Denver 12-Bar Blues (Second Verse)

Between the 27 December 2012 and 2 January 2013 I was in Denver, Colorado. Here’s a quick round-up of where I sank a few brews…

Euclid Hall – 1317 14th Street

Didn’t have too long here as we had to dash off to meet someone but there was enough time to down a La Fin Du Monde and peruse the bottle list, which featured some rather interesting little numbers (although their names currently escape me). It felt and looked more like a restaurant than a bar and it didn’t strike me as a great place to get drunk but the next time I’m town I’ll pop in a select a few items from the cellar and perhaps indulge in some grub.

Big Hoss – 3961 Tennyson Street

The plan was to visit Hops & Pie but it was absolutely rammed so we crossed the street and went into this BBQ & Steakhouse. It was the final night of the regular football season and the Broncos had just played and won at Mile High so the place was awash with orange and happy talk. Walking through the door I wouldn’t have expected to find a remotely decent beer list but on tap was an assortment of fine beers from Breckenridge, New Belgium and Lagunitas IPA, which was served in a Lagunitas mason jar. The food was plentiful and pretty decent. If you’re up Tennyson and Hops & Pie is too rammed (and even if it isn’t) drop in on Big Hoss for a beer and a burger.

Oriental Theater – 4335 West 44th Avenue

The main reason I was in Denver was to see two gigs by Slim Cessna’s Auto Club – these gigs were at the Oriental. I’ve never been to a gig venue that has such a great beer list: draft from Great Divide, Breckenridge, Wynkoop and bottles and cans from the same plus Oskar Blues and New Belgium and possibly others that I missed. And, of course, there was plenty of PBR and Coors to keep the masses happy.

Sam’s – 6801 Leetsdale Drive

A real American bar – the kind of joint that frequently appears in movies and TV shows.  Only three beers were on draft: Bud Light, PBR and Samuel Adams Winter Lager. I don’t know what the bottle list was like but I can’t imagine it was too ‘craft’. But trendy and exotic tasty beverages isn’t what this place is about. It’s a place to go and watch sports. It’s place to go and chat with friends (ones you only see within those four walls). It’s a place to go and sit at the bar or in a corner and get slowly and quietly drunk. It’s where you go to eat Chief’s Green Chili – the finest Green Chili in Denver.

Satellite Bar – 308 East Colfax Avenue

A cool little bar nestled amongst East Colfax’s more famous dive bars. Clean and modern and not overly crowded but bustling enough. The beer list boasts a selection of Colorado classics – Titan. Modus Hoperandi, Isolation, Saw Tooth, et al – alongside some notable worthies from further afield such as Lagunitas Sucks and Pale 31 (Firestone Walker). There’s a jukebox that plays the current pop hits but thankfully when nobody is feeding it the barman sticks on punk records. If you’re doing the tourist trail and visiting Nob Hill make sure you also add the Satellite Bar to your itinerary.

Breckenridge Colorado Craft – 2220 Blake Street

A huge place that I suppose only truly gets full before and after ball games at Coors Field, which is just over the road. As expected the place is home to a glittering array of Breckenridge beers but it also plays host to beer from Avery, Left Hand, Oskar Blues and other luminaries from the Colorado craft beer scene. I sat at the bar and sank a couple of beers while waiting for the taxi to come and take me to the airport…

I will return.

* * *

click here for First Verse

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~ by landells on February 8, 2013.

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