North of Denver along I-25 the microbrewery scene used to be pretty minimal between Denver and Fort Collins. The region of Westminster, Broomfield, and Thornton only housed chain breweries that are spread throughout the country, and chain restaurants where craft beer was not a priority. However that all changed in May of 2012 when two Colorado natives decided they wanted to bring high quality craft ales to the local community. The end result is named Big Choice Brewing, located in Broomfield, Colorado and the first microbrewery in this area.
Located off the beaten path on 118th in Broomfield this brewery is a little bit of an adventure to find. Just follow that homemade signs and look for the brewery on the left. Walk in to the small tap room and have a seat at the bar, or one of the few tables around it. The chalkboard menu described the eight beers that were on tap, and punk rock from the music will be filling your ears. The 7 barrel system used is behind closed doors, and roped off visible through a small window or by walking back and looking. All in all the décor is very minimal with the red and white walls, and standard wood furniture, but when at a microbrewery you are there for the beers.
Over the past couple of years a new trend has emerged in the microbrewery scene and that is the addition of chili peppers in beer to add a certain spice note. No difference at this brewery with the #42 Poblano Stout, a dark beer with poblano peppers brewed right into it. The stout has a rich, heavy body that stays true to everything a stout should be, but the aftertaste comes with a little surprise. The poblano pepper leaves a lingering taste, but the heat is very subtle and there is more a pure flavor of the pepper. There are no other flavors added to this beer to compliment the pepper, so after the roasted malt flavor has passed all you are left with is the pepper. This is definitely not a session beer, but one worth sipping on as it is very unique for a style of beer increasing in popularity.
Now if stouts aren’t your style of beer but a dark beer is on the mind then ask for nothing more than the Big Choice Brown. A rich, dark, malty ale with a subtle roasted flavor, but a medium body that makes for easy drinking. Made with roasted barley, and three different types of malts all the flavors come together to create a rich beer, complex in flavor. Also available is a dark Cascadian Ale. A dark ale made with cascade hops this beer packs a punch with the hops, but don’t call it a black IPA. Contrary to that style this flavor ale does not have the malts to balance out the hop flavor. Very bitter and hoppy but with a clean aftertaste this is a very unique beer that is not replicated at any other brewery.
For the hop heads out there, there is plenty of variety at Big Choice. The Type III IPA is a very traditional IPA that does not have any additional flavors to mute the hops. A very dry, bitter beer with a lingering aftertaste it is everything that would be expected from an IPA. If that is not hoppy enough than how about a beer that weighs in at 9.5 ABV and 104 IBU? That would be the Hemlock Double IPA, which are pure hops from the aroma to the finish. A very dry body with one flavor and one flavor only, and that is the hops and the bitterness that people love about them. Also available is the Disconnected Red Ale which again provides a strong hop flavor but with a cleaner finish.
Sometimes when it comes to running a microbrewery it is all about risk. Somebody had to be the first to open a brewery in city, and wait for people to replicate. Well for Big Choice owners Nathaniel Miller and Tyler Ruse they decided to be the first to open one in Broomfield, and in the short time they have been opened their customer base is loyal, and growing regularly. Even though they were the first they won’t be the last and when more and more breweries open up in Broomfield, Thornton, and Westminster the original will still stand, and that will be Big Choice Brewing.
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