Stanley Beer Hall

Although it’s been open for a couple of years, I only just got around to trying the Stanley Beer Hall at Stanley Marketplace adjacent to the Stapleton neighborhood. It’s a relatively unique concept for the Denver market and for me at least, a mixed bag of cool ideas and mild annoyance.

How it Works: When you arrive you have to check 20170719_195209_hdr-e1501000049807.jpgin at the front desk to get a card that allows you to pour your own beer and keeps a running tab. A row of taps with electronic flow monitoring sits at the back of the restaurant. When you want a drink you wave your card in front of the monitor and then dispense as much beer as you want. Beers are priced per ounce and the system tracks of how much you’ve purchased via your card.

First, the Pro’s:

  • The flexible pour-yourself concept lets you try a greater variety of different beers by having partial glasses or enjoy smaller pours of high-gravity beers.
  • They have a relatively wide selection of craft beers and ciders (plus one lonely Coors Light)  including seasonals and unique beers from Front-Range breweries
  • The taps also offer a few wines and cocktails for non-beer-drinkers
  • Each time you pour, the LCD screen shows how many total ounces you have consumed so you can monitor how much you’ve had
  • You can load your card for a pre-set amount if you have a drinking budget or leave it open-ended and pay at the end.
  • They serve food. This part is done by servers, which makes the self-service beer part a little confusing as employees are already making the rounds of the place.

Now the Cons:

  • You do all the work, constantly leaving your seat to trek across20180331_151504_HDRthe restaurant to the taps. This is particularly annoying if you are eating as well as drinking.
  • Beer info is only provided on the screens at the taps and even that is rather limited. As a result, things jam up while everyone tries to read the various tiny screens to make their choices.
  • Much of the beer is relatively expensive if you convert ounces to pints ($7-$9 per pint). While the LCDs show your volume they do not show your total, which makes it a little hard to tell how much you are spending. The price issue particularly annoyed me since I was doing the work of waiter/bartender.
  • You have to wait in line to get the card and wait while the hostess sets up the account
  • You have to wait in line to close out the card if you haven’t pre-paid

Overall I think the place has a cool concept, a nice location, and a comfortable vibe. However the whole process of cards, taps, etc. could be executed a little better to have less wait time and hassle so the focus could be on the fun aspects like sampling the well-curated  beer selection.

Weekend Beer Update

It’s looking like a great weekend to take dad out for a beer! Saturday has the most options but Sunday has some Father’s-Day-specific events. Or perhaps you’d rather just treat yourself to a refreshing beverage, whether you’re a father or not, since there are loads of choices!

Thursday 14 – Sunday 17: If the city heat is getting you down, head to the Vail Craft Beer Classic. Four days of fun features about a dozen beer events from tastings and food pairings to hard-core outdoor events like hiking and biking with the brewers. Note: Many of the events are ticketed.

Friday 15 – Saturday 16: Parker’s Barnett & Son Brewing Co. will celebrate their third anniversary with food and music on Friday and a crawfish boil on Saturday.

Saturday 16: Toyota enthusiasts rejoice! Copper Kettle Brewing Co. will hold their second annual Toyota Truck Meet & Greet for truck owners to show off their ride, enjoy some beer, and grab some food. The event runs from noon-4 p.m.20170609_184428_HDR

Saturday 16: Just down the street from Copper Kettle and starting at 5 p.m., celebrate Lowry Beer Garden’s sixth anniversary with their BBQ and Beer Fest featuring 25 beers from 8 local craft breweries, BBQ, and live music.  Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 16: From 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Stanley Marketplace joins forces with Holidaily Brewing Co. and Gluten Free Explorer to offer a unique spin on beer & food pairings with tastes of gluten free beers and pizza.

Saturday 16: Several Aurora breweries will join Dry Dock Brewing Co 20161105_151452_hdrat their South Dock location (Hampden & Chambers) for the A-Town Funk Fest featuring brews, food, and a DJ. The funkaliciousness runs from noon-5 p.m..

Saturday 16: Finally! An excuse to wear your T-Rex costume! Billed as a day of beers, music, and dinosaurs, Dinosaur Ridge’s Brontos and Brews Festival in Morrison will attempt to set the Guinness world record for the most people dressed like dinosaurs. The costumes might be hot, but the organizers are promising plenty of cold beer.

Saturday 16: The IPA Bash at Verboten Brewing & Barrel Project in Loveland pretty much speaks for itself: 14 different IPAs including guest taps and a collaboration brew.

Saturday 16: Check out the newest brewery in the metro area as Redgarden Restaurant and Brewery holds their grand opening in Louisville. For the special occasion they plan a pig roast in addition to serving up their farm-to-table menu and pouring house-made beers.

Sunday 17th: Happy Father’s Day! Several breweries have activities set up for you and your dad to bond over a brew. At 10:30 a.m. Baere Brewing Co. will host Father’s Day yoga followed by a beer. Starting at noon Seedstock Brewery has multiple seatings for their second annual Father’s Day Crawfish Boil, and will offer $1 off beers to dads all day! Finally, at 3 p.m. Station 26 Brewing Co. fires up their Surf & Turf & Surf with a special surf & turf menu accompanied by surf music. Note: Baere and Seedstock are ticketed events.

Station 26 .5 k
Station 26 .5K Run