Tag Archives: BOULDER CO

B.J.’S RESTAURANT & BREWHOUSE

BJ'S RESTAURANT & BREWERYBOULDER, COLORADO

B.J.’S RESTAURANT & BREWHOUSE may be the country’s best chain brewpub, commencing operation as a deepdish pizza parlor in Santa Ana, California, during the nineties. Boulder’s green-exteriored version at Pearl Street Mall had small outdoor patio, front dining space, back area bar (with several beer banners and rear kettle tanks), exposed ducts, and loft dining, August ‘07. Upper tier had more kettles plus wood barrels for casking.

Drank sourly citric lemongrass-parched Kolsch-styled BJ’s Brewhouse Blonde, tangy apple-pear-grapefruit-spiced wood-dried Cascade-hopped IPA-like Piranha Pale Ale, biscuit-y caramel-malted Irish-styled Jeremiah Red Ale, and rancid lemon-soured veggie-rotted chocolate-powdered honey-dripped Drop Light Pilsner with wife and long-time pal, Phil Calitre. Better were sweet ‘n sour candied canteloupe-blueberry-peach-ripened cherry-cranberry-tart Berries & Cream and lactic milk chocolate-y malt-sugared black cherry-pureed Tatonka Imperial Stout. Dry cocoa-soured tar-tobacco-backed PM Porter retained easy crossover appeal.

www.bjsbrewhouse.com

THE WALNUT

THE WALNUTBOULDER, COLORADO

For evening nightcap, August ’07, revisited old Boulder stomping ground, THE WALNUT, to munch on chicken wings and taco salad while quaffing middling brews. Located in converted red brick warehouse with outdoor deck, high-beam ceiling, and ample dining space across Boulder’s promenade, its left side bar had personalized mugs, copious alcohol, and multiple TV’s attracting sports fans.

Sampled soapy banana-clove-bubblegum-sweetened Seasonal Wheat, popcorn-like caramel-malted Cascade-hopped citric-spiced Buffalo Gold, floral-citrus-bound Indian Peaks Pale Ale, fungi-wafted hop-roasted orange-dried macadamia-tinged Old Elk Brown Ale (plus its silky banana-fig-sugared nitro version), and milk chocolate-y espresso-soured Devil’s Thumb Stout.

www.walnutbrewery.com

REDFISH BREWERY

REDFISH BREWPUBBOULDER, COLORADO

Opened in 2002 and visited August ‘07, cool lime green-hued red-trimmed REDFISH BREWERY had spacious dimly-lit dining frontage with double garage door opening, small railed patio, chic Elvis-Dylan-Marley-Garcia paintings, dank performance space, and rear silver brew kettles.

 To go with Continental cuisine and Cajun dishes (jambalaya; enchiladas; seafood gumbo), midsection bar served conventional fare such as lemon pith-soured popcorn-tinged corn-sugared Rasta Pilsner, honeyed cereal-grained Big Easy Pale Ale, phenol candied apple-doused caramel-malted Scotch-licked Riley’s Red, and buttery floral-hopped red-orange-fruited Tree Hugger Organic IPA. Creamy malt-dried coffee-roasted chocolate-vanilla-tweaked Imperial Stout may’ve bettered admirable hop-charred milk chocolate-y vanilla-sweet black cherry-tinged espresso-finishing Space Stout. Best bet: softly buttered banana-clove-candied orange-fruited hop-spiced Angry Monk Belgian Ale.

Redfish perished 2009, replaced by COLORADO BREWING COMPANY’s new recipes.

MOUNTAIN SUN

BOULDER, COLORADO

Bantam cafeteria-styled MOUNTAIN SUN, the original midtown ‘hippie’ brewpub established October ’93, had a kitsch-y blue-maroon exterior and the same affordable beer-food menu as newer Southern Sun, August ‘07. Beers are listed on green wall board beside painted half-sun murals, Grateful Dead posters, hemp wraps, and exposed pipes (with hop leaf trim). Enjoyed quaffing chewy black chocolate-y vanilla-dipped cappuccino-creamed coffee roasted hop-charred Thunderhead Stout before heading to nearby Redfish.

www.mountainsunpub.com

SOUTHERN SUN

SOUTHERN SUNBOULDER, COLORADO

As far as I’m concerned, the greatest selection of beers and ales reside in friendly confines of Colorado University’s hippie-speckled college town east of the Rockies awesome summit. On my first Boulder trip in ’96, I pounded down many New Belgium Fat Tires at The Walnut and a few Breckenridge and Flying Dog brews at long-time friend Phil Calitre’s humble abode.
 
As Phil rightly proclaimed then, “We’ve got tons of good brewpubs and microbreweries here.” A fabulous drinker and proud Colorado U. grad, Phil introduced 15th Street Liquor Mart, which had 60 (!) local brews I hadn’t yet tried as of September ’02.
I had the truly distinct Oasis Zoser Oatmeal Stout at Oasis brewpub while Phil’s 2-year old hung off a barstool then strolled through the crowd. I enjoyed lofty brews by Avery, Berger, Boulder, Great Divide, Twisted Pine, and less interesting fare from O’ Dell and Tommyknockers while 4-wheeling rocky dirt trails near Georgetown and Nederland, hiking the Flat Irons, or hanging out around main Boulder artery, 28th Street.

 

During August ’07, did full brewpub tour, starting at outskirts with SOUTHERN SUN (sister restaurant-brewpub of quainter Mountain Sun). Opened autumn ’03, Southern Sun’s a spacious family-oriented lodge located at Table Mesa Mall in red brick freestanding building with white grain silo, big side patio, couched lounge area, and silver brew tanks. Tomes and liquor bottles bedeck oak book shelving of left side L-shaped bar. Pub fare included nachos, hummus, soups, salads, and fabulous burgers.

Diligently skirting traditional categories, brewer Curt Meyer served tart peach-candied corn-dried biscuit-y wheat light body Quinn’s Golden Ale, Seltzer-like cherry-tart raspberry-oxidized dry-hopped Raspberry Wheat, subtle dried-fruited cereal-grained chocolate-nut-tinged wood-burnt Annapurna Amber, and banana-fronted lemony-clove clean-watered solvent-like Ruckus Witbier.

Admirably analogous were sharp spruce-juiced apple-pear-sweetened grapefruit-soured floral-tinged Colorado Kind Ale, bitterer resin-hopped peach-y grapefruit-lavished Illusion Dweller IPA, and piney Chinook-hopped candy apple-grazed orange peel-grapefruit-dried floral peach-dabbed FYIPA. Pleasant chipotle-jalapeno notes counter coffee bean dryness, chocolate seed bittering, and Kahlua murk of Isadore Java Porter while equally dry nitro-fused Old School Stout (and its more grainy tapped version) extended hop-roasted black coffee illusions to Band-aid-wafted black cherry nuance. Lacquered ginger-eucalyptus-wintergreen-freshened lemongrass-chamomile-impinged citric-hinged Jah Man Ginger tests experimentalists.

www.mountainsunpub.com