Denver (Lincoln Park), Colorado:
Renegade Brewing Tap Room
Saturday 2nd June 2018
Although this brewery tap is located in the greater neighbourhood of Lincoln Park I think they prefer to be known as being in the Sante Fe Arts District, which of course they are. This is an area of art galleries, specialist shops and restaurants that are found along the north-south axis of Sante Fe Drive and the parallel and cross streets off it.
The history of the brewery seems to have been formed along the same or similar path to many others.
Renegade’s story began in December 2005 when wife Khara O’Connell gave her husband Brian a home-brew kit as a Christmas present. Many different beers were produced over the next three years. In 2008 Brian visited the Dogfish Head Brewery and realised he was hooked into amateur brewing.
The next light bulb moment came in February 2009 when he eventually realised that he would like to start his own brewery. By August of the same year he completed a business plan and began raising money towards his ultimate goal. It was to be called the Journey Brewing Company. With finances in place a lease was signed on a property at 925 West 9th Avenue in December 2010.
The name was changed to the Renegade Brewing Company as Brian thought it better represented the cutting edge and boundary-breaking beers he wanted to brew.
It was a big day in June 2011 when the brewery served its first beers in its tap room. Brian soon acquired a good name amongst the cognoscente for his Redacted Rye IPA. By June 2012 this beer was being canned for sales throughout Colorado and adjoining states.
Further success followed and in November 2014 and a new brewery was purchased and installed in a 15,000 square foot building a few blocks away at 918 West 1st Avenue, a site suitable for expansion. The original brewery remained at the Tap House. This move has paid off as production doubled by November 2015. More equipment was purchased and annual output increased to 7,500 barrels (bbls), quite an achievement in such a short time. In 2018 even more plant was purchased and the yearly output is now 11,000 barrels (bbls).
We arrived at the Tap Room on a very hot day after walking from the 10th Avenue and Osage Street station on the RTD rapid transit. All of the shutters were open at the front of the building and for good measure there was a food truck outside. Inside was cooler and we sat near to the curving bar counter. It’s a medium-sized room. We noticed it had a stone floor and the tables had varnished wooden tops with the chairs being made of metal. The predominate colour is red. They have table football.
We were then confronted by the extensive beer menu which is a mixture of regular beers along with seasonals and specials. We had four off the regular list and two of the specials.
We started with Redacted Rye IPA (7.0%). We could not discern any Rye in the taste yet thought it to be a very drinkable ale. Then we had 5’ O Clock Afternoon Ale. It was pleasant, refreshing with a lemony after taste.
We continued our way through the core list with Free to Roam (5.4%) which was an American Pale Ale. This had a rather pleasant soft taste with a slightly dry after taste. Then we tried Run Away (6.0%). this is a West Coast IPA with nice bitterness, good balance with some malt flavours coming through.
Keeping with the Pale Ale and IPA theme we then had one from the irregular list: The Juice is Loose (5.5%) was a hazy pale ale. Again, it was refreshing with a slight lemon after taste. Last to try was Nelson Smash (5.5%) yet another excellent pale ale. This possessed both a bitter taste and after taste. Because of the name, I guess this was made with New Zealand Nelson Sauvignon hops.
There were two beers off the main list that we hadn’t tried: 1916 Colorado Lager (4.5%) and Endpoint triple IPA (11.0%). We also missed four from the seasonal menu: Sister Cities (5.3%), a French Saison; Nacho Beer (4.5%), a Mexican Lager; Summer Tan (8.0%), a tangerine double IPA!. Finally there was Who runs this Mother? (8.6%). This was a Belgian Trippel with plums!
Yes, there were a few very experimental beers on the seasonal list. Yet I thought all of the pale ales and unflavoured IPAs were superb ales to savour, not really cutting edge at all. Highly recommended.
Renegade Brewing Company, 925 West 9th Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80204. Tel: 720 401 4089
Hours: Monday 13.00-20.00; Tuesday-Wednesday 13.00-22.00;
Thursday-Friday 13.00-23.00; Saturday 12.00-23.00; Sunday 12.00-20.00
Food trucks outside: Wednesday-Saturday.
We walked from the RTD 10th Avenue and Osage Street station. This is served by the C, D, E, F and H lines. From the station walk directly ahead along West 10th Avenue. After two blocks turn right into Mariposa Street. Go for two major blocks and turn left into West 8th Avenue, the pub is on the left after two more blocks.
There are two useful bus routes that stop close to the pub, these are routes 1 and 9.
Route 1 is basically an east-west route that just happens to run north-south through the Sante Fe Arts District. It passes through the City’s Central district along 17th (South) and 18th Street (North) in opposing directions. Alight at the Klamath street and West 9th Avenue. Walk back to 9th Avenue, turn right and you’ll see the pub.
The route 9 runs from the city centre along different streets, yet arrives at the same stop. Directions as above. Both routes return northbound on Sante Fe Avenue.