Tap Room Tour: Renegade Brewing
Another week, another brewery. This is my second visit to this week's brewery: Renegade Brewing. My first visit occurred long ago. I don’t know, maybe a couple years ago. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t a fan. Thin, watery, bland, nearly every beer I tried fit into one or all of those descriptions. Times change. Brewers master their brew houses. Beer gets better. Renegade won a bronze medal this year at GABF for their Hammer and Sickle Russian Imperial Stout. They also were recognized as the best tap room by Westword in 2013. Clearly it was time for me to go back and give their beer another try.
A large red sign behind the bar reads, “Mmmm beer.” This way you know you’re at the right spot. Red and grey walls with an arching exposed wood ceiling create the tap room space. The epoxy sealed wooden bar has their logo burnt into the wood at random sports. Their logo is a bit rough, but I am here for the beer. The space isn’t huge and I imagine it can get quite packed at peak hours. I went on an early Friday afternoon and a dozen people sat around enjoying beers--pretty impressive for the early hour.
The earnest bartender spoke highly of every beer (as one would expect). He eagerly filled my tasters and asked for my thoughts while sharing his own. We talked about home brewing. Talking about home brewing will always put me in a good mood. A couple of dogs wandered around the tap room and one spent more than a bit of time seeking my attention. Dogs will always put me in a good mood. This Friday afternoon, everyone seemed, well, in a good mood. And shouldn’t that always be the case at any tap room?
Now the important stuff. Was the beer better? Would the beer have more body? Something to sink my teeth into? Yes, indeed. I went through tasters of all seven beers and all of them were quality brews and enjoyable. Two of the beers stuck out above the others for me: the Fruhling and the Imperial Sunday Morning. The Fruhling is a Maibock and one of their first few lagers according to the bartender. I thought it was quite drinkable for weighing in at a hefty 8%. Whoa, a 8% Maibock? Yes, that’s what the board says. This is a clean and tasty lager and one I hope they keep around, but I am guessing this is something they brewed up for the month of May—the traditional thing to do. The Imperial Sunday Morning, a so called “Imperial Coffee Red Ale” which is just a few points more booze than the Maibock, is a highly drinkable brew with a crisp iced coffee flavor. No astringency here, just clean coffee flavors that hold up well with the rich malt background. This is one of the few coffee beers that I truly like. All of the other beers were delicious, but not quite as remarkable. The Imperial Coffee Red Ale would bring me back.
Should you go?
Yes, especially if those two beers are still on tap.
Tap Room Details
Address: 925 West 9th Avenue - Denver, Colorado 80204
Hours: MON - THUR 2PM - 10PM | FRI - SAT 12PM - 10PM | SUN 1PM - 9PM
Food: Ye Olde Food Trucks
Cool for kids?: Nah, I think they would rather you brought a dog.