BEER LINEUP: The menu definitely leans toward Czech and German beer styles, but also offers other options including at least one IPA for the hopheads. Seedstock brews a good balance of traditional styles, lesser-known old-world styles, and experimental twists on tradition such as Vanilla Espresso Stout.
ATMOSPHERE: We happened to visit during a boil so the air was thick with tempting malty smells. Aside from that, Seedstock felt chill and the taproom looks like your typical brewery with sturdy seating which opens to the production facility. The good-sized patio feels relatively insulated from Colfax and offers sun during the day and a firepit for chilly evenings.
SERVICE: The service was very relaxed. Despite a rather large crowd the single bartender took everything in stride and provided friendly and efficient service. It seemed like bar service only.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Gritty section of W. Colfax. Seedstock straddles the neighborhood between N. Federal and Casa Bonita so you can observe all kind of randomness . . . or not, depending on the hour and day. For most people this will be a drive-to brewery, which fortunately sits close to major thoroughfares like I25 and features at least some parking.
STANDOUT BEER: Lichtenhainer – This smokey/sour German style was supposedly popular over 100 years ago. While I wouldn’t rate this my favorite beer by any stretch, it stands out as a very unique beer and a pleasant offering for some tastes. The light-bodied beer contains medium sourness and a smoky (think smoked cheddar) flavor. I say contains vs. combines because the two flavors seem to fight it out in your mouth; one minute sour, the next smoky. It makes for interesting drinking and should you decide on more than one, the 3.8% ABV won’t sneak up on you. Even if it doesn’t sound like your thing, you ought to try a sample.
Ok, so trying out a new thing – focusing on a brewery instead of a beer since breweries stick around but beers come & go. Since I happened to visit Westfax Brewing Company last weekend trying out my brand new Pub Pass it seemed as good as any place to start.
Overall Westfax works as a neighborhood bar, sandwiched next to Casa Bonita, perhaps for parents who need a buzz to be able to deal with the crappy food and cheesy decor. I can’t say that anything about Westfax particularly stands out, and I don’t mean that as a slam. It’s a pleasant-enough place to hang out with good beers. If you live in or visit the area it’s well worth a visit, but if you drive across town for it you’ll probably pass half a dozen similar neighborhood breweries with a similar experience.
BEER LINEUP: Westfax offers a wide variety of standard styles, with a slight tilt toward flavored beers using coffee, blueberry, asian spices and more (thankfully not all in one beer!)
ATMOSPHERE: Standard strip-mall industrial. There’s nothing too unique there. The crowd seemed pretty chill for a Sunday afternoon and the brewery has several tvs for sports. A food truck served hungry drinkers and Westfax seems to have a rotating truck schedule..
SERVICE: The bartender provided friendly service, some tasting advice, and plenty of samples to help with beer selection.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Westfax is in the gritty part of West Colfax full of strip malls and dollar stores. There’s nothing much of interest closeby, although Seedstock is about a five-minute drive away.
STANDOUT BEER: Everyone in our party agreed that the Bluetylicious blueberry wheat stood out. It has an unusual honey-copper color and a thin body. The flavors start with slightly sweet blueberry that is not overpowering and finish with a typical clean, mildly bitter wheat-beer taste.
Sometimes fate takes a strange twist, including at GABF. While talking to the brewers at Seedstock Brewery about their Bohemian Dunkel they mentioned that it was patterned after the 500-year-old U Fleku brewery in Prague. As fate would have it I had just returned from a Czech vacation and visited U Fleku not a week earlier. Even cooler, Seedstock’s Bohemian Dunkel was a dead ringer for U Fleku’s. The taste is malty with little hops and what seems to be a medium malt roast, and the color is typical for dunkel – medium brown with a hint of red but you can still see through it. The only I area I found surprising (with both beers) is the lighter body – almost like a blond. However the whole package is quite appealing and also fairly sessionable. If you’re looking for a truly authentic Czech beer to make it feel like fall, head out to Seedstock!