Weekend Beer Update

It’s a festival-filled weekend from the Front Range to the mountains, with three big fests rolling out the welcome mat. However if festivals aren’t your style, the weekend also offers plenty of options from music to brewery-hopping to food-focused events.

Thursday 10 – Saturday 12: Celebrate eight years of sour beers at Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project. Starting Thursday Crooked Stave will offer special beer releases, unique guest beers, food, and commemorative merch.

Thursday 10 – Saturday 12: If you can handle the weekend ski 20160721_201225_HDRcrowds, take a ride up to the Breckenridge Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival for brewing seminars, beer dinners, pairings, homebrew competitions and of course lots and lots of big beers! The main tasting event is Saturday afternoon, with the competitions, seminars, and food events going throughout the weekend. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Friday 11: In the Tennyson neighborhood, the Northwest Beer Fest takes over the Oriental Theater with beers from ten local breweries along with wine and cider. Note: This is a ticketed event.

20180212_171117_HDRSaturday 12: Celebrate five years of beer with Kokopelli Beer Company and enjoy their award-winning beers along with a special release, swag and prizes.

Saturday 12: The LowDown Barrel-Aged Beer Festival comes to South Broadway with 14 brews including several from Lowdown plus eight guest breweries. This festival is a bit different, as you pay for your beers as you go vs. getting one all-in ticket.

Saturday 12: Hop on the January edition of the West Side Brewery Bus Loop which will visit Little Machine Beer, Zuni Street Brewing Co., Joyride Brewing Company and this month’s special guest Briar Common Brewery. From 2 – 10 p.m. a bus will circulate between all the breweries. Tickets are $5 and you get a free future beer for completing all four breweries. This ride’s theme is 1980’s-1990’s.

Saturday 12: Get your gourmet fix at Living The Dream Brewery’s Charcuterie at the Brewery. From 3 – 4:30 p.m. enjoy a pairing of five beers with specialty meats and cheeses from Whole Foods. Note: This is a ticketed event (buy at the door).20180527_134218_HDR

Sunday 13: Bring a dish to share and enjoy live music at SomePlace Else Brewery’s Thom & Coley Concert and Potluck. It appears that the duo plays country music. The fun starts at 6 p.m. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Sunday 13: Enjoy food and music starting at noon at this month’s Bluegrass Brunch brought to you by Station 26 Brewing Co.

Brewery Snapshot: SomePlace Else Brewery

If you’re not familiar with Arvada, the effort of finding SomePlace Else Brewery can leave you jonesing for a beer, and fortunately Someplace Else stocks a wide variety of styles to satisfy your craving. The inviting interior offers a haven for Star Wars lovers with character cutouts lording over the taproom and themed beer names like Darth Saison.

BEER LINEUP: Someplace Else features a diverse lineup from light pilsners to dark stouts. Some track closely to the advertised style while others add subtle new flavors. Regardless, all of the beers I tried were flavorful and tasty.

ATMOSPHERE: Fun and quirky. The brewery crams a lot into the narrow industrial space including a rustic bar, pinball games, popcorn, and their tiny brewing system, while Star Wars characters observe the action from the balcony. The indoor space offers decent seating and also hosts unique events, such as the Intro to Sewing class the day we visited. Although the parking lot doesn’t really allow a patio, the open garage doors help bring the outdoors in.20180527_143822_hdr.jpg

SERVICE: Our server offered friendly and knowledgeable bar service while deftly serving the beers with an ironic, or perhaps thrifty, spin. All the beers 20180527_134925_hdr.jpgcame in glasses with major-label logos corresponding to the beer style (i.e. my stout came in a Guinness glass).

NEIGHBORHOOD: The industrial surroundings won’t win any charm awards, sandwiched between railroad tracks and I-76. Because of the limited access, getting to SomePlace Else takes decent navigation skills and parking is kind of scattered around, but available. Additionally, I didn’t see any food places nearby and there was no food truck so if you think you’ll want food, it’s probably best to BYO. Bottom line: this is a destination brewery, not a neighborhood one.

STANDOUT BEER: Padme Pilser. This light-colored and light-bodied beer offered perfect refreshment after biking to the brewery on a sunny 80-degree day. The crisp, fresh flavor with light hopping and a mild malt aftertaste might not be an all-weather choice but it surely hits the spot on a summer day.

Arvada Bike Loop

This short ride combines both trail and street riding and can potentially pack in a lot of brews in one afternoon. If you need sustenance along the way or want to offset the beer, both Kline’s and Denver Beer Co. have kitchens and Odyssey generally schedules a food truck.

The ride starts at Kline’s Beer Hall in Olde Town Arvada, which features a wide range of beer styles on their 50+ taps. A majority of the beers originate in Colorado but many hail from further away and provide more than enough options for every taste. On a Sunday afternoon the place was rather dead but looks big enough accomodate a lively crowd for the frequent live music shows on weekends. A small shaded patio out front offers a relaxing summer alternative as well. After trying a few interesting selections there, our group decided to move on to our second destination, Someplace Else.

Fortunately one of our group lives in Arvada and planned out the route, as SomePlace Else Brewery is hidden down an alley in an industrial park near I-76 & 52nd Ave. To get there we headed east out of Old Town on Grandview, took a right on Lamar, and kept a close watch for the small Brewery banner on the left just before 52nd Ave.

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Look for the alley with the brewery banner

After locking our bikes we enjoyed the cozy, rustic, Star Wars-themed atmosphere of the small brewery along with the great service and most importantly the diverse taplist. The brews ranged from a very light pilsner to stouts and a porter and everyone in our group enjoyed what they tried. Unfortunately SomePlace Else doesn’t have a patio, but the open garage doors helped to bring summer indoors. Continue reading “Arvada Bike Loop”