Wynkoop Brewing Company gives vegetarians and carnivores alike a place to kick back

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While the bar at the Wynkoop can be loud and rowdy -- especially during happy hour -- the dining room is another scene entirely. The recessed alcoves and big tables give diners plenty of room and are much more conducive to private conversation. Then again, a seat at the bar can be a lot of fun if you're looking for company and community.

Upstairs, the billiard hall has pool tables stretching almost as far as the eye can see, as well as two private rooms, dart games and another bar (so you don't have to run downstairs for your beer). On the loudspeakers, you'll hear everything from Widespread Panic to Tom Petty to Robert Plant with Alison Krause -- good music that's a backdrop for good times.

Not only does the Wynkoop offer a variety of settings -- boisterous or mellow, pool sharks or barflies -- but it also offers vegetarians and vegans a variety of menu options. The appetizer roster includes hummus, beer-battered onion rings, queso dip, pretzels (served with beer mustard) and artichoke-parmesan dip, pictured above. The dip is served with handmade beer bread roasted with melted garlic butter; the sweetness of the bread contrasts nicely with the tangy dip.

The only meat-free salad is the spinach salad, but it's a good one: baby spinach, dried cranberries, fried onions, blue-cheese crumbles, toasted walnuts and poached pears, all in a maple vinaigrette. And for vegetarians who aren't concerned with their waistlines, there's a three-cheese mac-and-cheese with seasoned beer-bread crumbs on top.
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Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen