Morrison has long been a stop for mountain tourists and bikers enjoying Colorado weekends, as well as for music fans coming and going from nearby Red Rocks Amphitheatre. There are plenty of bar stools and patio seats along the town's main drag — as long as you don't mind a limited beer selection. But with the opening of the Red Rocks Beer Garden at 116 Stone Street, craft-beer lovers have a new destination in the tiny town.
Paul Thompson unveiled Red Rocks Beer Garden last month at an old house built in 1870. The bar is a block off Bear Creek Avenue, making it feel a little more secluded than the rustic eateries and watering holes that line downtown. With room for about twenty guests inside and eighty to a hundred outside, Thompson's beer bar lives up to the "beer garden" designation. Here you'll find families with kids and dogs, neighbors looking for something new to drink, and concert lovers on their way to a show at the world-famous Red Rocks.
The bar carries brews from fourteen Colorado craft breweries, with twelve beers on tap and more in cans. Thompson says that about half of his offerings are from larger breweries around the state, while the other half are just a few miles away, including Green Mountain Beer Company in Lakewood and Golden's Mountain Toad, Golden City Brewing and the gluten-free Holidaily Brewing Company.
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There's wine, too, also from Colorado, and Thompson say he plans to add a few Colorado whiskeys, as well. The house itself is protected as a historical building, so adding a modern kitchen was out of the question, but a small food menu offers warm Baker Street pretzels, a hummus plate and chips and salsa — all of which come from local purveyors.
Thompson welcomes music fans by giving $2 off the first drink to anyone who shows a Red Rocks ticket. He also has designated Uber and Lyft parking, and is in the process of lining up a deal with a shuttle company to make his beer garden a stop. The bar's sound system plays music by bands performing at Red Rocks that day, and service follows a pay-as-you-go model so that customers don't get stuck waiting for their bill when they need to leave. Thompson says he has also partnered with Live Nation for concert ticket giveaways at the bar.
Sure, you can play cornhole and sip illicit beers in the dusty Red Rocks Amphitheatre parking lot. But now you can also grab a comfortable seat on the shady patio of the Red Rocks Beer Garden, knowing that your show's just a few minutes down the road.
Red Rocks Beer Garden is open Sunday through Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call 208-861-7873 or visit the bar's website for more information.