Brewery Snapshot: Wynkoop Brewing Company

One of Colorado’s craft beer pioneers, Wynkoop Brewing Company offers an extensive list of brews in an old warehouse space in lower downtown. The large restaurant/bar has been a LoDo staple for years as the neighborhood grew around it and is still a go-to place for many people who find themselves in the area and want some beer or grub or just a place to hang out.

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Main Bar

BEER LINEUP: Given its long history, Wynkoop naturally covers all the bases as far as beer styles, from light wheats through IPAs, ambers and all the way to stouts. While not as trend-focused as some breweries (i.e. few sours, barrel-aging, etc.) Wynkoop does produce its share of seasonal and one-off experiments. Probably the oddest one I’ve seen is the Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, which is surprisingly good even with the knowledge that it’s aged with three bull testicles per barrel. Between the variety of beers and the full bar everyone ought to be able to find a beverage they can enjoy.

ATMOSPHERE: Wynkoop takes full advantage of its large historic warehouse building and both floors are left open to show off the worn brick and iron structure. The place has a comfortable, unpretentious feel with a bar area and restaurant section on the main level along with a second bar, more dining and pool tables upstairs. Depending on the time of day and any downtown events the place can range from virtually empty to packed and the vibe can also vary from very chill to high-energy. Wynkoop is one of the few breweries to serve food.

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Upstairs Pool Room

SERVICE: The service is generally fast and friendly and the servers can provide in-depth information on their beers, even the rotating/temporary ones. When there’s a large event downtown the downstairs bar can get crammed, which understandably slows things down.

NEIGHBORHOOD: As one of the first businesses to participate in the revitalization of LoDo, Wynkoop remains in the center of it all with restaurants, bars, shops, and activities in every direction and the recently-rebuilt Union Station just across the street. Parking in that part of LoDO can be challenging but there are metered spots and lots, though public transit or ride-sharing might be the best option. Wynkoop is within walking distance of Coors Field, The Convention Center, and lots of other downtown venues so it’s an easy pre- or post-event stop, part of a brewery crawl, or a destination in it’s own right.

STANDOUT BEER: Maybe it’s the recent cold weather, but I really enjoyed the Shadowmere American Stout. At first glance it appears very dark and thick but a sip tells you it’s just medium-bodied. The true appeal is in the complex and changeable flavors of this unique beer. Uncharacteristically, this stout presents hoppy notes up front along with raisin, plum, and dark fruits which then fade as a chocolate and coffee finish takes over.  If it sounds appealing get it fast, as this is one of their one-off beers!

Weekend Beer Update

This weekend brings a whole lot of activity across the metro area and beyond, with multiple anniversaries, Day of Dorks, a new Beer Bus and other assorted fun & games. 

westfax-bar.jpgFriday 8 – Saturday 9: Celebrate three years on West Colfax with WestFax Brewing Company. Over the course of the weekend they’ll release seven new beers, treat beer-lovers to a concert, bring in food trucks, and have some other fun treats like anniversary glassware, beard trimming and axe throwing.

Friday 8 – Sunday 10: If you’re looking to take a field trip, Gilded Goat Brewing Company up in Ft. Collins marks their second anniversary with a weekend of fun. They’ll have special tappings and bottle releases along with birthday cake, a toast with the mayor, raffles, giveaways and a commemorative glass for the first 50 customers on Saturday.

Saturday 9: Anniversaries continue, with Zuni Street Brewing Co. marking two years with a full-on celebration in their parking lot offering up the usual food trucks and live music along with art from local artists, pottery painting, yard games, a photo booth, and topping it off with a bouncy house.

Saturday 9: Rounding out the anniversary celebrations, New Image Brewing Co. in Arvada brings on the special releases, live music, and new merchandise for year number three.

Saturday 9: The Beer Bus concept comes to southeast comrade-taps.jpgDenver, with busses running from 1 – 9 p.m. between Platt Park Brewing Co., Comrade Brewing Co., Grandma’s House and Copper Kettle Brewing Company. It costs just 5 bucks to ride all day and if you complete each brewery you get a coupon for a free beer. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 9: It’s finally time for Day of Dorks! Wynkoop Brewing Company’s celebration of geeky and quirky beers takes over the upstairs pool room from noon – 4 p.m. with over 30 breweries pouring their dorkiest stuff. Geek-wear is encouraged. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Sunday 10: The monthly incarnation of Bluegrass Brunch comes back to Station 26 Brewing Co. Starting at 11 a.m. they’ll bring in a food truck and bluegrass band for you to relax and recover from the weekend.

Lady JusticeSunday 10th: Join Lady Justice Brewing’s Big Fun Celebration at their shared space with Factotum Brewhouse. The party will celebrate two of Lady Justice’s Community-Supported Beer Membership grant recipients with music, a food truck, and of course beer!

Day of Dorks Early Bird Tickets

20160721_201225_HDRDon’t miss out on this year’s Day of Dorks Saturday, March 9th at Wynkoop Brewing Co! Early Nerd ticket sales end Feb 23 and prices go up, plus it may sell out. It’s one of my favorite festivals of the year because it’s small enough to mingle with the brewers and try at least a couple beers from each without feeling like a marathon. In this case, over 30 brewers will bring their geekiest and craziest concoctions for sampling. Nerd attire is encouraged as well.

Weekend Beer Update

20180106_150906_HDRStout Month continues, with numerous breweries keeping extra taps flowing and others doing special releases or rotations throughout the month. However if stout isn’t your thing there are plenty of festivals and gastronomic experiences, plus a few oddball events, to keep you busy and keep your thirst at bay this weekend.

Feb 8-10: Ratio Beerworks celebrates four years with a weekend-long party offering music and food trucks every day plus special releases on Saturday and a Sunday brunch.

Friday 8: Every month Bruz Beers tries to bring some 20180721_135240_HDRclass to the beer scene by featuring a different artist in their taproom. This Friday they’re hosting a reception for Brett Matarazzo’s February installation from 6 – 9 p.m. so come on out and get a little culture with your beer.

Saturday 9: Really not sure what to make of this one. The Wizards and Witches Beer Festival is a Harry-Potter-themed fest featuring over 20 winter, pumpkin, and holiday beers. The event takes place at 6:30 p.m. at The Church on 12th Ave and Lincoln Street so it’s got some potential to be a little over-the-top. Or just cheesy. But you won’t know if you don’t go. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 9: In another wacky one-off event, Wynkoop Brewing Co. hosts the Beer Drinker of the Year competition. Participants will be tested on their knowledge, passion, and commitment to beer, and it appears audience participation will help determine the winner. Plus Wynkoop promises some free beer and giveaways. The warm-up starts at noon with the competition firing up at 1 p.m.

Saturday 9: If you’d rather spend your day out and about, the monthly West Side Brewery Bus Loop will transport you between four breweries for only 5 bucks, and if you finish all four you get a free 20181222_212153_hdr1.jpgbeer on your next visit. This month’s breweries are regulars Zuni Street Brewing Co.Little Machine Beer,  Joyride Brewing Company with special guest Westfax Brewing Company. First bus leaves at 2 p.m. and this month’s theme is ski bunnies.

Saturday 9: On Tennyson Street,  Hops & Pie will hold the OG Whales of Craft Beer Fest showcasing over a half-dozen of the original and legendary brews that garnered early craft beer fame. We’re talking famous brews like Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Elder and Dogfish Head’s 120 Minutes, so settle in for an afternoon of drinking!

20181224_150254_HDR[1]Saturday 9: For the fourth year in a row Fiction Beer Company has paired with a bakery – Cake Crumbs Bakery & Cafe this year – to put together beer & cupcake pairings with four beers paired with four special cupcakes.

Sunday 10: It’s Station 26 Brewing Co.’s monthly Bluegrass Brunch. Get an early start, as the food, beer and music starts at 11 a.m.

Sunday 10: For more of a fine dining experience, sign up for Briar Common Brewery’s  five-course beer-pairing dinner from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Note: This is a ticketed event.

 

Weekend Beer Update

Happy Yeti Awareness Week! Help Great Divide protect these gentle but endangered giants on Friday, National Yeti Day, or enjoy some of the other diverse fests, anniversaries, and pre-Thanksgiving festivities taking place this weekend. 

Friday 16: Today is National Yeti Day and the epicenter is Great Divide Brewing Company’s Barrel Bar. They promise a full day of celebration with over ten varieties of Yeti on tap including some crazy ones like Maple Pecan, Chai, and S’mores. They’ll also have giveaways, raffles, a photobooth and food including Yeti ice cream floats. Great Divide also promises to lure the elusive creature out for sightings throughout the day.

Friday 16 – Sunday 18: Feel smarter by celebrating Cerebral Brewing’s third anniversary with special beer releases, food, a DJ, prizes & raffles, and concluding Sunday with an egg-drop competition starting at 2 p.m.

Saturday 17: Get an early start and head to Bruz Beers for a good20171106_194213_HDR cause. Starting at 10:30 a.m., Bruz hosts a Movember mile run that entails drinking a quarter beer and completing a challenge each 1/4 mile. Whether you race or not, stick around for seasonal brews, food trucks, live music, photo booth and shaving station. Needless to say there will be a beard/stache contest.

Saturday 17: Don’t be afraid of the dark! Wynkoop Brewing Company’s Day of Darks brings 32 breweries showcasing their best dark beers to Wynkoop’s upstairs from 12-4 p.m. Note: This is a ticketed event.

20180212_175021_HDRSaturday 17: Spend a comfie day in your PJs at Kokopelli Beer Company’s all day Pajama Party and enjoy music in the afternoon, a special beer release, and the movie Mean Girls at 8 p.m.

Saturday 17: Spice up your day with Chain Reaction Brewing Company’s Chili Cookoff starting at noon. If you’re an aspiring gourmet, whip up a batch to compete for prizes and if not just stop by for samples and beers.

Saturday 17: Locavore Beer Works in Littleton turns four, with an anniversary party offering up special tappings, live music, food, and giveaways.

Saturday 17: Today also marks the fourth anniversary at Fermaentra Brewing with special releases and other festivities that, according to the brewery, are still TBD.fermaentra-2.jpg

Saturday 17: Have a laugh at WestFax Brewing Company’s free comedy show starting at 8 p.m.

Saturday 17 – Sunday 18: Visit either the downtown or Arvada taprooms of Denver Beer Co. for Thanksgiving pie and beer pairings. Four pies + four beers! Note: This is a ticketed event, with discounts for advance purchase.

 

 

Weekend Beer Update

Although the big drinking weekend – St Pat’s – is still a week away, this weekend is jam-packed with beer related events from grand openings to anniversaries to festivals, along with some good-old parties and a chili cookoff.

Thursday 8th – Saturday 10th: Celebrate Zuni Street Brewing Co.’s one-year anniversary all weekend. They’ll throw down some live music, beer releases, party favors, and fun activities to spice things up.

Friday 9th – Saturday 10th: Not to be overshadowed by Zuni, Westfax Brewing Company will be holding their own anniversary party for their second year of business with special releases, giveaways, unique vendors, and a wing-eating contest Friday night.

Friday 9th – Saturday 10th: North Denverites, welcome Image result for periodic table free imagesyour new mountain neighbor to the ‘hood by joining Periodic Brewing’s grand opening celebration. The Leadville-based brewery will hold a ribbon-cutting for their new Northglenn location on Friday, and on Saturday will offer live music and a party bus linking up other Front Range breweries.

Saturday 10th: Start your day with some coffee, and of course beer, at Ratio Beerworks’ Cool Beans Beer & Coffee Festival starting at 10:00. You pretty much get what’s advertised – Ratio beer plus coffee from Novo Coffee and some tasty-sounding brunch food. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 10th: At midday get your geek on at Wynkoop Image result for spinner hat free imagesBrewing Co’s Day of Dorks, where you can sample some of the most unique and unusual beers from over 30 Colorado breweries while diving into the more esoteric aspects of beer geekery with the brewers. Nerd attire is encouraged; a ticket is required.

Saturday 10th: Another anniversary this weekend: New Image Brewing Co. in Arvada. Expect anniversary beer releases and live music.

Saturday 10th: Cap the day off by going backwards – way back to the 80’s. Fiction Beer Company will be hosting an 80’s party all day. Come listen to some retro music and wear your best Madonna & Bon Jovi fashions for beer specials!

Image result for chili free imagesSunday 11th: Cook up a batch of your best chili for Strange Craft Beer Co’s Chili Cookoff, or just stop by to cast your vote for your favorite and chill out with a beer. Click on the link to register.

Sunday 11th: Or if brunch is more your thing, Station 26 Brewing Co. fires up the music and food at their monthly Bluegrass Brunch starting at 11:00

Weekend Beer Update

It’s definitely a weekend to think of others, starting Friday with the support for the endangered Yeti, followed up Saturday by the Day of Darks that supports multiple nonprofits. Day of Darks is truly one of my favorites of the year due to the small crowd and the awesome beers.

Friday 17th: Cap off Yeti Awareness week with Yeti Day at the Great Divide Barrel Bar with over 10 varieties of Yeti on tap, Yeti + food (Yeti ice cream float anyone?), plus raffles.

Friday 17th: Cerebral Brewing starts their 2nd anniversary weekend festivities with a few beer releases, then pumps it up Saturday with live music, raffles, and chocolate giveaways. Sunday features an egg drop contest20160721_201225_HDR – pick up kits at noon, drop at 2:00.

Saturday 18th: Join over 30 local breweries for the Day of Darks at Wynkoop Brewing Co. where they will be pouring some of their stash of dark beers for pairing with chocolates. From past experience this a great event with no lines, easy brewer access, and lots and lots of tasty beer! Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 18th: Come watch the lighting of the star on Castle Rock at 105 West Brewing. The brewery is arranging daycare next door ($5) so the taproom will be an adults-only affair.

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