Writing is a solo endeavor, in a way. A writer experiences the world then crawls into a place where they can put words to paper and express or recreate what they saw. It lacks the community or belonging that we all need like water to survive. It’s a lonely pursuit. That being said, I have found a place beyond the veneer of the ivory tower writer that allows me to mix both the internal and external worlds. The brewing community is the outside and what I am doing right now is the inside. I am not alone. I have found a place. There is comradery in this community that is already woven tight. The review this week is for Comrade Brewing Company out on the Southeast side of Denver where the name says it all.
Comrade Brewing Company is a sepia Instagram photo in the fading Colorado sunshine as I walk towards the building. The patrons talk to each other at the tables facing the outside of the building. Inside, the unique and inviting space is split into a barroom and a standing taproom area.
Over the taps, in bright yellow and red, a hammer and sickle made out of barley and wheat is wielded in a bold stroke of branding that I have yet to see at a brewery. To the side of the logo are large frames filled with medals and awards. I can tell pride is taken in what they do. I order the Yellow Card Citra Blonde and wait for the owner, David. The Yellow Card is crisp, light on the palate and one of their top sellers for all the right reasons.
While I wait, I begin a conversation with a gentleman behind the bar named Nate. He is part of a zero turnover rate at Comrade. He tells me people have walked in to remind them that they won’t drink beer at Comrade Brewing because they don’t support people who are Communists and then they walked right back out. We have a hearty laugh over idiocracy and all of its manifestations. Immediately, the atmosphere of Comrade Brewing Company falls on me like a cozy blanket.
David is cheerful when he comes out of his office to talk to me and the conversation starts off with some easy banter. Businesses and products are a reflection of their owners and employees. Comrade Brewing is no different – from the tongue and cheek Communist Russia like branding to the low lighting with long tables to fermentation tanks named after all the brewers that helped them along the way to the dogs freely roaming in the barroom – the brewery embodies what I see from David and his staff. Laid back and self-aware.
Comrade Brewing Company loves their IPAs and it shows. Their Superpower IPA is a best-selling, GABF medal winning monster of a brew. It is balanced and carries with it no tricks or frills, yet it’s luxurious in flavor and hoppy-deliciousness. David says, “it’s beer flavored beer” and I agree with that sentiment. For all the IPA lovers out there, in my opinion, this beer is up there with Juicy Banger at Station 26 or Melvin IPA in Wyoming. It also has the distinction of winning multiple GABF medals over the years.
After the conversation ends, I am left to my own devices in a space that feels like it was built just for me. My final brew is Comrade Brewing’s competition beer that they brew twice a year by the name of Junkie Double IPA. As I write down my thoughts and try to sum up my visit, the potent and beautiful Junkie lays that wonderful hoppy haze we all ask for from craft beer onto my palate and my soul. It finishes my visit with a nice side hug from a friend, a show of affection, a comrade in this troublesome and sometimes lonely life.
The Denver Hopper Notes:
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Comrade Brewing Company
Address: 7667 E Iliff Ave, Denver, CO 80231