Brewery Snapshot: 105 West Brewing

For a remote brewery hidden in a quiet industrial park, 105 West Brewing Company packs in some happy surprises. On our visit, crowds of all types filled the taproom and gave it an energetic feel, while the comprehensive beer list delivered both variety and flavor. It’s a bit of a drive from Denver but well worth a stop if you find yourself in Castle Rock or commuting to Colorado Springs, since it’s less than five minutes off the highway.

BEER LINEUP: 105 West sticks to traditional styles and has great coverage from a light wit to a dark stout and high-gravity Tripel. All the beers I tried fit squarely (and tastily) into their named style category so count on getting you ask for.

ATMOSPHERE: Despite the lack of any discernible neighborhood the place was packed with energetic people (and dogs) of all ages including families with kids. The actual space shows an attempt to dress up a basic industrial park box with some rustic wood and an open brewery, but in the end you’re not coming for the pretty decor. There’s also a small patio out front and they seem to regularly have either a food truck or someone squished in between fermenters dishing out grub.

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SERVICE: This one cut both ways during our visit. While the servers helpfully chatted up customers, poured samples, recommended other beers, etc. (+), this tended to jam  up lines at the bar (-). It wasn’t the biggest deal but be warned if you are beer-desperate. One interesting note is the no-tipping policy; any tips go to charity.

NEIGHBORHOOD: Industrial park with few attractions around other than a brew shop two doors down. Given the Castle Rock location this one’s definitely a driving destination and thankfully features ample parking.

STANDOUT BEER: Belgian Tripel. This beer blended great Belgian yeast flavors with a little bit of farmhouse for an extremely balanced and flavorful Tripel having just the slightest bit of sweetness. The beautiful golden color made it even more appealing, and the slight cloudiness visually reinforced the yeast and farmhouse flavors.

Halfpenny Brewing Company Flight of the Stouts

If you’re a stout fan then Halfpenny Brewing Company’s limited time (til they run out) Flight of the Stouts is worth the trip down to the DTC area. The lineup features five stouts ranging from standard tap fare to barrel-aged to high-gravity and each has its own charms. A quick summary:

  • Homer’s Oatsey Oatmeal Stout: This is your off-the-tap regular stout with a medium body, deep roasted malt flavors, and slight bite to it.
  • Nitro Oatsey Oatmeal Stout: The nitro version of the above, with the added thick and creamy body that comes with nitro. The nitro also takes out whatever kind of bite the original has for a creamy, roasty, and slightly chocolate-y experience.
  • Heavy Petals 2016 Bourbon Barrel Aged: This one has a VERY strong bourbon flavor with some hints of oak.  Bourbon is primarily what you taste and the beer has a “hot” alcohol flavor to it. Might have been better to serve a little earlier  when there was more balance.
  • Heavy Petals 2017 Bourbon Barrel Aged: This beer achieves the balance that the 2016 lacks. It offers bourbon notes but they are mellowed by the beer, giving some sweeter caramel flavors mixed up with the maltiness. A very complex beer with many subtle flavors.
  • Black Night Imperial Stout: A high-alcohol beer that could sneak up on you because it doesn’t taste like it. This beer also leans toward the complex side, offering significant dark malt and coffee flavors with lesser notes of dark chocolate

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Halfpenny Brewing Company Beer and Cheese Pairing

halfpenny-beer-cheeseI made it to my first Halfpenny Brewing Company Beer and Cheese Pairing last night and it was great! Aside from the attractive presention, the cheese was spectacular and the Whole Foods rep gave interesting background and tasting suggestions for each cheese and beer. Apparently he has the enviable job of coming in to taste all the beers each month before selecting cheese pairings. It seems to work great! I’d highly recommend keeping an eye on Halfpenny’s website for next month’s event.

Beer and Food Events

This month several breweries are doing taproom events involving food that might help break up the dark winter days.

Beer Of The Week – Halfpenny Brewing Company Cranberry Wheat

In time for Thanksgiving, Halfpenny Brewing Company has released a Cranberry Wheat. Its solid underlying wheat-beer structure supports a very forward tart taste. The beer primarily captures the tart part of the berries, leaving only a fainthp-2 fruit/berry flavor. In a blind taste test I might guess it as a sour with a slight bitter edge to it. In appearance, the Cranberry Wheat looks like a dark wheat beer, with the common wheat beer cloudiness. It’s definitely an interesting beer and certainly worth a try if you like sours or fruit beers, and even worth getting a small pour if you just want to shake things up.

Beer Of The Week: Resolute Hefeweizen

Resolute Brewing had their grand opening on August 19 and definitely made a good start of it. In addition to drawing a full house of beer drinkers, Resolute offered a broad cross-section of beers to serve diverse tastes.  One of the standouts for me was the hefewiezen. It has the traditional look and body that one would expect – a little cloudy and lightly Continue reading “Beer Of The Week: Resolute Hefeweizen”

Resolute Brewing Opening in DTC

Helping to end the long drought of craft beer in the DTC area, Resolute Brewing Company will hold their Grand Opening this Friday August 19 from 11am. Resolute is located near I25 & Arapahoe and joins Halfpenny Brewing in serving the Arapahoe Road corridor of DTC.