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Beer here: Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery

Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery, 1535 Pearl Street in Boulder, may be the closest you'll ever get to drinking homebrew on tap. The restaurant devotes about fifteen taps to the ales it brews in-house: hoppy IPAs, creamy stouts, a fruity blackberry wheat and a variety of rotating porters, ryes, pale ales, trippels and just about anything else its team of brewers can dream up. Those beers win accolades, including several golds from the Great American Beer Fest.

But these beer geeks stock other kegs, too, with guest taps pouring interesting selections from brewers all over the world.

With a tap line-up like that, crowds would gather even if the bar just offered Totino's party pizza as sustenance. But the food at Mountain Sun is worthy of attention, too.

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The well-executed, classic pub eats satiate both drunken and sober appetites. The pub also serves up a variety of meatless options, catering to that inevitable part of the Boulder community that who adheres to a vegetarian or vegan diet. But the hummus and black bean soup deserve the attention of omnivores, too.

What makes Mountain Sun truly special, though, is the community vibe that Kevin Daly, the spot's owner, has managed to create. Beneath woven tapestries and Boulder-themed kitsch, a cross-section of the neighborhood gathers for parties, dates and occasional live music.

I now consider Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery a perfect social prop -- a place that alleviates potential awkwardness of a great manner of get-togethers so thoroughly, I find myself returning again and again. Find out why when my review is posted here tomorrow, along with a slide show of the restaurant.

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