Some months ago, when I was focused on progress instead of neglecting it with luxurious and rambunctious adventures, I sat with an all-around solid dude and brewery owner named Ryan. He and his wife’s establishment sits some miles east on good ol’ Colfax –the famous American street where legendary fictional characters and writers of fiction drank and smoked and explained life with vigor. Fiction Beer Company places you deep in the heart of this sacred place with brews that tether the soul to literature and the City of Denver.
Ryan was occupied and in some rough shape when my friend Jenny and I arrived. His whole family was sick and he was only there to meet with us and the other gentleman he talked to when we walked in. He was easy-going and said we should grab some beers until he was free.
Fiction Beer Company splits their beer menu into three different categories: the Classics, Mystery/Adventure and Fantasy/Science Fiction. I personally like my beer and my literature varied and I jumped all over the map while I was there.
I snagged a German Berliner Weisse (Sour) called Petty Vexation from the Mystery/Adventure section of their menu. It’s a fine beginner’s sour that will tell you a tale worth remembering and then your journey with sours begins.
One obvious and unique aspect of the barroom is their bar made of old James Patterson and Danielle Steele novels. It’s a charming feature of adds to the comfortable living room feel of the taproom. A large garage door opens wide to a patio. Colorado summers and fine random Februaries with 70-degree weather will be prime.
Ryan, the sick but o-so-generous owner, ambled over to us with a smile on his face and beer in his hand. We chatted about where the concept for the bar came from and it was as simple as beer and books. Throughout history writers and alcohol have clung to each other like children to their mothers. And that what makes writing and beer making align as armies do when their backs are against the wall – the honesty and the vulnerability found in brewing and writing are raw to the touch and so fucking necessary. Ryan explained that the names of the beers are from books his wife has read. The love of reading runs as deep as the beer in this family-owned operation.
Jenny and I found some other beers to keep the thirst away. I went with the Lupulin Ohana Pineapple IPA that made me think of Islands in the Stream by Hemingway. Delicious. We didn’t want to keep him long since he was on the edge of exhaustion but he wanted The Denver Hoppers out there that their taps are always changing and they are always experimenting. Oh, and trivia is huge at Fiction Beer Company, so bring your thinking caps. It happens every Thursday night at 7:30 pm.
The wild touch of summer kept me away from writing about Fiction Beer Company so I needed to go back and reaffirm my knowledge. Nothing I could see has changed except the beers. The draughts were even more up my alley. But everything that made this Colfax staple wonderful the first time remained the same. I wanted to slap myself for letting time slip away.
When I was back there this week I found that they still fill crowlers for you so that you can drink beer and read your book at home. I also tasted their Cant-elope Gose and it reminded me of my childhood eating cantaloupe on a hot summers day but with a sour twist and a buzz at the end. The Damn Curious Business Sour IPA was refreshing and necessary after a long day at work.
Every good story must come to an end. But this isn’t one. Only the review stops here. Fiction Beer Company is alive and vibrant and brewing out there on Colfax. Grab your favorite book or some smart friends for trivia and head on out. They are waiting for you. Along with that Uber, you might need to get back with the ghost of Jack Kerouac.
The Denver Hopper Notes:
If you are reading this before 9/30/17 the Fiction Beer Company is having their 3rd Anniversary Party this Saturday. There will be Bottle releases, guest taps, photo booth, dunk the brewer, and live music. And if you are reading this after that date, I am sure they will have an anniversary next year too. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more details.
Fiction Beer Company
Address: 7101 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80220