenver, with busses running from 1 – 9 p.m. between Platt Park Brewing Co., Comrade Brewing Co., Grandma’s House and Copper Kettle Brewing Company. It costs just 5 bucks to ride all day and if you complete each brewery you get a coupon for a free beer. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 9: It’s finally time for Day of Dorks! Wynkoop Brewing Company’s celebration of geeky and quirky beers takes over the upstairs pool room from noon – 4 p.m. with over 30 breweries pouring their dorkiest stuff. Geek-wear is encouraged. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Sunday 10: The monthly incarnation of Bluegrass Brunch comes back to Station 26 Brewing Co. Starting at 11 a.m. they’ll bring in a food truck and bluegrass band for you to relax and recover from the weekend.

Lady JusticeSunday 10th: Join Lady Justice Brewing’s Big Fun Celebration at their shared space with Factotum Brewhouse. The party will celebrate two of Lady Justice’s Community-Supported Beer Membership grant recipients with music, a food truck, and of course beer!

Arvada Ride – Downtown Out and Back

This ride includes three stops in Olde Town Arvada, plus a moderate ride along greenways (or perhaps brown-ways this time of summer) out to Bruz Beers in Denver. Given the number of breweries in Olde Town Arvada there are plenty of options for additions and substitutions, and Odyssey Beerwerks lies along the trail to Bruz. As for logistics, Olde Town Arvada is easily accessed from several trails and has lots of parking – just be careful of the two-hour zones. Additionally, for future readers, a Light Rail line runs to Arvada but it remains to be seen whether it will open to the public in our lifetime.

We started at the Yak & Yeti restaurant, which recently renamed their brewing operation Spice Trade Brewing. Yak & Yeti serves up some great Indian/Nepalese food to sustain yourself through the ride and the beers are a mix of traditional styles and unconventional brews using spices, fruits, and other flavorings. In additional to the great food and interesting beers, Yak & Yeti completes the picture with a pleasant patio on which to enjoy them while preparing for the ride.

From Yak & Yet we headed through Arvada neighborhoods (not an easy description so just map it) to the Ralston Creek Trail, then took that west to the Clear Creek Trail and headed north. If you want to detour to Odyssey Beerwerks, just exit the Ralston Creek trail at West 56th Avenue. Here’s where it gets tricky . . . As you approach the Midtown at Clear Creek development project (look for construction) you can either exit on 64th Avenue, head east to Pecos Street, then north til you see the Midtown entrance sign and Bruz Beers on 67th Avenue. Alternately you can keep going and look for the new houses across a dirt patch to the right. I assume some day the trail will link up, but for now you have to ride/walk your bike across the dirt to shortcut into the back of the development, then navigate northeast to Bruz on 67th.20180721_135240_hdr.jpg

However you arrive at Bruz Beers, you will find a bright, sunny taproom with refreshing air conditioning, a long list of Belgian beers, a few other styles, and likely a food truck. The friendly service and laid-back atmosphere encouraged us to linger for a second beer before the long-ish ride back to Arvada. Additionally, on cooler days Bruz offers a relaxing patio. Continue reading “Arvada Ride – Downtown Out and Back”

Weekend Beer Update

Although the big drinking weekend – St Pat’s – is still a week away, this weekend is jam-packed with beer related events from grand openings to anniversaries to festivals, along with some good-old parties and a chili cookoff.

Thursday 8th – Saturday 10th: Celebrate Zuni Street Brewing Co.’s one-year anniversary all weekend. They’ll throw down some live music, beer releases, party favors, and fun activities to spice things up.

Friday 9th – Saturday 10th: Not to be overshadowed by Zuni, Westfax Brewing Company will be holding their own anniversary party for their second year of business with special releases, giveaways, unique vendors, and a wing-eating contest Friday night.

Friday 9th – Saturday 10th: North Denverites, welcome Image result for periodic table free imagesyour new mountain neighbor to the ‘hood by joining Periodic Brewing’s grand opening celebration. The Leadville-based brewery will hold a ribbon-cutting for their new Northglenn location on Friday, and on Saturday will offer live music and a party bus linking up other Front Range breweries.

Saturday 10th: Start your day with some coffee, and of course beer, at Ratio Beerworks’ Cool Beans Beer & Coffee Festival starting at 10:00. You pretty much get what’s advertised – Ratio beer plus coffee from Novo Coffee and some tasty-sounding brunch food. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 10th: At midday get your geek on at Wynkoop Image result for spinner hat free imagesBrewing Co’s Day of Dorks, where you can sample some of the most unique and unusual beers from over 30 Colorado breweries while diving into the more esoteric aspects of beer geekery with the brewers. Nerd attire is encouraged; a ticket is required.

Saturday 10th: Another anniversary this weekend: New Image Brewing Co. in Arvada. Expect anniversary beer releases and live music.

Saturday 10th: Cap the day off by going backwards – way back to the 80’s. Fiction Beer Company will be hosting an 80’s party all day. Come listen to some retro music and wear your best Madonna & Bon Jovi fashions for beer specials!

Image result for chili free imagesSunday 11th: Cook up a batch of your best chili for Strange Craft Beer Co’s Chili Cookoff, or just stop by to cast your vote for your favorite and chill out with a beer. Click on the link to register.

Sunday 11th: Or if brunch is more your thing, Station 26 Brewing Co. fires up the music and food at their monthly Bluegrass Brunch starting at 11:00

Northwest Denver Afternoon

Brewery Snapshot: New Image Brewing Co.

At first glance New Image Brewing Co. seems to have a lot of potential, with its convenient location at the edge of Olde Town Arvada, its sleek modern look, and a trendy-sounding menu. However that starts to fall apart soon after setting foot inside when it becomes apparent that things are not really all that put together. Perhaps it’s that New Image is trying to be too many things at once – modern industrial and trendy, old-world handcrafted brews, restaurant, bar, hippie hangout. They definitely have some talent in making experimental beers but the rest of the experience feels equally experimental – from the service to the food things just don’t seem to come together. If you’re in the area it is worth a stop for a quick beer but don’t expect much else beyond a slightly confused experience.

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BEER LINEUP: You’re unlikely to find traditional styles here. New Image focuses on non-traditional styles with various ingredients, experimental yeasts, and a high representation of sour and brett-influenced beers. Funky and eclectic might best fit the taplist.If you can’t embrace that, New Image does offer Olde Town Regular which is a drinkable basic lager

ATMOSPHERE: Confused. The decor says modern industrial trendy with metal & wood but the menus say handcrafted food & beer while the waitstaff says whacked-out & stoned. Nevertheless it seemed like a neighborhood drop-in with plenty of families at long picnic-style tables.

SERVICE: Slow and poor. All food orders went in at the same time but came out whenever. Some of our table finished eating before others were served, and the consensus on the food was “Meh” – bland and unexceptional. Likewise when checks were requested some were brought, others not, the waiter would wander over and collect one or two at a time, bring back one person’s change then wander off somewhere else. It was not a busy or hectic afternoon where that might be understandable.

NEIGHBORHOOD: New Image is at the edge of Old Town Arvada so it’s a very walkable area with lots of other small businesses. You can find nearby street or lot parking.

STANDOUT BEER: Timber Rye Wine With Rosemary has a great balance starting with a base that tastes a little of barleywine, complemented with a gentle rye flavor and strong rosemary. As one might expect it comes with a higher alcohol content and the thicker body of a barleywine.

Beer Of The Week: New Image Olde Town Regular

New Image Brewing Co. in Old Town Arvada seems to favor sours and Bretts on their limited house-brewed taplist, but since those are not really my thing I went with the Olde 20170101_151519_hdrTown Regular. Olde Town Regular is tough to categorize but relatively straightforward to describe. At first it tastes like a Pils both in body and in the slightly bitter, German-hops flavor. However it ends with a bit of floral hops (just a little). The very light yellow color and slight cloudiness make it look more like a shandy or radler than a traditional clear yellow pils. New Image lists it as a German-style lager hybrid, which I guess pretty much captures the challenge of categorizing it, but shouldn’t scare anyway away from trying it. It’s a solid, light beer that’s easy to drink and probably refreshing on a hot day. Note: Even if this beer doesn’t sound appealing or you’re not into sours, New Image offers a full bar and decent list of other beers on tap and in bottles.

Pub Pairing

Old Town Arvada has really filled in with small business over the past few years, and at least two of those are breweries. While this hardly qualifies as a walk, since the distance between the two is about as far as  the restroom in either establishment, it’s still a pleasant pairing of breweries and an easy journey on a cold/snowy/ice winter day.

As one of the outposts of Grand Lake Brewing from Grand Lake, CO, the taproom/restaurant feels unsurprisingly like a divey mountain bar with lots of log-cabin and wood finishes. The cozy feel complements the long and diverse taplist of Grand Lake beers, guest beers, and full bar. The beer list consists mostly of typical styles like wheat, IPA, and brown with a few slightly adventurous beers in the mix such as a pumpkin beer and a chili beer. The beers I tried solidly represented their styles and had clean tastes, and amongst the friends in our group there were no complaints about any of the beers. The multiple tvs and comfortable atmosphere definitely encourage hanging out for few brews and watching a some football or hockey.

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New Image Brewing Co.

Heading out the door, taking a right, and walking 20 feet will bring you to New Image Brewing Co. and a totally different vibe. New Image feels much more modern and “city” rather than “mountain”. They describe their approach as focusing on non-traditional styles and blending, and the house-beer taplist represents this with sours/Bretts, cider, and various flavor combinations. Like Grand Lake the menu also lists guest brews and features a full bar. Between the beers I tried and the reaction of friends, the beers provided a combination of happy and not so happy experiences. Maybe some were a little too experimental for particular people. That said, perhaps the best plan would be to get a flight or some samplers before going all-in on a full pour. For the less-adventurous, the Old Town Regular offers a fairly uncomplicated pilsner/lager profile, and is an easy-drinker.

Both breweries serve food so if you want to make an afternoon of it you could have lunch in one and dinner in the other. Or you could go for an actual walk and grab dinner elsewhere in Old Town.