Beer Man

Coda Brewing opens in Aurora with beers paired with music

The word "coda" is used to signify a passage that brings a song or a piece of music to an end, but according to Luke Smith, it can have other meanings -- like the end of a long brewing process or having a beer at the end of the day. And for Smith, a former medical researcher at the University of Colorado, coda also signifies a beginning.

That's because this week Smith opened the doors to Coda Brewing, which is on the former Fitzsimons Army base in Aurora and next to the Anschutz Medical Campus.

See also: Coda Brewing will make beer music on the former Fitzsimons base in Aurora

"We have sort of an apothecary theme," says Smith, which is appropriate given both Smith's former avocation in the pharmacology department and his brewery's location.

But beer -- and music -- will be the real stars at Coda. "I'm trying to break barriers by pairing music with beer, which I don't think has been done before," he explains.

For example, Smith says his Dogcatcher American Red Ale -- brewed with orange-blossom honey and dry hopped with Cascade and Crystal hops -- goes well with the song "Atomic Dog," by George Clinton. The Migration Oatmeal Stout, meanwhile, pairs with James Taylor's "Migration," while the Hydle Ale, a session wheat ale made with five kinds of hops, is particularly tasty when accompanied by "Manners," by Icona Pop.

All three beers are currently on tap, and Smith plans to have four more over the coming weeks, in time for Coda's official grand opening on May 23. They include a Belgian wit, a double IPA, a chocolate java porter and a Kolsch made with Champagne mangoes.

As a scientist, Smith specialized in working with yeast, and he'll continue doing so at Coda by using a variety of different strains rather than just one house strain.

"Some of these are crazy beers -- they aren't beers that are going to fit any guidelines like at the Great American Beer Festival," he says. "I like hops and some of them are really big on hops. Hopefully, the people of Aurora will like them."

Coda's co-owner, Scott Procop, also runs the Cedar Creek Pub next door, so all of the pub's food will be available at the brewery, along with a special Coda-only menu that includes pheasant parmesan sausage, a pulled pork sandwich made with Coda's stout, chipotle hummus, and beer-battered tempeh nuggets with dipping sauces.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes

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