Day one in Denver was fun, interesting, and a bit frustrating. The journey was fine if a little long, but nothing out of the ordinary. The rental car turned out to be a lot nicer than expected and the hotel, while nothing spectacular was functional as a place to bed down for the night.
Once checked in at the hotel, I ventured out to find the Colorado Convention Center, the site of the Great American Beer Festival, to collect my media credentials. After only a couple of mis-turns due to confusing instructions from my GPS, I found the site in downtown Denver. After just a few moments in line, I had my credentials and lit out to find some friends.
While sitting on a bench trying to get my bearings, along came friends from home who were on their way to Renegade Brewing Company just a short distance away. Since I had a car, we piled in and set off.
The neighborhood where Renegade is located is eclectic and a bit funky. There are nice bungalows and somewhat trashy houses coexisting on the same streets. Renegade itself is situated in an attractive building with roll-up garage doors and an inviting brown stucco exterior.
Upon entering, it was immediately apparent that the place had been built for comfort and enjoyment of beer. The wood bar curved nicely around the pouring area and the railroad track footrest was an interesting touch. But, the beer is the true star at this up-and-coming gem among the burgeoning beer scene in Denver.
My first choice was the 5 O’Clock Blond Ale, and easy drinking ale with soft touches of malts and a slight hop presence. At only 5% APV it is extremely sessionable and an enjoyable drink. The second brew I sample was the Una Mas Poblano Mexican Ale. This brew was superb in its balance of smoky poblano peppers, a subtle herbaciosness, and sweet caramel malts.
We sat an enjoyed our brews and chatted with brewery owner Brian O’Connell. His passion for good beer was evident as was his skill in making fine craft beers in a rather small brewery. With just over a year under its belt Renegade is a brewery to keep your eye on.
After Renegade we proceeded to local Denver watering hole Jackson’s situated right across the street from Coors Field. There we boarded a bus for the Shock Top End of the World Midnight Wheat launch party. But, the details of that adventure will have to wait until later.
Tomorrow I spend the day at the Oskar Blues Ordeal. A tour of all of the brewery’s facilities copiously lubricated with plenty of Oskar Blues brews. Details tomorrow night!