"Beer in Colorado" is dedicated to that divine elixir born of the marriage of water, malt, hops, and yeast as interpreted
by those living in Colorado. Follow the author as he visits every brewery in the state, creates experimental homebrews,
attends beer festivals, tries interesting beers from around the world, and spreads the good word of beer. Prost!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Two22, The BoB, and Late Posts

The beauty of Beer in Colorado, a personal travel journal as much as it is a beer blog, is Nicole and I can rack up fun experiences, let the memories simmer a few days, and then write a post on it after we’ve had time to digest it all.  As far as you, the reader, know, the time between our little brewery trips and our blog postings about said trips are a narrow window, less than 24 hours, probably.  In actuality, it’s not uncommon for us to sit on a story for a week or so before it goes live. 

It’s not because we’re procrastinators, far from it.  Nicole and I are both quite active, even frenetic, and we hate missing deadlines.  It’s just that life gets in the way.  Sometimes there are more pertinent, time-sensitive articles that need to go out first so we put less significant articles on the backburner (when big events like Great American Beer Festival [GABF] come around, we make absolutely sure our posts are written in a timely manner; our lateness would be pretty obvious if we wrote a GABF article in December).  Sometimes we’re on a road trip, away from our computer, so we have to wait until we’re home before we can begin to compose a post.  Sometimes we just plain forget.  At any rate, we get around to posting our adventures eventually and try to do so in a manner where it appears up-to-date because, frankly, nobody wants to read what appears to be stale news (when I use the word “recently” in a post, for example, that can mean anything from a day ago to a week or two ago). 

However, from time to time, it’s better to admit when an article is behind the times instead of covering up its past-due date.  Great example: the grand opening of Two22 Brew in Centennial, Colorado.  I could pretend like it happened just yesterday but I can’t.  I can’t because “Two22” is so much more than the name of the brewery—it’s also the date of it’s opening: February 22nd or 2/22.

Two22 is likely the most charitable brewery you’ll visit; its name is derived from the fact that $2.22 out of every $10 of profit is donated to the Schuster Family Foundation, an organization that grants funds to various charities ranging in interest from education to environmental issues to youth and personal enrichment programs.  Two22 is beer with a conscience.

Wall of charity at Two22
Nicole and I can relate to the owners of Two22, a married couple who, as former teachers, felt unfulfilled in their occupation so they founded their own brewery instead.  I totally understand how the teaching profession can beat the motivation out of anybody.  Snotty kids.  Irate parents.  Ineffective administration.  Clueless politicians telling you how to do your job.  A public that consistently votes down school funding bonds.  A paycheck that seems a cruel joke.  Oh, yeah; I’ve been there, done that, and felt the hollow void where once my rose-colored naïveté resided.  God bless her, Nicole has a stronger constitution than I and is still in the profession, but she understands the hardships of being a teacher quite well.  While I champion all teachers, I also applaud the owners of Two22 for following their dreams and still making a positive impact on society. 

On opening day, Two22 featured Blonde Ale (4.8% ABV, 51 IBU), Session IPA (4.3% ABV, 94 IBU), Simcoe IPA (6.4 % ABV, 80 IBU), Milk Stout (5.3% ABV, 73 IBU), Centennial Chocolate Porter (4.9% ABV, 43 IBU), and Red Cinnamon.  Nicole and I got a flight of everything except Red Cinnamon because we arrived at noon and that particular beer wasn’t going to be tapped until later (at 2:22 pm, actually).

Left to right: Blonde, Session IPA, Milk Stout, Simcoe IPA, & Centennial Chocolate Porter

The Blonde Ale is a tad hazy in it’s pale, straw yellow body and the aroma is bready, yeasty, and with a twist of lemon zest.  It’s a light, crisp beer with but a touch of bitterness in the back of the mouth.

Despite an IBU rating of 94, Session IPA doesn’t show its hoppiness.  I’d almost call it a malty beer before I called it a hoppy beer because even Nicole, who hates extra hoppy beers, said she actually liked this one.  It, too, is hazy and is a yellowish amber color.

Simcoe IPA looks much like its sessionable brethren but sets itself apart with a nose full of grapefruit and a flavor resplendent with tolerably bitter, citrusy, tropical goodness. 

I found the Milk Stout and the Centennial Chocolate Porter to be quite similar.  They’re both dark beers, of course, with the stout featuring brown highlights and the porter featuring red highlights.  They both feature a great deal of chocolate in the aroma and flavor and they both feature a mild roast (the stout being a bit roastier than the porter).  I felt the porter actually had a creamier Mouthfeel; I almost wonder if I confused the two when I drank myself down the flight. 

In the future, Two22 will use customer feedback to guide their taplist, narrowing the six beers on opening day down to four flagships.  The remaining three taps will be reserved for rotating seasonals.  The tap lines at Two22 are set up for 10 beers so the brewers will be adding even more offerings including experiments with different yeast strains so keep tabs on these brewers; there’s still plenty to come from them. 

After munching on some spectacular arepas from the Freddy’s Cuisine food truck and chatting it up with like-minded beer geeks, Nicole and I started heading home.  But then we decided, since we were in the area, we might as well check out some other breweries we’ve yet to visit.  So, we stopped by The Brew on Broadway (The BoB) for an another drink.

The main marquee at The BoB
Backstage at The BoB

The exterior of The BoB, a brewery/coffee shop, lives up to its Great White Way namesake with a marquee sign (although Nicole and I opted for the backstage entrance in the alley).  The interior of The BoB is wide-open with a dark, wooden bar, exposed brick walls, art hanging everywhere, and a row of garage doors opening up onto a large patio space.  The coffee shop portion is situated at the front of the room as is a sitting space with plush, leather chairs.  In terms of ambiance, I’d say The BoB leans more towards the coffee shop side of its hybrid business concept. 

Cedar Mountain
I ordered a pint of Cedar Mountain Smoked ESB (6% ABV, 71 IBU), a beer that’s mostly clear but with a drop of haze.  It is copper in color and smells woodsy, mildly charred while the flavor’s akin to a long-extinguished campfire with a toasted, untreated-wood bitterness.

When we finished our beers at The BoB, we headed home (for real this time).  Our trip to the southern suburbs got me thinking: to me, everything below Hampden is a brewery black hole.  No, I don’t mean there aren’t breweries there, but I do mean that, with some exceptions (e.g. Dry Dock Brewing Co. because it’s becoming such a major player in the Colorado brewing scene), I hardly ever hear any updates from the southern breweries and, sometimes, I don’t even hear about new ones opening (I didn’t know about St. Patrick’s Brewing Company until a few days ago and Hall Brewing Co. was well on their way before I caught wind of them).  This is odd since I make it my business to know about new breweries in Colorado—anywhere in Colorado—yet, amazingly, I’m more knowledgeable about breweries in Boulder, Ft. Collins, and the mountains than I am about breweries in my own metro area.  I often wonder why.  Do the Denver media sources ignore the southern ‘burbs?  Do the breweries down there keep their advertising campaigns localized, focusing only on their immediate surroundings?  Is it just because I haven’t been paying attention?  I don’t know but, after visiting Two22 and The BoB, I’ll be sure to keep my ear closer to ground, stay abreast of the goings-on in the meridional sections of the Denver area, and make sure I write about Nicole and I’s southerly journeys in timely fashion (“timely” as far as you’re aware, that is).



Coffee shop at The BoB
Behind the bar at The BoB
Inside The BoB
Get your brewery passport stamped at The BoB

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