Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Checking in on ... Evergreen Brewery & Tap House

Nestled at the feet of several mountains, Evergreen is a reachable world-away-from-the-world stop for Denverites, a place where one can lose themselves in a solitary hike for a few hours before facing the gauntlet of Interstate 70 again. But up until just the past few years, it was a place where folks had to do this without that one gem of city life they desired to transplant with them — a local brewery.

The 10,000-person hamlet now has three places that make their own brand of Evergreen-inspired beer. And for the outdoorsman with a thirst, particularly those hiking or biking at Elk Meadows Park, an oasis in the form of Evergreen Brewery and Tap House offers the kinds of refreshing ales and mountain views that are preferred — nay, necessary — to cap a perfect day in nature.

Now two years old, the brewery and kitchen consistently offers five or six of its own creations, plus an equal or greater number of visiting taps, including one typically small-batch sour that it lovingly refers to as its Microbe of the Week. Sandwiches are stacked with meat, and the five-item kids' menu adds to the family-friendly air of the completely enclosed porch with views of Snyder Mountain.

But to be sure, the main reason to stop here is the Ginger Cream, an exorbitantly refreshing and full-flavored ginger bomb for a creation with so light a body. The kick of spice, combined with the easiness of the body, may make this a perfect post-hike beer, refreshing you even as it makes you consider its unusual taste.

Evergreen doesn't rest on just one tasty brew, however. Its Elk Meadow IPA is balanced but still carries a piny bite. Its Two Kilts Red Ale has classical up-front malt with a late-breaking bitter bump in the back. And its West Coast Coast Quaker oatmeal stout presents a full-mouthed roasted feel that borders on coffee.

About the only recent beer that didn't land well was its Tiny Ricks Inter Dimensional Amarillo/Simcoe Pale Ale, a hazy beer that offered bitterness but no particular hop bite, leaving it to feel undefined.

But this is relaxation and mountain living in the form of a brewery. And it's worth a stop, either for the solitary hiker or for the brood of explorers, right after you peel off your boots.

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