Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My Picks for the Best Taprooms in Denver

The Thrillist, an online Denver magazine wrote an article about the seven best taprooms in Denver and I want it noted that half their picks were awful. So here is my list of the best brewery taprooms in Denver.
A taproom is where breweries showcase their brews, it's also a place where beer lovers can taste their beers onsite in a quality atmosphere. But a taproom isn't as important as the product because no matter how stylish or cool the  taproom is, it's the beer that keeps people coming back.

The order of breweries doesn't designate my favorite to least but just a list of breweries with a nice and interesting taprooms.

Prost Brewing is right off the freeway on 20th St.
Beer taps at Prost Brewing.

They specialized in German style beers so if you enjoy Hefeweisens then this is the brewery for you. The taproom is large with groups seating on picnick tables or there's room at the bar.

Hogshead Brewery is located in the Highlands district in Denver. This brewery wasn't on the Thrillist list.

The brewery is situated in an old gas station that has been renovated and the taproom is small but modern. Hogshead styles their beers in the English tradition of low alcohol but tasteful.
North Denver is called RiNo (river north) area has many breweries but only a few I would recommend. 

Crooked Stave moved to The Source, a market place on Brighton Boulevard. This brewery was one that I agreed with the Thrillist  list.
Crooked Stave Brewing inside of The Source.

The taproom is very modern with small seating area. There's a nice bar seating with my only problem with it is that there needs to be an area for taking beer orders. On the weekend it is packed with sour ale loving patrons. The taproom has an open air concept with the brewhouse within sight.
Crooked Stave specializes in sour ales, Belgian-style farmhouse, and Saisons.
Going south on Brighton Blvd. you will cross Blake St where another brewery is located.

River North Brewing is another one left off the Thrillist list of Denver breweries.
River North Brewing.

The taproom has a semi-circular feel with a great view of the brewhouse. The room is small but they have a nice size bar. They brew Belgian-style ales and have barrel-aged beers. 
The next street over is Walnut St. where another brewery that I agreed with the Thrilist is located. 

Black Shirt Brewing has an iconic feel to their taproom.
Bar area of taproom of Black Shirt Brewing.

Black Shirt has a niche in brewing Red Ales.  The Red Ale is the base for all their other beers. 
Their taproom is inspired by Johnny Cash, all black and metallic but not oppressive. There are tables seating and a nice bar, in the summer there's patio seating outback. The atmosphere is dark but on nice days they open the large garage door to let in sunlight.
Traveling down Broadway there's another agreement with Thrillist, TRVE Brewing has a cool taproom plus great beer.

TRVE Brewing is a metal music inspired brewery.
Part of Trve Brewing's insanely large picnic table and bar area. 

Their taproom is metal gray and black with a very long picnick like table that was probably built to intiate conversation among the patrons.  The music is metal and can be loud but don't be intimidated because the beer is why it's on the list. There is a wide range of styles of beers but most love the IPA.

Next stop is Renegade Brewing in the Santa Fe district of Denver.  They have a large taproom with plenty of seating at the bar. The beer is good and they have a wonderful IPA on tap, Elevation IPA.
Renegade Brewing's taproom.

 This next brewery is located in the industrial area of Denver but accesible by freeway.

Strange Brewing is in a industrial strip mall and from the outside doesn't have much curb appeal.
Strange Brewing's bar in the taproom.

You walk through the overflow room to get to the main taproom. It's a nice room but not impressive by a long shot but adequate and there's a moderate size bar. The bar itself is impressive where resin was laid over fresh hops. There's tables for group seating in both rooms. Strange Brewing has many styles of beers on tap from IPA's to their famous Belgian Stout, the Cherry Bomb.

Taprooms in breweries are designed as a place for visitors to enjoy beer in a welcoming atmosphere. Some taprooms are more impressive then others but remember it's the beer that keeps us coming back.

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