Wheatridge, Colorado is a small town west of Denver that most people drive by alone I-70. While it is home to one of the larger liquor stores in the state for the longest time it was missing a microbrewery of its own. That all changed in November of 2012 when brew master Rick Abitbol opened up a brewery of his own after years of brewing award winning beers. With a wide variety of styles, high quality ales, and unique beers not seen at many breweries one of the best new breweries lies at 44th and Wadsworth at Brewery Rickoli’s.
Tucked inside a small strip mall this brewery is easy to drive by without noticing, but once you are inside the brewery feel is there. A few tables are around the tap room, and the wood top bar lined with stars oversees the tap handles and merchandise for sale. Other than that the décor of this brewery is pretty minimal. Photos of old Denver Broncos milestones line the wall along with assorted old beer signs like Moosehead and Buffalo Gold. It almost feels as if you are at a neighborhood bar, until you taste the beer and realize the high quality ales being produced. With 8 to choose from the variety is wide with ales that are both unique and traditional.
A beer that is known only on the mass produced side but not seen often at microbreweries is a cream ale, and believe it or not there is one offered at Rickoli. A light ale that is cloudy in appearance but also one that is not light on flavor. A light malt flavor on the tongue is followed by a slight aftertaste of hops. Slightly bitter, but the hops do not overpower the flavor of this beer. A very unique beer that is still not seen all that often, but one worth trying. If you were to go to a German beer garden there will typically be an Altbier on tap. If you go to an Irish pub there will be an Irish Red on tap, but what if there was a beer that reminded you of both? The Aldo Red brings the body of an Irish Red but has the malty flavor of a German Altbier. A very malty beer that is full bodied with just a small hint of hops that balances the whole beer out. A very complex beer with a clean aftertaste that is both traditional and unique, but one that has to be tried.
For fans of dark beers look no further than the Hearty Rye Stout. A strong stout that pours at 6.5% abv but has all the characteristics that makes stouts so popular. The full body, sweetness, coffee notes, and roasted flavor are all there, but what makes this stout so unique is the addition of rye. The spice from the rye adds a whole other dimension to this beer and creates layers of flavors that hit everywhere on the palate. The sweet, spicy, and roasted flavor all complement each other and balance each other out but they can be tasted on their own without taking over the whole flavor profile of the beer. Also available for the fan of darker beers is the Social Lubricant, this brewery’s take on a traditional Scotch Ale. A rich, brown ale that is very traditional and full of the malt flavor that makes this style so popular. A very malty, but slightly sweet beer with a very minimal hop flavor and has a clean aftertaste. There are hints of caramel which adds to the sweetness and to the complexities of this beer. Also available are the IPAs where there were three different types to drink, a regular, double, and black. All very good, refreshing, with a clean aftertaste that will cater to the hop heads out there.
A brewery that has the feel of a small neighborhood bar that all the local visit after work and in the process produces high quality ales. That is the impression you get after a visit to Brewery Rickoli. A friendly staff and knowledgeable owner just add to the feel this brewery has created, and it such a short time has already established a regular flow of customers. So when in Wheatridge the mega liquor store is no longer a necessary visit, instead have a fresh variety of craft beers at Brewery Rickoli.
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