When I moved to Colorado two years back, I couldn’t wait try out some of the fantastic breweries. I was immediately drawn to the RiNo neighborhood because of its artsy and industrial vibe. It reminded me of Bushwick in Brooklyn, a neighborhood I had spent many nights in when on the east coast, before moving out west. RiNo is home to several breweries in Denver, but the mural of the giant rainbow humans shaking hands painted across the front of Our Mutual Friend Brewing Company immediately enticed me. Additionally, Our Mutual Friend (OMF) brewery serves only beer (no wine or liquor here) and a very small selection of it, which made it a perfect place to start as a new Colorado resident interested in drinking some local beers but also hoping to not feel too intimidated.
I’ve been back to Our Mutual Friend since, and this brewery consistently continues to be one of my favorite places to drink beer. OMF’s small, cozy vibe helps illuminate its sort of unassuming atmosphere amidst the record player and local art hung on the walls. Moreover, it draws in a wide variety of people: from hipsters with gray-purple hair and sleeves of tattoos, to collared-shirt-wearing corporate-worker-types sipping a brew after a ten-hour day.
Walking into the brewery, the dim lighting and plant-filled window sills draw patrons into the pleasurable experience of sipping a refreshing beer on tap. Behind the bar, a record player spins, connected to speakers playing anything from LCD Soundsystem to Bob Dylan to Louis Jordan. Additionally, you can peer past the bar through a window that shows the brewery equipment. You are able to see OMF’s barrels and the equipment used to malt the brewery’s grains on site. The long tables encourage conversation between groups of friends. Outside are more long tables under strung, fairy lights where a food truck is parked nearby. Work by local artists hangs on the walls, and one immediately feels extra cool, artistic, and like they have found a tiny, hidden gem along Larimer, one of the trendiest streets in town.
Our Mutual Friend opened in March 2012 with its head and only brewer making as much beer as he could muster with a 31-gallon system. The brewery has grown significantly since 2012, and they are brewing a lot more beer, though they keep their list low compared to other breweries in the neighborhood and surrounding areas. Also, OMF still chooses to source the ingredients they brew with, from the grain to the hops, out of Colorado as much as possible. Their Sur Framboise, a rosy raspberry sour Belgian wit, and their Wicket Wit, a zesty citrus Belgian Wit, are perfect for summer and are definitely some of my favorites, but as fall is rolling in, I decided to taste a few others during this early September visit.
Dad’s Brown Ale
- Style: American Brown Ale
- ABV: 6.1%
To start, I went for the beers listed that had a Colorado seal next to their title. I was looking to try a dark beer I hadn’t tasted yet and went for the Dad’s Brown Ale. OMF serves up this American style ale in a classic American pint glass. The brown ale boasts a dark, amber color with a slight, beige-colored head that lasts. I was surprised with the beer’s slight translucence. On this brisker, late-summer night I took in the nutty and malty aroma of the brown ale. With my first sip, I noticed the ale had a low carbonation level, which brought forth the nodes of cocoa, dates, caramel. This warm, medium body brew complimented the crisp September air on OMF’s patio as the sun began to set. I pet some dogs other patrons had brought out with them and drank in this fine ale, wondering if my pops would enjoy it too. I decided, like me, he would.
Novo Coffee Stout
- Style: Stout
- ABV: 6.1%
Our Mutual Friend’s Novo Coffee Stout has consistently been one of my favorite brews they have. They pour it into an American pint glass and it pours a rich, dark brown, almost black, color with a thick, beige head that lasts until the last, creamy sip. The earthy aroma hints roasted malt and coffee with clues of cocoa. On nitro, this stout is velvety and smooth. At first sip, one tastes the sweetness of the cocoa and the creamy, dessert-like richness of the beer; however, the coffee taste rounds out the sweetness for a slightly bitter finish. This pour is indulgent and warm, yet the nitrogen lightens this dark beer perfectly, making it a beer to be savored during any season, as the layers of flavor complement one another harmoniously. This beer is perfect on a super-hot day because the nitrogen lightens it, but the silkiness also makes it perfect for a chilly fall or winter night. You can’t go wrong with this one!
- Style: American Pale Ale
- ABV: 6%
For my last drink, I decided to go for a rotating beer called Inner Light, a mosaic and Amarillo pale ale. This pineapple-colored, bright brew was poured into an American style pint glass. With a small white head, the ale smelled tropical and hoppy, with elements of citrus. A seemingly summertime beer, upon tasting I noted flavors of tropical fruit- pineapple and orange-rounded off with a floral, slightly toasted and hoppy finish. The tropical flavors did not blend as harmoniously with the toasted hops as much as I had hoped, making this beer seemed fuller bodied and felt slightly heavier than the title leads on. Nevertheless, it was a perfect beer to nurse slowly, rounding out the quiet night at OMF.
The Nitro Stout alone is worth the trip, but more than the beer, Our Mutual Friend Brewing Company brings patrons from all walks of life together. It’s cozy, intimate, unassuming vibe juxtaposes some of the heftier breweries along the street. The outside patio creates a great space to gather a group of friends, while the quieter inside fosters a nice area to sip beers slowly, perhaps while reading a book, working away on a lap top, or starting off a date night with a partner. The friendly staff, minimalist and creative vibe, and smaller scale make this brewery unique and worth the venture north.
- Address: 2810 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
- Phone: (303) 296-3441