Visited on: Friday 8th June 2018
The Lariat Lodge is the result of the entrepreneurial spirit of Eric Rode. His involvement with brewing began back in New York State during 1994 where he became a keen home-brewer.
After deciding very quickly that this is where his future laid, he moved to Fort Collins, Colorado and during spring 1995 got a job with the New Belgium Brewery on their bottling and kegging lines.
He moved on to their fermentation cellar within six months of joining them. Then the company moved out of the old railroad building where they began, and moved to a new brewery.
Eric stayed with them until finally moving on to the C.B. & Potts / Big Horn Brewery chain. This company owns a number of brew-pubs all over the mid-west and west which are operated under both names.
With this company Eric became involved with the setting up of new breweries, firstly their Fort Collins operation and then on to Cheyenne, Wyoming, just over the state line. He stayed there for a while, becoming the Head Brewer. He then moved up to the mountains, joining the brewing team at the Tommyknocker Brewery (see BeerVisits article) in Idaho Springs. He became the Head Brewer and stayed for seventeen years.
The Lariat Lodge building is impressive, being built into the side of a hill. We parked at the bottom and walked up a lot of steps. Later we found that you could get a vehicle to the front door and this is where John picked us up from later.
Let me explain that we, myself, Linda and John were in Evergreen as it was a suitable stop-off point on the way back to Lakewood, near Denver after our road trip around Colorado.
The pub and restaurant are actually a conversion from a conference centre. However, that wasn’t apparent when we entered. It opened in its present form during November 2015.
The first thing we noticed on entering were the extensive views through the large windows that encompassed three sides of the large main room. The main bar counter was on our left with the brewing equipment being on display beyond it. Outside there is a long balcony with views over the valley.
When we visited there was a fine selection of beers on offer: Elephant Butte (5.6%), a brown ale; Bay Area Lager (5.5%); Oatmeal Milk Stout (6.0%); Lariat Lodge IPA (6.8%); Lariat Loop Lager (5.6%); Bear Creek Blonde Ale (4.7%); Golden Goliath (9.9%), a strong Belgian ale; Angry Elk Amber Ale (5.8%); All the hops! (8.6%), a double IPA and Mad Scientist (abv not known), a Belgian brown ale.
We tried some of them, these are our thoughts on them: Bear Creek Blonde Ale was quite innocuous with no great flavour, a bit like a lager. Elephant Butte Brown Ale was acceptable but a bit thin for a brown. Angry Elk Amber Ale we thought was rather neutral with not a lot of flavour although it had medium bitterness. Finally, we tried Lariat Lodge IPA which was intensely bitter. A bit surprising really as it was of 70 IBU. It also had a slightly sweet after taste, yet it was very pleasant.
Finally, please see photograph of a notice at the entrance to the pub regarding the presence of a female Elk guarding her offspring. This must be a fairly regular occurrence in these mountain settlements. By the way, the North American Elk is what Europeans call a Red Deer. The European Elk is the American Moose. However, I suspect they are equally grumpy if you get near their young.
This is an interesting mountain pub brewery with a full and recommended menu and should be visited if you are in the area.
Lariat Lodge Brewing Co., 27618 Fireweed Drive, Evergreen, Colorado 80439. Tel: 303 674 1842
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11.00-22.00; Friday 11.00-23.00; Saturday 9.00-23.00; Sunday 9.00-22.00
The only bus route to Evergreen is from the Jefferson County Civic Center, Golden station.
This is the western terminus of the W line of the RTD Metro.
The route is entirely for rush hour travel with buses coming from Evergreen to Golden in the morning.
They return in the evening peak period. Useful only if you wish to spend the night in Evergreen!