It was Dave Barry that said "Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza." A very true statement typically associated with sports bars, or watching any sporting event on television, not always associated with high quality hand crafted ales. But in a small location in southeast Aurora, in a large shopping center surrounded by all the chain restaurants one could ask for, lies the smallest microbrewery in Colorado. To go with it, they are scratch making some great pizzas too using the same grain from the brewing process in the pizza crust, and the place is the Dad and Dudes Breweria.
Opened in 2010, walking into the Breweria is like stepping back in time. It is a bistro that celebrates American history, most notably the year 1933, when prohibition ended. Photos of the protestors and barrels of alcohol being smashed cover the walls. Above the bar is a sloped roof reminiscent to the bootleggers creating their own drinks at the time. Behind the bar area, dollar bills are taped all over the wall and a few windows allow guests to see the tiny production area for the brewing process. The brewing area is so small that they are only able to brew using the half barrel system, which makes the beers challenging to get, as they run out quicker, but also ensures the freshest beer available. In addition to their own six beers on tap, they also offer beers from other local breweries. So with a constantly rotating beer menu which ales are the ones that have to be tried?
Typically pale ales are bitter, unbalanced, and very hoppy in flavor, and do not have additional flavor added to enhance the beer. So when I saw a Rosemary Pale Ale on the tap list I knew that was a beer worth trying before the first sip. The aroma has very herbaceous and piney due to the addition of rosemary but at the same time the aroma of hops was very present. After taking one sip, it is truly amazing how balanced this beer is with so many assertive flavors present. While this beer does have a distinguished bitterness from the hops, they are cut and muted by the rosemary. Both flavors complement each other quite nicely and neither one overpowers the other. Finding a beer with herbs is truly unique, but finding one that is very well balanced is rare. This beer is great for any fan of pale ales but should be tried by anybody with an adventurous pallet and it pairs very well with the pizzas offered.
If a beer infused with herbs sounds a little too experimental for you, but something light bodied and refreshing is still what you are craving then the perfect beer to enjoy here is the Autumn Harvest Dark Wheat Ale. This beer was very deceiving in all aspects as it was dark in color but tasted nothing like a dark ale. It had a light body, a very nice effervescence, and no additional flavors added to it. There was no fruit flavor added to this ale so the only flavor that was present was the true taste of wheat. Finishing with one of the cleanest aftertastes a beer can offer, this one is very easy to sip over and over again. It is such a simple beer with no fancy flavor profile, and that is not only what makes it very original, but also very delicious. It is hard to come across a beer that is so clean in flavor and the guys at the Breweria have made it, and I bet you cannot just drink one.
Sometimes it is very true that the best places are the small locations that most people drive by without thinking twice, but ignoring the large chain restaurants and trying something new can turn out to be a great experience. Finding a place that not only hand crafts their own small batch beers, but also hand makes some high quality pizzas is that great experience. Mix that with a friendly staff that makes you feel like a regular on your first visit and that is the ultimate recipe for a great business, and that is what you will find at the Dad and Dudes Breweria.
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