Denver Brewery Guide: River North
Denver’s River North neighborhood is undergoing a metamorphosis. Once a predominantly industrial area, an influx of new or renovated clubs, bars, lofts and apartments have made River North one of the most eclectic and livable neighborhoods in Denver. Not surprisingly, all the people in this neighborhood have a thirst for craft beer.
River North Brewery: Brewers here specialize in Belgian beer styles and the occasional craft concoction. Housed in part of the space that was home to Flying Dog before its owners (who knows why) left the Rocky Mountain Empire for Maryland, River North has gained a solid foothold in in the neighborhood and the intensely competitive Denver craft beer market. Ales in the roster include River North White, Hello Darkness Black IPA, BPR Belgian-Style Pale Red Ale, J. Marie Saison/Farmhouse Ale, Hoppenberg Uncertainty Principle Belgian-Style Double IPA, Quandary Quadrupel, Unified Theory Oaked Imperial Wit, Avarice Belgian-Style Imperial Stout as well as a barrel-aged series. Hoppenburg especially is garnering plaudits from Denver’s beer geeks (2401 Blake St.; 303-296-2617).
Black Shirt Brewing: Further away from downtown in River North, this brewery occupies an old building not too far away from the Denver Coliseum. The proprietors consider this an artisanal brewer, and it’s easy to see why. All Black Shirt beers are red in color and are made with as many locally sourced ingredients as possible. Selections from the tap include the signature Red Ale, Red Pale Ale, Red IPA, Saison Red and others. Brewers even plan to create a red porter in the future. Food carts are available outside on most nights. Hours for now are limited to 4–8 PM, Thursday–Saturday (3719 Walnut St.; 303-993-2799).
Great Divide Brewing Company: Just outside of the River North area rests one of Denver’s most well-known and successful beer makers. Founded in 1994, Great Divide has grown steadily, expanding distribution into many states with popular labels that include Titan IPA, Denver Pale Ale and Hibernation Ale. The taproom/brewery is worth checking out, especially in the winter months when Great Divide begins to pour its Espresso Oak-Aged Yeti Stout — a coffee stout so complex and smooth, its one beer that actually deserves to be served in snifters. Tours are offered Monday–Friday at 3 and 4 PM, and weekend tours are available as well (2201 Arapahoe St.; 303-296-9460).
Tags: Bar Crawl, Beer