Walnut Brewery

Walnut BreweryWalnut Brewery

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

1123 Walnut Street
Boulder, Colorado, 80302
United States

(303) 447-1345 | map

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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 53
Photo of gmoneyproductions
3.26/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3 | food: 3.75

i have been going here on and off since i moved to colorado in 1992
the place has been in business since 1990
i find the beers here to be somewhat middle of the road and not terribly noteworthy
buff gold jame irish red are somewhat tired beers
i like the vibe here with a big open airy dining room and bar area
the place is often busy and can accomodate a large number of diners/drinkers
quality of beers is ok, selection is fair food is solid pub fare
overall a decent place but not my first go to in boulder
given the number of new taprooms and brewpubs in the boulder area this one has a tired feel

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Photo of SudsTerkel
3.28/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

The WB, long a Boulder institution, has been surpassed by other beer providers who outstrip it in the range and depth of their beer offerings. I've been going there off and on for 20 years or more. Over those years, they've stuck with the same recipes, some of which I really like - their Bitter for example - but believe they would benefit with some more experimentation. Food is well prepared and satisfying and service competent. In spite of my reservations, they seem to being doing well; there's always a wait on weekends.

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Photo of bilyboy65
2.25/5  rDev -36.4%

Can't comment on the food. This review is strictly beer and atmosphere. Price seemed pretty good. Atmosphere was really nice. Brewing equipment in sight and cool posters of their beers made a nice brewery decor to a restaurant. Beers were not that good, even almost horrible. I don't know how they have so many mug club members. Decent prices and a cool atmosphere doesn't make up for the lacking of its sole purpose, to make beer. All the beers tasted the same. Same spice, lack of hops and water feel to them. Only the week use of malts differentiated them.

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Photo of Aaron_Kerkvliet
3.39/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3 | food: 3

The high spot of this brewery is probably the amount of space and ample seating around the brewery. A large bar and many tables and booths means we had no wait to be seated. The pub also had many TVs around (no some I look for in a brewery).

The beer selection is quite diverse but not to the quality of neighboring competitors. I tried single pours of many tap beers and couldn't find anything I was really sold on or would need to come back for.

They have a very large food menu, consisting of pretty ordinary pub food. The prices are nothing to celebrate.

All-in-all a nice pub worth visiting, but probably not your go to.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
2.84/5  rDev -19.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3

I just stopped in for beers since I was close by and it seemed easy and convenient enough.

I should have thought twice the moment the waitress looked less than pleased when I only wanted beer. Oh, I'm sorry, I thought this was a brewery. Turns out that's a stretch.

On beers alone, this place cannot stand.

I tried a flight, hoping to find a good beer to have a pint of and was less-than-impressed to unmoved by all of the beers. Essentially, these beers are light-bodied, lightly-flavored concoctions that seemed cheaply made.

If you are looking for good beer in Boulder there are TONS of better options.

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Photo of Juner03
3.68/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

I love love love their peppercorn burger. It is the perfect compliment to a beer - any beer! The atmosphere is lively, close to Pearl Street with plenty of sports on the tv. I must say I have had bad service here once or twice but thankfully the food and drink made up for it. I remember waiting so long for my drink that I decided it was time to move onto Pearl Street Pub, just around the corner. Comparatively, the pub is small and the staff can't help but notice when you are need of a drink. Walnut, while high in quality is rather large. If you are looking for a quiet place where you don't want to be interrupted, Walnut is the place for you.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +13%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

great spot in boulder just off the mall. nice selection of beers, couple of cask offereings as well. i really enjoyed the rye porter from the cask, unique and complex beer. cool atmosphere with the tanks visible up above and a neat mug club. prices totally fair, especially at happy hour. looks like a nice menu, i can only attest to the chili though, and it was very good. service is always okay, nothing out of the ordinary. its a nice place to have a few pints after tooling around boulder. dont think they bottle so its worth a visit if you are in town.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.03/5  rDev -14.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3

We stopped here on our way back to Texas from RMNP. Our original plan was foiled (because it was sunday), so we just googled nearby breweries, and this came up.
The interior was alpine standard, wood everything. I like it, but it wasn't anything special. The beer itself was a little underwhelming. Again, it wasn't bad, it just wasn't anything special (I got the Porter because the Stout wasn't available). My friend's got a flight and liked the white quite a bit. We also got the stadium pretzels, which were decent, if doughy. The dip was pretty good, though. Our server was very attentive (but not to the point where he was annoying or smothering), though there wasn't really many other tables, so YMMV on a busier night. When we were there, of the nine or so brews they had on the board, a vast majority of them had been crossed out, and were unavailable, which was disappointing. Ended up spending like 30 bucks for two full beers, a flight and the appetizer (including tip).

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Photo of Sammy
3.2/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

The Walnut bar is at one end of the tourist area. It is a decent looking place, and larger than the average bar, and one can come here and talk beer, and sit or stand at a decent sized bar. A little loud for music at 315 pm. The beer selection and quality is a bit poorer than the regular Rock Bottom brewpubs. They have to pick it up here to stay competitive to craft beer consumers. If you want a light session beer,as opposed to some inetresting imperial stout, this is the place to come. If you have the time, pop in.

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Photo of ghebel
4/5  rDev +13%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Visited Walnut brewery on a trip to CO with my family. We went there for lunch and overall it was a great experience. The food was decent for a reasonable price and they seemed to be fairly kid friendly, although quarters are tight for a stroller. I liked the large, easy to read boards that detailed all the current beer selections. I tried a Black IPA and an English Bitter on cask. Both were enjoyable beers, especially the Black IPA. I left there with a positive experience and would go back the next time we are in Boulder.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Large, spacious building with lots of woodsy accents. We were seated quickly and the waiter attended to us after only a slight delay. The wait staff continued to be very attentive and polite throughout the night.

We ordered only beers, but several. I would not recommend many of them highly, but they were for the most part serviceable and they came in a variety of styles, maybe 10 taps or so.

A little cookie-cutter, but overall a pleasant brewpub to take some friends out for some brews. Not too adventurous, but unlikely to offend.

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Photo of rye726
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Nice bar located in Downtown Boulder. Usually a little crowded for my taste, but then again, most places are.

Decent atmosphere, a big bar with lots of seating area. The food is pretty good bar food. Ihad a burger and a salad. Both were tasty. As I said before, service can be a little slow during peak hours.

Their beer selection is pretty good. A buch of house brewed taps which is getting harder and harder to find these days. Decent quality, no big or special beers though.

They have a beer club that gives you a discount on pints which is cool.

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Photo of Rayek
3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I've been here many times over the years. It's hard to believe that this place kicked off the Rock Bottom chain.

The look of Walnut is pretty typical for an older pub. Lots of wood and lots of exposed brick. It was cool when it opened, but now feels a bit dated and generic. On the upside, the place is clean and has a ton of space.

Food is more or less the same as the Rock Bottoms that now dot CO. Being in Boulder, it looks like the vegetarian offerings are bit broader, however. I stuck with appetizers, as I was mostly there for the beer. I had a nice asiago cheese dip with beer bread.

The beers here are generally above average. I've never had a beer here that pushed the envelope, but I haven't been disappointed either.

Service is good and prices a little high. Definitely worth a visit when in Boulder, as this place is a bit of a landmark.

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Photo of slander
3.86/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Out of the gold mine at last and backtracking now east most of the way towards Denver before hooking back up a ways northwest towards Boulder. You'd think there'd be a shorter distance between the two points, but someone put mountains between them, so no, it'll be the long way around. Boulder; a popular Orkan winter retreat and a cool little artsy town, much to see. Evil master plan = dodge the breweries, hit the brewpubs...

Big brick shell of a building, wide planks floorings, way vaulted ceiling, steel girder erector set above supporting spinning fans & spots, and drop spinning top lamps over the bar. Old framed black & white prints mounted in the rear rooms here show this building when it used to be City Plumbing & Heating, back in the day, some day. And supposedly, and I can't speak to it, but it's been said that this was the very first Rock Bottom location which means nothing really, except affording you the opportunity to express "and?"

A long slight "L" light with a dark wood strip design topped bar seems like it would seat more than the dozen it does. 2 towers of 10 a piece sit at different points along the bar. The barback is stainless steel countertops over coolers below. Tiered booze on both ends & wines inside, and a pair of handpumps on center. Shades of green brick barback wall with a long horizontal window over the handpumps with a smaller board listing those selections. The rim over the window and 3 long shelves running the length above are lined with mug club mugs of all sizes, shapes and ceramic & glass makes. And up atop, a row of 3 fermenters in a brewhouse visible through windows. On one end, a big board lists tap selections; names, styles, ABV's, birthdays, descriptions. TV's above the bar and a large flat screen over the front vestibule with bags of malt & barrels displayed, and elk & buffalo heads mounted up high to both sides.

6 bar counter tables and a pair of booths in the front corner forward the bar, around an old time fire extinguisher. 8 raised roundy bar tables and a pair of booths in the center of the room away to the bar, and a raised area lying adjacent, running the whole side of the room opposite the bar, 8 red leather bench booths running the wall below large Walnut Brewery beer placards, and a dozen tables alongside. Also 6 tables out front curbside for someone's interpretation of what seasonal seating is. Kettles and a mash tun behind glass in a large room to the rear, with smaller rooms with slight seatings to both sides; 7 tables in one and 5 booths & tables in the other, both decorated with old time black & white pics of town.

They do a 7 beer sampler which became a 10 beer on my request (I was extra thirsty, I think it's the altitude), normally served on a red handled holder but this I was denied as I was bar side. 7 house regulars; the Buffalo Gold, light, slightly citrusy; the Dunkel (rotating wheat), good cloviness, quite tasty; the Indian Peaks Pale Ale, Cascade, nice crispness; the St James Irish Red, nutty & malty, with a grainy flavor; the Big Horn Bitter, Chinook & Willamette, some spiciness there; the Old Elk Brown Ale, full bodied and a good sweet malty flavor; the Devil's Thumb Stout, thick, oaty, deep & dark, pleasantly licoricey; plus 2 seasonals Alt (Ctrl + Alt + Del), good maltiness with some grainy flavor, a very nice Alt; Oktoberfest, pleasant enough, good balance; and a nitro Pale Ale, more of the same. The Dunkel, Old Elk Brown Ale, Devil's Thumb Stout & the Alt (Ctrl + Alt + Del) were the best of the lot. They've also got 2 handpumps flowing (Gold & Pale Ale) but I didn't get to them as I was samplered up and we had other places to be.

Fairly quiet on this Friday afternoon between GABF play days. Service was easy enough, it's a good space, comfortable house, and I got a couple of real nice beers on that sampler. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 how many Rock Bottoms have I seen now? This was one of the better ones.

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Photo of number1bum
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

Ate here while in town on business. Pretty spacious interior, everything seemed pretty new and there was lots of seating. Comfortable atmosphere overall. They had I think 8 beers on tap - pretty basic stuff, a pale ale, bitter, stout, seasonal wheat (dunkelweizen I think), a Belgian dubbel, etc. I don't think they had any guest taps, and I was a little disappointed there wasn't an IPA or anything that was higher ABV. Decent selection. Beer was pretty solid, if unspectacular. I had the stout, which was a very sessionable, tasty brew, and the Belgian dubbel which the server said they had just tapped. It was also drinkable but pretty boring - then again I think most dubbels are boring. The only other issue in my mind was that the dubbel was served in a pint glass - definitely should have come in some sort of goblet or a snifter. Our server was a definite hippy, which was amusing, but cool. He was attentive and very enthusiastic. Prices seemed reasonable, and the food was quite good. I enjoyed the smoked chicken enchiladas, and my boss really liked the brown ale chicken. You won't find any amazing beer here, but you'll definitely find a good place to have a meal and put back a few easy drinkers.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.23/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Our second stop on our evening Boulder pub crawl. Walked into this place on a Monday night in the summer, and it was dead. It's a huge venue, and when it's empty, it looks like a cave. Had a cool warehouse vibe to it, minimal decorations, and I liked all the mugs hanging behind the bar. Service was quick (she had no one else to serve). I went with the Devil's Thumb stout on cask. Sounded good, but was a bit watery for a cask beer. Didn't eat, but never enjoyed the food at Rock Bottom, so didn't want to have any either way. It was a decent place to stop for one beer just because it's a Boulder institution, but we didn't want to hang out here too long.

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Photo of russpowell
3.55/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

My least favorite stop in Boulder; just reminds me too much of local Rock Bottom, with not as good beer.

The look of this place was less corporate than the newer Rock Bottoms I have visited, a plus. Liked the old wast slant, vaulted cielings & dead animals mounted on the wall that had tie-ins to house beers

Quality of the 3 beers I tried average to good. The Devils Thumb on nitro was the best I tried.

Service was alright, not particularly friendly or enthusiastic.

Eight beers on offer, one cask ale & a lager

Food wasn't bad, wasn't great either

I thought the place was a bit pricey for lunch; 3 pints, a kids ice cream, an appetizer & a kids meal for $33.

Not a horrible choice, but this is the runt of the litter as Boulder Brew Pubs go to me

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.86/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

I must say I was glad I got to stop in this place on my trip. I walked in and the place looked great with the high arched ceilings but yet still a cozy feel to it. Walked right up top the bar and had a pint of the stout, and was very impressed with the fullness. They seem to really make a good point of taking care of theri brews. Did not have time to try the food, but what I saw and seemed seemed good. The bartender was friendly and took a couple minutes to chat with me. Overall this was more then a decent stop and a good little brewer. I wish I had more time, I would have styaed and tried some more. Maybe on my next trip.

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Photo of johnyeast
4/5  rDev +13%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I would say that Walnut Brewery was good. Only had time for one beer. The bartender was very generous in letting us sample whatever we were interested in at the time. I kinda felt the Boulder "we're an upscale brewery, food, and peolpes type of place" Effect. On the surface good but I guess a little too polished. Beer was good. Staff friendly. I guess what you'd want in an establishment. Just not Outstanding. I did like the sign in the doorway, 10 years before when I was in the place, and the craft beer industry was building, which read..."No beer ever enters or leaves this door." Cool.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.56/5  rDev +0.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

A rather large place; high ceilings, long bar. A glass housing on the second level allows patrons to see the vats. There is not second floor just a gang-way.
Behind the bar is a wide array of beer mugs, I think for sale, but look like just for decoration. The walls are lined with signs for their in-house brews. The selection of brews is wide as far as style goes. They had 9 on tap, and not sure about the bottled beer, if any.
We didn't eat there, although the food smelled good. Didn't even look at the menu. I was there for the beer.
Service was ok, probably a bit less than that as it was slow, yet the place was almost empty. Good location, though. Can really go anywhere else by foot.

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Photo of hoffman
3.05/5  rDev -13.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3

A nice pub atmosphere in Boulder, CO is not hard to find. This place was typical and run of the mill from what I saw. No cask beers available at the time I visited, but there were several selections including 8 regulars and two seasonals by my count. The winter seasonal (snowfest I think) was a nice brew, hopped well and decent, the pale ale was also decent. They are remodeling in here so the atmosphere score may have been hurt a bit. The service is what really took the cake. We waited about 10 minutes for a server and another 10 minutes for the beer once we ordered....not good.

I would stop in again after the remodel to see if things improve.

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Photo of blitz134
3.68/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

The first of many stops while in Boulder. Stopped for lunch. Typical brewpub type feel to the place, high ceilings...bar, bartop tables, and booths filled the place. Some nice shiney brewing equipment glistened through the glass windows in the back. Service was as expected, so no complaints there. Several beers on tap (8? or so). They also had two casks setup. Unfortunetly the two casks were the same, their stout. I thought their beer was so-so, and so did the others with me. Food was good and reasonably priced. One of the guys with us got the buffalo fajitas and I think I got a burger. Burger was fine, but the fries were bland and probably pre-frozen. The fajitas looks really good though and I heard they were. A good stop if you are in the area and want some good food and decent beer at a good price. Worth a stop.

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Photo of mentor
4.05/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

One block south of the Pearl Street Ped mall, there is a large parking structure right across the street. Free parking on the weekends. My wife suggests this place occassionally as we both like the food and atmosphere. I like that we get a discount because of my Am. Homebrewer's Assoc. membership card.

Upon entering, a greeter is to the immediate right and the bar is forward a touch on the left. In front is seating level with the bar and a few steps up to the right is a raised dining area. The ceiling is high and the entire inside is dark brown wood with moderate lighting. To the back, the brewing area is encased in glass. The fermentation tanks are also encased in glass, but are located above and behind the bar. Pretty cool set-up, IMO.

We've been here several times and have always found the servers to be well informed of both the menu and the available beers. Note: I once wore a BA T-shirt in here and received especially attentive service. The offerings on the menu are not expansive, but have interesting nooks and crannies. A standard selection of 6-8 beers are available with a seasonal or two and a cask-draw version of one of the standards. Nothing killer here, but it is a functioning brewpub in a college town (and part of a chain brewpub, at that). I wish dining out wer an option for us a couple times each week as there are a number of brewpubs in Boulder that I'd like to frequent more often. This would definitely be one of them.

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Photo of PuckLSHS
4.08/5  rDev +15.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I went to the Walnut Brewery while on a trip checking out the Graduate School programs in the area. Walnut is in a great little area in Boulder that is a little further away from the school so it does not seem like a huge undergrad hangout. Actually, the area reminds me a little of 3rd Street in Santa Monica, CA.

Anyway, the Walnut Brewery was fairly decent for the beer selection. It was standard fare. No big beers here, but they had a Poor Richards Ale and a Maerzen that were pretty decent. The Poor Richards did not bowl me over and neither did the Maerzen, so I decided to order their brown ale which the waitress told me was one of the more popular beers on the menu.

Their food was phenomenal and I really enjoyed the salmon sandwich that I ordered. The portions were large and they arrived fairly quickly even though the place was packed with people.

I would definitely hit this place up over a Rockbottom any day.

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Photo of Quaffer
4.03/5  rDev +13.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I went to the Walnut Brewery with five friends for lunch while in Boulder. The hostess was friendly and promptly had us seated. There was nothing special about the overall look and feel of this place. Just a basic restaurant/brewpub type of atmosphere. There were a few too many televisions to suit me, plus I think there was a decent amount of sports crap on the wall. Otherwise, the place itself was just fine. Some of the brewing equipment was on display on the second floor above the bar.

The staff that we dealt with was great. Our waitress was quick, friendly, and put up with all the crap that we were able to dish out. She had a great sense of humor and started dishing it out herself after awhile. She seemed to be knowledable about beer, too. We had a fun time with her.

The food was pretty good and priced as expected. My burger was delicious and absolutely huge, and the slaw was wonderful.

There were a decent amount of beers available, maybe around eight. First I had a dry-hopped IPA on cask that was really good, though it was served too cold for cask. I then had the Devil's Thumb stout which wasn't very special. Typical nitro-served, dry stout that was a little bland. I wish I would have had more time to try some others.

The Walnut was an overall positive experience and I wouldn't hesitate to go back.

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Walnut Brewery in Boulder, CO
3.36 out of 5 based on 49 ratings.
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