I was in Denver Colorado last week working with a good friend and co-worker – Gary. We both enjoy a cold one and on this trip we were in a hotbed for craft brewed beers. We didn’t get a chance to visit any of the local breweries but cruised the establishments that line the 16th Street Mall in Denver.
Our first night we visited the Paramount Cafe – a fun and laid back place with cold beer and good burgers! I decided to sample….they had a flight of 5 – 5 ounce glasses of local IPA’s. One problem….they were out of one of the Colorado beers so I subbed in a California IPA, the Firestone Double Barrel. The flight included a very nice Odell’s IPA, the Titan IPA, the Denver Pale Ale and the Raging Bitch Belgian IPA. The Odell’s and the Firestone were top notch. Gary had the New Castle Ale – a big one! We were off to a good start Monday night.
The day we arrived we spotted the Yard House. In 2008, Gary and his wife Pat joined me and my wife Kathy at the Honolulu Yard House – 102 beers at that time on tap…Yum. We put a dent in some of the local beers and a few others. So we added the Yard House to our plans for the week.
Our second night we took my friend John’s recommendation to visit the Rock Bottom Restaurant with a brewery smack dab in the middle of the room – 8 large fermenters located upstairs. I sampled the House Amber Ale and it was very good! Gary had the house Red Ale and he found it pretty tasty. Maybe I had two beers????? oh well. Our waiter was very beer knowledgeable and invited us back for the Thursday tapping of the Vienna Lager at 6:00 PM. We promised to return on Thursday and to try the house Texas Fire Steak that he highly recommended.
We made it to the Yard House the next evening. I stayed with the Colorado theme and had two beers from the Tommyknocker Brewery – the Nut Brown Ale and the Hop Strike – an IPA. Gary went back to Honolulu and sampled the Kona Longboard Lager twice.
We finished up the training class we were delivering on Thursday and headed back down to the 16th Street Mall. First stop was the Yard House to cut the dust. I had an Odell’s Myrcenary Ale and Gary reminisced again with the Kona Lager. Tempted to try more but but we had a commitment back at Rock Bottom.
Gary started with the Fire Chief Ale – the house red ale and I went with the house IPA – Yum! Then two Vienna Lagers and it was worth the trip back. Then my notes get fuzzy – Looks like a house Stout was consumed….that was probably mine. A Pale Lager of some sort – likely Gary’s choice. The a Belgian #2 – maybe mine…A red Ale – I am sure that was Gary’s, then something listed as a cask ale ?????? – The house Kolsche – I remember that one and it was superb! Lastly a Barley wine was consumed – or at least we payed to consume it…that tasting session would have been better spread over two or three nights. We just ran out of time. The 6:00 AM drive to the airport Friday morning was a bit hazy.
I think summer trip to Colorado with a DD is in order. Beautiful scenery and awesome craft beers. PS – if you stay close to the 16th Street Mall you can stumble back and not need the DD.