A couple of weeks back I started telling you about my Denver pubcrawl. I got about as far as my first day in Denver and my realization that I wasn't going to have any problem finding Fat Tire. The second day of my trip was spent almost exclusively at what turned out to be my favorite Denver pub, Pints Pub, where I drank pints of real ale brewed on premises and tried to do a tour of Scotland by paddling down a river of whisky.
The third day I got adventurous and took the bus up the 16th Street Mall to the train station. Just a short walk from there is the Wynkoop (1634 18th St, 303-297-2700).
Wynkoop Brewing Company is situated on the corner of the block so there are two sides of the building with tall windows. The island-like bar is right in the middle of this open well lit area -- a very welcoming space. I ended up circling the bar trying to find the best possible view. The whole time the bartender was eying me warily. I look pretty rough. My beard is about four inches long at the chin and I've got hair down to the middle of my back. I am wearing a brewpub tee-shirt, so that should have clued him in that I wasn't a vagrant. (Although on a recent trip into Brooklyn I saw a homeless guy with a bottle of Saison Dupont. Just think was the homeless in Manhattan drink, Bière de Champagne?)
Settled in and flashed my photo ID (as if the gray streaks in my beard weren't enough, and beside I don't mind being carded). They had two hand pumps at the Wynkoop (or I might have been seeing double from my visit to Pints Pub), so I ordered the ESB to wet my whistle. I know that two hand pumps isn't much to a real ale aficionado like Stonch who lives in real ale Disneyland, but a place with two cask conditioned ales served with a beer engine is twice heaven in my book.
The ESB was not as malty as I would have liked (at that moment), but it was dark and satisfyingly hoppy and a touch fruity in the nose (though not nearly as fruity as the ESB at Pints Pub). It was a nice complement to the beef burrito I ordered. I moved on to the cask conditioned IPA next. I guess it was an English-style IPA since the hops were restrained and the beer came across as pleasant and mild.
I spent maybe three hours in the Wynkoop with my notebook open and scribbling notes about the beers and scotches I had sampled already. Occasionally, I'd glance up at the television. Lille was playing Manchester United. Since one of my best friends is an Arsenal fan and can't stand either Man U or Chelsea, I found myself routing for the frogs despite the fact that I was drinking English-style real ale. I'm not anything if not inconsistent.
At some point I switched to scotch and sipped a Macallan 12 while doodling word pictures in my notebook.
Next time I'll take you to The Great Divide where I drank a rice beer.