Visited on: Wednesday 13th June 2018
The Denver district of Capitol Hill is centred on East Colfax Avenue and is to be found east of the Colorado State Capitol building. It is the major entertainments centre of the city.
There are theatres, live music venues, nightclubs and of course, bars and pubs. However, there was one type of establishment missing from the district and that was a brew-pub.
As luck would have it Colorado-born Gardiner Hammond had always liked Capitol Hill and wanted to begin brewing on a commercial basis rather than the home brewing he had previously indulged in. After returning from the Santa Clara University in California to his home state with a finance degree he worked for a while in the Old Mill Brewery & Grill in Littleton, south of Denver.
He had looked hard in the Capitol Hill for a suitable location. His chance came when Angelo’s Records moved from their previous location in September 2013 into a building next to the Ogden Theatre that was previously used by Independent Records. They only wanted about half of the premises so he acquired the remainder to house the Alpine Dog brewery and tap room.
Apart from the obvious, the name Alpine Dog in Colorado refers to someone who likes hiking and climbing in the nearby Rockies. As Gardiner was one of these the name has stuck.
It took over a year to develop the premises. A fifteen barrel (bbls) capacity brewery was installed and the tap room was fitted out. The reason for such a large capacity is that they also bottle their beers to sell in the Denver metropolitan area.
So here we were, myself and Linda approaching the brewery. It’s just a couple of steps from East Colfax Avenue. It was very easy to find, especially as their truck was parked outside.
Inside we found a medium sized tap room with large windows looking out to North Ogden Street. The bar counter is on the left and was clad with pine panelling. The supporting uprights to the ceiling were the same. The far wall is of bare brick.
There was a good selection of beer as the following shows: Thunder Puppy (6.5%), an American pale ale; Yarrr (9.8%) an American porter; Lupulin Fantasy (5.9%); Yakimar Nectar (7.0%), an American IPA; Colfax Gold (6.9%), a Belgian ale; Wolf’s Blood (5.7%), an American red ale; The Canary (4.5%), a saison; Howl at the Moon (7.5%), an American imperial red ale; Vaya con Dios (12.2%), an American Porter; Blind Sherpa (6.5%), an American stout; Fresh Soul (4.5%), an American session IPA and Miss American Rye (5.5%), a rye beer.
Between us we tried four of these and our views of them are as following: Miss American Rye hardly tasted of rye yet it was light and refreshing.
Then we had Howl of the Moon, described as an Imperial red ale. It had the red ale taste but deeper. It had a good bitter finish with some taste of pine.
Blind Sherpa didn’t have much of a cocoa / coffee taste as promised. It wasn’t very bitter, but some stouts aren’t. Thunder Puppy was a good light ale with medium bitterness yet no after-taste.
This central pub is well worth a visit.
Alpine Dog Brewery, 1505 Ogden Street, Denver 80218. Tel: 303 832 1245. Web: alpinedogbrewery.com
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 15.00-22.00; Friday 15.00-24.00; Saturday 12.00-24.00; Sunday 12:00-22.00
Buses 15 and 15L both run along East Colfax Avenue at 15 minute (on weekdays) intervals for each route. Route 12 runs north-south with stops within one block of the pub.