Top ten places to drink like a pirate in landlocked Denver. Arrrrrgh!

At 11 a.m., the Wynkoop Brewing Company, 1634 18th Street, will release its new beer, Skull & Crossbones Black Ale, inspired by Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship, the new exhibit that sets sail today at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. The dark-but-hoppy beer, created by head brewer Andy Brown, was brewed with black patent malt, flaked barley, caramalt and a new hop known as El Dorado, as well as molasses and dried lemon and lime peel -- perfect for combatting scurvy, not to mention attracting a treasure trove of press.


But the Wynkoop isn't the only place where you can drink like a pirate in this dry, landlocked city. Dock at enough of these watering holes, and you'll need an eye-patch to keep from seeing double. Our top ten places to drink like a pirate:

10) Thirsty Parrot, 32 South Tejon Street, Colorado Springs: Tired of bars that are all squawk, no action? The Thirsty Parrot not only serves up cheap drinks, but has an upstairs venue with great acoustics, perfect for singing a rousing sea shanty or two. (Runnerup: Blue Parrot, 640 Main Street, Louisville)

9) Oceanaire, 1400 Arapahoe Street. Patrician pirates who've collected enough plunder might want to unload some in the clubby bar of this upscale restaurant, which sports enough wood to make a fleet of sailing ships.

8) Cruise Room in the Oxford Hotel, 1600 17th Street. Those patrician pirates should save a few coins for the Cruise Room, the classic bar in the Oxford Hotel that was inspired by the lounge of the Queen Mary.

7) Dry Dock Brewery, 15120 East Hampden Avenue, Aurora. Pouring beers with names like Seven Seas Double IPA, Breakwater Pale Ale and Barnacle Brown, this award-winning brewery will have you walking like a pirate, talking like a pirate and drinking like a fish before you can say yo-ho-ho.

6) Captain Jack's Saloon, 8468 Federal Boulevard, Westminster. Captain Jack's takes its name from Pirates of the Caribbean , and the decor includes a life-sized statue of Captain Morgan, a few skull-and-crossbones tacked to the wall and a pirate-themed pinball game, but the real outlaw feel comes from the godforsaken strip mall location.

5) Emerald Isle, 4385 South Parker Road, Aurora. Life's a beach at the Emerald Isle, which has a huge deck overlooking the Aurora Reservoir -- the perfect spot to down a bottle or two of rum while keeping a watch for marauders approaching by water.

4) Ship Tavern in the Brown Palace, 321 17th Street. The most nautical bar in town, complete with a crow's nest and drink prices that other joints in town would be keelhauled for charging.

3 and 2) Tavern Downtown, 1949 Market Street, and Lodo's Bar & Grill, 1946 Market. The rooftop decks of these LoDo saloons are often packed with partying pirates, who take pleasure in lobbing insults and sometimes more at each other across Market Street. And at let-out time, there's always plenty of booty!

1) Black Bart's Cave at Casa Bonita, 6715 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood. Grab an awful margarita, toss out the kids who're usually exploring Black Bart's Cave, and claim this black hole for yourself and your piratical companion. Ahoy, matey!

Extra credit: Take a flask of grog to your local Long John Silver's.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun

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