So...finally have these things going...hopefully I'm using them correctly
A brewery for every occasion: A list of the best taprooms in town
August 15, 2014
Something that should be evident to anyone active in the Colorado beer culture is the wide variety we have in the types of brewers in this state. We have everything from the Lex Luther breweries in Golden and Ft Collins to breweries that are quite literally operated out of homes. These varied locales and sizes don’t just offer opportunities for different types and styles of beer, but unique taprooms in which to enjoy your pint.
While I try to include this element in every brewery I feature on the blog, there are certain places that I return to on a regular basis depending on my mood and motivations. Those of you who have read the blog for a while know what at least one of these places is (if you don’t know what I’m referring to, don’t worry you will shortly) but there are several others that I feel haven’t received the attention on the blog they deserve as a result of the amount of time I spend in them. As such, I’ve put together a list of the best taprooms for certain moods and activities. Ready, here we go:
Best taproom for studying/working: Former Future Brewing Co.
Recently, I have spent at least an hour or two every Friday at Former Future working on a project with some friends (it’s something super awesome that I’ll tell you guys about later…) Each time I walk in I get excited, not just because I’m working on something I care about but because I get to do it in an environment like this.
Even on a Friday, Former Future never gets too loud or rowdy, and to me at least the atmosphere lends itself to doing things of substance. It truly means allot to me that Sarah (one of the owners) actually knows me by name and the names of me peers in this endeavor and genuinely seems interested in how things are coming along. Add to that the fact that I have never had a bad pint there (lately I’ve been on a Lage Landen kick, it’s a fantastic Tripel) and this place turns into the best place in the world to study, work or otherwise get things done over a few pints.
Best taproom to make you feel like a kid again: New Belgium Brewery
I’m pretty sure it’s state law to have had at least one New Belgium beer when living here. These guys are one of the most well known of Colorado’s independent breweries and I’m happy for them to be getting to the point where they are expanding nationally. One of the most fun experiences I’ve had at a brewery was the tour of New Belgium’s Mothership in Ft Collins. Having taken the tour a few times I think it is a fair analogy to say that this place is the “Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory” of breweries. Every part of the brewery that you go through on the tour is fun and whimsical (yes, I just used “whimsical” in a sentence, not take a drink for questioning my lexicon) and truly leaves you feeling like a kid at a playground.
The pinnacle of the whole experience is at the end of the tour, when you are invited to go down an adult sized curly slide into the tap room. The taproom offers everything that is currently in rotation at New Belgium, including on occasion beers that you can’t find outside of the brewery anymore. The whole tap room (or as they call it at New Belgium the Liquid Center) is adorned in bike paraphernalia and classic signs from the brewery, adding to the fun and relaxed atmosphere. Each time I’ve gone up I find myself having a few pints after the tour with the same feeling I had after a day at an amusement Park or the museum when I was young (yeah, I was a museum kind of kid). I can’t recommend enough that you go experience the Liquid Center and brewery tour yourself; I’m willing to bet you’ll never want to leave.
Best restaurant/brewpub: Lowdown Brewery + Kitchen
This was a hard one to decide for me given the places I’ve been to thus far that make beer and serve food, but after pondering my options one thing made Lowdown stand out in this category. The Taos pizza you guys, seriously the Taos pizza, oh my god the Taos pizza you guys….seriously. All of their pizza is pretty fantastic, but there is something about the Taos that is border line addictive. The Kurt Brussel is also one of the better appetizers I’ve had, and I defy anyone to not like brussel sprouts after trying it. Really everything I’ve had on the menu is fantastic and I have resigned myself to the fact that every time I go to Lowdown I will become a glutton for the night.
Of course, this place wouldn’t be on the list without also having really good beer. The Patio Pounding Pilz and the Selfish in particular are great for a warm summer day and pair well with most everything on the food menu. Whether or not it’s intentional, Lowdown feels like a place where you can sit and enjoy time with the people you are with as you would around the dinner table at home. If you are looking for solid food and great beer, this is one place you shouldn’t miss.
Best Taproom to forget all your troubles: Trve Brewing Co.
You all had to know this one would be on the list (unless you haven’t read the blog before, then you have an out….this time) As evidenced in the Metal Beer posts that I’m sure will continue to pop up as long as the blog is up, Trve has become the place I go when I find myself thinking too much about what was, what is and what could have been. It has also become a place for celebrating the little things (like jumping someone’s car, or meeting goals in the gym) so it’s not all doom and gloom as motivation to head down there. In any event, I go to Trve for one simple reason: it makes me happy.
I genuinely enjoy sitting at the back of Trve near the brewing equipment where the music is as loud as possible and the alter above the taps is in full view. Recently the art that has been on display in recent months has also been awesome, if nothing else as fodder for discussion. Those discussions are often had with friends that join me, but just as frequently with strangers as most of the patrons at Trve are fun people with something interesting to talk about. The same can be said about the folks behind the bar, who are FUCKING AWESOME and always seem to love being there (and really who wouldn’t be happy slinging beer and listening to metal all day….boring people that’s who).
Environment and people aside, one of the biggest draws of Trve is of course the beer. There are few things in this world that make me as happy as a Tipareth after a long day, followed by a Hellion and/or a Tunnel of Trees. I can’t wait for the Acid Temple to be in full swing and for all of the amazingly brewed concoctions that are sure to result from that milestone. So, whether you are people watching at the front ledge or sitting at the long table talking to friends and listening to something heavy, everything about Trve is sure to put a smile on most people’s faces.
Every brewery on this list is someplace I think is special. For one reason or another all of these will always be places to which I will return often as long as I live in Denver. I will most likely award new titles to different breweries in the future for other qualities they impart but for now, I would ask that you go see what each of these places is all about and the kind of experience it will be for you.