Estes Park Brewery
Active Beers: 14
Beer Ratings: 314
Beer Avg: 3.22
Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by benito:
2.9/5 rDev -6.1%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5 | $$
Estes Park is the gateway town to (the eastern entrance to) Rocky Mountain National Park, and, not surprisingly, it thrives on a summer tourist industry that comes to see the elk, buy t-shirts, and take the aerial tram. The folks at the Estes Park Brewery were smart to capitalize on the constant flow of customers, but what they sacrifice to the dollar is a strong feeling of a local pub. Visiting the brewery in early April, my friend and I were the ONLY folks in the place. The downstairs part of the brewery is a store that hawks Estes Park brewery beer and logo wear; a nice touch is the bar that offers free samples of all of their brews. The brewhouse is adjacent and from upstairs, where the restaurant is, you can peer down into the brewery watching the magic happen.
The ambience inside the pub obviously can't compare with the ambience outside, so what about the beer? They had nine brews on tap when we visited--seven of their eight full time beers and two seasonals (a pale ale and a tripel). Most tasted slightly undercarbonated and a little underhopped, but I was happy to find that their Renegade IPA (a former medal winner at the GABF) is a solid English-style IPA; their "red" (really an ESB), honey wheat, and stout were all passable as well, but the rest of the brews ranged from pedestrian to poor. I ordered a Trail Ridge Red--again, an ESB--with my philly cheesesteak, which was fine, if unexceptional. The rest of the menu was a mix of burgers and pizza, rather 1980s-like pub fare.
At the height of tourist season, I imagine that this place is jam-packed and even a touristy ambience might enhance the feel of this place--not that I'd ever dare to fight the crowds in and around Estes in June. And, I might even be tempted to pick up a six-pack of the IPA next time I see it, but otherwise, the Estes Park Brewery doesn't leave me much to advocate.
Visit Rocky Mountain National Park, drive through Big Thompson Canyon, and head down to Lyons, where Oskar Blues (with better food and incomparable beer) awaits.
Pass on this one.
04-11-2007 23:58:19 | More by benito
More User Reviews:
Estes Park Brewery in Estes Park, CO
76 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.