Denver Chophouse and Brewery (Airport)
Denver International Airport, A Gates, Center Core
8500 Peña Blvd
Visited on March 11, 2010
Again, I’m not entirely sure I should be counting airport “brewpubs,” but it ups my number of places visited, so here it is. It also means I got the opportunity to taste some beers that I’d never had before, and that are locally made in Denver. Those are my reasons and I’m sticking to them.
I landed in Denver’s airport on my way out to Michigan to go apartment hunting and was looking forward to another visit to the relatively fine establishment operated by New Belgium. (Relatively fine because this is, after all, an airport.) But before I could rationalize sitting down to a smattering of heavy beers, I decided to walk every square inch of each of the three terminals. I’m not sure how many miles this was, but it took me a good 45 minutes.
As pointless as this exercise my seem, it taught me an important lesson: Denver’s airport is awesome when it comes to brewpubs. There is one in each terminal. One hosts a Rock Bottom, which I wasn’t about to waste my day’s allotment of beer on. But the third and final terminal has a Denver Chophouse and Brewery. Having been to the Cleveland location (only one of four) I was looking forward to trying this one out.
You can’t miss this place. Walking down the terminal there is a giant billboard-sized standing sign at its entrance proclaiming its existence. Inside is pretty typical: a modestly long bar with a few nooks and crannies and a long dining area. Basically exactly what you’d expect from an airport restaurant, though the tables and chairs are of the highest quality.
Unlike the typical room, however, the beer was exceptional. They seem to focus on German-style brews. And though the actual downtown location has a wide variety of ales available, the airport has but four: the wheat, pale ale, bock and dortmunder. Each was a fine example of its variety and I even enjoyed the wheat, which is typically too bland for my palette. I expected to like the bock the most since dopplebock is my favorite style, but I found myself drawn to the pale ale. It had an impressive flavor profile highlighted by a rich use of hops for a lot more than just bittering.
I didn’t have a chance to try the food since it wasn’t time to eat, but for a few quick beers on your way across the country, this is a fine option.
Total: 66 (of 80)