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Exploring more Boulder area local breweries

Continued story from Hometown beer is the original Local

Twisted Pine Brewing Co. founder Bob Baile stands with and behind all his beer.  Cucumber Cream Ale in foreground a summer refresher.
Photo by Charlie Papazian
Boot STrap
Photo by Charlie Papazian

Left Hand Brewing Company at 1265 Boston Ave, Longmont is one of the area’s pioneering breweries. Now coming up on their 20th anniversary founder and original brewmaster Eric Wallace and his crew have reason to celebrate. Having survived the struggles and challenges of being amongst the first craft brewers in Colorado they are breaking the 50,000 barrel barrier with distribution in dozens of states and several countries. Their beers are too numerous to summarize, but my favorites are Polestar Pilsener (one of the best bottled pilseners brewed in Colorado), their award winning Milk Stout, classic Black Jack porter, and so many other fine brews. Their tap room is a fun place to try their regular and special brews.

Upslope Brewing Company began as a very small operation at its Upslope Lee Hill Road location at 1501 Lee Hill Road N20, Boulder. A short 5 years later they’ve just added another larger production (Upslope Flatiron Park) location at 1898 S. Flatiron Court, Boulder. Visiting both will give you a feel for the growth of craft brewers in Boulder and what their evolution is all about. Deciding to keep the original location allows them to brew small batch specialty beers, important to their fans. Both taprooms offer a great environment to relax and enjoy some very great beers along with beers they are developing, specialties not always available and some beers not available anywhere else. Founder Matt Cutter and his brew crew have lots to take pride in. You can tell with every taste of their beer. I was particularly wowed with a super smooth well aged barley wine on tap and with a relatively low a.b.v “schwarz” black beer; smooth and refreshing with gusto.

Another classic Boulder brewery worth visiting is Twisted Pine Brewing Company at 3201 Walnut Street, Boulder. Founder Bob Baile seems to be always there (since 1995 when he founded the brewery), tinkering and fashioning new directions in specialty beers. He emphasizes that most of his employees get to be directly involved with special brews. They’ve recently expanded into an adjacent space and have always been guided by slow and steady growth. Their taproom is ever popular and if you haven’t visited in a while get over there and enjoy their expanded space. It’s very fun place and lots of interesting special beer are on tap as well as their traditional brands. Be careful of their Ghost Face Killah “chili” beer – It is legendary and truly over the top. Particularly I like to settle in with their Oktoberfest, try their Saisons, their fall carrot IPA, Hoppy Knight IBA, and recently marveled at their Cucumber Cream Ale. It’s a destination spot for many veteran Boulder craft beer fans.

Fate Brewing Company at 1600 38th Street, Boulder opened earlier this year and has immediately been reviewed as having some exceptionally great food. Now that the brewery has caught up with demand they offer a great variety of their house brewed beers as well as continuing to offer other locally made craft beers. I enjoyed the best Cuban sandwich I ever had on my inaugural visit; slow smoked pork highlighted the delicious balance of flavors not found in most quickly slabped [sic] together Cubans. I only had time to try a few beers… Their Moirai IPA was super flavorful with the unique character of Eldorado dry hopping shining through. A taste of their Cascadian Dark Ale committed me to loving it. Their Kölsch is something to satisfy your initial thirst and desperation after a long or short day of work or your day off. Actually anytime will do. As an added bonus they are a mere 100 feet from the Boulder Creek Bike Path.

I live in the county of Boulder. Equidistant from Boulder, Niwot, Longmont and Lyons. There are lots of breweries within bike and drive distance. One of the neatest smaller community breweries is the Bootstrap Brewing Company in the tiny “town” of Niwot, Colorado. This summer I visited for the first time on what I thought might be a quiet Saturday afternoon. Wrong. While the streets of downtown Niwot were empty, the whole town seemed to be at the brewery to celebrate their first anniversary. Yes, I know… I waited too long to visit them, but better late than later. Want a cool small town brewery experience at their tap room. Check them out at 6778 N 79th Street. You won't be disappointed.

Breweries I enjoy that I haven’t written about in these accounts are Mountain Sun, Southern Sun, Boulder Beer Company, Walnut Brewery, Oskar Blues, Avery Brewing, Asher Brewing, New Planet and several others. Sometimes it’s hard to get out when I have 6 of my own homebrews on tap at home.

Also see: Hometown beer is the original Local

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