Best Place to Hunker Down During a Snowstorm 2022 | Bull & Bush Brewery | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

Best Place to Hunker Down During a Snowstorm

Bull & Bush Brewery

Evan Semón

When the snow starts dumping and you simply can't drive home (or just don't want to), with any luck you're stuck at Bull & Bush. The brewpub has become part of the bedrock of Denver, and nowhere feels more warm and secure in the cold. Eyes strong enough to peer through the dim lighting will see barflies, families, lovers and old friends sharing stories and pints over dishes fit for a midshipman, some of which have been on the menu since Bull & Bush opened in 1971. Prime rib, Sunday night suppers and Iowa breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches keep the place comfortably stuck in the past, right where we want it — but the beer lineup, which was full of fine Belgian imports and craft brews decades before juicy IPAs took over Colorado, has always been ahead of the game. Fight for a seat by the fireplace, peruse the extensive list of Scotch, and get cozy. Even if the weather clears up, you're going to be here for a while.

Jade Mountain Brewery & Tea House takes its inspiration from Asian ingredients, with a hint of Mexican flair. But owner Sean Guerrero doesn't discriminate against anyone — or any beer style. Which is why, in less than a year since the brewery opened, he's collaborated with at least a dozen other breweries, from old classics like the Wynkoop to experimental upstarts like Black Project and everything in between. He's also brought in cuisine for pairings that you won't find anywhere else, like Vietnamese flan, moon cakes and Korean cupcakes. Look for Guerrero to continue collaborating in 2022, gathering knowledge and spreading a little of his own.
Odell Brewing/Facebook

Rooftop patios are a rare treat; there's nothing quite like them. Not only do they let you soak up the sunshine, but they provide a physical manifestation for the sweet escape we're all looking for during an afternoon or weekend drinking session. Odell Brewing's newest Denver taproom — which opened in 2021 in a refurbished historic building — has a particularly special rooftop patio, with quintessentially Denver views of Sloan's Lake, tons of space, and a delicious variety of beers that are brewed beneath your feet. Enjoy the perspective.

Most breweries keep their patios front and center, where people can see them and envy the people who sit there during Colorado's three (and a half) seasons of great patio weather. Bruz Beers, on the other hand, offers more of a secret oasis at its Bruz Off Fax location in Capitol Hill. Tucked away at garden level, the patio serves as a courtyard between a couple of other businesses, though it has plenty of space where you can imbibe the brewery's big Belgian beers, and also supplies some quiet respite near the hectic intersection of Colfax Avenue and York Street.

Since it opened its first taproom on Platte Street in 2011, Denver Beer Co. has been one of the hottest spots in the city for relaxing on the patio, drinking local beer and people-watching. It later added a similarly buzzy place in Arvada, and in 2021, it expanded into a vibrant, sprawling south Denver taproom, eatery and beer garden, complete with a separate ice cream parlor. This third spot, which also comes with its own beers, lives up to DBC's standards of being the kind of place where you want to stay for a while. But the brewery isn't done: In 2022, it will add a second patio on Platte Street, and after that, a fourth location in Lowry that promises to be the best one yet.

As a kid, one of the most comforting things to do in the middle of a Denver snowstorm was to take a field trip to the warm and steamy insides of the Denver Zoo's Tropical Discovery and pretend you were on vacation. Although there's no (literal) steam at Wah Gwaan Brewing, the new taproom gives adults that same feeling with its Jamaican inspiration, reggae tunes, vibrant murals and beers made with tropical ingredients like durian, mango, pomegranate and coconut. Plus, there are tie-dye pop-ups, First Friday nights and the occasional spontaneous dance party, not to mention food trucks featuring dishes from Haiti, Ethiopia, Kenya and other less common cuisines. What's going on? Wah Gwaan is going on.

Sarah Cowell
Cohesion's dark lager poured in the mlíko way.

It's rare for a brewery to come along these days and offer something totally different, but that's what Cohesion did when it opened last August. The elegantly decorated brewery focuses almost exclusively on Czech-inspired lagers — not just in name and style, but in every detail of Czech brewing and beer culture. Examples include Cohesion's custom-roasted grains and water filtration system, along with its side-pouring faucets and water-bathed mugs that make an impression on customers. But the best part is the way the beer is poured in different sizes and in three different foam options: hladinka, snyt and mlíko (a nearly full glass of sweet, creamy head that feels almost like drinking a latte). Make Cohesion your new foamy home on the range.

Molly Martin

Perhaps no brewery was hit harder by the pandemic than Bierstadt Lagerhaus, a large, two-level space that relied almost exclusively on people showing up to eat, drink lagers and have a good time. But Bierstadt fought back, adding cans, creating a patio and inventing food-prep kits to go, all the while continuing to brew its world-renowned beers. Today the brewpub, with its party games downstairs and retro-funky elegance upstairs, is even better than before, having built new garage doors and continuing to host fun events. While you can now get its beers, from standards to seasonals, in liquor stores, you don't want to miss a night here. Bierstadt has become one of the hubs of craft beer culture, and Denver wouldn't be the same without it.

A properly made Old Fashioned is a thing of boozy beauty. Smooth and strong, it's a classic cocktail that's made a huge comeback, and while many places in Denver do them well, none is quite as dependable as the iteration at American Bonded. Made with your choice of bourbon or rye, it's available anytime but is just $6 during happy hour, which runs 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and all day on Sunday. Bonus: the rooftop patio and eats from T.S.R. (This Shit Rules), which serves out of the bar's kitchen.

Lucy Beaugard

Founded in Austin, the Denver location of Uchi debuted in 2018 and quickly became a hotspot for sushi lovers. While dinner here is a sublime experience, guided with gentle expertise by the stellar staff, it can get pricey, fast. Enter happy hour, which is available from 4 to 6:30 p.m. daily. A staggering eighteen dishes are available at a discounted price; they range from nigiri and temaki (hand rolls) to hot bites like scallion pancakes and a wagyu meatball. There's even a dessert option so that you can truly make a whole meal of the experience, as well as boozy deals on select cocktails, sake, beer and wine.

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