Visiting Denver

Discussion in 'Mountain' started by Palos, Sep 4, 2019.

  1. stevefenster

    stevefenster Initiate (107) Mar 29, 2016 Colorado

    Probably depends on how you define "best" but just as some local examples -- Medianoche variants never make it to bars here. Neither do the vast majority of BA releases from Cerebral. Limited IPA kegs sometimes make it out to bars (even when they do, even the best beer bars typically only have one beer from Outer Range, Weldwerks, etc on at any given time) but the safest bet is always going to be at the source.
    jaysker95 and RKP1967 like this.
  2. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (472) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    Lol Chicago.

    No mention of Odell in rino.. they’re still relevant and largely better than anything in Chicagobland. Definitely great food there though, unlike the front range.

    Sidebar question: is there anywhere in the world with a greater disparity between food and beer quality? You literally can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a world class beer here, but good luck finding a great meal as readily.
  3. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,597) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    I think the access to unique/special releases is market dependent. In Colorado, especially the beer bars in Fort Collins, they always had that stuff. Down here in Albuquerque, that is almost non-existent, you really do need to go to the breweries.
  4. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,627) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    That's definitely true. People here will fight to the death swearing that our pizza and BBQ are good, our Mexican food is great, and that our green chili is better than New Mexico's. All are laughable. Colorado IS great if you like bar food and steakhouses. I dunno about anything else. There are obviously plenty of individual exceptions, but one example in the state does not make our scene good.
  5. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (472) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    Yeah its really weird that people feel this way... especially since most come from places with way better food.
    Spaceman_Jer likes this.
  6. Dtapeski

    Dtapeski Initiate (95) Oct 26, 2012 Colorado

    Maybe it’s people who have lived here awhile. I’ve been here 25 years and while the restaurant quality has increased dramatically, especially in the past 5 years, we’re still not anywhere close to being on par with the other major cities in the country. Domingo mentioned pizza and bbq and I think those two foods and east coast sandwiches are the biggest food voids in CO.
    Spaceman_Jer and denver10 like this.
  7. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,597) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    I am pretty much on board with what @Dtapeski stated.

    Maybe I am a little more positive in general because I will go as far as saying that I like the food in Denver,which I think has seen a nice spike in improvement ((which I would extend to) over the past 10 years, IMO. Agreed that pizza and BBQ are nothing to seek out, but I really enjoy the Mexicali restaurants Colorado has going (Sweet Pork Burritos are like crack to me). I would never travel to Denver with a focus on the food, but I always eat well when I am and was there. Not sure I see this huge disparity between beer and food, personally, but, yeah, that also isn't to say you shouldn't.
    #47 denver10, Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
    sharpski and Spaceman_Jer like this.
  8. JakeT469

    JakeT469 Aspirant (277) Jan 13, 2012 Colorado

    @Palos BEAR DOWN!! I’ve got 20 friends and family flying in from Chicago this Thursday for the game. I’ve been living in Cap Hill for 4 years since moving from Chicago. As others have stated, the food out here, while not terrible, leaves a lot to be desired. There’s plenty of good breweries and beer bars to check out though. Based on the details you’ve provided (where you’re staying, not having a car, watching college football Saturday, Bears game Sunday and Rockies game Monday) I would recommend the following...

    Saturday: (South Broadway/Baker area). Walk from your Airbnb to Stoneys on Lincoln for your college football viewing pleasure. Nothing crazy special on tap but definitely a great sports bar with tons of tv’s, skeeball, other games and an outdoor patio with bag sets (aka cornhole). From there, I would walk a few blocks south on Lincoln and make a stop into Lowdown Brewery. Nothing mind blowing but worth a stop for at least a beer since you’ll be right there anyway. They have a cool spot with some TVs showing sports, outdoor patio with bag sets and tons of board games. From there, walk one block west to Broadway and head south. You’ll hit Banded Oak first. I’m not the biggest fan of their beer but once again, it’s on your route and worth stopping in for at least a beer (good patio too)... Baere is a couple blocks south and definitely worth a stop. They do a wide range of beers and do them all pretty well (they’ve won medals at GABF and other beer fests for some of their brews). The taproom itself isn’t anything special but it’s worth stopping in for the beer alone...Trve is 1 block south and is one of my favorites mainly because it’s a metal themed brewery. They’ve been brewing a wide range of beers the last couple years and do them very well. They specialize in mixed culture/wild/sour beers but also brew some really good clean beers as well (IPA’s, pales, lagers etc). Bad ass artwork on the walls too...If you’re still alive and doing well head down to Black Project for sours. Long walk or a short and cheap Uber/Lyft ride especially with 4 people...Grandma’s House is a short walk south from Black Project and worth checking out for the atmosphere alone. Average beers but super fun and unique taproom. If you make it that far and want more I’d start by hitting hit up The Dive Inn for cheap drinks and awesome chicken tenders/wings (soak up some of the booze)...After that, go from there based on your groups level of drunkenness. You can walk just about that entire trip. However, the further south you go you will have to take a Lyft/Uber to get back to your Airbnb. That’s just Saturday my friend (that was fucking exhausting typing that out). I’ll give you my Sunday/Game Day suggestions tomorrow. Cheers
    Spaceman_Jer likes this.
  9. bfields4

    bfields4 Zealot (580) Dec 11, 2007 Colorado

    Just gonna put it out there, but coming from someone who grew up in KC and had never had good bbq in Denver/Colorado before OwlBear is legit and right by OMF which is finally putting out some really delicious stuff (thank goodness).
    Dtapeski, Spaceman_Jer and JakeT469 like this.
  10. JakeT469

    JakeT469 Aspirant (277) Jan 13, 2012 Colorado

    I’ve been hitting up OwlBear since I moved here and it’s legit as fuck as is AJ’s Pit BBQ in the Overland/Platt Park/Rosedale neighborhoods. Seriously good Q from both of those places.
    eppCOS, bfields4 and Spaceman_Jer like this.
  11. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Crusader (708) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    The owner had started with a now defunct BBQ place in Chicago and is probably better known for his Budlong Chicken restaurants there. He opened one up in Zeppelin Station in Denver (though maybe that is a short term pop-up).
  12. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,627) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    We have a couple good examples of nearly anything...but that's still kinda weak with a city this size full of transplants. Owlbear (Texas beef) and Rolling Smoke (SE pork) are both putting out good stuff. On the pizza front we now have a place putting out tavern pizza inside the Source as well. Patxi's makes more or less okay Chicago lasagna-cake. We can't seem to sustain any NY pizza places for more than a few years at a time. We have 3 pizza restaurants for every man woman and child in Denver and yet most are just cranking out King Soopers deli clones.

    I'm completely puzzled by our near total lack of New Mexican food and why we only have one real tapas place, though.
    Spaceman_Jer likes this.
  13. Spaceman_Jer

    Spaceman_Jer Defender (653) Jan 27, 2015 Colorado

    Entry #27 on

    The original point mentioned the disparity here between food and beer quality in Denver, but I've actually seen the reverse problem plenty of times as well. I lived in both San Francisco and down in the Silicon Valley for many years, and these places have always been Top 5 in the country for food, yet the local brewery element is sadly lacking. Several good beer bars and taprooms exist in SF (and finally a few above average breweries have moved in over the last couple of years), but imagine living in Silicon Valley/South Bay with twice the population of metro Denver and the 3rd highest per capita GDP in the world, and having not one single "average" quality brewery. I pretty much lived off of distro beers brewed 50-200 miles away when I lived there. Houston, TX (where I grew up) was in a similar situation as recently as 5-10 years ago - fantastic food city and yet St. Arnold was the only craft beer game in town and most people had no local beer within 30-40 miles of them. New Orleans is arguably the greatest example of this - World Class food but nobody gave a damn about beer beyond Abita/Dixie or crushing some Bud Lights until maybe 2-3 years ago.

    Just based on my 4 years in Denver I do think there is some real improvement in the dining scene at least in the more high-end ($$) level. There are still many challenges in the all important "moderately priced but awesome" categories and still a limited range of ethnic food and regional US cuisine. Quite frankly, Aurora is a much more interesting and satisfying food town for my tastes most of the time than Denver.
    denver10 and ManBearPat like this.
  14. Palos

    Palos Initiate (60) Oct 27, 2014 Illinois

    Does beer menus work in Denver or is there a better way of finding what places have?
  15. stevefenster

    stevefenster Initiate (107) Mar 29, 2016 Colorado

    There isn't one reliable way to do it here, unfortunately. Some places use untappd, but there is quite a bit of variation on how good they are at keeping up with it. At least a couple places (freshcraft and cerebral, for example) use taphunter.
  16. Palos

    Palos Initiate (60) Oct 27, 2014 Illinois

    On way home, and we all enjoyed our Denver trip. We hit Stoney’s Saturday evening for college football, Hayters Sunday before the game. Monday we tried, Epic, Odell, and Ratio before the Rockies game. Did a couple rooftop bars after and the View House today before the airport. Would of liked to have tried a couple more breweries but maybe next time. Had a great time in your city, very friendly people and good drinking spots. Thanks for all your recommendations.
    Schmittymack likes this.
  17. Mplsbrew

    Mplsbrew Disciple (308) Mar 21, 2013 Minnesota

    I'm sure this has been covered in multiple other threads, but is there a good place to find Casey bottles in Denver? I messaged Mr. B's and they said they are currently out. Thanks!
  18. Knobs303

    Knobs303 Aspirant (271) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado

    Are you currently in town? I would think Casey will be sending a sizable amount of their beer for GABF. If not, if you are heading West on I 70, Basecamp Liquors, in Frisco, generally has a very nice selection of Casey’s beers.
  19. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,627) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    Stores (Grapevine and Mile High) are posting about big Casey drops hitting shelves right now. Cherry & Plum Fruited Funky Blender, Peach CFP, etc.
    The stuff coming out of Glenwood Springs right now is just plain phenomenal.
  20. cu29

    cu29 Initiate (133) Sep 26, 2005 Wisconsin

    Just curious. Nobody mentioned Great Divide.
    I think their Yeti Imperial Stout is the best non-BA, non-adjunct imperial stout anywhere.
    Don't you CO folk appreciate it???
  21. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (472) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    Not a fan honestly... waaaaaaay too hoppy for me. I’ll still have one if I’m out somewhere, but always go with something else if I’m at the beer store
  22. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,361) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    @ManBearPat is not an anomaly. I still enjoy yeti, but miss the old variants. RIP espresso oak aged yeti.
    cu29 likes this.
  23. KidGalaga

    KidGalaga Initiate (72) Apr 21, 2014 Illinois

    Ironically, I’ve had much better food experiences compared to beer during the past few trips to Denver.

    Jovanina’s, Leroux, Call, wolf’s tailor, plimoth, senor bear, etc all had dishes that would compare to top foodie cities across the country.

    Don’t sell yourselves short on the dining options, and at the same time, y’all could tone it down about with the number of “world class” breweries you’re blessed with
  24. MastaaaGrillaaa

    MastaaaGrillaaa Initiate (145) Feb 10, 2015 Ohio

    I'm heading out for the Browns game Sunday and then a customer meeting Monday. Meeting Monday is near Columbine/Wolhurst/Highlands Ranch, any recommendations for a beer bar or brewery for Monday and MNF?

    This thread was very helpful for Saturday night / Sunday
    ManBearPat likes this.
  25. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (472) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    GO BROWNS!!!!

    I have no insight into your question, but the Browns Backers chapters from the various front range cities will be meating just southeast of the Burger King on Federal boulevard. Last year it was the best tailgate around and was followed by a big ole W!!!! Let’s hope we can get another one...
    MastaaaGrillaaa likes this.
  26. MastaaaGrillaaa

    MastaaaGrillaaa Initiate (145) Feb 10, 2015 Ohio

    Sadly I think I'm signed up for the work commitment part for pre-game with our customers. But hoping to break out my Victory Monday travel mug in the meeting on Monday.
    ManBearPat likes this.
  27. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (472) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    Got mines a few weeks ago, but there hasn’t been a Victory Monday since :cry::cry:
  28. MastaaaGrillaaa

    MastaaaGrillaaa Initiate (145) Feb 10, 2015 Ohio

    I thought my Denver based team would have pre-game covered. Any solid lunch/brunch places walking distance to the stadium to take customers?
  29. Spaceman_Jer

    Spaceman_Jer Defender (653) Jan 27, 2015 Colorado

    I assume the Sante Fe/C-470 area is what you are referring to for your Monday meeting. In that area I don't prefer any of the local breweries and instead would refer you to taphouses:

    1. Jake's Brew Bar (downtown Littleton): best place in the area for a "curated" beer list and folks working there know their stuff. Only 2 TVs though, not really sports oriented, and they might even be doing a local bluegrass jam that night. Several bonafide sports bars within 2 blocks of here and some good restaurants.

    2. Pint Room Littleton: Largest set of taps possibly in the state (around 170). Plenty of TVs, food is pretty good. Service and beer knowledge can be very up and down, and with that many taps you need to find out what's fresh.

    3. Parrys Pizza Highland Ranch: 100 taps and the beer buyer gets lots of great stuff, plenty of TVs for watching the game. I'm not a big fan of the food here, very suburban feel and they tend to close on the early side.
    MastaaaGrillaaa likes this.
  30. Steve_0

    Steve_0 Initiate (194) Mar 14, 2012 Colorado

    There is a closer Parry's to that location, as well, in South Glenn. Just as good tap list, less crowded, bigger bar, and newer interior.
  31. NCbeer

    NCbeer Initiate (107) Sep 6, 2012 North Carolina

    Heading in to town Thursday night for a weekend of eating, drinking and exploring. We are staying in RiNo. I have been to OMF before, but open to any other good local suggestions. Will probably avoid the bigger breweries.
    eppCOS likes this.
  32. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,597) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    Avoiding Odell is a mistake, IMO. Bigger but still amongst the state's best.

    Bierstadt if you enjoy lagers. Epic is also one of my favorites in the area. Freshcraft and Falling Rock for beer bars, I always enjoyed the food at Freshcraft...though still feel the sting of them dumping their schnitzel entree.
    NCbeer, SFACRKnight, eppCOS and 2 others like this.
  33. eppCOS

    eppCOS Meyvn (1,049) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado

    Prost, Black Shirt, Ratio, all good - but +1 on a visit (even if it's for honorary purposes) to Odell.
    Crooked Stave, too, all depends on your tastes/desires/preferred styles. Have fun.
    NCbeer likes this.
  34. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,627) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    There aren't many "bad" spots in RiNo left. Unless you roll into places you never see mentioned here, you aren't going to have a bad time. Even then, for all I know they've upped their game, too. When I go down there I usually hit up Epic, Ratio, Bierstadt, Odell, and either Finn's Manor or OMF. If you're further west, Crooked, Mockery, NB, Blue Moon, and the GD Barrel Cellar are fine stops too.
    I'm still a believer that the Falling Rock is the best stop in the region, so I'd prioritize them #1, though.
    eppCOS, NCbeer and dauss like this.