The city of Denver grows and expands and purges the old while bringing in the new at an alarming rate. The plastic surgery that is progress is constantly changing our city. Long before many of the people reading this lived here, Denver had an airport much closer to the city than DIA. It was called Stapleton. Stapleton existed in a time when you could still drive up with your car and watch airplanes take off with your significant other than once that grew old you just hump in the car and smoke cigarettes. Since those days much has changed and now it is a thriving neighborhood delivering a whole new space to live in. Station 26 Brewing Company gleams brightly at the center of Stapleton, at the heart of it all, in the safety of an old firehouse where the beer is delicious and the easy going atmosphere hits you the moment you walk in.
The Marketing Manager, Hamlet, was kind enough to meet up with me and answer any questions I might have. Noise bounced off the walls as we talked. The atmosphere? Lively, yet inviting. I occasionally imbibed a recently tapped, refined and smooth Imperial Red that rested in my hand as I absorbed in the information about Station 26.
One of Justin Baccary’s goals, when he founded Station 26, was to create an atmosphere of consistency. Not every brewery is a case study on what people might like in a beer. Hamlet mentioned that they like to say, “Weirder isn’t necessarily better”. I definitely agree with that sentiment. Being exceptional at what you do best is a strong stance to have in a market where the competition is stiff and dynamic. Sure, they experiment at Station 26 with beers like the Milk Shake or Hazy IPAs but it’s done with intention more than pure exploration.
The old firehouse walls had a safe aura to them. Or maybe that was the beer talking. Either way, this staple of Stapleton rubbed me the right way. After Hamlet left I chatted with one of the friendly bartenders named Honz who was helpful and cheerful. She poured me an Ekuanot IPA from their Single Hop Series. The Single Hop Series is a constantly changing tap made by the brewers at Station 26 and I fell head over heels with the spicy yet delicate brew.
Station 26 Brewing Company has beers all over town in different bars and they also can their beer through Sleeping Giant Brewing Company. Last year they sold over a million cans. If you need to read that twice, do so now. It is wild to think all of us Colorado dwellers drink that much of just one brewery’s supply. But then again, it really isn’t that crazy when you walk around downtown Denver on any given night.
Community events are a regular occurrence at Station 26 Brewing Company. They have a Bluegrass Brunch the 2nd Sunday on their patio until the winter comes and they pull bands inside the brewery to get down. They also have a Black Friday Invitational that showcases their Dark Star Stout and all of its versions. Other brewers are brought in to showcase their stouts as well.
The last beer I had was Station 26’s crown jewel called the Juicy Banger IPA. I don’t really know how to describe this beer without using expletives to accent the loving adjectives. It is fucking delicious from back to front and side to side. Dangerously easy to drink. Temperate on the pallet for anyone new to IPAs. I’d sell my first child for a keg of it in my house. Let’s hope I never get to that having kids thing.
I stepped out into the chilled October dusk and headed back into the troughs of the Denver interior. The air was subdued and I knew the experience I had at Station 26 Brewing Company was a well-rounded Colorado treat. Great beer, good people and the feeling that I was lucky enough experience yet another place that makes Denver special hung in the air like a harvest moon.
The Denver Hopper Notes:
The Annual Black Friday Invitational is on 11/24/17 and is a must do for all of you Stout lovers out there!
Check out their website below for more. Cheers!
Station 26 Brewing Company
Address: 7045 E 38th Ave, Denver, CO 80207