July 12, 2013

Kansas City invades Denver

I went to Ft. Collins and Denver for the long 4th of July weekend, to take in the best in what the cities had to offer. And by that, I mean I went to a lot of breweries. I believe we went to 10 all told, but it gets a little blurry. While looking through my pictures from the trip, most of them look... similar. Luckily, some have branded glasses, making identifying them after the fact a lot easier. Like this one  -

Crooked Stave was one of my favorite stops of the trip. Not only because of the beers (which were GREAT), but because when we walked in, I recognized a couple friends from Kansas City who happened to make the trip west and visit the same brewery on the same day. At one point there were about 14 people in the taproom, and 10 of us were from KC. Maybe that'll convince them to bring there beers here! Everyone should have a chance to try them - mostly barrel aged beers, and lots of varieties in the flavors. Vieille, a barrel aged saison, was a highlight for me.

This is where my deductive skills helped. Because of the table and the water cooler in the background, I at first I thought this was Crooked Stave. Then remembered they didn't have that many beers on tap, and nothing that dark, and remembered it was Verboten. There was another chance meeting that brought us here. This time it was running into one of the founders of the brewery and learning they were open late on the 4th. I'm glad this worked out, because their stuff was very good. Only recently opened in Loveland, they had a lot of beers available, and I don't remember one lacking in the slightest.

I wanted to get a growler of In Love With Summer, their strawberry rhubarb wheat, but sadly they were out of empties. Just means I'll have to go back. They had a rum barrel aged beer that was fantastic, and What Hump?, a sour porter that impressed. Definitely seek them out if you're in the area.

I'm pretty sure this was River North. The style of glass sticks in my head. Just up the street from Coors Field, this was another brewery I didn't know about but sorta blew me away. Great beers all around, including Unified Theory, an oaked imperial wit. And a food truck parked outside. I love eating food out of trucks (even if I didn't eat anything from this one, it still earns points for just being there. The food looked good, but would have been taking up precious real estate tabbed for beer).

 More distinct glassware, this time from Black Shirt Brewing. Cool taproom and a unique take on their beers - most (if not all) of the beers were various "reds." There was a red saison, a red porter, red pale, etc. Solid beers, and everyone seemed to love their sour. For whatever the reason, it wasn't really my thing, but I can respect it. I may have accidentally broken the brewery. OK, not too badly, only a chain barrier knocked over. Nothing serious.

Another new brewery, De Steeg has only been open since February, but they're cranking out great beers. One of the (I assume) founders of the brewery was so impressed by our table that he came out to take a picture for himself. Again, I was impressed by their stuff. A Belgian saison and a French saison were both tasty, and their barleywine was amazing. Plus their entrance is in an alleyway, so if you tell a girl you've been there it's like you're braggin' that you know how to find it.

I think New Belgium was the only brewery that I had been to on a previous trip, but it turned out to be one of the most fun stops of the whole trip. First, Kansas City's Beer Ranger (and all around great dude) Adam Satz hooked us up with some beer and a free shirt - both La Folie for me, obviously. Then we got to play Rolle Bolle! It's sort of a combination of horseshoes and shuffleboard and bocce ball, played with wooden "bolles" that kind of look like wheels of cheese. SO MUCH FUN. I am now looking forward to finding a way to bring this to Kansas City.

Those weren't all of the breweries, but some of the photographic highlights. Denver/Ft. Collins is a brewing mecca, with new breweries popping up seemingly overnight. It's not too bad of a trip for a long weekend, and great to visit some of our brewing brothers and sisters to the west! 

This was while sitting outside at River North. It was waaaaaay prettier than this picture can show.
Any beer travels coming up for you this summer? We'd love to hear about them!


  1. I was one of the KC people at Crooked Stave. It was certainly awesome to see so many Kansas City people there.

  2. New Belgium is one of my favorite breweries! Did you hit up Funkwerkz in Fort Collins?

    1. Yep, it was the first place we hit, basically went straight from KC to there! Great brewery, great beers