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Colorado has four area codes, but only 303 can claim to be the first (introduced in 1947), by far the oldest, and the most palindromic. This OG vibe also gives it the most stamp of approval, which is why the people of Denver and its suburbs, where most of the 303 numbers are spread out, like to name their restaurants, car dealerships, shops, publications and products after these magic numbers.
When it comes to beer, Station 26 Brewing won a big win for everything local two years ago when it secured the “Declaration of Use” trademark rights to 303 for beer and near-brewery products.
Across town, Factotum Brewhouse celebrates 303 Day – March 3rd, of course – and did so again by pre-selling pints of beer for $ 3.03 for the past few weeks; Shoppers can stop by Wednesday and sip their beer (try the brewery’s Glorieta “Colorado-Style” IPA if you want to stay on-topic).
And then there’s Denver Beer Co., which is unveiling a new year-round beer called Love This City American Pilsner on Wednesday. The can label shows artwork by Pat Milbery of Denver, who is painting a new mural on DBC-Tape Street on Platte Street on Wednesday, also in honor of 3030 day.
But in Denver there is a lot to experience in breweries all over the city on this 303 day: whether local ingredients, brewery and beer names or logos and labels, they fly in blue, red and yellow.
Just a block away from Factotum and its $ 3.03 beer, Diebolt Brewing has just released the Colorado Cache, a French beers de garde brewed for its 500th batch. But the great name (“cache” is a French word often used by fur hunters in the Old West in the 19th century) and logo are just the beginning. The beer was also brewed with yeast from Denver’s Inland Island yeast company, grain from the Colorado Malting Company, and Cascade hops from the Western Slope. Then it was stored for twelve weeks, half of it in oak barrels.
Many other breweries in town use Inland Island yeast – as does Denver’s other yeast company, Propagate. One of them is Goldspot Brewing, which is so deeply located in Colorado that it is named for the shining sun on the state flag and even includes the flag in its logo. As for beer, try the Centurion IPA; Goldspot keeps it local by donating $ 1 per pint of this beer to the Colorado Coalition that has the homeless.
Of course, there’s nothing more to Denver than a brewery named after Mile High City: Denver Beer Co., founded in 2011. Give Graham Cracker Porter a chance and feel that city vibe. Not far from Denver Beer Co. is Great Divide Brewing, one of the oldest craft breweries in Denver. Great Divide allows its Colorado show every year by hiring a local artist to create a new label for the brewery’s Denver Pale Ale. This year’s work of art juxtaposes the old and the new Denver in drawings by Adam Vicarel, who lives in Denver.
Speaking of old and new, two Denver breweries have used names that go back to the city’s roots. Founded across Union Station in 1988, Wynkoop Brewing has been making its flagship Rail Yard Ale for decades as a tribute to the trains that helped Denver grow. Meanwhile, one of the Strange Craft Beer Company’s flagships is called Cherry Kriek, a fun pun on the waterway the city was founded on and the Belgian cherry-based beer style.
There’s no more Colorado than the Goldspot Brewing logo.
Several breweries have named their beers over the years after America’s longest and worst street, Colfax Avenue, one of the city’s most recognizable, beloved (and hated) landmarks and thoroughfares. To honor old US Route 40, visit Alpine Dog Brewing (in Colfax and Ogden) for a pint of Colfax Gold, a Belgian-style golden beer with notes of fruit and spice – spices are what Colfax life is made of.
Local streets, neighborhoods, and transportation round out this overview of Denver’s beers, starting with the Zuni Street IPA, which you get at Zuni Brewing. Then there’s the not-so-politically correct Federal Tweaker, a pale one that the Little Machine Beer Company in western Denver says is “casually poking your tongue, regardless of your own survival,” and Broken Bridge Hazy IPA, the Briar Common Brewery + Eatery named after a nearby “terrible bridge” to the Central Platte Valley that is always in disrepair.
The express train runs right in front of the Spangalang Brewery
At Raices Brewing, you’ll find Valle del Sol Golden Ale, a beer named after the Sun Valley neighborhood in honor of the community and its rebirth. And order a pint of D-Train IPA at the Spangalang Brewery in Five Points, named after the light rail that shakes your chair past the brewery’s windows.
Oh, and finally, try Pilsner from Crooked Stave. While Denver Broncos Super Bowl MVP and future Hall of Famer Von Miller may not be on the team long and are currently under criminal investigation, there is no question that he made a huge impact on the city, so much so that Crooked Stave played his part Name for this excellent variant of the Pilsner Art. Can’t stand beer while you think about Miller? Instead, pick up your Von Pilsner to the mansion of Baron Walter von Richthofen in east Denver.
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Jonathan Shikes is from Denver and writes about business and beer for Westword.