I am trying not to die in the arms of the coincidence that I find myself in at WestFax Brewing Company as I talk the owner, Anthony. He was there. He was in a group of my peers some time ago when I had more energy and time and I spent many a night at Crossfit. One of those evenings I ruptured my Achilles. I was pushing my 26-year-old self too hard, and suddenly, my confidence and pride were dissolved into the ether. Anthony witnessed that injury and still remembers clearly even six years later. And I remember him and how crazy that night was as he reminds me of it. What a weird way to start a brewery review if I do say so myself.
Casa Bonita looms tall and wide and pink over WestFax Brewing Company. The smell of sopapillas and trash Mexican food fills the air of West Colfax. Memories of Black Bart’s Cave and strolling Mariachi bands flood my mind as I walk up to WestFax Brewing. These memories aren’t as wonderful as one might think because it always ended in stomach aches and deep regret and I have avoided The Bonita ever since.
Anthony tells me that Casa Bonita brings in business and tourists. They have only a short walk to a warm and inviting environment that produces smooth, effortlessly drinkable brews like the Sesh on Session IPA (ABV 4.8%). WestFax Brewing Company is a rescue shelter for disappointed tourists who went to Casa Bonita because of that South Park episode but only found food poisoning and shame.
Denver is one Giant Village now that I have lived here long enough and it feels even more personal and connected in WestFax Brewing Company. A group of Lakewood High School teachers links their tables table chain like a long DNA strand that almost blocks the bathroom. Businessmen are quietly drinking beers in search of meaning. Old friends that don’t see each other all that often are giving out hugs. Moments like those are happening all around me.
I sip on a Blootylicious Blueberry Wheat (ABV 4.8%) that has the balance of a gymnast with an easy price point of $5.50 despite having expensive ingredients and the weather outside turns into a warm 75 degrees outside even though we are in the heart of Autumn. I am immediately transported to a small California coastal town with nothing to worry about except not getting arrested.
Anthony and I talk about his early days in Western New York where he homebrewed a cloned American Wheat and cheered on the Buffalo Bills (WestFax is a Bills bar). And like his choice to move to Colorado and eventually start a brewery freed him of those corporate shackles so goes their saying at WestFax, “Beer Liberated”. Liberation seems to be a common thread among those who move here.
Our conversation comes to an end. He must pick up his son shortly and I have some thinking to do. Before Anthony leaves he reminds me that they have Comedy Shows the last Saturday of every month except Nov and Dec and their Annual Day of Delightfully Dark Beer is coming on 11/24 (Details are in the notes at the end). I order a Dark Intent Porter (ABV 5.6%) that fits the name just right: dark in color but it comes with a lightly toasted aroma and taste. The intent was dark but it is anything but unlit, in all the right ways.
It’s necessary to have nights where you reminisce and talk about those pain points you intentionally try to forget in your life. When I injured myself in 2012, my soul sat there like an emptiness glass. The feeling was harsh and raw but growth and learning that came after in droves. Everyone goes through those moments. Suffering is relative and inevitable. And that’s why places like WestFax Brewing Company are there to help fill that empty glass and bring you back with good beer and purpose. Enjoy.
The Denver Hopper Notes:
On November 24th WestFax Brewing Company will be having their Annual Day of Delightful Dark Beer.
On the Saturday at the end of every month except November and December (cause of the holidays), they host a comedy show that would definitely be worth your while.
WestFax Brewing Company
Address: 6733 W Colfax Ave, Lakewood, CO 80214