As many of us beer nerds know, Colorado is a hotbed for microbreweries. It seems like every week, another one is opening down the street from you. As a fellow beer enthusiast once told me, it’s not too hard find a brewery within five miles of where you live. This couldn’t be more true today, because all you have to do is type, “breweries near me” on the Google Machine, and you’re suddenly overwhelmed by all the red dots on your screen. However, that doesn’t stop a few from slipping your radar. Blue Spruce Brewing Company is one of those breweries that I had no idea even existed until my Ma suggested it to me the other day. As someone who always researches something before committing to it, I looked them up on the Goog’s, and sure enough, they were just within a couple miles from where I live.
If you live in or around the Centennial area, Blue Spruce Brewing Company is located right off County Line and Colorado. It’s hard to miss because the rather large entrance faces County Line, and sits just east of the main intersection. Upon arriving, it looks like many other taprooms in Colorado, but once inside, Blue Spruce Brewing Company presents a much different story. Right away, my Ma and Dad were impressed with the atmosphere. As she put it, “It’s very laid back and relaxed.” With her being new to the brewery scene, I told her this is how many taprooms look and feel, with which she replied, “Now I understand why you spend so much time at them.”
Blue Spruce Brewing Company is a good example why I spend so much time at breweries: they boast a warm and inviting atmosphere. The taproom offers a place for beer drinkers to come, hang out, try a rather impressive assortment of brews, and enjoy a sports game or two. With sports memorabilia and big screen TVs on the walls, it’s the perfect setup to spend an afternoon or evening relaxing with friends, or in my case, family. With a wide open space behind the bar, and large wooden tables, there was no shortage of sitting room. They also had a fairly large patio with a smoker in the corner. It’s a nice touch that targets those, like me, who love to smell and watch some slow roasted meat cook. One of the neatest parts of this small brewery was the small brewing setup in the back corner of the taproom. Even though it’s one of the smaller setups I’ve seen in a microbrewery, it still gave it that homebrew feel, much like you’re brewing in your garage or basement. Don’t get me wrong: it’s still professional stainless steel equipment, and, if I had to guess, they were about 30 bbl tanks. For me, I love drinking a beer and being able to see the brewing setup, trying to figure out which piece is which, and discussing the brewing operations with my friends or the brewmasters there. They presented a humble feel that helped me forget just how big the surrounding community is.
- Style: Double IPA
- ABV: 9.1%
Being an IPA guy, I’m always on the hunt to try new IPAs that breweries release. Often times, they are my favorite beer to review first, because they tend to set a standard of how good the other brews should be. IPAs are very easy to brew, and very popular among breweries, because they are easy to hide the flaws in your beer. A double IPA makes it that much easier to hide those flaws by stuffing them with the extreme bitterness and aroma of the hops. However, I was taken aback by just how balanced this double IPA was. Normally, you would expect a mouthful of hops, and then some. I would say it takes a true connoisseur to fully appreciate and enjoy an IPA, let alone a double IPA. But not with this one. No. In fact, my tongue was immediately wrapped in a smooth malty flavor with just the right amount of spice to remind me it’s a hoppy beer. Smelling strongly of grapefruit with a hint of pine, my taste buds were quickly hit with the tart of the grapefruit, and relieved by a taste of pine to five; that forest taste that makes IPAs so unique. Overall, I was left with a full bodied taste, and wanting more. I would certainly recommend this beer for any IPA lover.
Nitro Milk Stout
- Style: Milk Stout
- ABV: 5.5%
Ah, the famous milk stout. I think every seasoned beer drinker has tried at least one, and if I had to guess, it would be Left Hand Brewing Company’s Nitro Milk Stout. Many argue that stouts are the king of beers. However, the history of the stout would say otherwise. During the Feudal Age, back when stouts were first being brewed, they were viewed as the peasants’ drink, or poor man’s beer. They are dark, gritty, and often taste of coffee, but are an absolute dream for someone like myself. The milk stout from Blue Spruce Brewing Company is a stout worthy of the peasant drinker! Its very smooth texture, drinkability, and warm coffee taste make this stout very enjoyable to consume. On the nose, it smells of roasted coffee, or more specifically, java, and tastes just like it smells. After a few swallows, I was left with a bit of a dark chocolate aftertaste that developed on the sides and back of my tongue, much like eating dark chocolate does for me. Anyone who enjoys a stout as much as I do will love this one.
Split Pine Pale Ale
- Style: Pale Ale
- ABV: 6.5%
Not all ales are created equal, and in this pale ale’s case, that couldn’t be more true. Taking such great enjoyment in my first two choices, I was anxiously awaiting my third and final beer, the famous pale ale. Still hoppy, but less than a IPA, this style of beer definitely caters to those that enjoy the bitterness pine of hops, but not enough to fully appreciate a good IPA. It’s unfortunate for me to write a somewhat negative review of this beer. Nosing the beer first, like I always do, I didn’t get the aroma I was excited for. In fact, nothing hit my nose. In my past experience, if I can’t smell a beer’s aroma, more often than not, I’m not going to enjoy it. I’m not saying all beers need to have a strong aroma, but being a frequent consumer of this style of beer, I know that pale ales should be floral, and somewhat aromatic. After the first couple of swallows, I still wasn’t getting that popular pale ale taste that I’ve grown to love. Overall, it saddens me to say, I wouldn’t order the Split Pine again. I will say that it was definitely crisp on the palate, but lacked in overall flavor and aroma.
Blue Spruce Brewing Company is definitely a brewery that takes their ambiance and their quality control seriously. They offer a variety of different styles that anyone, from beginner to professional will enjoy. My dad tried their Laughing George Honey Kölsch (a favorite style of mine to enjoy on a hot summer’s day or after a few rounds of golf) and had nothing but positive remarks to say about it. This, coming from a man that doesn’t stray too far away from his favorite domestics, says a lot about the quality of beer they’re serving. One thing is for certain: you will definitely find me at Blue Spruce Brewing Company, trying more of their beers, and possibly reviewing newer ones that come out.
Happy suds sipping!
- Address: 4151 E County Line Rd, Centennial, CO 80122
- Phone: (303) 771-0590