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Pub Visit - USA/Canada

Denver (River North - RiNo), Colorado:
Our Mutual Friend Brewing Co.

Our Mutual Friend 1Visited on: Friday 15th June 2018

Bob Thompson

There’s no chance of missing the Our Mutual Friend Brewing taphouse as you approach it along Larimer Street.

Linda and I had just come from Ratio Beerworks a block back on the same street and we thought that was colourful. Well, it was eclipsed by Our Mutual Friend which is a riot of shades in an abstract pattern.

The pub-brewery was opened in December 2012 which makes it one of the first to be established in what is now the most densely brewery populated districts in all America, and quite possibly the whole world. This is RiNo, or River North as it is more officially known. Back in 2012 you could not have foreseen the number of pubs, breweries and restaurants that would be established here.

Our Mutual Friend 2I suppose the cheap (probably no longer) rents in this former blue collar area were probably the catalyst. A considerable number of them were auto repair shops, warehouses, bakeries, showrooms and the like. And what’s more these type of buildings are ideal for reuse as breweries. And so it come to pass.

The brewery was founded by Jan Chodkowski and back in 2012 he tried to become the complete brewer by malting his own barley and resourcing only ingredients from the state of Colorado. Realism soon crept in and a more pragmatic approach was instigated. Yet, right from the start there was great interest in barrel-aged beers along with the production of sour versions on the one barrel (bbl) capacity equipment.

Over the years since the small brewery went on to win many accolades including taking the Silver Medal in the Wood and Barrel-Aged Sour Ale category at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival for their 24 Frames Per Second Golden Sour. Other prizes have been awarded to them for their collaborations with other Colorado breweries. By 2019 they were operating a seven barrel (bbls) brewery system.

Our Mutual Friend 3The outside terrace was fairly busy when we called in. Adjusting our eyes to the darkness inside we could see we in a relatively small room with a bar counter on one side.

The beers were displayed on square boards arranged up the wall and there was a good number to try.

As stated before they do a number of sour and saison beers, some aged in wood. Yet the majority were ales brewed in more mainstream styles.

This is what was available: Wicket Wit (4.8%), a Belgian wheat beer; Esprit de Corpse (6.3%) was a blended mixed culture sour ale and was brewed in collaboration with TRVE Brewing; Oy Graf Ale (7.5%) was brewed in conjunction with Stem Cider and Sur Framboise (7.0%) was a Raspberry Sour Wit beer.

Our Mutual Friend 4Then there were the more normal styles of ale. Wild Life was a New England session pale ale (4.9%) with Citra and Mosaic hops; Colorado Pale Ale* (6.0%) is made with Cascade and Chinook hops.

Inner Light Pale Ale (6.0%) has Mosaic and Amarillo hops; Neon Nail New England IPA (6.9%) with Citra, Galaxy and Victoria’s Secret hops.

Rainey Curve New England IPA (6.0%) is made with Citra and Victoria’s Secret hops; Sussudio West Coast IPA has Simcoe, El Dorado and Nugget hops and Times Arrow IPA (7.1%) has Idaho 7 and Citra.

Finally there were three other interesting ales: Blame it on Kane Dark English Mild* (5.0%); Dad’s Brown Ale* (6.1%) and Novo Coffee Stout* (4.6%). Those beers marked with * contain only Colorado grown ingredients.

We had four of these beers and this is what we thought of them: Blame it on Kane Dark English Mild was very good and had a fine aroma and taste of the original style, albeit a bit stronger. Wild Life New England Session Pale Ale was cloudy and you could certainly taste the Citra and Mosaic hops. Rainey Curve New England IPA was brewed in collaboration with Mumford Brewing of Los Angeles, CA. It was also cloudy with a very hoppy aroma, dry taste yet not much aftertaste. Sussudio West Coast IPA was very bitter and had a citrus finish.

There was certainly many interesting beers among this lot and it makes Our Mutual Friend an extra special place to visit.

Important Information:

Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew, 2810 Larimer Street, Denver, Colorado 80205. Tel: 720 722 2810

Hours: Monday-Thursday 16.00-22.00; Friday-Saturday 12.00-24.00; Sunday 12.00-22.00

The 44 bus route is very useful as it travels through the RINO district with its many breweries and brew-pubs. It goes through the city centre on 15th and 17th Streets then goes north till it reaches 44th Avenue.
The 44 runs half hourly on weekdays, hourly from 19.00, and hourly at weekends.

From the city centre alight at the Larimer Street/28th Street stop. Walk forward and cross 28th Street.
The pub is on the right side. The bus stop for return is on the other side of the road to the alighting stop.