Along Highway 36 in between Denver and Boulder there is little to enjoy as far as craft beer is concerned. That all changed in January of 2014 when Christine Wares decided to leave the telecommunications industry after 28 years to open a restaurant and brewery. Alongside her are Todd and Rick who were avid home brewers taking their craft to the next level and serving it to thirsty guests who come into this small business. Named after the god for fertility this brewpub is the first in the small suburb of Westminster, Colorado serving up not only great craft beer, but great bar food as well. After much anticipation of opening Colorado craft beers drinkers were finally able to sample the offerings from Kokopelli Beer Company.
Located inside a strip mall off 88th and Harlan walking inside this brewery transforms guests from the mountains of Colorado to the southwest. The spacious tap room is decorated with the Kokopelli god from wall art to the custom designed tap handles behind the bar. The dark red and light brown walls add great color and only add to the southwest environment that has been created. Divided by a wall lies all the brewing equipment used to serve the high quality ales, and with several flagship to choose from along with some rotating seasonal ales the options are endless of what to enjoy here.
With several beers to choose from on their tap list Kokpelli has something for everybody, including multiple options for the hop heads out there, and it starts with the Pale Face Ale. This medium body malt forward beer has great color, and a surprisingly bright citrus note from the Amarillo hops. This beer has a great balance between malt and hops, finishes clean and lends itself to the more hop forward beers on the menu. For a lighter bodied IPA there is the Split Wit, and collaboration with Denver’s Caution. This beer brought together the great qualities of a White IPA with a saison yeast strain. This beer has a light body with a dry mouth feel and a balance between sweet and spicy. The hops are prominent but not overpowering making this a very unique IPA. For fans of dark ales but still like their hops there is the Night Thunder Black IPA. This dark beer has all the great qualities of a porter and IPA combined. A rich body with strong coffee flavor is bitter on its own, but is enhanced by the hops. With a lingering aftertaste this IPA has a great bitterness any hop fan would love, and rounds out a great tap list of diverse IPAs.
For fans of more traditional styles of ales there are plenty to choose from at Kokopelli as well, and a great one to start with is the Red Moon Amber. This beer brings with it a medium body, amber color, and great layers of flavor. You are initially greeted with a sweetness of caramel and vanilla flavor from the malts used, but that is balanced out from a subtle hop flavor. The beer is balanced, and finishes clean making very refreshing and easy to enjoy. For drinkers of dark beers there is a stout available, the Cow Tipper Milk Stout. There is nothing fancy about this beer, instead it is a very straightforward style of a milk stout. A lighter body gives the drinker a rich flavor of coffee and chocolate that one would expect from a stout. The creamy mouth feel and prominent sweetness let it be known that this is a bold flavored milk stout. This beer does finish clean, and is a good interpretation of a milk stout, the light body make it easy to enjoy, and the flavors are well rounded making this a great beer. Also available will be small batch beers that rotate and at their grand opening that included a Dubbel, Altbier, and winter ale.
With a wide variety of hand crafted beers to choose from, a friendly and welcoming staff, a relaxing and spacious tap room, and food options right on site it is no wonder why there was so much anticipation for Kokopelli to open. Now that their doors have opened it is no surprise to see them packed regularly with people enjoying their pizza and beer. In a time where brewpubs are few and far between, and in an area where craft beer is still limited Kokopelli was a great addition to not only the Westminster area but to Colorado craft beer in general. So when north of Denver ignore the chains, and stop by this new brewpub sure to be full of regulars and first time customers for a long time to come, and worth the wait for their opening.
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