|Beautiful main bar and ring of taps|
I didn't have the Yard House of downtown Denver on my to-drink list for the trip, but it was happily across the street from our hotel. In 2002, I had been to a Yard House in Irvine, CA, and, while it was a good, I had a mediocre impression of the chain.
Yard House Denver was clearly a step above. Not sure if it was the change in location or the decade later, but the beer list was extensive and touted more than a few hoppy selections to keep me entertained, including Green Flash Palate Wrecker and Odell's Mercenary DIPA. My wife's first draft was Avery's The Reverend, an excellent quad that kept her happy. On our various stops, the tap list had a nice mix of beers to have something for wide range of drinkers without catering to the lowest common denominator, even a few new drafts for the database.
The food was also quite incredible. With an entire portion of the menu dedicated to Gardein meat substitute selections, it was almost like being at a vegetarian restaurant for choices (even some vegan). We fell in love with the BBQ [fake] Chicken Salad so much we went back for it and recreated our on version at home. Gardein products have since been distributed extensively, including local grocery stores. The fish tacos were also excellent, a tasty combination of crispy fish and fresh guacamole.
We had such a great time at the Yard House because of the very attentive staff plus the restaurant was lively without being too noisy to talk. With several stops, including once for just a beer en route to a concert, the service, beer and food were always consistently excellent. Since this positive experience, my intent is to try the Yard House in other locations to see if the chain has improved or if the Denver location is just that good. I haven't had the opportunity for further testing yet but hope to in the future. GALA 2016 is again going to be in Denver, and I look forward to tasting some more taps and digging deeper into the veggie menu with my singing friends again.