Monday, May 20, 2013

Denver Beer Tour (Denver, CO)


Ale House at Amato's
After a fantastic week of music with One Voice Mixed Chorus at GALA, an intrepid band of beer drinkers within the choir stayed an extra day to taste Denver. We started by taking the free MallRide to the northwest end of 16th Street to shorten our walk to our first stop across the river.  Here's a map of our path for the day.

We started at Ale House at Amato's because it opened earlier for lunch than anything else downtown.  Plus, the walk across the river in the late morning was a fun start to the day.  Two former students, who were in the midst of packing to move to DC, paused filling boxes to have lunch with us.  It's great when the timing of life works works in one's favor.  Because we had a long day ahead, I splurged and enjoyed the Fish n Chips but Gloria thought the flatbread, while good, was a bit weird.  Overall, the foodies in the group were fairly happy with it.  Great local beer selection, which allowed me to taste new beers: Yak and Yeti Himalayan IPA and Bristol's Edge City Imperial IPA.  Solid start.

Great Divide patio
Walking back over the river, the next stop was the famous Falling Rock Tap House.  I've been to Falling Rock before, but only during GABF.  Far less crazy on an early Thursday afternoon, we settled in the comfortable coaches.  A collaboration beer between Falling Rock and Pikes Peak was my high point: a Double Belgian IPA; pale, lager yellow but with a serious funk bite.  Sadly, Falling Rock was a tough stop for us.  One member fell off the several inch drop off and hurt her ankle and another member didn't notice her wallet fall into the deep coach (we returned for it later).  Great beer place in spite of our confluence of troubles.

Falling Rock Tap House
On my last GABF, I did a pub crawl with BeerAdvocate that included Great Divide. With BA, we not only got the VIP tour, but they didn't let us pay for any of the beer.  This was my first opportunity to pay back the kindness and my group of hop heads didn't mind.  My top beer of the stop was a Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti that was very worth the effort.

Even though the main brewing is done in Maryland now, Flying Dog still has a tasting room in Denver.  Hard to find (go around the back of the building for the address), we finally got into the tasting room for my favorite puppy in the pound: Double Dog.  Plus, I really liked the Wildeman Farmhouse, a funky farmhouse ale that was brewed for the famous beer bar (and personal favorite) In de Wildeman in Amsterdam.

A bit of ironic humor at
Flying Dog tasting room
Needing sustenance again, we finished at old reliable: Wynkoop Brewing in LoDo.  We love it and generally start, and this time end, every trip here. Tonight we returned for the amazing Mac & Cheese and the fantastic Veggie Green Chili, the latter being a particular treat for this vegetarian—didn't even know I missed it until this week. Added the ColoRojo Double Red to the database tonight, a fine ale to finish the day and the week.

In short, drinking in Denver is a bucket list day for any beer geek.  Taking a slow pace today, our tour is simply one of many options in the downtown area, much of which can be facilitated with efficient public transportation.  We just learned GALA 2016 is returning to the fabulous music facilities of downtown Denver and this beer geek can't be happier.  To quote the great philosopher Ferris Bueller, "It's so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend it."

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