Visited on: Sunday 3rd June 2018
One thing became apparent when we walked into the Shamrock. This was no new-wave brew-pub and bar. There was instant atmosphere. So, here we were in Pueblo; Linda, John and myself.
We were on our way to an overnight stay in Alamosa and this was the second city on our journey along the Front Range using Interstate 25. Pueblo is a steel city and there is huge steelworks on the edge of town.
There is much of the old down town area still intact and the Shamrock is a part of it. It was built as a general mercantile building in 1908. An early tenant was the Johnson Bros. Motor Company. Later the building was split into two.
A most significant event was the opening of the Shamrock Café in 1940. I’m not sure if it held an alcohol licence back then but over the years it morphed into an Irish pub.
A debatable point right up to the present day was when was the bar counter and bar-back installed? They were definitely there when the Shamrock Café opened so my guess is that were constructed specifically for it. The design looks right for the age. Yet, what do I know. It was in the hands of the Calantino family from 1940 to 2005 when it was purchased. This was when the brewery was installed.
It closed for a massive refurbishment. This could easily have gone the wrong way but the new owner wanted to conserve and not destroy. The 98 year old wood floor in the dining room was sanded and re-varnished. The 1940s tiled floor in the bar room was cleaned, repaired and resealed. A very long time was taken to restore the inlaid bar top.
So this scene was what greeted us on entry. We noticed the beautiful bar counter on the left. This is faced on the right by a row of tall varnished wood tables and high chairs against a wall that is panelled to shoulder height.
On the upper half of the wall large framed displays of beer mats and labels can be found. Looking at the bar counter it seemed to me that the fixed metal stools are the same as shown in the old photographs.
Further down the room there were some comfortable booth seating on the right opposite the bar counter, we sat there. The entrance to the kitchen is at the end of the room. There is an interconnecting doorway to the dining room on the right. Once there all the tables and seats are to the left, some are loose others fitted.
Turn right and you are at the brewery. It’s behind glass and is decorated with an Irish tricolour.
On that day there were seven beers brewed on the premises available. These were Steel City Gold (5.0%); Irish Red (5.0%); Irish Porter (4.8%); Papa (6.2%); Big Papa Imperial IPA (9.0%); Matador Rye Pale Ale (6.7%) and Local 3 American Amber (5.6%). On the guest taps were two European Imports: Konig Ludwig Weissbier (5.5%) and Duchesse de Bourgogne Flemish Sour (6.2%). Finally there was Cigar City (Tampa, FL) Jai Alai IPA (7.5%).
We tried six from Shamrock and this what we concluded: Steel City Gold we thought was more like a Kölsch, being slightly sweet, does it have wheat malt? Irish Red was a typical red ale and well made. Irish Porter, thin and not very bitter.
Matador Rye Pale Ale was good, having a positive rye taste. Papa IPA was quite good with some citrus traces but not too much. Also there was some elements of melon in there. Big Papa was smooth, not so bitter as Papa; very good indeed.
The place was full with diners when we called in so the food must be all right. A good atmospheric pub that you need to visit if you are around here.
Shamrock Brewing Co., 108 West 3rd Street, Pueblo, Colorado 81003. Tel: 719 542 9974
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11.00-24.00; Friday 11.00-01.00; Saturday 10.00-01.00; Sunday 10.00-23.00
Saturday-Sunday Brunch 10.00-14.00. St Patrick’s Day: Open 07.00
The pub is to be found in down town Pueblo. Pueblo can be reached by Greyhound bus from Denver.