While we’ve driven around the state of Colorado frequently enough to recognize most out-of-the-way shires, we imagine that Niwot and Frederick are not widely known town names. And maybe part of their charm is that they don’t need to be commonly known. But recently, breweries opened in these towns, offering locals finely made beer and a place right-around-the-corner to gather with friends for an after work pint. They’re also a wonderful place for travelers to take a break from the road.
One of my early appreciations for the microbrewery/craft/local beer scene arose when I observed that unlike typical bars, breweries create an inviting space for friends and family to gather and enjoy well-made liquids and solids. Bootstrap Brewing of Niwot and Echo Brewing Company in Frederick are no exception. In fact, these two spots perfectly demonstrate the way local beer can build community, and both have achieved that after opening just this summer.
Located minutes from the small downtown of Niwot, and not too far from the City of Boulder, Bootstrap’s tap menu covers everyday beer (like their Flagstaff Amber and Insane Rush IPA) and some specialty/seasonal beer, (like their Choc-Oh Rogg Bavarian-style Rye), which are all definitely worth at least a sample of, if not a full pint. And since their brew kettles and fermenters are stationed near the bar, it’s fun to peak your nose through the door and see what they’re brewing. I hope to be there on the next day they cook a batch of their red hot Backfire Chili Beer, sure to light-up your palette.
During our Saturday visit, an awesome band, Indigent Row, self-described as “progressive Celtic rock,” provided fine entertainment, a seemingly regular occurrence at Bootstrap. While we might look forward to the addition of some outdoor games (cornhole, horseshoes etc.), Bootstrap’s patio with Adirondack chairs and beer garden tables made for a lovely spot to enjoy a pint and a picnic in the sunshine.
Echo’s tap room is simply inviting: big, open, light, and airy. And like Boostrap’s fans, Frederick locals have found their favorite Echo beer, settled in for a pint, and returned for another. Drink a few of their beers and you’ll see why tables were packed with families, groups of friends, and couples enjoying a Saturday afternoon with great beer.
Echo offers a fine variety, including: Balefire Irish Red, Kirby Kölsch, Ice Mountain IPA, Wind Forest Wheat, and Tri-Town Brown. My favorite was the Nocturnal Black Double IPA while others in our group enjoyed the Razz Raspberry Wheat. And be sure to check out the Baker Street Pretzels, a perfect accompaniment to your draft. This is a classic local brewery, another example of why Colorado Brewery Days are endless and why the Colorado beer scene simply rocks.