Friday, February 7, 2014

Westminster Brewing Co.

East of Boulder and north of Denver lies the small suburb of Westminster, Colorado. Through the entire craft beer boom that has been going on in Colorado the past couple years this town was never part of it, only surrounded by new microbreweries. That all changed late in 2013 when the first production brewery opened their doors in this small suburb. With an emphasis on high quality ales and creating beers for both seasoned and new craft beer drinkers this brewery has quickly become a great addition to Westminster. Named after the town it resides in this is the Westminster Brewing Company.
Located of 108th this brewery is easy to drive by, but pay attention for the banner hanging outside to see all the great things happening on the inside. Inside what seems like a small brewery is a large tasting lab as they refer to it is complete with private rooms for events. Just to the left of the bar surrounded by windows guests can get a glimpse of all the brewing equipment used to craft all their beer on site. The bar back is stainless steel as the tap handles are connected to the walk in fridge holding all the beer, but the most impressive feature of this tap room is the view. The large windows allow guests great views of the mountains to watch as they enjoy their beer, and with six flagship beers to choose from deciding which to enjoy first can be a challenge.
Serving mostly English styles ales there are a lot to choose from, but none are better to start with than the Shiva or English Pale Ale. This beer has a ruby color with a subtle malt flavor and light body. The hops dominate this ale with a brightness and great bitterness. The aftertaste does linger with hops, but it is a great refreshing session ale that is easy to drink. For something with a good bitter flavor but more balanced ask for the 1066 which is a traditional ESB. This beer has slightly more body but has a good balance between malt sweetness and hop bitterness. Bright, with a subtle citrus and floral hop flavor this beer finishes very clean making it easy to enjoy. Also available is an Irish Ale which is very traditional in its malt and hop profile. This creates an extremely balanced beer that is a great session ale making it perfect for any kind of day.
For non English style beers there are several offerings as well, and it starts with a light German style ale known as 12 Apostles. Similar to a pilsner this beer has a light, crisp body with a dry mouth feel and prominent hop profile. None of the hops overpower the flavor of this wheat colored ale, instead they balance each other out creating a great flavor profile with a clean finish. For something more bold with hops there is an American Pale Ale. Contrary to the Shiva this beer is much bolder in hops and has a great citrus flavor with a strong bitterness. The aftertaste lingers creating a beer full of flavor, but one to be sipped and savored so each hop varietal has a chance to come through. Now of course there needs to be a dark beer offered, and that is available in the Moses a chocolate porter. This porter has a rich, full body that brings out the best in the subtle coffee flavor, and full chocolate flavor. With a rich mouth feel and subtle bitter notes from the coffee and chocolate this beer is rich, finishes clean, and very enjoyable.
Soon the tap list will be expanding as well not only with new beers, but with the addition of cask conditioned ales served on a traditional hand pull system. That will bring the traditional English style ales and add a unique flavor profile to already existing beers, making horizontal pairings easily possible. Combine that with the great atmosphere, friendly staff, scenic views, and neighborhood feel and it is no wonder that Westminster Brewing has quickly established themselves as a great and unique brewery. In an area that is only to go expand its craft beer scene Westminster Brewing will forever be the first and the original which is fitting with their great ales. So when north of Denver and in search of a great beer stay in the suburbs and check out the tasting lab at Westminster Brewing, it will be worth the visit.

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