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Pub Visit - USA/Canada

Arvada (Olde Town), Colorado:
Grand Lake Brewing Tavern

Visited on: Thursday 14th June 2018

Bob Thompson

Grand Lake 1First impressions are that this a brew-pub, but it is not so. Yet it is the main outlet for the Grand Lake Brewing Company.

They are based in the eponymous town of Grand Lake which is to be found up in the Rocky Mountains above the city of Boulder. They were established there in 2002 by Karen Wood. The town was so isolated that trade had dropped since it opened.

It had started with a three barrel (bbls) plant. They upgraded to seven barrel (bbls) capacity in 2005. In 2008 they started distributing bottles to the Denver metropolitan area. Later they upgraded again, this time to a fifteen barrel (bbls) brewery which is still in use.

In October 2013 they announced the taproom would close and they would be opening another closer to Denver. This turned out to Arvada, the subject of this piece. They also opened another in Greeley, north of Denver, but that has now shut.

Grand Lake 2When Linda and I entered the building I felt pretty certain that it had been a bar in a previous era. It is long and narrow with no windows except for the front. The bar counter was found on the left and there were a few tables in the front window. Along the right wall were a number of tables and chairs each accommodating four customers. The wall was covered by metal sheeting, odd! Easy to clean, maybe? The room opens out at the rear with more tables on either side. There’s table with a lot of boxed indoor games.

When we visited there were ten beers to choose from and these were: Pumphouse (5.0%), a lager; Summit (5.0%), a pale ale; White Cap (5.0%), a wheat beer; Wooly Booger (5.0%), an English nut brown ale; Rocky Mountain (5.0%), a red ale; Shadown Mount (6.0%), an oatmeal stout, Stumpjumper (7.0%) an American IPA; Plaid Bastard (8.0%), a strong Scotch ale; Plum Bastard (8.0%), a plum flavoured Scotch ale and Raspberry Sour Sour Stout (6.0%).

Grand Lake 3We sampled four of these and just for once we went for the dark styles with not an IPA in sight. We started with Raspberry Sour Stout had no discernible stout taste bur was definitely sour and had raspberries in it! Wooly Booger Nut Brown had a genuine brown ale taste with no bitterness. Shadow Mountain Oatmeal Stout was sharp tasting and no chocolaty notes which were promised. Not very good. Plum Bastard Scotch Ale had a strong plum taste giving it a sharp flavour.

I would have liked to have tried some of their more bitter beers. But there is only so much you can consume in a visit. I would go there again and its only two doors away from New Image Brewing.

Important Information:

Grand Lake’s Yukon Street Tavern, 5610 Yukon Street, Arvada 80002. Tel: 720 723 2179

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 12.00-22.00; Friday-Saturday 12.00-23.30

In the future you will be able to ride the G line of the RTD suburban network.
It will take less than 20 minutes.
Trains will start from Union Station. At this time (March 2019) it had not started, until then it’s by bus only.

Bus routes serve the Arvada Park-N-Ride by the station. From there go to the railroad tracks on Vance Street. Cross over these tracks and turn left past the rail station. Turn left into Grandview Avenue.
Go past the station and continue to Yukon Street on the right and turn into it. The pub is on the right.