Tucked away among old army buildings, new hospitals, and big apartment blocks, Ursula Brewery serves up creative beers in a friendly taproom. Ursula seems to focus on experimenting with new ingredients and different production methods to create beers that range from slight variations on typical styles like Renata Passionfruit Kolsch to beers that go completely off-reservation like the Crustless Peanut Butter and Jelly Porter. For me these kind of breweries are hit or miss – you may find great beer combos, or you may leave feeling like you are overstuffed with too many flavors.
BEER LINEUP: The lineup covers the full light-to-dark spectrum from Helles to Russian Imperial Stout, but don’t expect to find a straight-up version of your favorite style. From the Brett Saison aged in red wine barrels to the bourbon barrel aged imperial stout most, though not all, styles have a unique twist.
ATMOSPHERE: We visited on a rainy afternoon and Ursula had a chill vibe and a familiar comradery between regulars and the bartender. The taproom looks part industrial, part rustic, with a sprinkle of a music theme which makes for a relaxing place to kick back with a few beers. You can order food from the restaurant across the street and have it delivered.
SERVICE: The bartender was friendly, fast, engaging, and knowledgeable.
NEIGHBORHOOD:Deep in the Fitzsimmons construction zone, the area doesn’t have much vibe yet other than “work in progress” so a trip to Ursula is pretty much a destination event. The area offers plenty of two-hour parking amidst the new apartment buildings, vacant lots, and huge hospitals.
STANDOUT BEER:Hope Sour Tart Wheat With Guava. Ursula throws a lot at you with some of their beers and this one came off pretty well. The initial grapefruit nose and sourness gets balanced by the sweetness of the guava and results in mid-range tropical sourness, which is a lot friendlier than many sours. Overall I’d call it an accessible and interesting sour that will please a wide range of palates.
After the upheaval and ouster of the brewer and Coda name and I was curious to see how things are shaping up at the rechristened Ursula Brewery. I’m happy to report that the beer menu seems to have increased, with the same focus on traditional styles complemented with experimental beers, many utilizing fruit in some fashion. The Scary Stories Porter, though not fruity, stood out with its heavy roasted malt flavors and a significant cholocolate component. The roasted malt even imparted somewhat of a coffee flavor. Definitely a big beer, made bigger by the 8.8% ABV – have too many of those that close to E Colfax and one can only imagine the types of scary stories that could ensue!