Flying Dog’s litter has grown to include K-9 Cruiser, an English-style strong ale; Tire Biter Ale, a kölsch-influenced golden ale; In-Heat Wheat; and even a barley-wine-style ale. All of these beers are available in pint glasses bearing Steadman’s artwork at the Blake Street Bar next door to the brewery. The bar looks like a neighborhood hangout, the kind you wish you had back home. There are a few booths, tables scattered around, and a pool table tucked away in a corner. Like many Denver bars, it caters to sports fanatics. On the night I visited, a local sportscaster was hosting his call-in show from a nearby table. The 50-barrel brew house is visible through the green shutters on the wall. If you ask nicely, you might even be offered a tour.
One Good Beer Bar
With all the attention given to brewpubs, good beer bars are too often under-appreciated. One notable exception is the Falling Rock Tap House (1919 Blake Street). It has earned a place on the national beer map, thanks to serving as the unofficial gathering place for brewers taking part in the Great American Beer Festival.
Falling Rock’s owners have converted a loading dock into a funky temple for visiting beer geeks. The decor is best described as Seventies Student Union, with at least a truckload of breweriana and miscellaneous other kitsch thrown in. But the beer selection bears no resemblance to that of a typical campus watering hole. The north wall sports more than 60 tap handles, featuring a wide selection of microbrews from across Colorado (Odell 90 Shilling, New Belgium Fat Tire Ale, Singletrack Copper Ale, and Great Divide Maverick IPA are all worth a try). There’s also a wide, Belgian-accented selection of bottled beers.
Falling Rock can be loud and chaotic on weekend nights and after Rockies games, but don’t be discouraged. Even when Falling Rock is at its craziest, the bar staff fill orders quickly and serve the beer at just the right temperature.
The LoDo saga comes full circle—namely, back to Coors, which built the SandLot Brewery inside the ballpark. It is there that Barmen, a traditional, slow-poured German pilsner named after Adolph Coors’s hometown in Prussia, is brewed. But the hard-to-find Barmen and SandLot’s other award-winning beers are another story for another day.