Hit These Brewery Street Patios Before Warm Weather Ends
| September 17, 2020 | 5:54am
Ratio Beerworks is dancing in the streets.
Early September's sudden snow was a stark reminder that summer is coming to an end, and with it, patio season. Normally, that would be somewhat sad, but this year, it is doubly traumatic, as it means that bars, breweries and restaurants won't have nearly enough space for socially distancing.
That's because Denver and several other cities and towns in Colorado temporarily allowed eating and drinking establishments to expand their licensed seating areas into the public rights-of-way, like streets and sidewalks, as well as into private parking lots (with approval from property owners) as a way to seat more customers.
In Denver, more than 300 businesses were approved, including at least sixteen breweries — a few of which moved right out onto the barricaded streets with umbrellas, misters, artificial turf and potted plants. The Temporary Outdoor Expansions Program, as it is called, was set to expire on Labor Day but was later extended through October 31. That day is quickly approaching, so the next few weeks may be your last chance for a while to sit and enjoy a beer in the street — a Denver pandemic bucket list item, as much as such a thing exits.
Here are nine places in Colorado to cross that one off the list:
Counter Culture Brewery + Grille
Counter Culture Brewery + Grille 205 East Seventh Avenue
Now that Denver has survived six months with some streets closed, or partially closed, to cars, a debate is unfolding over whether the city should make make some of these closures permanent, creating pedestrian-friendly zones. Seventh Avenue, along the restaurant row where Counter Culture Brewery + Grille is located, would make a great candidate — especially if the pandemic lasts through 2021. Beer recommendation: Transcendence Tripel.
2501 Sheridan Boulevard, Edgewater
Joyride Brewing was one of the first breweries to nail down street seating when the town of Edgewater made 25th Avenue a one-way street and allowed for extended patios. Of course, Joyride also has a stellar rooftop patio, which will be open on warmer days this winter. Recommended beer: Ice Cutter Kolsch.
Ratio Beerworks 2920 Larimer Street
Ratio Beerworks is located on one of the streets that the River North Arts District partially shut down in July, so the brewery was able to expand its already great patio. Now Ratio is able to welcome people to drink on site in addition to a booming canning program that allows customers to take six-packs to go. Beer recommendation: Stay Gold Marzen.
Epic Brewing 3001 Walnut Street
When Utah's Epic Brewing first announced in 2013 that it was opening a new location in Denver, the streets of the River North Arts District were empty enough that you could have downed a few pints in the middle of the road even when there weren't lane closures. Although RiNo quickly became a parking and driving nightmare, the pandemic has reduced some of the vehicle traffic, which allowed Epic to take its tables outside for guests to spread out and enjoy a brew or two. Beer recommendation: Tart 'n' Juicy Sour IPA.
The Wynkoop is serving chicken and beer on Wynkoop Street.
Wynkoop Brewing 1634 18th Street
Wynkoop Brewing Company has held down the corner of 18th Avenue and Wynkoop Street since 1988 — long before there was a Coors Field, or a LoDo or a renovated Union Station. So it's only fair that the brewpub, co-founded by John Hickenlooper, would get to move out into traffic itself. The main dining room is closed and the beer choices are limited, but the Wynkoop recently unveiled a new concept, the Coop, a chicken place that operates out of the brewpub's Mercantile Room. Beer recommendation: Move Your Car Nitro Porter.
Odell Brewing 2945 Larimer Street
Like Ratio Beerworks, Odell Brewing's RiNo location was allowed to put tables on the street as part of the district's decision to close Larimer between 27th and 30th streets. The brewery offers many of Odell's classic and standard beers from its Fort Collins home base, but also has a variety of its own offerings. Beer recommendation: Freshie Fresh Strata Wet Hop IPA.
Woods Boss put down the sod in May.
Woods Boss Brewing
Woods Boss Brewing 2210 California Street
The concrete barricades along California Street may give drinkers at Woods Boss a little more confidence in their safety than the orange cones and rope at some other in-street patios, and the grass will surely make them feel at home. Beer recommendation: Oswald New England-Style IPA.
Westbound & Down Brewing 1617 Miner Street, Idaho Springs
In Idaho Springs, the city closed one of its main drags, Miner Street, to traffic. As a result, Westbound & Down and the Buffalo Restaurant next door expanded their tables out into the roadway. Westbound also has a general store next door serving coffee. Beer recommendation: Western Conference All-Stars.
Tommyknocker Brewery 1401 Miner Street, Idaho Springs
Just down the street from Westbound is Tommyknocker Brewery, founded in 1994 as the original get-out-of-I-70-traffic stop for a beer and a bite. In this case, nature provides both the air conditioning and the heat. Beer recommendation: Maple Nut Brown Ale.