Perched between Denver and Colorado Springs, Castle Rock sports freestanding tan stucco grain silo-marked ROCKYARD BREWING & AMERICAN GRILL, visited August ’07. High ceilinged oval bar (with three TV’s), brown wood furnishings and glass-encased brew tanks supported small private left room and back patio. Brewer Jim Stinson previously worked at Pueblo’s Shamrock, a former Irish pub initially used as horsestable with upstairs whorehouse, 30 miles south of Colorado Springs. Copious appetizers, seafood, steak, and big-portioned burgers saddled menu.

Pre-lunch libations included floral-spiced, corn-sugared, raspberry-tart, white peach-soured, watermelon-nectarine-sweet, pumpernickel-backed Rock Berry Razz Ale, lemony candi-sugared banana-clove-middled Bavarian-styled Wildcat White Ale, and fizz-spiced grain-husked maize-dried Double Eagle Ale. Those discernible openers were bettered by woody-hopped stone-fruited tea-spiced Scotch-tinged pecan-slighted Redhawk Ale, resonant hop-spiced alcohol-burnt wood-lacquered grapefruit-currant-embittered Hopyard IPA, and creamy black chocolate-fronted, espresso-vanilla-backed, cherry-pureed Lightning Strike Stout.

Best bet: amazing dessert-like digestif, Warning Sign Eisbock, with its initial cherry jubilee resolve, banana-chipped vanilla sweetness, bruised orange souring, and Cognac-sherry whir. Stay away from pungently lemon-soured, musky corn-oiled, vegetable-rotted, solvent-like, Miller Lite-compromised Lynx Light Lager.

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