There are only a dozen or so bars or restaurants in Denver that have been around for four decades under the same ownership. It's an exclusive club, and those who have been inducted are a testament to hard work -- and in some cases to hard drinking.
The Bull & Bush Pub and Brewery will join that club on August 5 when it celebrates its fortieth anniversary in Glendale, but it will kick off the partying on Friday with 40 Kegs in 40 Days, a hard-drinking concept worthy of the milestone.
Beginning with a keg of the pub's own Tank Town Brown, the Bull & Bush will tap a new keg every day from July 15 through August 24. About half will be its own beers, while the rest will be rare or specialty beers from other Colorado breweries, out-of-state brewers or Belgian beer makers.
The highlight of the suds-soaked flood will be the weekend of August 5-6 when Bull & Bush hosts a two-day party complete with live music from the Legendary 4-Nikators, who have been playing there since the 1970s, and the Samples, a former bar band there.
Founded by twin brothers Dale and Dean Peterson in 1971 when the area around it was nothing but shrubs and vacant lots, the Bull & Bush is now run by Dale's sons, Erik and Dave Peterson, who added the brewpub designation to the bar in 1997.
"Back then, it was just a bar. There was no fryer and no grill," says Erik. "So much has changed, especially in Glendale," where there was a lot of nightlife and people used to barhop like they do in LoDo. "Now we are the only ones left and we have evolved."
In fact, the Bull & Bush has an amazingly varied clientele, from old-time Glendale regulars to hip urban beer connoisseurs, from families to south Denver singles. "We see every age group, from 21 to 91," Erik says. "From DU students to old-school Denver people who used to run around with my dad and my uncle."
The older Petersons graduated from East High School's class of 1955. Dale died two years ago; Erik's uncle, Dean, celebrates his 74th birthday this month.
"I wish my dad was around to see the fortieth," Erik says. "He would be proud."
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For a list of what kegs will be tapped on what days, go the Bull & Bush web site. Here are some highlights:
July 15: Bull & Bush Tank Town Brown July 16: The Bruery Cuir July 20: Kasteel Rouge July 26: Xbeeriment Black Force One July 27: Bull & Bush Yule Fuel July 31: New Belgium Terroir August 3: Bull & Bush A Latta Cougar August 5: Bull & Bush 40th Anniversary Wheat Wine August 6 Avery Maharaja Augst 11: Urthel Saisonniere August 17: St. Feuillien Biere De L'Amitie August 22: Legend of the Liquid Brain Day