Saturday, December 20, 2014

Grist Brewing Company (Highlands Ranch, CO) - 9 DEC 2014

Grist is a perfect name for a brewery.  One of 8 breweries (6 local, 2 chain) within a few miles of each along the C-470 corridor just south of Denver, Grist Brewing Company is exciting and unique.  It is different than any other brewery that I have visited.  The brewery has an industrial feel due to the high ceilings, exposed duct work, and clear view of the brewing equipment, but at the same time has a community feel around the bar, where the bar tenders and the patrons all interact.

We came to Grist Brewing Company after visiting 3 Freaks Brewing, mostly because it was the only one still open (small tap rooms often close early).  These two places were as different as night and day:  3 Freaks was small, Grist was large; 3 Freaks had a small selection, Grist had a full assortment; 3 Freaks was quaint, Grist was industrial chic.  Regardless, both were great places to visit.

Grist was pouring a full assortment of beers including many interesting ones and so taster was in order.  I chose one with the American Barleywine, Baltic Porter, Belgian Single with Juniper Berries, Belgian Strong Ale, and Weizenbock (470 Bock).

The industrial feel of Grist is reflected in the design of their taster tray.

The Weizenbock (470 Bock) has an interesting back story.  Earlier this year the eight breweries along the C-470 corridor (Blue Spruce Brewing Company & Restaurant, 3 Freaks Brewery, Lone Tree Brewing Company, 38th State Brewing Company, Grist Brewing Company, Living the Dream Brewing Company, CB Potts Brewery-Highlands Ranch, and Rock Bottom Brewery-South Denver) got together to develop a special recipe for a collaboration brew.  

In addition to this collaboration beer, the breweries were offering a "beer passport” that can be picked up at any of the eight locations. The passport will be stamped as patrons visit each location and the first 300 people that have their passport stamped from all eight breweries will receive a free limited edition C-470 Collaboration pint glass. The glass is etched with all eight brewery’s logos.  What a cool idea.  I hope that we get something similar here in Dayton or Cincinnati or Columbus or ....

Growler fill station at Grist.

Another first for me was the growler fill station.  I am not completely sure how it works, but from the explanation given and my own observation I think that the system evacuates the growler and then fills it with beer diverted from the tap system.  Once full, the growler is removed and the top is screwed on.  This process is supposed to allow the beer to remain fresh for months.  Pretty cool.

The brewery is separated from the tap room by a row of fermenters that seem to serve a similar function as a hedgerow - separating two distinct areas in a very appealing manner.  When I poked my head around the fermenters to snap a few pictures, I was approached by one of the bar tenders.  Expecting to be chastised for breeching the barrier, I was instead offered an impromptu tour of the brewing operations.  The brewery was designed for maximum efficiency and growth potential.  Clearly one of the best designed and equipped breweries I've ever visited.

And they have a full assortment of games.

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