Lowry Beer Garden opened last week, and we couldn’t wait to get there to check it out! Early reviews and teaser photos had us really excited about this place. Who doesn’t love a beer garden, right? And why should we have to wait till Oktoberfest to visit one? We decided to visit for Happy Hour with our friends Jessica, Shawn and the White Rascal himself (Scott) to check the place out.
First Impressions of Lowry Beer Garden
Lowry Beer Garden is unlike anywhere else in Denver. It’s nestled between an old air hanger and the Air Museum, where a giant jet looms large, reminding you of this neighborhood’s history. There were rows of outdoor tables for sharing, and plenty of umbrellas for shade. It’s the perfect place to hang out and enjoy the late afternoon sun. We hung out with our friends, enjoying the evening and plenty of great craft beers. We had all the ingredients of a perfect night: a fun, communal atmosphere, great friends, lovely weather, and delicious beer. Of course, we had a wonderful time! It was perfect!
At least, that was our initial impression. Looking back a few days later, we admit our love-at-first-sight response may have been beer goggles. That’s not to say there isn’t plenty to love about Lowry Beer Garden. It’s just that, if we’re being honest, there were a few things we disliked, too. So now that the beer goggles are off, let’s break it down. We’ll start with the bad, so we can end on a high note.
Room For Improvement at Lowry Beer Garden
We said we love/hate this place, but truthfully, hate is too strong a word. Let’s just say these are a few things we didn’t appreciate during our visit to Lowry Beer Garden.
We were not a fan of the pay-as-you-go policy. At Lowry Beer Garden you don’t run a tab, but you pay for each order at the time your beer id delivered. No big deal right? Wrong. This ended up being a total pain in the ass. with a group of 5 drinking on 3 different tabs, ordering was often chaotic. Too much energy was spent trying to help our server understand what-goes-where with regards to our tab. Often, the tickets were still wrong, so we just paid our mixed up tabs and gave up trying to get it right. When we asked about this, the Lowry Beer Garden folks told us that it was for our benefit, because we wouldn’t be tied to one server. Drinks would come faster since we could flag down any server. Funny thing is, the same server is the only one that ever came anywhere near our table, so that didn’t quite work out to our benefit.
You can’t order food from your server. The other thing unfortunate at Lowry Beer Garden was the whole food ordering process. You can only order beer at the table. For food you go to a walk-up food counter, where you place your order and pay. Then you return to your seat and wait for a text to tell you your food is ready. Once you get the text you go back to the counter to pick up your food. What the hell? We just wanted to sit down with our friends and enjoy some beer and snacks. We went ahead and got a snack, but the running back and forth seemed like a hassle. Worst of all, by the time we were hungry for a bigger meal the line was huge. No thank you.
Why We Still Love Lowry Beer Garden
The atmosphere can’t be beat. We visited on a beautiful summer night. Lowry Beer Garden was laid-back, comfortable and fun. The place was bustling with people ready to enjoy the evening with each other. Maybe it was the large, shared tables, but it really felt like a community gathering. It was great fun to talk with others at the table and make new friends.
The beer selection is fantastic. The beer menu was diverse enough for each of us to find something we love, and many of us discovered new favorite brews we had never tried before. One of my favorites was Karma by Avery Brewing Company. Of course, Jeff stuck to his beloved IPAs, including several from Stone that made him very happy. Our group also enjoyed some Belgian saisons, a few fruit beers, and a great farmhouse ale. Our buddy Scott earned his White Rascal (aka “Rascal”) nickname here, because of his love for this brew and the fact that he’s pretty rascally.
Duh… that giant pretzel! Was ordering food a bit of a pain? Yes. Was it worth the effort for Lowry Beer Garden’s Giant Pretzel? Hell, yeah it was! Before the lines for food grew theme-park length, we managed to order our group a Giant Pretzel. It was awesome in every sense of the word. Served in a small pizza box, this 12″ Giant Pretzel was hot, buttery, bready and delicious! For dipping, there were several mustard options and a spicy cheese sauce. If this is any indication of the rest of the food, we can understand why the line was so long. We will have to visit at a quieter time to give the rest of the menu a try.
Despite a few things that we wish were different, we think Lowry Beer Garden is a keeper. We will definitely be back again. Hopefully, with time some of the ordering issues will be worked out. But even if it’s not, it’s worth the great beer, food, and atmosphere to deal with a few inconveniences.
Go visit Lowry Beer Garden for yourself, and share with us what you think!
Lowry Beer Garden
7577 East Academy Blvd
Denver, CO 80230