Brew Ride - Spring 2018
A Little Background
Denver is a great place to do a brewery ride. There are lots of breweries and miles of bike-able paths and roads around the metro area. So, I try to get out for a brew ride a few times every year.
I figured I'd add a scoring component to the rid. I also want put the maps of my rides up here so you all can pick and choose either the ride I've done or a few breweries from multiple rides to stitch together on your own ride.
Scoring. Note that I'm scoring based on the collective beer that I had at the brewery and not the ambiance of the place or other factors (although I will mention these). Also note that I'm going to just say if a beer was good or not and not go down the path of esoteric descriptions of flavors, mouth feel, etc. Here's the scoring system:
- A: Exceptional beers, one or more of the beers is unique, delicious, and one-of-a-kind
- B: Above average beers, the beers are pretty good, but not mind blowing
- C: Average beers, the beers are solid and taste like beer
- D: Below average beers, the beers may have some undesirable flavors
- F: Pretty much undrinkable beers, you can't finish a flight
We did this ride on Sunday 4/22/2018. I took out the R&D version of the Fill It, Chubby! and my buddy Ryan had his sweet old school Gary Fisher rigid MTB.
We went to the following breweries:
Bruz Beers: B+
At 67th Ave and Pecos, Bruz Beers was easy to get to from the Clear Creek Trail. Their shop is new and beautiful and the beer was good. For a while we were the only people here and I was a little surprised at that given the beautiful day. I had a full pour of the Cirton Golden Specialty Ale and another full pour of the Gargoyle Dubbel. The Citron was especially good (B+) after riding a bike a few miles. The Gargoyle was also very good (B) and had a good Belgian flavor to it (as you'd expect, but sometimes don't get from Belgian-style beers brewed in the US.) I'd recommend going here. My only real gripe with this place is that one bar tender suggested we go to Brewery Rickoli during our ride and it wasn't that good of a suggestion (see below).
New Image Brewing: B-
Located in Old Town Arvada, New Image was an easy ride through town from the Ralston Creek Trail. The shop is nicely laid out and comfortable, but not really remarkable. I had a flight of the three stouts listed on the bottom of the menu (Melanoidin, Coconut Cacao Melanoidin, and I Can't Believe It's Butter) along with the Moped as a refreshing beer before I tucked into the dark stuff. The Moped was good and refreshing, but not remarkable (B-). The two Melanoidins were fine, as well, but pretty normal for the style (C+). The I Can't Believe It's Butter was unique and good, but not mind blowing by any means (B+). If you're walking or cruising around or past Arvada I'd recommend New Image, but I wouldn't go out of my way to go here.
Large Marge's: A+ (not a brewery)
This is not a brewery, but they do have the best cheese steaks in Denver by far. I'm originally from northern Delaware so I know a thing or two about good sandwiches. Large Marge's imports its rolls and meat from Philly and they know the correct ratio of meat to cheese to bread to make a delicious sandwich. If you are ever near Kipling and 38th you should not pass up the opportunity to go here.
Brewery Rickoli: D+
Located in a strip mall on Wadsworth Blvd near 44th Ave, Brewery Rickoli is easy to miss. It is kind of close to the Clear Creek Trail, so it's not too difficult to get to on a bike. Being in an older strip mall the ambiance is like a dive bar. The branding does have some edginess to it, but I don't really get it. For beers, I had a flight of the Mango Hop Session, Black Pline, Vanilla in Yo Rye, and Sour Our Barrel. The Mango Hop Session was actually okay (B-) and the Vanilla in Yo Rye was average (C). However, the Black Pline (D) tasted nothing like a black IPA and the Sour Our Barrel didn't taste like a sour and was on the verge of undrinkable (D-). Maybe I'm missing something with this place, but based on my experience I wouldn't go back.
Seedstock Brewery: C+
Seedstock is located on West Colfax at Lowell Blvd and is pretty close to my house, so easy to get to. It is also reasonably close to the Lakewood Gulch Trail, so readily bike-able from other parts of Denver, too. The shop is open and comfortable and a cool place to hang out. I only had one full beer here, the No Coast IPA. I get really excited about Mosaic hops and was excited about this beer, but it was pretty average (C+). Because I liked the space and the one beer I had was serviceable, I'd definitely come back here and try some more beers.
Strange Craft Beer Company: B+
I hadn't been to Strange Craft for a while, but it is one of the breweries that opened at the beginning of Denver's brewery expansion that started around 2010. It's easy to ride to from the Platte River Trail. I've had a lot of their beer in the past and it has typically scored a solid B with me. On this ride I only had a full pour of the Cherry Kriek and a taster of the Miami Beliner Vice. The Cherry Kriek is Strange Craft's flagship beer and is delicious (A-), but it is their best beer by far. The Miami Beliner Vice was fine, but only average (C). I'd definitely come back here anytime for the Cherry Kriek and maybe to taste another beer or two on my way to the many other breweries closer to downtown.