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Steamworks Brewing Co.

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very good

22 Ratings
Ratings: 22
Reviews: 13
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 20.05%
Active Beers: 12
Beer Ratings: 613
Beer Avg: 3.67
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Eatery ]

801 East 2nd Avenue
Durango, Colorado, 81301
United States
phone: (970) 259-9200

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

None, yet.

(Place added by: Jason)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 | Reviews: 13 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of woodychandler
4.58/5  rDev +22.5%

This was a huge place, located on the corner of E. 2nd Avenue and 8th Street. I began by peeping in the windows of this former car dealership and showroom just to get a sense of its enormity. Wide, long, and high were my initial impressions. Big! The attendant at the m.d.s. came out and told me that this was not China - no Peking! Ha, I'll make the jokes around here, thanks!

The entryway was on the 2nd Avenue side and there was a short vestibule that opened onto a display case full of logo items, including embroidered work shirts, growlers, and patches. My jaw dropped. The m.d.s. was just beyond, with the copper-jacketed brewhouse off to the right and the long, snaking cement block bar with a polished pine wood top just beyond it. High tables and chairs lined the bar area which was fronted by corrugated aluminum. Looking aft on the bar side, there was a short hand-bottling line on the left and the lavatories were on the right. Proceeding aft, on a raised stage, was the restaurant area which was mainly standard restaurant tables and chairs. Continuing aft was their outdoor patio deck with a wood roof and ceiling fans. To the extreme right of the patio was a secondary bar which was open daily after 4 pm. On the deck, by making a button-hook right, I arrived at the smoking area, outside under a circus tent, which used to be their horseshoe pit, but no longer. Back inside, the overhead made of wood with heavy wood beams and joists, was festooned with signage, spinning ceiling fans, swinging lamps, flags, banners, and posters. Busy? Yes, but not in an unpleasant way.

As to my visit in general, not to brag, but if you are not sporting a patch jacket, you may be missing out. Upon arrival, the owner came out and greeted me and gave me a tour, hence the historical background. On the tour, I ran into John Herr, a member of the Lancaster (PA) County Herr family, whose father taught at McCaskey H. S., my alma mater and current teaching site. He took great pride in having graduated from Hempfield H.S. and we had a nice chat after he finished his cigarette. I also met the General manager, who had been dispatched to find patches; the brewer, who took time from a busy brew day to converse with me; and Kate, my server, who was a wonderful, patient person. Frankly, I could have hung out in there all day, but that was not in keeping with the purpose of the trip, which was to keep moving.

Beers: They try to keep twelve (12) to fourteen (14) on at all times. During my visit, they had Third Eye IPA (6.0 %), Conductor Imperial IPA (8.7 %) on both CO2 and N2 taps, Steam Engine Lager (5.2 %), "Our" Mai Bock (8.0 %), Regulator Doppelbock (8.5 %), Prescribed Burn Chili Beer (4.6 %), Hefeweizen (5.1 %), Backside Stout (5.9 %), Lizard Head Red (5.6 %), and Colorado Kolsch (4.7 %). They also offered a Raspberry Imperial Stout, but I opted out of a sample of it. They were out of Engineer Light (4.8 %), but I persevered. The chili beer went well with my salmon entrée and the Third Eye and the Conductor had plenty o' hops to keep me just right. My hops jones reached an all new low (definitely NOT high) while in SLC, UT. Gimme dem hops!

woodychandler, Mar 14, 2008
Photo of bulldogg915
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

bulldogg915, Apr 14, 2014
Photo of benito
2.83/5  rDev -24.3%

Steamworks is just off of Main Street Durango, and it follows in the style and atmosphere of the American brewpub or sports bar, with separate table and bar seating, lots of big screen TVs, a few local artificats decorating the walls, and windows that look onto the brewing facilities.

I stopped through as I was heading back to Leadville, hoping to try Steamworks and some of the other SW Colorado brewpubs. Steamworks was my first stop and, unfortuantely, it was also the most disappointing. While their food was quite tasty (I had a cajun penne pasta, very spicy) and their dunkelweizen was very well done, the place just didn't seem to have it together.

There was no beer menu to be found anywhere, the server said that the beers listed on the board above the bar weren't all available anymore, and she didn't know what they did have on tap exactly. She was happy to offer me tastes of a few beers, including their steam lager and a beer called 'Face Plant' that didn't have any style description. Perhaps this just didn't sit well with my desire for organization and predictable outcomes, but I really found the whole show here disorganized. I would happily drink the Slam Dunkel again, but I'd be sure to get a growler of it and escape the chaos of the Steamworks pub.

There are better places in the San Juans. Skip this one.

benito, Jun 18, 2006
Photo of williamjbauer
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

williamjbauer, Oct 30, 2013
Photo of timlyon
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

timlyon, Jun 18, 2014
Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

ONovoMexicano, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of coldriver
4.19/5  rDev +12%

Visited with the family on July 6. Despite the huge capacity of this brewpub, we waited 30 minutes for a table on our Saturday night visit. The place was hopping with lively tourists and locals most of whom had probably spent the day enjoying the fantastic outdoor activities the Durango area has to offer (we did a five mile alpine hike).

Steamworks has around 12 or so taps ranging from an imperial IPA, mole stout, and saison to more tourist friendly kolsch, amber, and lagers during our visit. All the beers I tried weren't neccessarily amazing, but certainly tasty and more than passable, and a welcome respite from the three previous area brewpubs we'd tried which seemed to be focused blondes, ambers, and lagers (in fairness we did not go to Carver or Ska).

The food is what really stands out at this place. I'll go so far to say that Steamworks is really a gourmet restaurant disguised as a brewpub. The prices were very reasonable considering the quality of the food. Overall, it's probably the best brewpub food I've ever had. Service was quite good and the waiter was very knowledgeable about the beer selections.

So what's not to like here? Family friendly lively atmosphere, wide selection of good beer, and great food at reasonable prices. Most importantly, the wife and kids (two teenagers) loved it which is certainly not always the case when I drag them along to brewpubs.

coldriver, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of drdiesel9483
4/5  rDev +7%

drdiesel9483, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of ColoradoBobs
1.4/5  rDev -62.6%

Visited on Tuesday evening, June 17, 2008, at 6:00 p.m.

After reading the other reviews, I was looking forward to this place. What a filthy disappointment!!!

The decor is awful -- an old dirty warehouse that looks like it was never cleaned up. Just grungy. No air conditioning -- it was at least 80 degrees in the place! -- so we asked to be seated under a ceiling fan. One of the hostesses actually rolled her eyes at us! Then when we were seated it was 6 minutes before anybody stopped. We had to ask the waitress to wipe off the table, which was sticky in several places. She rolled her eyes at us too! A little later we got water: a different server this time. We both wanted to order the sampler, but when we found out that 2 of the 6 beers weren't available or were being substituted for something else, my wife decided to just get the Kölsch: $4.75 for a pint! (What is this, New York City?) The sampler was $8 for six 4-ounce beers. It took just over twenty minutes from the time we ordered our beers until we got them. We were surrounded by empty tables, there were four people at the bar, and it took 20 minutes to get our beers, and then only AFTER I went to the bar to ask about them.

After we finally got our beers, our server asked us about food. They were out of what my wife wanted, so she settled for a $10 sandwich and fries. I got the special: a taco salad. We wanted to taste and discuss the beers, but the music was SO LOUD we literally could not hear each other. I asked the waiter to see if they could turn it down, and when nothing changed, I went to the *other* hostess, who managed to get it turned down to less-than-rock-concert level.

After we ordered our food, it was TWENTY-TWO minutes until we got it. My taco salad, was not so good -- and VERY greasy! I couldn't finish it. My wife had a sandwich and fries -- pretty average, and ten bucks. I repeat: "What is this, New York City?"

Here are the beers I sampled:

Colorado Kölsch is exactly to style, smooth and easy drinking but very unremarkable.

Steam Engine Lager has a great mouthfeel, with nice chocolatey-malty base with moderate floral hops.

Third Eye Pale Ale is standard IPA fare with a very nice creamy mouthfeel.

Chili Beer (this was a replacement for the Lizard Head Red, which is what my wife had wanted to order, but they were *out* on a Tuesday evening!) is an undrinkably awful concoction brewed with habanero peppers. Who would drink this on purpose??? Blllleeechchchch! Couldn't drink it.

Back Side Stout, a nice dry American Stout, with a rich creamy mouthfeel, with a decent dry finish.

Conductor Imperial IPA is the star of the show, with a rich sweet malty base and big load of floral and pine hops, a big beer at 8.1%

In another context, with decent food, cleaner surroundings and a better environment, some of these beers would have been pretty good, and the Conductor Imperial IPA would have been even enjoyable. But in this context, we just wanted to pay the bill and leave. Unless somebody else pays, I will certainly never go here again.

Overall, this was a $40 mistake. I STRONGLY recommend you avoid this place if you're in Durango.

Review edited June 28, 2008, to reflect the non-response of the establishment to my complaint.

Just re-read this review, and I must say that I was, in fact very generous. None of my several attempts to contact the management were even responded to personally (got one automated response), so I finally gave up. So, now, as I reconsider, here's what I say about this place:




ColoradoBobs, Jun 18, 2008
Photo of Bobhoya
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Bobhoya, Jun 26, 2014
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Steamworks Brewing Co. in Durango, CO
86 out of 100 based on 22 ratings.