Happy Place: Wynkoop Brewing Company, 1634 Eighteenth Street, 303-297-2700.
The Hours: Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m to midnight.
The Deals: $3.50 select draft beers; $4 food specials.
Were we happy? Flip the page to find out.
The Digs: The Wynkoop Brewing Company is widely recognized for its fantastic local brews and its famous founder, Governor John Hickenlooper. A fixture on the LoDo beer scene, it fortunately lacks the pretense of other area watering holes, although make no mistake about it: It becomes a bit of a frat party when things start to get rocking. Boasting large bars on two levels, the Wynkoop can accommodate a large crowd with no worry. There's almost always a place to sit your rump, and it's a convenient spot to catch a craft pint or ten before a baseball game at Coors Field.
The Verdict: We were cold, we were wet, and we were hungry. After snagging two stools at the upstairs bar on a recent rainy afternoon, we were eager to fill our bellies with bar snacks and beer.
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The Wynkoop staff flaunts the congeniality of employees that have been behind the bar for years, and it's apparent that the raw, gritty lifestyle flows through their veins. They're the kind of staff that will do just about anything with a smile, unless you're being an asshole. The bartenders and the beer are perhaps what holds this joint together, because the food at the Wynkoop is, sadly, not the highlight of the experience.The hoisin ribs were dry as the Sahara desert and the flavor profile definitely didn't appear to be hoisin. The dehydrated blue cheese fries were equally disdainful, and we normally embrace any potato in any form. Thank goodness for the beer (and a super-pleasant staff), because the food is a major disappointment, leaving an indelible black mark on our happy hour psyche.