Being the home of some prolific breweries like New Belgium, Odell, Avery, and oh yeah...Coors, Colorado is well known for its beer. However, with roughly 230 established breweries it can be far too easy to potentially overlook what could become your favorite beer and/or brewery. Festivals such as Blues and Brews, The Brewers Rendezvous, and Colorado Brewers Festival are all fantastic ways to get an idea of what the brewing scene here has to enjoy. But, alas, if you miss their annual arrival, you've missed them ‘til next year. So what to do about all that time between? Thankfully, someone has thought to put an end to this terrible conundrum.
In May 2013, Eugene Kahng opened Colorado Plus, a brewpub that focuses solely on the Colorado brewing scene while cranking out delightful beer itself. They feature 56 different beers on tap at any given time, all of them local, including a unique collection of styles created by head brewer Adam Draeger. Adam has also been the head brewer for the Yak and Yeti Brewpub since 2011. With a full-time job at the Yak and Yeti, it seems he has been given the opportunity to explore and experiment with his craft at Colorado Plus, giving way to incredible beers like Dead Kaiser, the Sweet Ridge Saison (which took Bronze in the All Colorado Beer Festival), as well as my personal favorite at the moment, the Bitter Off Dead. An overwhelming 56 available taps means making some tough decisions while you're there. I myself look like I'm trying to choose the last beer I'll ever drink when attempting to make a selection from that glorious menu. Although, I feel even my indecision is being catered to as Colorado Plus offers a five beer flight, which allows me to choose more than one and satiate my curiosity.
We snagged two beer flights of Odell Death by Coconut, Ratio Let's Get Incredible, Renegade Free to Be, Colorado Plus Smokey, and Colorado Plus Bitter Off Dead
The staff is always knowledgeable about the current drink list even with it rotating so frequently, so don't be afraid to ask for an opinion. As you might expect, most everyone working there has different beers they're passionate about and all of them are worth trying. I always appreciate a well-educated staff during any dining experience and Colorado Plus is no different. I often go out of my way to ask for opinions; if someone seems genuinely captivated by a particular drink or entree, I look forward to enjoying it the way they themselves might. I've been steered toward some pleasant surprises.
The food is equally as unique and delicious as the beer. You may find yourself wanting a plate even if you just came in for drinks after a peek at this menu. Constructed by Head Chef Jan Vonada and Sous Chef Grant Teason, there are enough must-try options in the mix to force you back until you've had just about everything. Dishes like the Bison Pastrami Reuben, the Colorado Lamb Gyro, and the always delicious Colorado Plus Burger (a few of which found their way to my table last Sunday), make pairing food with beer an all-around fantastic experience. There's nothing quite like finding the perfect beer to complement the meal you're enjoying and, at Colorado Plus, you can find a seemingly endless supply of phenomenal combinations.
A ravenous table got to the baked brie special before the camera could
Whereas this post exists to call attention to and explore some of the more exceptional and harder to find breweries and distilleries, Colorado Plus exists not only to provide you with their own exceptional beer, but to get some of the finest beer around in one easily accessible place; a perfect opportunity for a fresh look at the scene for a connoisseur or the best place to start exploring the local brew scene for anyone interested. You can find Eugene working more often than not over in the big blue Colorado Plus building at 6995 West 38th Ave., so stop in and check out some of what Colorado has to offer. Here's to you Eugene, may Colorado Plus continue to be a source of excellence and a symbol of what the brew scene is all about here. Cheers.
Resident beer and whiskey aficionado, Tristan brings a wealth of knowledge when it comes to local breweries, distilleries, and, especially, scotch. Every month he'll highlight a specific libation, delving into what makes it great, from taste to how it's produced to the conversations he's had over a cocktail with the owner of a distillery.
Read his monthly segment, Bottoms-Up, on the HC Blog.