Beer and music — two human necessities made exponentially more enjoyable when paired together. We certainly don’t need an excuse to extol the virtues of booze and beats, but since this weekend’s Great American Beer Festival is shining a spotlight on brewers across the country, we want to raise a toast to five local brewers that mix up Denver's favorite pastimes all year round. Below are recommendations of breweries with music in their hearts, what to drink when you're there, and what song to pair it with.
1. TRVE Brewing
227 Broadway, Denver
With beer names like Suffering Soul (golden sour), Burning Off Impurities (amber ale), and Possession (
Music/Beer Pairing Recommendation: Black Cascade (black ale) with "Absolution," by Khemmis.
2. Ratio Beerworks
2920 Larimer Street, Denver
Opened in February 2015, Ratio is what happens when three former punk rockers decide to trade in their Behringers for brew kettles. Jason zumBrunnen, Zach Lowery and Scott Kaplan played in different punk outfits before directing their creative energies at brewing (zumBrunnen, for example, was the lead guitarist/vocalist in the Boulder band the Fairlanes), and punk rock’s trademark minimalism managed to wind its way into Ratio’s business model. Since it opened, the brewery has continued to offer a very limited selection of beers, typically consisting of a standard ale, a French
Music/Beer Pairing Recommendation: Antidote (IPA) with Strychnine, by the Cramps.
3. Our Mutual Friend
2810 Larimer Street, Denver
When Aurora band Fear Before the March of Flames broke up, bandmember Brandon Proff and his friend Bryan Leavelle did the only logical thing: start a brewing company. A few years later, and Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew boasts GABF award-winning beer and one of Denver’s most beloved hangout spaces, noted for both its brews and its tunes. Boasting an old-school record player and a tight selection of ten to twelve rich, flavorful beers, the RiNo taproom is a cozy, unpretentious, vinyl-spinning watering hole that just wants everyone to get along.
Music/Beer Pairing Recommendation: Inner Light (wheat pale ale) with Mystic Traveler, by Dave Mason.
Calling itself “Denver’s best music-centric brewery,” Black Shirt Brewing company lets music color its every move. Started in 2009 by brothers Branden and Chad Miller and Chad’s wife Carissa, the
Music/Beer Pairing Recommendation: Stringbender with Open Fire, by the Darkness.
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5. Dead Hippie Brewing
3701 South Santa Fe Drive, Sheridan
A little outside of town, but worth the twenty-
Music/Beer Pairing Recommendation: Dead of Summer (