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falling rock tap house

Falling Rock Tap House’s Plans Give Denver’s Beer Drinkers Reason to Smile

 

The Falling Rock Tap House has long been a tour guide and craft beer connoisseur favorite. Accordingly, it has been a part of our Denver Microbrew Tours for ages. What’s our favorite part of the stop besides the beer? For one, the hospitality is outstanding. And the ambiance is great too but it’s about to get better. How so? Pick up your glass, take a sip and listen while we share the details:

The brewery’s relocating to another wonderful part of Denver. Do you want to guess where the new tap house is being built? Okay, our tour guides will tell you. It’s Washington Street. Why Washington Street? Well, why not? It’s a burgeoning community that is close to a light-rail station and Interstate-25. So beer drinkers will have no problems finding it.

And the Washington Park area in general is perfect for walking tours. The community was originally laid out by a famous, German architect back in the 1800s. As such, many of the community’s old buildings and public spaces have great, architectural details as well as a fabulous feel to them. Plus, there are modern shops, restaurants and other contemporary amenities available near the tap house’s new location too.

The new location hasn’t opened yet and when it does, we’ll be sure to let everyone know. In the meantime, our DenverMicrobrew Tours will continue as normal. As always, they’ll include a number of area favorites and we’ll factor in the Falling Rock Tap House’s new digs when the time comes. Beer connoisseurs may want to check out the Washington Park area on their own too. The community’s park is exceptionally fetching in the spring thanks to walking trails, outdoor sculptures and flower gardens.

To learn more about where we’ll be going in the weeks ahead, please contact us for the latest tour itinerary.

 


craft beer

Craft Beer Drinkers May Expect Plenty of Eye-Openings Sips Before Spring

 

Several breweries are planning to tempt craft beer connoisseurs with some very special offerings before spring. And many of those offerings have something in common. Can you guess which ingredient they’re hoping to focus on? We’ll give you an eye-opening hint. It’s something people tend to drink the moment they open their eyes. That’s right, it’s coffee.

Adding coffee to craft beer isn’t new. Creative brew masters have been doing for decades. However, this latest crop of coffee-loving, craft brew masters has come up with ways to elevate the classic pairing to whole, new, incredible levels. For example, have you ever heard of cascara sagrada? If not, you will in the next few weeks when brewers start releasing their finest.

Normally considered a holistic health essential, it is a natural ingredient found in shrub bark. One would think that adding bark to beer would make it bitter or negatively alter its texture. Surprisingly, it doesn’t do either of those two things. Instead, it tends to deepen the craft brew’s existing, coffee profile without adding unwanted aftereffects. And as we promised, cascara isn’t the only natural additive being used by 2016’s brewers.

Many are experimenting with the beer’s aging process to bring more to their coffee and cascara brews. For example, the young brews may be placed into wine or whiskey-soaked barrels to help give them a remarkable edge. Other craft beer manufacturers may skip the barrels and try adding a blend of exotic coffee beans or flavored syrups instead.

By now, you might be wondered where to get your coffee craft beer fix. One place slated to feature beanie beers in the months ahead is Copper Kettle Brewing Company. To learn more about them and other places to find excellent coffee beers in Denver, please contact us today for a tour.

 


downtown denver rock bottom brewery

A far cry from rock bottom in downtown Denver.

The flavor enthusiast who likes their drinks with an edge will be in for a treat at Rock Bottom Brewery in downtown Denver, one of the breweries on our LoDo (lower downtown) tour. They started brewing beer in 1991 and after 25 years they have accumulated over 125 major medals and awards. There is a hop range designed to please every palate with IBU’s ranging from 8 to 85. The selection is not limited to the ever popular standbys but even these offer a distinctive mark. On tap presently at Rock Bottom Brewery per their web page are some of these pours:

  • Liquid Sun Saison, authentic French farmhouse style ale, with ABV of 8.1% lends itself to sipping slowly.
  • El Chupacabra, a Mexican style ale that boasts the sweetness of corn.
  • Chili Kolsch awakens the senses with jalapeno, serrano and poblano peppers.
  • The taps also serve up various IPA’s, black india ale, hefeweizen and barley wine.

Every Friday night there is live music that starts at 7pm. There are also special events monthly which are advertised on their website.

Not only are there great sips but great eats as well. The menu has a large selection of staple brew house appetizers such as pretzels and wings but also apps with a twist such as cotija cheese and chorizo sausage stuffed pretzel bites. The comprehensive menu has entrees, salads, desserts and a full bar menu.

Happy hour is Monday to Friday 3-6:30.

For more info on this or other stops on our brew tour, please contact us. Tours run Friday through Sunday, starting at varying hours.


Wynkoop Brewing Company

Wynkoop Brewing Company, Historically Crafted

Wynkoop Brewing Company is so much more than Denver’s first brewpub; it’s housed in a building that is steeped in the city’s mining and railroad history. Though the J.S. Brown Mercantile Building was not built until 1899, the area it is built on and the owner, John Sidney Brown, had been doing business with miners, brewers and grocers since 1861.

It’s almost like history set the stage for Wynkoop‘s successful destiny: world-renowned craft beer and New American pub grub.

And, it’s as if the building itself was meant to be tied to historical events forever.

In 1868, J.S. Brown was among the men who broke ground for the railroad in Denver. A strong advocate and key player (alongside other historical names like George Morrison and Governor John Evans) in bringing the railroad to Denver, Brown lobbied and raised money until the completion of Union Station, 13 years later.

With his business located directly across the street from Union Station, the building was meant for success.

In 1902, the Mercantile building made the news again, and was named “a magnificent structure, fitted up in a perfectly modern style, having railroad switches in its front and rear, and every convenience necessary for the prompt transacting of business” by the Denver Times (Denver Post).

Fast forward 80 plus years, and the building is still making history.

In 1988, a relatively unknown and laid-off geologist by the name of John Hickenlooper started the Wynkoop Brewing Company inside the old Mercantile building.

Mr. Hickenlooper went on to become the Mayor of Denver from 2003 to 2011. He was then elected as Governor of Colorado and assumed office on January 11, 2011.

But the political fame for the famous brewpub doesn’t stop there.

On a normal Tuesday in July of 2014, President Obama made a surprise visit to the unsuspecting brewpub. It was widely reported that Mr. Obama enjoyed a Rail Yard, the pub’s best-selling ale; and played a friendly game of pool with GovernorHickenlooper.

Wynkoop Brewing Company has and always will be connected to and making history. The experience of the historic atmosphere and the quality, crafted beer make this destination a Denver institution.

Want to experience the magic of Wynkoop Brewing Company in person and learn more? Check out these brewing tours today!


river north brewery

River North Brewery Moving with Funk The Man Celebration

When it comes to some of the best craft beer in Denver, River North Brewery has been a highlight staple in the RiNo district. But by the end of October, you won’t be able to visit the brewery in its famed 24th and Blake location of the neighborhood.

The building River North has called home for over three years will be bulldozed in order to rebuild on the lot some apartment dwellings. River North is now preparing to move, but they’re going out with a big celebration and a big beer. Called the Funk the Man series, these special beer releases are variation of the brewery’s brett saisons from their archived barrels. Funk the Man challenges what River North Brewery calls “insatiable redevelopment, growth for the sake of growth and cash over community.” In contrast to the new development, the Funk the Man wants to celebrate how breweries like River North help to revitalize the community through engagement, collaboration, and fun in the district. The neighborhood will miss this location, and we’ll miss the 24th and Blake stop on our craft beer tour.

But we don’t have to worry for too long about River North’s disappearance. Their new location will be at 6021 Washington Street, slated to reopen before the end of the year. The new location will expand production and provide more space in thetap room, giving more space for drinkers to enjoy the local brew. In addition, the Brewery plans to make a comeback in the neighborhood with a new pilot brewery and taproom.

So good luck to River North, and make sure you stock up before the move! To learn more about some of the best RiNobreweries like River North, contact us.


craft beer

5 Winter Craft Beers to Try This Year

 

The craft beer industry runs far and wide across our country. Sometimes, the popular beers on the East Coast aren’t even available on the West Coast. This has a lot to do with distribution and money — many smaller breweries don’t have the capital or the resources for wide distribution.

However, for those who can try all the winter beers (no matter their area), this post is for you.

From porters to stouts to IPAs, please join us as we profile five great winter beers that you should try this winter.

1. Stone Smoked Porter: Very few breweries have an ego like Stone, but very few can actually back it up like they can. Try their Smoked Porter and find out why they brag.

2. Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter: Deschutes has branched out to the East Coast as of late, but they are still making great tasting beers. Their Black Butte is delightful, creamy, refreshing and… well, you should just try it.

3. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale: Worried that Sierra Nevada has gotten too big for their britches? Don’t be. Try their Celebration Ale and discover why Sierra Nevada is an American original.

4. Lagunitas Brown Shugga‘ American Strong Ale: Lagunitas has made quite the name for themselves lately. But their beer is worth the hype. Test out their “ethos in a bottle” known as Brown Shugga‘ American Strong Ale and see why they are a popular choice this winter.

5. New Belgium Accumulation White IPA: IPA fans, we didn’t forget about you. White IPAs have long been associated with the winter season, and this IPA is a testament to why. New Belgium has done a great job creating a winter warmer without the knockout effect often associated with IPAs.

For more information on how we can help you, please contact us today.

 


A Much-Abridged History of Denver, as it Relates to Drinking

In 1919, the states ratified the Eighteenth Amendment and Congress adopted the Volstead Act, which made Prohibition the law of the land. An historian charged with writing a history of Denver as it relates to drinking would be excused from thinking that the city’s residents were a sickly lot back then. Taking advantage of a loophole in the Volstead Act, Denver issued over 16,000 prescription forms that allowed physicians to prescribe up to four ounces of alcohol to any patient that had a “medicinal need” for the same.

Denver’s religious congregations jumped through another loophole and routinely claimed “sacramental” exemptions from the Volstead Act, which that allowed them to continue to use altar wine and other spirits, perhaps doing wonders for church attendance at the time. In anticipation of the broader effects of prohibition, in 1917 Denver had the foresight to issue permits to almost 60,000 of its citizens who claimed a personal consumption exemption from laws that were then in effect, allowing each of them to consume two pints of wine and the equivalent of a 24-pack of beer every month.

Colorado’s agricultural heritage contributed to the efforts to keep a steady flow of alcohol into Denver and throughout Colorado during Prohibition. Moonshiners and other illicit Colorado producers used the state’s sugar beet crop to distill grain alcohols under monikers such as “Sugar Moon” and “Leadville Moon”. By 1932, when Prohibition was repealed, enterprising citizens could find alcohol for sale in Denver on almost every street corner. The city’s denizens no doubt raised a hearty cheer on April 7, 1933, when Coors restarted beer shipments from its Golden, Colorado brewery.

Fast forward to the modern era. By last count, Colorado has more than 200 microbreweries and brewpubs that produce their own craft beers and ales. Many of those breweries produce fewer than 50,000 cases of beer per year (which is likely far less than the amount of beer spilled in a single week at any national brewery). Do Denver’s and Colorado’s attitudes toward Prohibition teach us anything about current drinking practices?

Residents of other cities and states certainly took advantage of the Volstead Act’s exemptions, but little data can be found that allows a comparison of Denver’s and other cities’ reliance on those exemptions. Denver had slightly more than 250,000 residents in 1920. As noted, in 1917, 60,0000 of those residents (i.e. almost one-fourth of the city) claimed a personal consumption exemption, allowing them to consume generous quantities of wine and beer every month. The city’s and state’s enterprising citizens also used locally-grown sugar beets to make their own potent potables. If nothing else, Denver’s Prohibition-era history reveals a creative mindset that will search out and find creative ways to quench a thirst. The city’s new microbreweries and brewpubs are just continuing this tradition with new formulas, flavors and tasting rooms that cater to an ever more selective clientele.

The Denver Microbrew Tour will give you a new perspective on the city’s thriving beer and brewing culture and history. Feel free to contact us if you’d like more information or if you want to schedule your own tour with us. Eighty years has passed since the repeal of Prohibition, and you can enjoy the city’s microbrew offerings without looking for a Volstead Act exemption to keep you above the law.


denver breweries

Denver Breweries: Great Hang Outs For Novices and Cicerones Alike

 

People often wonder, “Do you have to be a cicerone in order to enjoy walking tours of Denver breweries?” In short, “No, cicerone status is not necessary when it comes to making the most of the Mile High City’s sudsiest of spots. Our guides have more than enough knowledge of beers, breweries and Denver’s finest venues to cover everyone who signs up for one of our specialty tours.

However, there are actions craft beer drinkers may take to help improve their knowledge of the brewing industry after the tours. For example, picking up magazines, DVDs and books about the topic may help. There are a number of them already in print and countless others scheduled to come out in the future. A few well-received ones that are already in print are listed below:

  • Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink by Randy Mosher
  • Beer Companion by Michael Jackson
  • The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks by Joshua Bernstein

And no, libraries, bookstores and online sites are not the only locations where such reading materials may be found.

Sometimes Denver’s breweries host book signings wherein authors bring their respective manuscripts. It happened throughout this year’s Great American Beer Festival and it’s likely to happen again. The list of authors known to have these types of events in Denver includes, but isn’t confined to Jeff Alworth, Christian DeBenedetti, Mirella Amato and BryanJansing.

And don’t worry, if one of them does decide to return to Denver breweries for another book signing, our tour guides will make a note of it. Depending on the pace of the tour, it may also be possible to speak with area brewers and get their perspectives on cicerone related topics too. To learn more about tours that cicerones would be proud to call their own, please contact us today.

 


craft beer

How This Denver Brewery Is Planning To Take Over The Craft Beer World

 

When people think of Denver, they now think of delicious and innovative craft beer. This great beer reputation is in large part due to the efforts of incredible breweries like Great Divide. Great Divide was started in 1994 by brewer Brian Dunn, and Great Divide’s first batch of beer won an award at the Great American Beer Festival. The brewery went on to earn accolades and admiration worldwide, and was even named the 7th best brewery in the world by Beeradvocate.com.

With beers like Titan, Yeti and Colette, it’s not surprising to hear about Great Divide’s success. For years, Great Divide ran its brewing operations out of a small building located at 2201 Arapahoe St. in Denver, but has now completed the first phase of its major expansion effort in Denver’s River North district. The new facility has an awesome new tap room called Barrel Bar that boasts 16 taps and an awesome patio.

Their second location is also home to a new state-of-the-art packaging facility, canning line, barrel aged and sour beer storage(yum). Great divide is also rumored to be collaborating with Denver sour beer brewery Crooked Stave on a new beer soon. We can’t wait.

Want to check out awesome breweries like Great Divide? The Denver Microbrew Tour is a guided walking tour through downtown Denver, Colorado’s historic LODO (lower downtown) and Ballpark Neighborhood districts. The tour includes beer samplings at several microbreweries and a local tap room, info on everything you’d ever want to know about beer, a coupon for a pint of your favorite beer on the tour, and local Denver history. For more info on The Denver Microbrew tour,contact us today!

 


Coming to Denver: A New Belgium Pilot Brewery

When it comes to Denver breweries, the city already has a lot to offer: on top of its amazing beer history, there is currently a strong network of microbreweries to fuel the beer-loving city. And with a great atmosphere of brews, experimentation, and creativity, who could blame non-native breweries who want to become neighbors?

As recently announced, New Belgium will be moving a new pilot 10-barrel brewery to Denver’s Riverside District, sharing space with The Source Hotel. While new Belgium is anything but “micro,” the new brewery will also bring new small-batched brews and barrel-aged on site, as part of the company’s experimental vision the brewery will take part in. In addition, it will all be housed as part of The Source Hotel, a new renovation project in the RiNo district that’s bringing life to an old brick foundry. On the roof top, New Belgium will share the space with The Source’s culinary complex (and pool) by serving its brews with small plates in their beer garden. On the 8th floor, New Belgium will age its beers in barrels. Overall, it will blend in well with the artsy, industrial look of the charming district.

Still, don’t go flocking to just the New Belgium tap room once it opens. Downtown Denver is teeming with great localmicrobreweries, all of which you could visit in Denver’s RiNo and LoDo districts on one of our beer tours. To learn more about how you can explore and taste local brews in downtown Denver, contact us.


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