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Pub Visit - USA/Canada

Visited on: Wednesday 13th June 2018

Bob Thompson

Woods Boss 1This brew-pub is ambitious project. For a start up brewery it is quite large with a tap room that can accommodate 160 customers.

It also has a fifteen barrel (bbls) capacity brewery. It has a good looking tap room, modern yet using a lot of wood.

It is the result of two brewing minds coming together. Jordan Fink and Chad Moore. They met at a live concert and it transpired they would both like to open a brewery.

Fink’s background was in the United States Forestry Service in Colorado. He has also worked in the Pacific Northwest doing conservation work and environmental education. It was here when he took students out he was known as the “Woods Boss”.

Woods Boss 2He then worked as a High School teacher in Alaska before returning to Colorado. After some time as a fire fighter he decided he wanted to try brewing. He started in the trade at Tommyknocker Brewery at Idaho Springs (please see a separate article in BeerVisits) during 2010. He then went to Nepal to set up a craft brewery. He returned to Tommyknocker, going on to Odyssey Brewing in Arvada. He left there in February 2017 to start work on Woods Boss.

Moore, who was also from the east came to Colorado to work for Lockheed Martin. He had previous outdoor experience and has travelled to twenty three National Parks.

Prior to starting the brewery adventure he travelled through South America for seven months with his wife in a converted truck. He is now the assistant brewer. The partnership opened the pub in August 2017.

Woods Boss 3The day I visited I was with Linda and we had to wait awhile for them to open as the hours had been changed.

Once inside we were impressed by the interior. It is very big and the building itself holds an interesting story.

It was built in the early 1900s as a 17,000 square foot warehouse, its last occupant was a car, magazine and sundries collector. A lot of stock was left behind and this was disposed of to other collectors.

The ceiling is 20 feet high and this gives a great sense of space, walking in from the entrance door we found seating on either side as we approached the bar counter. Some of it was normal wooden low tables and chairs. Yet, there were also some tall tables that were made out of quartered pine tree trunks.

Woods Boss 4Impressive, but not quite as much as the bar counter with its highly varnished top.

The counter is constructed from two massive sections of sustainably harvested redwood which are joined to cross-section of a trunk to form a corner piece. Another piece is used as a table between two rows of sofas.

The feel of the room is still a bit industrial yet the wood features are really nice. The rear of the building is occupied by the brewing equipment.

The was a fair selection of beers: Junipus Triticum (5.4%), a juniper flavoured wheat beer; Brace and Bit (5.4%), an English Extra Special Bitter; Camp Sweep (6.0%), a cream ale; Rock Bar (5.0%), a brown ale; Count Rusen (5.3%), an English pale ale; Fruity Flash (5.3%), a sour ale; Fifth Point (6.7%), an IPA; Swede Hook (5.4%), an English Porter; The Oswald (7.1%), an IPA and Scrafford (7.3%), another IPA.

Woods Boss 5We tasted four of these and this is what we thought: Brace & Bit Extra Special Bitter. Although it was a bit stronger than the original UK style it had the right taste, medium bitterness and the malt goes on to a slightly bitter after taste.

Count Rushen Pale Ale had a medium bitterness in the body leading to a smooth and bitter finish. Scrafford IPA had good dry bitterness and after taste. Fifth Point IPA had a dry black pepper taste albeit well balanced, very good.

There was also one rather special beer which was in their sapling series. Beers in this range are more or less hobby beers. This one harked back to another era, using ingredients of times past. It was known as Ancient Grain. Stupidly, I didn’t note the abv of it at the time, so a tried to look it up on all of the well-known beer sites later, yet to no avail. It was as if it didn’t exist, so I guess it might not have been for general consumption.

Woods Boss 6This is what was used to make Ancient Grain which was also known as Norwegian Farmhouse Ale: Two-row barley, Maris Otter barley, raw spelt, raw rye, Freekeh (a Middle Eastern grain made from green Durum wheat) and rolled oats.

Hops were Bravo, El Dorado, Citra and Krystal. The yeast came from Voss in Norway, presumably from the Bryggeri Voss. We liked it, it was slightly smooth with a very complex after taste.

Wood Boss is a very friendly brew pub and is highly recommended.

Important Information:

Woods Boss Brewing Company, 2210 California Street, Denver 80205. Tel: 303 727 9203

Hours: Monday-Thursday 14.00-22.00; Friday-Saturday 12.00-23.00; Sunday 12.00-20.00

Route 43 bus may be useful to get here.
It runs from Downtown to the Central Park station on RTD line A. It runs from the city along Stout Street and operates along California Street passing the pub, going back in. In Downtown it runs northerly along 15th Street and southbound along 17th Street, going towards the pub.

Coming from the city you alight at the Stout Street and Park Avenue West stop. Walk back to Park Avenue.
Turn left into it. Go one block to California Street and turn right into it.
The pub a short distance on the left.
Towards the city alight at California Street and Park Avenue West. Cross Park Avenue, the pub is on the left.

On Mondays to Fridays the 43 bus route runs every 15 minutes till 20.00, every 30 minutes thereafter.
On Saturdays, Sunday and Holidays it is every 15 minutes to 18.00, every 30 minutes after that.