Melvin Pale Ale and a tequila-aged English pale to compare. Five or six ounces of craft beer before you dig into brisket grilled cheese or fried buttermilk chicken. The brisket sandwich is a perfect blend of rich, crusty, salty, protein packed goodness.
After my first tastes of pales, I paired my lunch with a lone tree Mexican lager (too light, better for patio drinking than beer tasting). We started our Denver beer tour at First Draft. Forty beers on tap, many from Denver. It’s not the cheapest way to taste. At $.50-70 per ounce, your tasting bill grows quick. But we are on a quest to taste the best crafts in Denver and Colorado…so pour away.
Wondering down 26th st about a block, we drop into Zephyr in search of beer and futbol – Iceland v France. The Zephyr Wit is chalked full of banana and the pale ale masked by blood orange. Thanks for the soccer game, but time to find new beer.
Our Mutual Friend Brewery feels like home. The two guys behind the bar welcomed us in, and poured a perfect flight: Segale rye pale (abv 4.9%), citra feyd DIPA (10.2% abv), Don’t Panic black IPA ( 6.0% abv) and Hinckley stout (8.0% abv). We were joined at the bar by true beer nerds. The talk turned to other breweries in town, like Ratio, just down the street.
Ratio had a different vibe than the previous breweries. Busier, hipper, with more traffic. Not sure their beer warrants the attention. But the bar is cool. I could easily spend the whole afternoon here for the atmosphere. Their Antidote IPA made the mark with Brian.
RiNo is the neighborhood in Denver right now. If you are looking for a good restaurant, bar, or something in between – this is the place.
On to the next! Epic brewery, which hails from Utah. Huge tasting room. Full of tourist, with some locals. They have 25 beers. You can order a four ounce pour of each, called The Gauntlet. We opted for a smaller, “hop head” sample. Not our crowd, but their beer is good; and on a brewery crawl that’s the only thing that matters.
Leaving Epic, we wondered back to the 30th & Downing train station, grateful for the 45 min ride home.
Special thanks to our friend, Jon. He organized a similar brewery crawl earlier this year. Here are his recommendations.