Wheat Ridge, Colorado: Colorado + Brewing
Visited on: Saturday 16th June 2018
When Linda and I visited Denver we had a rather strenuous itinerary to adhere to and a few pubs got missed out on along the way. The timetable wasn’t helped by discovering new breweries as we went around the city and surrounding towns.
Colorado + was one that we couldn’t make it to on its allocated day. Then a stroke of luck, as our host John offered to give us a lift on this Saturday morning.
It turned out that he had to go to work much later than normal to attend a meeting. As Wheat Ridge is not far from his apartment in Lakewood, he was able to take us straight to the door at opening time, a result! We studied the pub-brewery from the parking lot. It was certainly colourful with a dark blue building that had a brick frontage and low blue walls around the property. The pub’s logo was clearly on display at the front. It is an adaptation of the Colorado State flag with its prominent bullseye image.
The pub opened on 13th May 2013 in a building that was formally home to Valente’s Italian restaurant for over forty years.
Its concept is a bit different to other brew-pubs in the area. Its brewery is very small being of just over one barrel (bbl) capacity.
Obviously this is not enough to keep a large bar as this in beer supplies so there is a wide range of other brewer’s beers, all from Colorado.
The pub-restaurant-brewery was founded by James Coulter, who was previously a video producer and videographer. After working with some breweries he decided that he would like one of his own. He had been a home brewer for eight years previously. After brewing himself for a while he has now engaged Adam Draeger who works part time spending some of his week at Yak & Yeti / Spice Trade Brewing in Arvarda.
He is assisted Erin Franklin Hutton. For such a small brewery the total of different beers produced is astronomical! The pub has acquired an extremely good name for its food under Chef Grant Teason. Over ninety per cent of the ingredients are fresh and orders taken are prepared from scratch.
All of the raw materials come from the home state. The lamb and pork is from a farm in Brush, CO and the beef and bison is all raised in the Rocky Mountain area. All of the meats are hormone and antibiotic free.
Linda and i went in the main door and immediately were aware of the dark, although the glow of the flat screens on the wall helped. They were showing a stage of the World Cup live; an odd feeling was watching and actually understanding a sport in the USA. There are usually 30 to 35 different beers from breweries in Colorado on offer every week. There’s also a smattering of house-brewed beers to be had and that was what we were here for. We tried a couple of interesting brews from the others and three from the home side.
This was what we thought of them: First was from Living the Dream Brewing of Littleton, CO. It was Skaid’s SOWN V.3 (5.4%), promoted as a slightly sour and sharp “Nordic Ale” and that was a good description.
Next was C-Plus / Three Freaks (Denver / Highlands Ranch, CO). A collaboration for this pub called Freaky for Colorado + (5.3%). it was an American pale ale and it was very good with both a hoppy taste and after taste.
Finally we had three from the home side: Gyrfalcon IPA (8.2%). We liked this one a lot. It had a very dry and bitter taste and finish. An excellent example of the style. Noir Waterfall (6.9%), described as a “Cascadian Dark”. It was a superb beer with beautiful bitterness. Finally there was Greata Dubh (5.1%), an Irish Dry Stout. Using Irish malt, it had a soft taste with medium bitterness. Very good but could do with a bit more bitterness.
Completely recommended, a pub crawl of Colorado under one roof! Plus, very good home-brewed beers.
Colorado Plus, 6995 West. 38th Avenue, Wheat Ridge, Colorado 80033. Tel: 720 353 4853
Hours: Monday-Sunday 11.00-23.00
The 38 bus route is very useful as it comes from the city centre then goes north on the east of Union Station. The 38 runs half hourly on all days, hourly from 20.00.
From the city centre alight at the West 38th Avenue and Pierce Street bus stop.
Walk forward in the same direction as the bus. You will see Colorado + on the right side.
To return to the city, go right from the pub and walk one block to the West 38th Avenue and
High Court stop.