Thursday, January 2, 2014

Station 26

Within the Denver craft beer scene the number of breweries and parts of the city these breweries are in continue to expand. What used to be primarily in downtown has now expanded to the very limits of the Denver border. Most recently towards the end of 2013 a new part of Denver became part of the craft beer scene, the Stapleton area. What used to house Denver’s main airport has undergone a huge makeover the past few years and now has a microbrewery to call its own. Housed in an old historical fire station this new brewery has a name fitting to the building, Station 26 Brewing.
Located within the old Station 26 Firehouse in Denver this brewery has undergone a great conversion to become a brewery, but still kept the historical firehouse environment present. Walk inside the large red building inside the large red brick building is a spacious tap room. The large garage doors make this well lit along with all the industrial light fixtures hanging from the high ceilings. The bar top wraps around the building with tables and standing room all around. The old brick walls are still the same and the fireman’s poles separate the seating area from where the beer was made. This brewery has a great environment, and of course there is the beer and with some very unique styles being served they are all worth trying.
For fans of the hops there are two very distinct options and the first is a Belgian-American Pale Ale. This classic style pale ale has the subtle hop bitterness but is balanced out by a citrus and grapefruit note from the Belgian yeast strain. Very straightforward in flavor profile, but very balanced, refreshing, and easy to enjoy. For a bolder hop profile there is the IPA #1. Made with Apollo, Nelson, and Simcoe hops this IPA has the bitterness one would expect but with layers of complex flavors from the three unique hop varietals. Subtle aromas and flavors of citrus and pine balance out the hop notes. The aftertaste lingers but this is a very traditional IPA that will be enjoyed by the hop heads out there. For another bitter beer but not in the pale ale category is the New World Bitter, a version of an ESB. With three different hops this beer is well balanced, full flavored, and very sessionable. Refreshing, unique, and easy to drink this is a great beer easy to enjoy by craft beer drinkers of all styles.
Of course Station 26 also has some unique offerings as well, and none are more unique than the Cherrywood-Smoked Golden Ale. A very light bodied easy to drink ale that is full of complex flavor and aroma. This light bodied ale has a subtle smoke not to the aroma that follows through perfectly to the flavor with a subtle sweetness. The flavors were all balanced from the malts to hops all with a hint of smoke. Cap it off with a clean finish and this is a very unique, refreshing beer that is easy to drink and very enjoyable. For fans of the dark beers there is a stout available, but a session stout. This light 4.1% ABV beer has a lighter body for a stout, but is still packed full of stout flavor. All the great qualities of a stout are present from the rich dark color, tan head, roasted barley, coffee, and chocolate. But unlike a traditional stout the light 4.1% ABV makes this not only light bodied but very easy to drink. A very refreshing beer for one so dark with a clean finish and so flavorful it makes it that much easier to drink.
With not only a diverse tap list in which there is a beer for fans of all styles this brewery has so much more going for it. A very friendly staff who are welcoming and engaging, a talented brewer who makes great traditional and unique beers, and a great tap room that is not only comfortable but brings together the great environment of a historic firehouse and craft brewery. In a craft beer market as rich and diverse as Denver’s this was a welcome addition. While off the beaten path from most of Denver’s brewery this one is worth the visit. So next time you are in the north Denver area swing by Station 26 Brewing and enjoy many of the great offerings, and see if anything new has hit the tap lines yet.

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