Lest we forget, visiting breweries is about a lot more than just sampling new beers. If that were the case, a trip to Applejack, Total Liquors or Argonaut could almost certainly keep your average beer aficionado busy with exotic brews both foreign and domestic.
No, the focus of our brewery treks around Colorado are as much about the small towns, unique buildings and interesting like-minded beer connoisseurs that we discover along the way. Had we just stuck to browsing the aisles of a liquor store we’d never have discovered the cute, small-town charm of Niwot less than an hour north of Denver up I-25.
Less than a few blocks away from Bootstrap Brewing Company is the fortnight-old Powder Keg Brewing, so for anyone holding off from visiting the former (great) brewery now you have double the reason to spend an afternoon in a nearby town that oozes rural American charm.
Nestled in a building constructed in 1911 (note the plaque above), Powder Keg is adorable both inside and out. The taproom itself is certainly one of the more refined and tastefully decorated ones to have opened in recent months and the owners appear to have made a hefty investment in its design. You’ll see no taps jutting out from white stucco walls or sit upon chairs that may or may not have been “re-purposed” from a local yard sale (not that there’s anything wrong with that). And while I have a soft spot for jerry-rigged taprooms that feel like someone’s private garage, there’s something to be said for a new taproom that sports a tasteful amount of polish, especially when it isn’t a large, soul-less chain establishment.
Our service was prompt and amiable on this quiet, late-Sunday afternoon nearing closing time and music was played at a comfortable volume. We helped ourselves to 4 tasters of their signature brews and settled upon the stout on nitro which had a nice, roasted coffee edge to it. The saison was pleasant enough and their pale and IPA were both obviously geared toward hop-heads (especially with the addition of some dry hopping). While not my personal IBU-packed preference, I’m sure many will delight at the intense hoppiness on display.
Overall, our experience was a positive one, and I especially appreciated the fine selection of guest beers on tap (for those of us who weren’t in a hoppy state of mind). Among the more unique choices were a fine saison from Crooked Stave and a lovely tart sour from a Missouri brewery whose name evades me at this time. Furthermore, a small food menu was available, as well as a selection of ciders and wines.
Powder Keg Brewing is worth a look.