Hogshead is primarily an English style brewery and so you can’t order a 5oz taster of anything. Beers are either in 10oz, 16oz, or 20oz pours for most standard beers with a few higher alcohol beers that are only served in a tulip. I had two proper pints and three 10oz pours while I was there and found the beers to be overall solid. It would have been nice if some of the lower alcohol offerings were a bit less expensive. I could see myself drinking a lot more pints of the standard bitter if they were $5 instead of $7 for a proper pint.
The English Mild had a nice copper color and was smooth drinking with mild roast on cask. Like the standard bitter, this is made for drinking not sipping so I didn’t focus as much on the small details. The Cook Lane pale ale on cask had a base of caramel and cracker malt notes with light earthy hops and a mild bitterness on the finish. It was perfectly balanced and creamy body on cask. The standard bitter had notes of light cherry with mild bitterness. I enjoyed the more subtle flavors of the standard bitter after the pale.
The ESB cask kicked just as I was about to order it so I had it on draft instead. The ESB on draft had a nice roasty base with notes of caramel and mild earthy hops. It was one of the better versions of the style I’ve had. The IPA was to me surprisingly low on the malts because typically I think of an English IPA as being more malt forward. It is similar in style to a West Coast pale ale without the bitter finish that is common. The beer had tons of hop aroma nicely balanced between herbal and citrus flavors. I would drink this on the regular if it was available in cans.
Overall, I was quite impressed by all the beers at Hogshead. The lighter alcohol beers were more flavorful than I usually encounter and served in proper glassware. They join The Civil Life out of St. Louis MO as one of the handful of English ale focused breweries that has blown me away.
Come for delicious English style ales served on cask and draft. They also had a few lagers.
Mockery was my third brewery of the day and also my least favorite from that day. Though they did have a few solid beers out of the bunch. The brewery was pretty empty because it was July 4th and the brewery was nice and cool.
I started with the dandelion farmhouse. It was dark and malty with notes of cherry and an herbal bitterness. It didn’t work for me at all and didn’t taste like a farmhouse beer to me. Hops in Stereo IPA was decent with hops mostly on the herbal flavor and a boozy finish. The Rock on Forever IPA was hazy mostly because it was a new keg. The beer was creamy and tropical with a light bitterness. It was a solid IPA and the best of the bunch.
Sour Grapes was quite disappointing. The beer was strong and boozy with mild grape character and light caramel. It was nothing like a typical american wild ale. The barrel aged stout was quite good with tons of dark chocolate and a great balance for 10%, largely hiding the alcohol. Mockery had a solid lineup though I would not recommend you visit if you are hunting for sours.
Rock on Forever IPA
Prost is a full on German style brewery. They have a wide open inside seating area as well as outdoor seating. They had a food truck on site when we visited, with great food. I only ordered full pours of two beers because after all the tasters I wanted to have a proper half liter of good beer. Before ordering the Keller Pilsner and Heffeweizen I had a small splash to confirm they were what I wanted and both were great.
The Keller pilsner was delicious and lightly bitter with doughy and earthy notes and mild hops on a clean finish. It had all the complexity I expect from the style and is more my style than the lagers at Bierstadt Lagerhaus. The Heffeweizen was perfectly balanced with notes of banana and clove but not overpowering the beer. It had a good dry finish. If I lived in the area I would drink their heffeweizen on the regular.
Baere was one of the most recommended breweries that I visited in my trip. Some said it was a must visit spot. I thought the beers were good but they didn’t particularly blow me away. They had a nice tasting room in a strip mall with good air conditioning inside and plenty of outdoor seating, though it was too hot to sit outside when I visited.
I started with their saison, which was good. The beer was dry and spice forward with cracker notes and a lingering bitterness. It was a bit bitter for the style but solid. I prefer a different style of saison but it was nicely done. The Belgian Single was solid with notes of light orange and light funk. The beer was subtle and lightly bitter on the finish. The Grisette was my favorite of the bunch. It had bright notes of lemon and grapefruit with mild funk from the brett yeast finishing with light oak. This is one of the more impressive brett beers I have had in a while.
The porter was good and roasty with mild bitterness and somewhat syrupy. It is fairly standard for the style. The kolsch was light and creamy with notes of grape and corn. It was average for the style. The pale ale was super dry with nice mix of resin and tropical fruit. A solid pale but it could have used more explosive hop aroma.
Baere was overall solid though the only thing that stood out to me was the grisette. It is a good brewery but not something I would go out of my way to return to.
Cerebral had mostly hazy IPAs and I tried quite a few. They have a good sized tasting room and a solid line up of hazy beers including a few available in cans. For hazy beers they were fairly average though still good. The sours with lactose were much more impressive. I tried a flight of six beers of which most were IPAs with a few sours.
I started with the mango coconut lime berliner weisse with lactose. It was easily my favorite of the bunch. The beer initially tasted to me like peach pie with light tart and notes of cinnamon. The lactose gave it a creamy body without getting overly sweet. Their flanders red style sour was solid with notes of caramel and red wine vinegar and a strong tart finish. It wasn’t the best but a solid example of the style.
The Tangerine Stuff IPA was bursting with citrus and the fruit balanced wonderfully with the base hops. The beer had nice prominent notes of mango to combine with the tangerine. The last 3 were all hazy IPAs. DDH Strange claw was creamy with tons of hop acidity and a nice burst of tropical flavor. Rare Trait was super flavorful and exploded with notes of tropical fruit and papaya. The Controlled Chaos was the most creamy of the bunch with tons of pineapple flavor. The three hazy beers were all solid, fairly average as far as hazy IPAs go. They are a solid stop if you don’t want to hunt for Weldwerks hazy IPAs.
Bird of Paradise – Berliner with lactose and fruit
Controlled Chaos – Hazy IPA
I wasn’t planning on visiting Denver during my latest trip but once I ended up in Denver I had to visit both Black Project and Bierstdt Lagerhaus because I had heard great things about both of them. Black Project is known for their sours and Biersdt Lagerhaus is known for their lagers.
I didn’t get to try more than one barrel aged sour at Black Project the time I visited but the beers overall were quite good. They have a small tasting room with some seating and serve their tasters in full size glasses.
I started with the IPA. It was soft and mildly hazy with a mix of grass and citrus notes with hits of herbal hops. It had a good balance and minimal bitterness but I could have done with more intense hop aromas. The grapefruit gose was acidic and tart with mild puckering. It had a light salt finish and lingers in the mouth. It was fairly bitter and not really my thing.
The passion peach gose was intensely fruity with tons of passion fruit and peach with a light tart and an overall juicy flavor. This was one of the more flavorful fruited goses I have had. The wild wheat was strong lacto tart with light berry notes but overall fruit was too mellow for the base. The sour golden was quite tasty with a sweet base with notes of tart apple and flavors reminiscent of a Belgian gueuze. It seems like it would make a good base beer for the addition of fruits.
Since I couldn’t try any of their barrel aged sours other than the sour golden I won’t be particularly critical but overall it was a worthwhile stop. Like many sour breweries, the beers available will change regularly including what they may have available in the bottle.
Gose with passion fruit and peach
I was drawn to Bierstadt Lagerhaus because they focus on lagers exclusively and I have heard they are quite particular about what glasses they will allow their beers to be served in when they send them to various local bars. Two things struck me when I visited. They have a large space with tons of seating. They also sell crowlers for $5 a piece for most of the beers which is surprisingly low compared to what many charge.
I only tried three different beers while I was there because I was there with other people. Otherwise I wouldn’t have tried as many beers because they only serve the beers in full pours. The pilsner was crisp and dry with light biscuit malt base and a tasty mild lager yeast character. They serve it in a way that makes it quite creamy.
The helles was more fruity than the pilsner and had some light floral hops with a good crisp finish and light white cake malt base. The dunkel had notes of caramel and toast with mild fruit and a dry finish. It was a tasty dunkel. I would recommend you stop by Bierstadt Lagerhaus if you are tired of all the IPAs and sours and want to try some solid lagers in Denver.