Ironworks Brewery & Pub – Lakewood, CO

Ironworks logo - FINALIronworks Brewery & Pub is located in Lakewood, CO on Alameda Pkwy. Ironworks sits on the eastern edge of Green Mountain, a popular area for mountain bikers and hikers, and is only a 15 minute drive from Downtown Denver. Ironworks has been brewing craft beer for nearly 25 years, or as they describe themselves, “Suppliers of great beer to all beer drinkers of Lakewood, Colorado, since 1989” (www.Ironworkspub.com).

Ironworks Brewery & Pub was opened by a working class, blue collar iron worker that loved beer, and saved enough money to open his own brewery. The atmosphere at Ironworks is a direct reflection of the original owner’s blue collar roots, and has an industrial, hard-working feel. You’ve probably seen a movie where the main character works hard with their hands all day and can’t wait for the day to end. On the way home they stop at the local pub for a fresh beer from the tap, and have a beer with all of the other hard-working folks from the neighborhood. Ironworks could be the set for this type of scene. While Ironworks has an industrial, tough as nails appearance, their beer is outstanding, and as fresh as you will find anywhere in town.

Ironworks Brewery

Owner, Mike Mader (left), Master Brewer, Mike George (right)

I was able to meet with Owner, Mike Mader, and Master Brewer, Mike George. It was great to find out the background of the name, and the history of Ironworks Brewery & Pub. Ironworks was the first craft brewery in Lakewood, CO, and went nearly 25 years as the only brewery in Lakewood (Caution Brewing opened earlier this year). Ironworks has great history, and is a staple to those living in the Green Mountain area. The brewing equipment at Ironworks is the same equipment that was originally used in 1989. While the equipment is the same, ownership has changed, and the production at Ironworks is on the rise. Mike George was proud to share that Ironworks averaged 350 barrels per year, prior to last year. In 2013, Ironworks produced 852 barrels of beer! The goal is to increase this number in 2014, while keeping the same great quality that Ironworks currently offers its loyal beer drinkers.

Mike George has been brewing at Ironworks for two years. Prior to that he was a regular patron at Ironworks. Mike decided he wanted to try his hand at brewing, and started training at Estes Park Brewery. New to brewing, Mike worked at Estes Park Brewery and at Ironworks in order to learn as much as he could, often putting in 90 hour weeks. Eventually, Mike became the Master Brewer at Ironworks. Mike has been on a mission to improve the quality of all the beer at Ironworks, while also trying out new styles along the way. In my visit with Mike, it was obvious how much he loves beer, and that he puts everything he has into brewing great beer. He’s not happy sticking with the status quot, and is constantly stepping outside the box to try something new.

A cool new addition in 2013 was a hop garden in the back of the building at Ironworks. Ironworks has been busy growing hops of different varieties that will eventually be used in some of the beer at Ironworks. If you’ve never seen hops grown, you’ll have to check out the hop garden at Ironworks. Mike’s passion for hops is not just evident in the hop garden. He’s working on a coop with 30+ breweries in the Denver area to ensure they have great hops available to them. There have been shortages of hops in the past, that have made it difficult for some smaller breweries to have the hops they need. To find out a little about Mike’s hop coop, check out this link: http://www.hop.coop/.

The Beer! Ironworks has 9 beers available at this time. They rotate seasonals in addition to their regular lineup. Ironworks has a good assortment of different styles, and there is something for nearly any taste in beer. My neighbor, a beer lover and someone that visits a different brewery each week, says his favorite beer of any brewery he’s visited is the Green Mountain Pale Ale. I agree with him, the Green Mountain Pale Ale is an outstanding beer. Below is a full list of the current beers at Ironworks Brewery & Pub:

  • Alameda Amber (5.1% ABV): Employees and patrons have been having fun with this one! The Alameda Amber is an approachable blend of nutty malt character and a touch of citrus hops. It is a good all-around ale “with training wheels”. The hops won’t knock you out; nor will the malt sweetness glue your mouth shut. You will enjoy the subtle addition of Rye and Honey Malts that round out Alameda Amber.
  • Agave Wheat (5.4% ABV): Everyone’s favorite easy going style just got a new twist! This wheat beer includes the unique nuance of pure organic Agave Nectar and a hint of lime zest. The result is a sweet yet crisp and refreshing American Wheat. The allure of the agave leaves you wanting more.
  • Golden Crisp IPA (6% ABV):
  • Raspsody Rye Pale Ale (5.1% ABV)
  • Green Mountain Pale Ale (5.5% ABV): For those that enjoy hops but can’t commit to the extremes of India Pale Ale, we offer Green Mountain Pale. This Pale Ale is a pleasant blend of malt and hops. Enjoy the heady, mouthwatering aroma of citrussy domestic hops without the debilitating alcohol content. At 5.5% ABV, it won’t put you under the table before you’re ready!
  • Hop Killa IPA (6.8% ABV): The “Hop Killa” defies hop shortages, bringing you the resiny citrus blast that you crave in an American IPA. This beer has a fresh, clean hop presence that will leave you wanting more.Flavor and aroma additions include Summit, Mt, Hood, Northern and Columbus hops.
  • Krausen Kolsch
  • Chocolate Milk Stout (7% ABV)
  • The Bitchen’ Belgian White (5% ABV)

Ironworks brewed 32 different styles of beer in 2013. They plan on brewing 40 styles in 2014, as they’re constantly looking to try new things. The beer at Ironworks is extremely fresh. It goes straight from the fermentation vessels to the serving vessels, then over to the tap! At this time, Ironworks does not distribute their beer outside of the pub. They do fill growlers, or any 64 oz container for $11 (IPAs are $12.50). If you want to purchase an Ironworks growler, they go for $5.

Recently a bet between Colorado and California Congressmen included an Ironworks brew. If the Denver Broncos had lost to the San Diego Chargers last week, Ironworks would have sent their Pigskin Porter to California Congressman Scott Peters. According to Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter, “In Colorado, craft beer is as important as water to economic and job growth in our communities. As a Colorado Native, I’m confident the Broncos are going to Sic ‘Em when the Pigskin crosses the goal line.” While the Broncos won, and Ironworks didn’t ship off any of their beer, it’s pretty cool that they were included in this bet. I think it speaks to the quality of the beer at Ironworks that they were included in such a high profile bet.

Activities: Ironworks has many activities throughout the week. Below is a list of the activities included at Ironworks.
– Monday: Trivia Night
– Monday, Wednesday: Free Pool
– Tuesday: Service Industry Night
– Thursday, Sunday: Karaoke
– Saturday: Live Music

I had a fun visit with Mike George and Mike Mader at Ironworks Brewery & Pub. I was able to try out some of their beer, and really enjoyed the Battlecat Black IPA, and Green Mountain Pale Ale! Ironworks is a great example of a Colorado craft brewery that brews awesome small batch beers! I highly recommend visiting Ironworks, you will not be disappointed!

Ironworks Brewery & Pub
12354 West Alameda Parkway
Lakewood, CO 80228
Phone: 303-985-5818
www.IronworksPub.com

Brewery Rickoli – Wheat Ridge, CO

Brewery Rickoli Logo

Brewery Rickoli is located in Wheat Ridge, CO. on the Southwest corner of Wadsworth Blvd. and 44th Ave., just west of Denver. Brewery Rickoli opened up in November 2012, becoming the first ever brewery in Wheat Ridge. The idea behind opening Brewery Rickoli was to provide the local neighborhood a place to enjoy a fresh pint close to home. While the brewery has only been open a short time, it has already made a big impression in the community.

Brewery Rickoli is the creation of Rick Abitbol, a seasoned brewer with 10+ years of professional brewing experience. Rick has a unique brewing story. He started out in homebrewing, and entered his first contest at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo. His Cream Ale did very well and was highly regarded among judges at the fair, it was even a finalist for the “Best of Show” award. Rick decided to approach a local brewery to see if they would be interested in letting Rick brew his cream ale. He was able to convince the owner of Shamrock Brewing to give him a shot, and Rick was able to get his first experience brewing in a brewery.

Later on, Rick joined Hop, Barley & the Alers, a well known homebrew club in Boulder. This club happened to be the same club Charlie Sturdavant (Owner of Golden City Brewery, and Tommyknockers), was also in. Rick met Charlie and basically begged him to give him an opportunity to help out at GCB. Rick started out doing anything he could to help, and eventually began helping brew. After gaining more experience, and the departure of the head brewer, Rick took over as head brewer at GCB. Rick worked at GCB for two years, then gained additional experience brewing at Rock Bottom, Denver ChopHouse and finally Renegade Brewing.

Over the years, Rick learned a great deal from his time brewing in several types of breweries. He developed tastes and methods that grew his love of brewing, and he began dreaming of starting his own brewery. With a bankruptcy looming, Rick began to make plans to open his own brewery. Thanks to financing from Rick’s dad, and the Sam Adams Brewing the American Dream Program, Rick was able to realize his dream. Rick officially opened Brewery Rickoli on November 28, 2012. Since then, locals have been enjoying fresh pints – some have visited as many as 80 times in the roughly 150 days Brewery Rickoli has been open!

Rickoli Black and Tan

A Black & Tan served especially for us!

Beer List: For a small brewery, Brewery Rickoli offers a ton of beer choices! Not only are all of Brewery Rickoli’s beers Gluten Reduced, they are great tasting. There are beers for every taste, and all levels of beer geekdom. From the lighter Cream Ale, to the hoppy Double IPA, the beers at Brewery Rickoli are very good. My personal favorites are the Aldo Red and the Black Pline! Although, it was a tough call to pick any favorites. Rick said it best, “Brewery Rickoli brews big beers to compensate for their small equipment!” Of course this is in reference to their small homebrew setup, that produces outstanding, consistently flavorful beers. Rick is proud to be able to produce the beers he does with what he calls, “the smallest brewery setup in the state.”

  • M.E.H. (Most Excellent Homebrew) Cream Ale – This is a very refreshing and light ale that is very similar to Genesee Cream Ale. This beer is only 4.3% ABV, so you can relax and have a few after work and still get stuff done. A malty leaning beer that has just the right kiss of hops! 4.3% ABV, 20 IBU’S. 
  • ALDO RED –  (Named after Rick’s Dad) This is a very flavorful derivation of a German style called ALTBIER. A little fuller boded than the German version, this beer has the depth of flavor of an Irish Red, but finishes cleaner.  This beer is 5.3% ABV and uses Munich, Vienna, and Pilsner malt with a little noble hop to give it character. 5.3% ABV, 30 IBU’S.
  • Totally EYE-P-A  –  Everybody has an IPA and we have a great one! Pale malt and a touch of Munich malt combine to provide a clean and sturdy base for the intense hop flavor and aroma in this beer. At 6.8% abv, This beer falls in line with the new wave of IPA beers on the market. 6.8%ABV, 65 IBU’S.
  • Rickoli’s Rye Stout – This is a hearty Rye Stout that satisfies the soul! Roast and coffee notes are combined with rye spiciness and the full body sweetness of malt to cradle the gentle American hop flavor that this beer takes advantage of.                 7% ABV, 45 IBU’s.
  • Social Lubricant – This is traditional Scotch ale.  Golden Promise malt with a touch of roast barley, boiled extensively to concentrate the caramel flavors with just the stingiest amount of English hops! 8% ABV, 30 IBU’S.
  • Disturbed Reflection Double IPA – This is our double version of Totally Eye-P-A! It reeks of pungent hops and alcohol and has a wonderful creamy mouth feel that lays the lupulin goodness across all of your senses.  9.7% ABV, 190 IBU’S – Whew!
  • The Black Pline – This is a very intense Imperial Black IPA! Extreme hop nose and flavor supported by just a kiss of dark malt that gives a subtle smoke in the profile. 9.8%ABV, 70 IBU’S
  • Session IPA Our second offering in our Single-hop Pale Ale Series.  We make a nominal Pale Ale recipe and change out the featured hop variety.  This month we combine Summit with 2 experimental hop varieties. 5% ABV, 65 IBU.
  • VannFaw Red Hefeweizen –  Inspired by the awesome folks in our homebrew club, the VannFaw Hefe uses a darker shade of caramel to compliment the banana-like esthers and reminds one of Bananas Foster on the palate while still light and refreshing! 4.55% ABV
  • Thrilla in Vanilla –  Rickoli’s Rye Stout spiked with vanilla!  The heartiness of this very approachable stout is balanced and softened by the subtle vanilla flavor.        7% ABV, 45 IBU’s.
  • Elke Brown – (Named after Rick’s Mom) An American-style brown ale, with an array of medium to dark caramel malts. Accented with English chocolate malt, which gives a full-bodied sweetness that cradles the Williamette hops used throughout this brew. 6.8% ABV, 45 IBU

Brewery Rickoli serves all of their beers from the tap. If you would like to purchase beer to take home, Growlers are available. I personally grabbed a growler of the Aldo Red, and can’t say enough about the great quality of the beer, and the freshness. Brewery Rickoli is working on distributing kegs to local restaurants and bars that specialize in providing quality craft beer from the great State of Colorado.

Events: Here are a few local events where you will be able to try Brewery Rickoli’s beers.

I had a great visit with Rick Abitbol at Brewery Rickoli. He’s created a nice local brewery and taproom, which is perfect for beer lovers in the Wheat Ridge area. Of course, Denver is only a few minutes away, so it is a short trip down to Brewery Rickoli from around the metro area. Rick brews awesome beers and the vibe in the taproom is positive and laid-back. Brewery Rickoli provides good music, fresh beer, and a simple, fun environment to relax and enjoy a pint. I highly recommend making a trip to see Rick and enjoy a beer at Brewery Rickoli. Keep an eye out as Rick has plans to add a beer garden area behind the taproom. His plans include a 4-tap system and live music! Thanks again for the hospitality, and keep up the good work Rick!

Brewery Rickoli
4335 Wadsworth Blvd
Wheat Ridge, CO. 80033
303-344-8988
www.BreweryRickoli.com

River North Brewery – Denver, CO

River North Logo

River North Brewery & Taproom is located in Denver, CO. a few blocks north of Coors Field in the ballpark neighborhood. The area around River North is a fun, lively and popular area with many breweries, galleries and restaurants close by. This area, called RiNO (River North Art District) was once a rough, mostly abandoned part of Denver, but has been transformed with redevelopment. RiNO includes many 100+ year-old brick buildings that have been renovated, giving the area a historic look and feel.

River North was started by Matt Hess, a former Engineer for Lockheed Martin. Matt was tired of the “cyclical nature of the aerospace industry”, and wanted to do something different. He had experience in homebrewing, and decided that starting a brewery was his ticket to doing something different. Matt had been homebrewing in 5 gallon batches, then splitting up the 5 gallon batch into smaller 1 gallon batches to try new ideas. Each smaller 1 gallon batch gave Matt an opportunity to tweak his recipes, or to add something completely new. With 2-3 years of experimentation, Matt was able to create some great homebrew recipes that he would eventually use to brew beers at River North Brewery. Matt has not only been the driving force behind the beers at River North, he also designed the logo. He has done a great job in creating a clean, distinctive brand that is easily recognizable. When he’s not brewing, Matt also handles deliveries and sales, manages the taproom, and many other tasks that arise in the day-to-day process of running the business side of the brewery.

Patrick Annesty is the Director of Communications for River North, and was nice enough to give us a tour and share their excellent beers. Patrick joined the River North team just after they officially opened last year. He came to Denver from Ft. Laurderdale, FL., after graduating from the University of Florida. Patrick was looking to move to a fun place with a good beer culture, and Denver was a prime spot for that. After coming to Denver, Patrick visited local breweries hoping to use his journalism and homebrewing skills to help out a local brewer. A few weeks after Parick visited River North, Matt Hess called Patrick and asked for help — opening weekend was bigger and busier than Matt ever imagined! Since then, Patrick has taken on a jack of all trades role, and does a bit of everything. Patrick is Matt’s right hand man, and does everything from generating buzz on social media to brewing to making deliveries.

River North officially opened in February 2012. In their first year, River North produced 300 barrels, and made a big name in the Denver community. The business plan for River North was different than many breweries that simply start a taproom and hope to distribute someday. Matt Hess started the brewery with the plan to bottle and distribute immediately. The facility behind River North’s taproom is huge for a smaller brewery, and provides a great deal of room for expansion going forward. If you visit the taproom, you will see just how big River North plans to become. The plan for 2013 is to produce 900 barrels, or 3x the amount of beer River North produced in their first year! River North Taproom

Matt Hess enjoys brewing Belgian-style ales, and American style ales with a Belgian twist. River North brews exclusively in the Belgian style, and is dedicated to always brewing quality beers. Ingredients are brought in from the best sources around the country in order to consistently brew high quality, great tasting beers. River North has an eclectic beer list, and does not focus on having all the American style beers that are typical at most breweries. We really enjoyed all of the beers, but especially the BPR (Belgian-Style Pale Red), the Hello, Darkness (Black IPA) and the Unified Theory (Oaked Imperial Wit).

Beer List:

  • River North White White Ale / Belgian-Style Wit 5.0% ABV
  • Hello, Darkness Black IPA: 6.2% ABV
  • BPR Belgian-Style Pale Red Ale 6.4% ABV
  • J. Marie Saison / Farmhouse Ale 7.5% ABV
  • Hoppenberg Uncertainty Principle Belgian-Style Double IPA 9.0% ABV
  • Quandary Quadrupel 9.6% ABV
  • Unified Theory Oaked Imperial Wit:  8.5% ABV
  • Avarice Belgian-Style Imperial Stout 9.3% ABV

Barrel Series (Limited Availability):

    • Barrel Series No. 1 – J. Marie Aged in Whiskey Barrels
    • Barrel Series No. 2 – J. Marie Aged in White Wine Barrels
    • Barrel Series No. 3 – Quandary Aged in Whiskey Barrels
    • Barrel Series No. 4 – BPR Aged in Whiskey Barrels
    • Barrel Series No. 5 – River North White aged in white wine
    • Barrel Series No. 6 – River North White aged in whiskey
    • Barrel Series No. 7 – Avarice Imperial Stout aged in whiskey
    • Barrel Series No. 8 – Barrel Reserve 2013 (currently available).

In Bottles (22 oz. bombers) Click here to see the River North beer locator

    • J. Marie
    • Hoppenberg Uncertainty Principle
    • Quandary
    • Unified Theory
    • Avarice

River North has a membership program for anyone that would like to become part of their local club. The program will be announced in July, and the details for this year are not available yet. Last year, members paid $50 and received a member’s only glass, $4 beers all day/everyday and had access to a special member’s only barrel aged IPA. The program for members will be different this year, but there will be great opportunities to get exlusive access to some cool offerings from River North.

Festivals: This only includes a couple that are already booked. To find out about all of the festivals and activities River North will be part of, check out their Facebook, and Twitter pages.

We had a great visit to River North, and look forward to seeing bigger and better things from them. They provide great beers, and a fun, laid-back atmosphere at their taproom. They recently opened up a patio which provides a nice place to enjoy fresh air and a little scenery. A great time to head to River North would be before a Rockies game. With the close proximity to Coors Field, it’s only a few minutes walk to enjoy a fresh beer. Thanks to Matt Hess and Patrick Annesty for their hospitality, and for sharing their story with us!

River North Brewery
2401 Blake St #1
Denver, CO. 80205
(On the corner of 24th & Blake)
303.296.2617

Wit’s End Brewing Company – Denver, CO

Wits End Brewing logo

Wit’s End Brewing Company is located in Denver, CO, and is a self proclaimed “Impossibly small Denver nanobrewery fueled by dreams and inspired by the limitless potential of craft beer.” Wit’s End was started by Scott Witsoe, a transplant from Seattle, WA. After coming to Denver, Scott realized there was a beer culture similar to Seattle, and the dream of starting a brewery was born.

The moment the light bulb turned on for Scott Witsoe was when he first attended the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). Scott had seen the event on TV, but always thought it looked gimicky, basically like an informercial. There was no way this event was as great as advertised…well maybe it really was. Scott couldn’t believe the amount of brewers, the different types of beer, and all the people that were so passionate about craft beer! The wheels started turning, and Scott began dreaming about becoming a brewer.

As Scott became more familiar with Denver, he quickly found great local craft beers. Great Divide became his favorite craft brewery, and happened to be in Scott’s neighborhood. Avery, another local brewery, turned Scott onto Belgian style beers. After getting some ideas and trying different types of beers, Scott began tinkering with his own recipes via a homebrew kit he acquired from his father-in-law. The kit had been collecting dust, so Scott simply needed to dust it off and pick up ingredients to make his first homebrew. Scott’s hombrewing quickly got him excited about opening up his own brewery. As Scott describes it, “opening the first beer, hearing the sound, and smelling the first beer, I knew what I wanted to do.” By his 5th homebrew batch, Scott filled his first keg. Scott’s friends tried his beers and the response was great…it was time for Scott to realize his dreams. 

Scott was laidoff from his job in the MMA industry in March 2011. It was at this point that Scott, and his wife Heather decided it was time to pursue his dream full-time. They made the decision to go through the difficult process of starting a brewery with no back up employment to fall back on. As Scott put it “Without the support of my wife, I would not be doing what I am. She has supported me completely, and she deserves a ton of credit for that!” After months of paperwork, planning, inspections, licensing, painting, construction, and a lot of long days, Scott and Heather officially opened Wit’s End Brewing in September 2011! Immediately, Scott realized how much he enjoyed watching people build relationships at Wit’s End, and he knew he was finally doing what he was meant to do.

Wit’s End is a small taproom that offers up fresh beer, and a neighborhood feel that is hard to find these days. Scott has placed an emphasis on fostering conversation instead of sitting and staring at TVs like at a typical sports bar. Each person that came to Wit’s End during our visit was personally greeted by Scott, and made to feel at home. If you want to enjoy a beer at a fun, friendly taproom, Wit’s End is a great place to go.

Scott has creativity that shows in his beers. With names like “Jean Claude Van Blond” and “Mick Jaggery” the beers at Wit’s End offer options that are a little outside the box. Standards are not necessarily followed, and are not meant to be. Scott has made an effort to do things his way, and does not worry about following institutionalized “style” guidelines. It’s more fun to do something different, and to create a unique recipe.

Beer List: Our favorite beers were the Wilford, and the Green Man Ale! The Wilford won an Award at the Colorado State Fair. The Green Man Ale is Scott’s oldest recipe and was modeled after the 1st craft beer he had in Seattle (Redhook). Wits End 40sIf you head down to Wit’s End, you can try many different beers from the tap. Availability changes from time to time, but there are always some great options to choose from.

If you want to purchase beer to take home, Wit’s End has a really cool option. They have 40oz. stainless steel “40s” that are very popular. In fact, Westword awarded Wit’s End with the “best new beer to go idea” for their 40s. You can even find Wit’s End’s 40s in the A-Z exhibit at the Colorado History Museum in the beer section. Wit’s End will also fill any seal able container with the beers they have on tap, so bring in a growler, Nalgene, or any other seal able container.

  • Jean-Claude Van Blond: Inspired by the action hero in all of us. It features a Belgian yeast strain and is built on a lighter malt profile with just a touch of oats for a silky body and some additional depth. You will find this beer intriguing and hard to define—which is just the way we like it.
  • Wilford: Introducing the Belgian Oatmeal IPA! Flaked oats play a major role in this Belgian-American porridge. Pungent spicy noble hops, citrusy American hops, and a Belgian yeast all wrapped up in a silky blanket of oats–yes please! We will not make any claims as to the health benefits of using oatmeal in beer, but if there are any, then…it’s the right beer to drink, and the tasty way to do it!
  • Super FL I.P.A. : A no nonsense Black IPA—can you dig it? This bad-ass beer features nine different malts, as well as a combination of Columbus and Cascade hops. After the fermentation, it is then dry-hopped and rests on just a touch of real cedar wood chips. The game it plays it plays for keeps!
  • Green Man Ale: Inspired by the malty and hoppy beers of the Great Northwest, Green Man Ale is a rich and layered beer that lies somewhere between an IPA and a Red Ale—not exactly radical, but not quite the conformist, Green Man Ale just is.
  • Kitchen Sink Porter: What started out as a basic porter recipe evolved by adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that, using a wide variety of malts not typically seen in a porter. This includes various types of rye and a dash of smoked malt. The result—a roasty, spicy, chocolaty glass of goodness. We just threw in the Kitchen Sink moniker for good measure.
  • Experimental Beers: There are many of them…probably too many to list here! Check out the beer list or see what is available when you visit. The experimental beers are available from time to time. To view Wit’s End’s beer list, click here

We had a great visit to Wit’s End Brewing, and were impressed with the beers, and the passion behind the making of them. Scott Witsoe has created a great environment to enjoy a beer, or as he puts it “slow beers for fast times.” Wit’s End is all about personality, and making it enjoyable for people to visit. If you’re looking for an unpretentious environment, and are open to exploring new types of beers, Wit’s End would be a great taproom to visit. Thanks for the hospitality Scott!

Wit’s End Brewing Company
2505 W 2nd Ave. Unit 13
Denver, CO 80219
http://www.witsendbrewing.com/

Taproom Hours
Thursdays
4:00-8:00pm

Fridays and Saturdays
2:00-8:00pm

Sundays
2:00-6:00pm

Renegade Brewing Company – Denver, CO

Renegade Brewing Logo

Renegade Brewing Company is located in Denver, CO. near the intersection of Sante Fe Dr. and 9th Ave. The area surrounding Renegade Brewing is an eclectic mix of industrial and residential buildings. Denver’s Art District on Sante Fe is around the corner, and creativity seems to be in the air in and around the brewery.

Renegade Brewing Company was started in 2011 by Brian and Khara O’Connell. Brian was a full-time statistician, and a part-time a homebrewer that loved to make beer. He started learning how to make homebrews after his wife Khara bought him a homebrewing kit. Khara thought Brian’s love of beer would simply be a hobby. She had no idea that after about three years of experimenting and training, Brian would decide to turn his hobby into a business.

Brian’s scientific mind and experience with statistics had an effect on the types of beers he brewed. Brian analyzed the ingredients he used and played with recipes a great deal. He developed brewing strategies from studying, researching, and even interning at another brewery. Once Brian developed his beers in his backyard, he brought his offensively delicious brews, developed in his backyard, to Denverites to encourage social interaction and friendship. Renegade Brewing Company’s slogan is ‘offensively delicious’, as they strive to brew beers that are creative, packed with flavor, and don’t necessarily align with traditional styles or trends.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Laura Vande Zande, Ambassador of Enjoyment for Renegade Brewing. Laura explained how Renegade has created a neighborhood pub atmosphere that encourages visitors to have genuine conversations. Ultimately, Renegade strives to be a relational brewery – they want to foster a sense of community, and to provide a place for friends to meet, or for strangers to engage in a conversation. The taproom at Renegade Brewing Company does not include a single TV. Instead, you will hear good music playing in the background, and see people sitting together, enjoying conservation.

Many visitors at Renegade Brewing appeared to be stopping in on their way home from work. Most patrons knew their way around the taproom, and were farmiliar with either friends or neighbors that were enjoying beers. The sense of community really stuck out, and the crowd at Renegade was a happy bunch (the beer may have had something to do with that)! The success of Renegade’s ‘relational brewery’ atmosphere is evident as they are planning to open a second location in 4-6 weeks. The new location will be located at University & Evans in Denver.

Beer List:

  • 5:00 (Afternoon Ale): We did not try the 5:00, but will next time.  5% ABV
  • Ryteous (Rye IPA): This was the original beer for Renegade, and was originally a homebrew recipe for Brian O’Connell. He brought the recipe to the masses when he decided to open up Renegade Brewing.  7% ABV
  • Elevation (Triple IPA): Don’t let the high alcohol content scare you away. This beer has a really unique, excellent flavor. The taste includes a grape-fruity flavor with a sort of piney finish. Elevation is very smooth, and great tasting!  11.2% ABV
  • Silas (White Stout): Beer drinkers may be confused by this one. How can a stout be white? Not sure, but this one is outstanding. It’s light in color, but has a taste similar to Guiness. Definitely one to try while at Renegade.  6% ABV
  • Midnight in Bruges (Belgium Black IPA) We did not try the Midnight in Bruges, but will next time.  8% ABV
  • Hammer and Sickle (Russian Imperial Stout) We did not try the Hammer and Sickle, but will next time.  9% ABV
  • Sunday Morning (Coffee Infused Strong Ale) This is a tasty ale with a coffee finish. The coffee smell is stronger than the taste. Overall the beer is smooth and the hint of coffee is a great touch.  6% ABV

If you want to find a place that sells Renegade’s beers, check out their beer locator: http://renegadebrewing.com/find-us/. Renedage’s beers are available in 4-packs of pint cans. To read Renegade’s blog about why they use cans, click here: http://renegadebrewing.com/we-can-can/

Awards:

  • Best New Brewery – 5280 Top of the Town
  • Best Neighborhood Brewery – Westword
  • #2 Best Bar in Denver – Westword
  • Elevation Triple IPA – #2 Best Beer in Colorado – Denver Off the Wagon

Renegade Brewing Company has created many great tasting beers that are far from typical. Renegade bucked the traditional beer do’s and don’ts in order to brace creativity and to push the envelope of what craft beers can be. We enjoyed all the beers we sampled, but the Silas White Stout, and the Elevation Triple IPA were the favorites. Both will surprise you with their flavor and smooth finish. We encourage you to visit Renegade Brewing Company to try out some really unique beers. Thanks to Laura for a great visit! We enjoyed sampling Renegade’s beers, and finding out more about the company.

To find out more about Renegade Brewing Company, check out their website: http://renegadebrewing.com

Renegade Brewing Company
925 W 9th Ave / Denver, CO
720-401-4089
info@renegadebrewing.com