If you sit down and try to parse out how this world works it can be a little overwhelming. Everything seems intricate and vast, dynamic and enormous. And it is. The world has many moving parts and it’s basically impossible to know how they all work. But, it is also true that these moving apparatus are composed of smaller, more compact machines. For example, the human body is resilient and incredibly complex — we haven’t even scratched the surface of how the human brain works – but we know it’s composed of cells like the rest of our body, little machines that build the foundation for life. Communities and neighborhoods are no different. They are built on places like Little Machine Beer in Jefferson Park, Denver. I recently visited them to find out what makes them tick and watch how they use beer to bring it all together.
Little Machine Beer is located just north of Mile High Stadium in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of Denver. Once I pull up to their building, vivid memories of drinking craft beer in a sea of orange and blue flood my mind. The uncomfortable warmth of a disappointing Broncos season washes over me like a golden shower. I had been here once before during the pre-season when there was hope for the 2017 season but times have changed.
The bar sits like a halo in the center of the room with the lights, bartender-angels and patron saints gathered around. Before talking to anyone I grab the lightly fruited and soulful, Spirit of the Game Saison (5.4% ABV). I soon find the owners – Ben, Brett and Mike and we sit down to discuss the finer points of their well-placed small machine of a brewery.
Like many other breweries, these rag-tag owners want to be a neighborhood-centered abode that is more than meets the eye. To do this they have made their GABF Gold Medal winning beers available almost exclusively in their taproom. Only a select group of beer havens like Hops & Pie have the brews of Little Machine Beer on tap. They brew only with Colorado made brewery equipment, they use only all natural ingredients and pride themselves on bringing the most out of getting creative within their Little Machine.
My second beer is the AC/BC Tart Black Currant Ale (5.3 ABV) that enlivens the mind and it hits the back of the tongue like lightning. But it is gentle on the palate leaving you to savor the moment and leave work behind. One of these gentlemen describes their desire for customers to have a “Recreational Experience” when drinking their craft brews. That phrase sticks to my bones as we talk. It sounds right. Little Machine Beer is an adult Rec Center. The kind that wipes away bad days and the ability to make coherent sentences.
Ben, Brett, and Mike went about their day and left me to my own devices. Variety is a focal point at Little Machine Beer so I decide to line up a few tasters like the “connoisseur” I will probably never be. I have a hard time knowing what to choose from their hand-drawn beer list on the wall. I go with easy choice when it is cold outside and I want like to be in the sunshine with toes in the water. Sir Veza Mexican Lager was the answer. It reminds me why Corona is so popular but way overrated. Little Machine nails this full-flavored lager on the head. Taste, not marketing, is what counts. And I need a beach, Ahora!
Times have changed since I first went to Little Machine Beer before the Broncos tanked their season but the machine keeps moving. The brewers still create the tasty handcrafted delights, the patrons still drink the beer with Cheshire grins on their faces, and this Little Machine brings yet another Denver neighborhood to life. They keep it simple and local in an ever-increasingly complex world and it’s right where you want to be.
The Denver Hopper Notes:
Little Machine Beer has a bunch of events that you can find at the website mentioned below or on their Facebook!
Little Machine Beer
Address: 2924 W 20th Ave, Denver, CO 8021