Beer Man

FreshCraft opens in LoDo with a beery buzz

FreshCraft, which quietly opened its doors last week, held a grand opening last night, complete with a horse-drawn beer delivery from the Wynkoop Brewing Company -- which has its Tut's Royal Gold on tap at FreshCraft -- giveaways and other events.

The LoDo restaurant, at 1530 Blake Street, uses the tagline "Fresh Food, Craft Beer," and it is the latest establishment to go into business recently with a heavy beer theme. (The Rackhouse Pub, Star Bar, Stoney's and Uptown Bros. are some of the others).

But with twenty microbrews on tap and 63 in bottles, each displayed behind a case and labeled so that customers can order by number, and a menu designed around beer -- from the "session" sandwiches to beer floats -- FreshCraft is breaking new ground.

Did I mention the beer floats? While you order one with any of the beers on tap, the one made with Great Divide's Yeti Imperial Stout is truly awesome.

And the beer list is truly geeked out, with everything from Asher Greenade, Left Hand Milk Stout on nitro and Avery Hog Heaven on draft, to Ska Decadent, Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron and a couple of BrewDog beers in bottles.

Owned by brothers Jason and Lucas Forgy, FreshCraft's goal is to use as much locally sourced food as possible and to make everything from scratch. That includes comfort-food specialties like pretzel bites, croque monsiers, French onion soup, pork schnitzel, cassoulet, burgers, fries and cheese-crusted Iowa-style pork Ts.

Of course, that is all subject to change; in fact, Jason Forgy has already printed and reprinted 20-25 versions of the menu in just a week. "We changed the bread on one sandwich," he says. "There was a misspelling." And an ingredients change.

Happy hour at FreschCraft is 3 to 7 p.m., when customers can get $1 off session sandwiches and $1 off beers that are lower than 5.5 percent alcohol by volume. For $8.50, they can get a session sandwich and a beer, normally around $12 or $13.

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