If variety is the spice of life, then Denver Beer Co has got it nailed. Since they opened in August of 2011, they have nearly lived up to their word of never brewing the same beer twice. And with the one exception, the Graham Crackcr Porter, you can’t really blame them since it won a bronze medal at GABF that year.
Located just across I-25 from the up and coming LoHi neighborhood, the brewery sits in an old auto repair shop on Platte Street. Complete with glass roll-up doors much like Renegade Brewing, the brewery now tunes up psyches rather than cars. Unlike Renegade, they have a patio cum beer garden out front filled with large wooden tables and benches that would be at home in the old country.
The first day Denver Beer Co opened those doors, a tsunami of beer geeks from across the city flooded it’s tasting room. Arriving shortly after four, we nabbed the last two stools open at the bar while the mass of craft beer humanity flowed in behind us and filled every nook and cranny as well as the tables out front. As we settled in, we had some decisions to make, knowing full well that we may never have the opportunity to taste any of the brews again.
We started off with the obligatory Brew Trek twosome, an IPA and stout. The Gear Up IPA was just that, an IPA, not a hop bomb (although I do love hop bombs); crisp and satisfying, it pointed to good things to come for the inevitable flight we’d order later. The wife’s Stormy Summer Stout had a rich and complex taste that was oddly light bodied at the same time, a true Summer stout.
Getting slightly peckish while we sipped, we ordered one of the enormous soft pretzels supplied to DBC by City Bakery. They were nearly as good as the doughy monsters I used to gnaw on as a toddler in Germany, but it’s tough living up to childhood memories. They also have the new accessory for any taproom in Denver these days: the rotating food trucks ready to fill that gaping whole once you get a few beers in ya.
Everything we had in the flight was thought provoking in the variety of styles and experimentation.The Kaffir Lime Wheat, the Confluence Pale Ale, the Rye 25 Pale Ale, and the famous Graham Cracker Porter all instilled varying degrees of surprise and appreciation. Among the other times we returned we also enjoyed the William Wallace Scotch Ale, the Paris Coffee Stout, and Sage’s Amber, which leads one to also be appreciative of the ingenuity they have in naming so many beers in their quest to never brew the same recipe twice.
The patrons we met that first night were as diverse as the brews on tap. Everyone was on that beery euphoria from the opening of a new brewery. Since then the clientele has solidified to a smattering of true craft beer enthusiasts and a strong following of locals who inhabit the numerous apartments and condos that define the area.
We come away with a wider appreciation of the brewers’ art each and every time we’ve visited DBC. For the sheer variety of both beers and patrons, Denver Beer Co is the place to go to expand your craft beer horizons.