In the fall of 2017, at the tail end of a mango orange sunset, I headed west into the Berkley neighborhood of Denver, Colorado to visit Call to Arms Brewing Company. The brisk air whirled through the city streets and red tail lights lit up my windshield with frequency, slowing my pace. I became angry at the traffic hindering my drive and cursed the world. But it was then, that I realized delicious craft beer is in my near future and complaining is for fools and damned fools alike. I mean, really, what was there to upset me? I was heading to discover a sanctuary of beer that I had yet to enter. With that in mind, I tried to change my attitude. One shouldn’t neglect or become disenfranchised with his or her duty. It is my call to explore these breweries. My task is not only for me, but also for you, Hoppers, and I realized I cannot and will not fail.
Call to Arms Brewing Company is tucked down what reminds me of alleyway you might have envisioned in a Hemingway novel. It resides in the same building as a pizza AND taco place by the name of Mas Kaos. The sign that hangs above the door looks like one of an English pub with just one bulb lighting it. I walked in and immediately I was struck by the deep tones of the wooden bar, tables, and the low key lighting. It would be hard-pressed to find someone that felt anything but relaxed in this establishment.
The crowd looked like regulars and locals unwinding from the burdens of the day. I found Jesse pretty quickly as he typed away on his computer with vigor to finish some of the many projects I am sure he is working on. He offered me some local artisan bread from Raleigh Street Bakery. They put up shop every Monday inside Call to Arms Brewing Company. I don’t know what kind of bread I was eating but it was fucking delicious. Hearty wheat and whole oats with a delicate and soft center – the perfect accent to the easy-drinkin’ Tennyson Standard Kolsch that cooled my fingers as I listened to Jesse talk about the breweries vision and priorities.
The men who started Call To Arms Brewing Company are of the Avery Brewing background with over 30 years of combined experience. Venturing out on their own was an aggressive and forthright move. Their name says it all. And with their wealth of experience, they wanted to forge a house built on craft featuring an onslaught of local goods ranging from greeting cards to handcrafted furniture. A community and family focus is obvious when you walk in. I personally loved seeing a shuffleboard table with a trophy for tournaments that they hold.
The next beer I had was their CTA IPA that came with a light citrus pop – fresh, clean, inviting – party on. We talked on and on about the different aspects of Call to Arms that makes them part of the community. Events are a priority at Call to Arms with 5 Rumpus events a year, an Anniversary Party Fun Fest Carnival and their annual Peace & Assist event with Cannonball Creek Brewing Co. and a third participating brewery. If you are wondering what a rumpus is beyond making noise, so did I. A Rumpus at Call to Arms involves special beer releases, local craftsmen and artists selling their goods, live music and plenty of other family fun activities.
As we wrapped up our conversation, I drank their Session Oktoberfest by the name of WetSeshtoberfest that is brewed from local wet hops and seemed all too fitting for their brewery. It is a mellow one – a tangible version of fall weather in the comfort of dim lights and patient gods. All of my frustration at the beginning of my journey fell like dead skin to the ground with my purpose fulfilled.
At Call to Arms Brewing Company, intertwining the Old World and the New is an essential part of the charm. The Old World revolved around Church and beer halls. Call to Arms is certainly a place of worship – a temple of beer, community and the love of all things craft. People gathered in these places of refuge and conversation and the rest of the humanity spun out from there. Not much has changed, besides the internet. Call to Arms strives to be a mecca of local commerce in this fashion and by all accounts, it has a damn good start to take the crown.
The Denver Hopper Notes:
Goodies are always happening at Call to Arms Brewing Company:
Holiday Rumpus & Market on Sat., Dec. 16th. They will have 12 local artisan vendors, a food truck, food from Mas Kaos, a clothing drive for Clothes To Kids of Denver, and a live polka band from 3-6pm. A whole bunch of other stuff can be found on their Facebook event page.
Raleigh Street Bakery can be found on Facebook at @raleighstreetbakery. I highly recommend you check out this bread genie!
Call to Arms Brewing Company
Address: 4526 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212