Golden City Brewery is located in Golden, CO. next to the Colorado School of Mines campus. We had the pleasure of visiting the brewpub and sitting down with Sales & Marketing Manager, Derek Gilmore, and part owner, Andy Taylor. It was really fun finding out more about Golden City Brewery — “The 2nd Largest Brewery in Golden!” Anyone that is looking for a neighborhood brewpub with a friendly atmosphere and great beer, needs to visit Golden City Brewery.
Golden City Brewery was founded in 1993 by two geologists, Charlie & Janine Sturdavant. They filled the old machine shop behind their historic Golden home with used dairy tanks, and Charlie began brewing German-style ales. The tasting room was originally located in the sunroom of their house, and provided Red Ale and Pale Ale to the local community in 1/2 gallon growlers and kegs. The brewery started out with the help of investments made by many of Charlie & Janine’s friends. Andy Taylor was one of the original investors and thought that he would most likely lose money on the brewery. It took nearly ten years, but the investors started making money on their investment, and to this day there are still 23 part owners. One of the main factors that helped the brewpub take off was the addition of a beer garden. Customers started sitting in the grassy area next to the brewpub… eventually this area became the official beer garden at GCB.
When Golden City Brewery first started out, the craft beer industry was much different than it is now. It was difficult to get started, as demand for craft beers was not like it is today. In 1993, most Americans simply made their choice for beer between one of the two or three major U.S. beer producers. This was referred to as “BMB”, or “Before Microbreweries”, in our talk with Golden City Brewery. Things have really changed for the craft beer industry, especially in the last 10 years.
Over the years, Golden City Brewery has expanded at the same location (still the Sturdavant’s home). The carriage house became the tasting room, and the backyard is now the beer garden. The brewery is still in the machine shop, but a second level was added inside. All of the old equipment has been replaced with real beer fermenters and a slightly used gas-fired kettle. The Golden City Brewery now produces the legendary Red Ale & Pale Ale, in addition to a few other brews, which are listed below. Each beer has it’s own logo, which are very creative and unique to the taste of the beer. Here’s the logo for Clear Creek Pale Ale, which was a very good beer, one of our favorites!
Clear Creek Pale Ale: Ale might not be what miners were looking for in nearby Clear Creek, but Clear Creek Gold can always be found at GCB. This is a traditional German Kolschbier that is hopped with Czech Saaz for a pleasant floral finish. 4.8% ABV
- Evolution India Pale Ale: Evolution IPA has become one of our most popular brews. It’s stronger, hoppier character was designed to survive the arduous overseas journey from Britain to its colonies in India. Today, brewers continue to alter the formula and produce bigger, even hoppier renditions like smooth, aromatic Evolution. 7.3% ABV
- Legendary Red Ale: Legendary Red was the first beer ever brewed at GCB. Its award winning flavor is derived from a large portion of Munich malt, a touch of crystal malts, and just a pinch of black malt. A healthy dose of German hops balances this altbier of epic proportions. 5.2% ABV
- Mad Molly’s Brown Ale: Our award-winning English Northern Brown Ale is inspired by the infamous brewery wench, Mad Molly. You’d be mad too if you served ale all day without a single drop for yourself. Hence the origin of the age-old adage: “Tip your wench well, lest she go mad. For rest nor ale has the sweet girl had.” Molly’s Brown is light and malty with a nice chocolate quality. 4.5% ABV
- Lookout Stout: Named after Lookout Mountain, which overlooks Golden. This oatmeal stout is characterized by a dose of chocolate malt and balanced out with oats for body. It is dark, chocolatey, coffee-like, and smooth. 5.0% ABV
Golden City Brewery mainly sells beer from the brewpub, and is not sold in many retail locations. This is not due to a lack of demand for the beer, it is because the owners prefer to sell from their pub. You can purchase 22 oz. bottles of all the the beer types, except for the IPA. GCB beers can also be found at My Brother’s Bar in Denver, and Woody’s Pizza in Golden. Liquor stores that carry GCB beers include: Foss Building Wine & Spirits in Golden, Clear Creek Wine & Spirits in Golden, Canyon Point Liquors in Golden, and Union Wine & Spirits in Lakewood.
We really enjoyed our visit to Golden City Brewery. GCB offers a fun environment and great beer! We enjoyed all the beers, but our favorites were the Clear Creek Pale Ale and the Evolution IPA. We highly recommend stopping by this fun brewpub, especially in the spring/summer. The beer garden is located in the back of the brewpub and is a popular place when the weather is nice. We’re looking forward to a return visit when we can sit outside and enjoy a breat beer at GCB.
Golden City Brewery
920 12th Street
Golden, CO. 80401