Glenwood Canyon Brewing Co
February 10, 2004
It is impossible to exaggerate the attraction of beer. While it is rarely ever the basic means to anyone’s survival it is curiously fundamental in quite a number of fridges. Consider the resurgence of Brew Pubs all over this country. Maybe this has to do with getting back to our roots as self-sustaining individuals. Perhaps to actually create and produce something traditionally and locally reflects back upon our individual heritage and ancient folk cultures. Nah…People just want good beer.
If you’re one of those people, then the Glenwood Canyon Brewing Company is a place you ought to check out. Not only do they feature up to 10 different beers on any given day, brewed practically right before your eyes, but the food is just the sort of thing you need to accompany a good pint of hand-crafted ale.
The day we had lunch there it was about 10 below outside, but we quickly warmed up with a pint of Red Mountain Ale and an order of beer battered onion rings ($4.95). Beer battering is an amazing thing, and the rings went quickly. Also on the starter menu are Warm Beer Pretzels served with mustard (3 for $2.95) and Demon Wings (6 for $2.75), all spicy and warm for a cold afternoon. On the greener side, they have a Spinach Salad ($6.50) with feta and a Raspberry Ale Vinaigrette. Mmmm. The Caesar with smoked salmon is $8.25, or just have a dinner salad for $2.25.
The Chef’s special soup, Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Beer Soup (are you starting to notice the “beer” theme yet?) is exquisite on a blustery day. Also available is chicken stew and chili of the day. Soups, stews and chilies are served either in a bread bowl ($5.75) that you can eat or in a cup (that you can’t eat, $3 or so) served with bread.
The menu affords a variety of yummy sandwiches, served with your choice of seasoned waffle fries, roasted corn and black bean salad or garlic mashers. If you’ve been avoiding turkey sandwiches as a result of Thanksgiving leftover syndrome, the hot Turkey Philly Sandwich- (smoked turkey breast and Jarlsburg cheese melted on the flat top grill topped with sauteed onions and bell peppers), is the sandwich to bring you around. Very tasty at a mere $6.25
If you’re in a hurry, and who isn’t this time of year, you can order from the Express Lunch mini-menu. Each day they feature a special lunch, like Southwest Veggie Lasagna, Stacked Enchiladas, or Brat and a Pint (each $5.95), as well as a Soup and Salad Combo ($4.95). The Express Lunch makes its way to your table within 10 minutes after ordering. Order, drink, eat, drink again, then run back to your last minute shopping.
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In one corner of the Pub is a humorous testament to beers past. On a little trophy case sits various empty beer cans, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Schlitz Tall Boy, Bud Light and the like, juxtaposed next to the fully visible room full of clearing tanks, where even as we ate we could imagine the next batch of Vapor Cave India Pale Ale was in its final maturing stages. If not a powerful statement, it’s at least a comical one. In the spirit of the Old English pubs, you will find several dart boards and soon to come, pool tables, downstairs.
On the beer menu at any given time are from eight to ten lovingly brewed mixes, overseen by Head Brewer Ken Jones (He insisted that “Brew Master” was an pompous term, so we won’t call him that.) Jones has a lot of beer recipes up his sleeve, so what you find on the board the day you walk in depends on the season and Jones’ whim. For instance, the latest brew is the Mile High Canyon Crush, described as “A balanced (like the Bronco offense) amber ale with an emphasis on drinkability” for $2.00 a pint on game days. Some of the regulars in his repertoire include Hanging Lake Honey Ale, made with local honey, and Grizzly Creek Raspberry Wheat, with real raspberries, of course.
On your way out, make sure you pick up a growler of beer to enjoy at home. Eight dollars gets you a half gallon jug which you can take home, empty, then bring back for a $2 discount on your next growler-o-fun. A 5 gallon keg is $40, half a barrel is $105, and, most importantly, they can’t sell “to go” beer on Sunday.
The Glenwood Canyon Brewing Company Restaurant and Pub is another charming facet of the Glenwood Springs experience. The only thing unsettling to me is the fact that I happen to live at the other end of the Valley.