Friday, August 23, 2013

Front Range

Just east of Boulder and south of Longmont, two craft beer rich communities, lays Lafayette, Colorado, a small town that has a real local sense about it. So, when Chris Dutton, an avid home brewer, and Will Boggs a seasoned restaurant worker had the software company they were working for bought out they decided to return to their first love. Combine that with sourcing as many ingredients like grains and hops locally as possible and partnering with neighboring independent restaurants and you get the first microbrewery in Lafayette. Serving a great variety of beers that are globally inspired this is Front Range Brewing Company.
Located off South Boulder Road in the Lafayette Marketplace, the sign indicates where you need to go, but walk slightly towards the back past several small restaurants and you will be greeted with a microbrewery. Walking in to the brewery the bar is towards the back so greeting you is all the wonderful brewing equipment including an abundance of barrels that lead you to the bar top, tables, and small beer garden outside. The bar top is lined with bottle caps from breweries all around the world, and hanging on the walls are artwork from all the beers offered. This is a very spacious tap room that is also very inviting to drink a couple beers, but with a globally inspired tap list, which ones to try?
With diversity in style of beers, one of the first styles to try at Front Range are those inspired by Belgium, starting with the Ginger Saison. Very traditional to style with its light body, bright acidity, and effervescence the beer has added depth of flavor due to the addition of ginger. The spice that the ginger brings rounds out the entire beer making it both complex but very well rounded. The prominent flavor does not overpower and the beer remains balanced, refreshing, traditional, and finishes clean making it a very enjoyable version of a classical beer. For something a little on the lighter side but just as refreshing, is Walter’s Lemon Witte. A very traditional Belgian White ale with coriander and lemons peeled by hand, this beer is simply refreshing and perfect for hot summer days. With flaked oats added to the beer it creates a smooth mouth feel that finishes just the same making this a very enjoyable, thirst quenching beer. Also available for wheat based beer lovers are the High Plains Wheat, an American style and the Colorado Sunset Kolsch a German style.
For something slightly darker in color but still a light and enjoyable beer is the ALTitude Red Ale, a unique variation of a traditional German Altbier. The prominent flavor in this beer is the strong malt flavor, but unlike traditional altbiers this particular one is lightened up slightly. The hops in this beer are Amarillo and El Dorado which impart a brightness and subtle fruit flavor to make this beer lighter in body, refreshing, and more unique in terms of taste. In addition of regular beers on tap there is the TrHOPical IPA, and an Imperial Milk Stout, but being such a new brewery it is impressive to already have a barrel program in place. From Rocky Mountain barrels, this new brewery has barrels of all sorts ranging from bourbon to tequila, and often you will see split batches in these barrels for some great experimental beers.
Friendly staff, diverse beer selection, and most importantly good high quality beer with a relaxing tap room, which is exactly what Front Range Brewing Company has already established in their short time being open. To have so many different styles and do them all well is a testament to the pride the brewers take in their product, and the friendly staff makes guests feel welcome from the moment they walk in. With only time to grow, this brewery will have a great mix of both traditional and experimental beers that guests will be rushing to sample. So when heading north of Denver stop by this small town and experience its growing craft beer scene for yourself, with the first microbrewery in Lafayette.

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