Your Neighborhood Brewery: Denver’s Newest Spots

Series on New Breweries

While the posts earlier this week focused entirely on new breweries outside of Denver, the Mile High City has also seen some great spots open this summer.  We’re doing our best to get out there and try everyone’s beer and see everyone’s new brewery. Fortunately, with the craft beer explosion in this state, it’s becoming almost impossible to keep up with new beer and new openings.  Poor us: so much beer, so little time.  Keep brewing Colorado! But until even more open, here’s a couple of breweries that should keep your interest: Continue reading

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Neighborhood Breweries: Loveland Aleworks and Berthoud’s City Star

Someone recently asked me why I spend so much time writing about the craft beer scene, particularly focused on a brewery’s ability to build community. A recent article in Rocky Mountain Brewing News titled, “The Intersection of Craft Brews and Society,” outlines the many ways that breweries give back to their local community. In addition to breweries offering a wonderful gathering place for locals, they also donate significant time and money to environmental and humanitarian causes, contribute to the local economy, support artists and musicians, and inspire customers to do all of the same.

So my answer to that person?  How could I not write about an industry that exemplifies corporate social responsibility and makes such a strong, local impact, particularly in Colorado? We drive around the state with breweries as our destination, because we enjoy good beer, and it’s also exciting to see each brewery’s approach to their interaction with community and to the craft of brewing beer. We write about all these adventures to encourage craft beer enthusiasts to responsibly support breweries all over Colorado.  City Star Brewing in Berthoud and Loveland Aleworks are two more must-visit spots. Continue reading

Your Neighborhood Brewery: Local Beer and Community, What It’s All About

Locals Gather at Bootstrap’s Bar

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. Continue reading

Hogshead Brewery: The Neighborhood Brew

A 1/2 Pint at Our Neighborhood’s Newest Brewery

Series on New Denver Breweries

Since moving to northwest Denver three years ago, we’ve anxiously awaited the opening of a neighborhood brewery.  We couldn’t be more excited that Hogshead Brewery, one of Denver’s newest spots for exceptional craft beer, moved in down the street. Though we most certainly enjoy our local beer bars (Highland Tap and Burger and Hops and Pie), it’s nice to go in for a pint brewed on location, and a delicious pint at that.

Located near 29th and Tennyson, Hogshead Brewery approaches beer with an English focus using Brittish hops, (ESBs, Bitters, and Milds are well-known English style beers). Continue reading

Beer Mecca in California

You may have noticed a few postings on our Facebook page and recent blog posts about California breweries. We took a little sabbatical from Colorado beer to explore breweries both big and small from San Diego to Sonoma Counties. During 600 miles of driving, we visited 25 breweries and wineries, including three beer meccas that were simply magical. The Webster Dictionary regards meccas “as a center for a specified group, activity, or interest;” Firestone Walker in Paso Robles, Lagunitas in Petaluma, and Russian River in Santa Rosa fulfill Webster’s definition exactly.  And though all three breweries offered very different experiences, it seemed that angelic choirs of beer gods sang to us as we walked up to the front entrance of each location, acknowledging our arrival to very special places. Continue reading

San Diego Breweries, Day 2: Smaller Operations

I titled this post very carefully.  As opposed to last week’s “San Diego Breweries, Day 1: Big Operations,”  the three operations in this post aren’t “small” per say, they’re just smaller, and they deserve the credit of recognizing how well they’re doing and how far they’re headed.  Also, all three of these locations are located in North County San Diego in the town of Vista, within a block of the same road, Sycamore Avenue . . . convenient?  Absolutely.

So my alternative title: “Who Brews on Sycamore Ave?”

Spot One — The Hometown Favorite: Rarely do I go against the saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but with a brewery named Mother Earth, a couple of Colorado hippies couldn’t avoid checking out this locals’ watering hole. Hidden in a warehouse area near Highway 78 (we’re accustomed to this set-up), Mother Earth was packed when we walked in on a Sunday afternoon.  Decorated with both beer and rock posters, stickers, decals, and generally colorful tidings, this brew shop and brewery boasts a wide-array of beer styles. Sometimes we avoid ordering tasting trays and samples so that we don’t stand-out as newcomers, but after squeezing our way up to the bar, we couldn’t decide on just one pint. Our favorites included their Red Dog Rye XPA, their Caber of Love Wee Heavy, and their Round About Chocolate Oatmeal Stout. Continue reading

San Diego Breweries, Day 1: Big Operations

Driving south on Interstate 5 from Orange County towards San Diego, (one of the current craft beer meccas), Lindsay opened the area’s beer map, boasting 38 locations in one county.  Oh, my, goodness. How would we get them all in over one weekend?

Though my type-A nature actually began strategizing a method to complete such madness, I knew a half dozen breweries over two days would be a great goal. There’s absolutely no need to over-indulge, be irresponsible on the roads, or confuse our palettes with yes, too much beer. So we opted to spend our first day in the Mission Valley area, visiting some of the well-known, larger craft breweries: Ballast Point and Green Flash, and then a Port Brewing location in Solana Beach. Without a doubt, we sacrificed visiting some other heavy hitters in the area, but we can always return to savor more SoCal craft beer.

I could go on and on about each of these places, though there are three highlights that make each operation well-worth visiting:

Ballast Point

– A solid variety of production beers that represent style and taste to near perfection, and offer an unrivaled clarity of beer color in each style.

– Once past the standard six, the brewers have designed an almost over-whelming menu of options, including a series of chile beers, a selection of smoked beers, and some craft releases I’m still craving to revisit nearly two weeks after our visit.

– A major hub for beer enthusiasts . . . we followed the Brewery Tours of San Diego bus (co-run by an editor of The West Coaster) into the parking lot for the 11 am opening.  It seems that everyone agrees, Ballast Point is not to be missed. Continue reading