Beercation: Denver

beercation_denver.jpgAnyone who is even mildly into the craft beer scene probably knows that Denver is the City of Gold when it comes to beer. I took the Hajj and went to the Beer Mecca itself. I had been before, but never with beer on the brain. I did my research and braced myself for the beer storm I was about to weather. I tried to document each beer I had, so hang on, because it’s about to get yeasty.

First up was somewhat of a tradition. My girlfriend and I hopped on down to SliceWorks Pizza and I got a specialty slice (Pizza alla Vodka) and a Titan IPA from Great Divide. You can’t swing a cat without hitting this IPA, and it’s definitely worth the hype. Click the photos for descriptions!

Next we headed downtown to Jagged Mountain Brewing Co. and had our pick of their incredible selection of specialty one-off brews, as well as seasonal and permanent installments. Click the photos below for some half-assed captions.

Next up was the Ale House at Amato’s in the beautiful Highlands District of Denver. Since it wasn’t even noon, I opted for a 10 oz. pour. Oh, Beer gods above please forgive my transgressions. I opted for a crisp delicious Mountain Mama Helles (a type of German lager) by Lone Tree Brewing. Again, click the photos for some descriptions and full sized photos.

I’m gonna be totally honest here. I forgot to take a picture of a beer I had. So, feel free to leave this website now and never come back. You’re not missing much though, I mean it was just a Dale’s Pale Ale, at a concert… at FREAKING RED ROCKS AMPITHEATRE… Actually, when I say it out loud it sounds like I really missed an opportunity there. Well, onwards and upwards I guess.

Next up on our beercation we took a trip northwest and decided to visit beautiful Boulder, CO. FATE Brewing was in my sights because I had heard so much about the food there and my stomach was in command. After a stroll through Pearl Street Mall, we headed to FATE. I got the Director’s Cut, a Belgian style Ale brewing with John Carlson, director of the Colorado Brewers Guild. You know the drill, click the pics, see some words.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. But Andres! You aren’t even drinking that much beer! You’re in Beer Heaven and are only sipping a brew here and there. Right you are my friend. Don’t worry though, I have a trick up my sleeve: The Summer Brew Fest. Over 50 Breweries, Cider Houses and Distilleries all coming together in one place. And here’s the thing – unlimited sampling. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures because the logistics of carrying around a DSLR Camera, drinking beer, writing down what they were and eating pretzels all at once seemed like a nightmare. But here’s a run down of the different breweries I tried and the beers I tried there!

  1. Great Divide – Yeti Oak Aged Imperial Oatmeal Stout
  2. Jagged Mountain – Greywolf Belgian IPA
  3. Ratio Beerworks – Repeater Extra Pale Ale
  4. Strange Craft Beer Co. – Le Bruit du Diable Farmhouse Ale
  5. Firestone Walker Brewing Co. – Luponic Distortion No. 001 (Pale Ale? IPA?)
  6. Lone Tree Brewing Co. – Acres O’Green Irish Red Ale
  7. Grist Brewing Co. – Abbey Normal Belgian Dubbel
  8. Verboten Brewing – Get in My Belly! Scotch Ale
  9. Nighthawk Brewery – AnchorSmith Amber Ale
  10. Weldworks Brewing – Puesta Del Sol Vienna Lager
  11. Open Door Brewing Co. – Chai’l & Error Chai Spiced Milk Stout
  12. Open Door Brewing Co. – Libertas Cream Ale
  13. Lagunitas Brewing Co. – Wilco Tango Foxtrot American Brown Ale
  14. Aspen Brewing Co. – Silver City Sour Ale

Whew. Ok, take a deep breath, have a pint, you made it. The end of the list. While 14 breweries may not seem like a lot to some, the “sample sizes” they were pouring were absolutely massive, so we decided to do the smart thing and end it there. Needless to say we Über-ed home. We had a good sleep and were reinvigorated for another day of beer drinking the next day!

On our last night in Denver we made our way to EPIC Brewing Co. in the RiNo district of Denver. The service was terrible and the taproom was sweltering, but the beer was nonetheless very good. Here are a few pictures for your viewing pleasure.

From there, we decided to take a jaunt across the Platte River and check out Denver Beer Co., which turned out to be one of my favorites. The beer here was unique, tasty and the atmosphere was awesome. I’m kind of a fanboy of this place though because I’d heard so many great things about them, so that may have influenced my opinion. Either way, I definitely enjoyed my time here. Click the pictures below for more, #3 will shock you! (just kidding it won’t).

Lastly on our Beercation was another brewery I had heard some great things about, which was Black Shirt Brewing Co. They’ve made their mark as a music-centric brewery, and just about every night there’s a musical even there in some way shape or form. The back patio is a devoted space for the music, and when music and beer meet smiles abound. We opted for the front tap room, however, because the patio was absolutely PACKED, as an angel had descended from heaven and decided to stop by and sing and strum her heavenly lute (it was actually a guitar) that night. If you don’t know to click the pictures for captions by now, I can’t help you.

I caught a glimpse of Heaven in the beers I tried in that gorgeous city. One day I’ll be there for good and my beercation will just be my life! Until then, enjoy the photos and cheesy captions that accompany them. I hope this has inspired you to visit Denver and try some beer, or if you’ve already been, go again! Below are some random photos from the trip that have nothing to do with beer but I thought were cool enough to share anyway.

Cheers!

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