With so many breweries in Colorado it is sometimes hard to believe that parts of the state are still without a microbrewery to call their own. This is true in the case of some small suburbs south of Denver, especially in the small suburb of Highlands Ranch where the only option for craft beer was from a chain brewery. But that all changed in November of 2013 when a group of four friends who loved craft beer opened the doors to their own microbrewery in this small suburb. With high quality true to style ales this is Grist Brewing Company in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.
Everything about this brewery is big from the 20 bbl brew house to the spacious size of the tasting room that has a very industrial feel to it. A lounge area with chairs and board games greet guests as soon as they walk in for a more relaxing environment and lining all the windows are group tables, but the highlight of this tasting room is the bar top. Centered in the building the u-shaped bar is spacious and allows guests to see the brewery from any area they are sitting at. The production area is as close as you can get at any brewery being separated only by some rope and barrels. This is a very inviting tap room to enjoy some very straight forward ales, but which one to try first?
With a wide variety to choose from and it being best to start on the lighter side at Grist that has to include the German inspired beers they offer. The Transition State Kolsch is a light golden colored beer that has subtle, yet complex flavors. There are very subtle fruity flavors in both the aroma and flavor of this beer with none of the bitterness from the hops. Combine that with a clean finish and this is an extremely refreshing, complex beer anybody would enjoy. For something still light, but more bold flavored there is the Window Tour Hefeweizen. This traditional unfiltered wheat has a light body and great balance between wheat and banana flavor. This particular beer is fermented at a lower temperature so the banana does not overpower the beer. The end result is a very balanced beer between wheat, banana, and clove that finishes clean and is very refreshing.
For something with a little more body, but much more bold flavor there is the Touch Line Brown, a traditional English style Brown Ale. This beer has a medium body and is full of complex flavors. The hops in this beer are very minimal but still provide a necessary bitterness, but this is a beer for fans of strong malt flavors. The malts are the primary flavor in this beer from aroma to taste but are unique and provide subtle hints of caramel and sweetness. Again the aftertaste is fairly clean, and at a sessionable 4.3% this is a very easy beer to enjoy. For fans of dark, full bodied beers there is the Niobrara Stout which also happens to be served on nitro. With a creamy mouth feel this is a very traditional stout full of strong coffee and chocolate flavors from beginning to end. Full bodied and rich this is a great stout perfect for cold weather months, but also whenever a hearty beer is craved. Also available is a traditional copper colored, dry, and bitter Staple IPA.
With both traditional ales and lagers available and beers in a wide array of styles Grist Brewing Company is a place where there is truly something for beer drinkers of all types. Whether it be a traditional German lager, a light wheat, hoppy IPA, or full bodied stout beer drinkers of all kinds will enjoy what this new brewery has to offer. Combine that with a spacious, inviting tap room and a very friendly staff who are passionate about high quality craft beer and the end result is a very enjoyable experience from beginning to end. Traditional ales done in a very straight forward style that allows the guest to enjoy the simplicity of beer and relax at the same time. So when south of Denver in the small suburb of Highlands Ranch stop by the first true microbrewery in this small town and enjoy the vast selection of beers for yourself.
Is there a brewery you want us to profile? Let us know at https://www.facebook.com/MileHighBrews