At long last, Lost Highway Brewing Company is finally open. Can you even believe it? The sign for this brewery on Colfax has been up forever, and after no activity for such a long time we’d basically written them off. Then they surprised us by finally opening their doors this past September in the space they’ve long-held vacant, next door to the Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Cafe on Colfax. The location makes sense given that the owners of the Cheeky Monk also own Lost Highway Brewing. Lost Highway will focus on making some traditional Belgian-style ales, but they will not exclusively brew Belgians, other styles will be mixed in. Plus the ambiance here feels a lot more Colorado-y than the Belgian-inspired Cheeky Monk. We popped in Lost Highway in early November to try their beers and decide for ourselves if this new Denver brewery was worth the wait.
Upon arrival at Lost Highway Brewing Company, we were a little intimated. Far from bare, industrial-complex type brewery that is so common in Denver, Lost Highway has a real sense of style. The interior is classy, as cool as any bar in Capital Hill and is what you’d expect from their location on Colfax. Featuring brick walls, metal accents, and a cement bar top, Lost Highway is industrial chic, with dim lighting and cool music to set the atmosphere. But it wasn’t so hip as to make us nerds feel unwelcome. Quite the contrary. The bar staff was fun and friendly, as were the patrons drinking beside us. Before we knew it we were all chatting, laughing, and generally enjoying the evening bonding over great brews. It’s that kind of place.
The beer list at Lost Highway is quite good in all aspects: styles, flavors and names. The styles are mostly Belgians, but you’ll find some lagers, IPA, Pilsners and other styles mixed along with the Belgian beers on the menu. The flavors are true to style, and vary from the light and well spiced Longest Wickedest Wit, to the heavier sweetness of the Grave Robber Fraud Quad. The Belghost IPA is a made with Galaxy and El Dorado hops, giving it a citrusy bite and tropical fruit flavor, where the 520 Copper Lager has a nice balance of malty sweetness and hop finish. Finally, the names of the beers are mostly inspired by historical places, events and stories that occurred in the Capital Hill/Colfax area. Like the Golden Ghost, named after the trolley that ran down Colfax early in the twentieth century, or the THG that stands for Tripel Hop Golden, but sounds a lot like some of the recreational substances you can now buy legally in Denver. If you’re not from these parts you may not get all the references, but ask the bar staff and they’ll be happy to tell you the stories of graves not moved in Cheeseman Park or explain how Varicose Alley Belgian Amber got its name. These are all entertaining stories best enjoyed over a cold beer.
We tried all the beers, and between us both we loved them all. Jeff was particularly into the stronger Belgian’s and IPAs, while I finished the lighter and maltier beers. I wish I could give better tasting notes, but our notes have gone MIA, so you’ll just need to go try them for yourself. We can’t do everything for you, jeez.
If you need some snacks to pair with your beer, Lost Highway Brewing has you covered in a unique and delicious way. There is a case stocked with baked goods, such as baguettes from Babette’s Bakery, charcuterie meats and cheeses, olives and other delicacies to pair with your beer. We had to try the cream puff, and whuddya know, the delicate sweet pastry pairs amazingly well with Belgian beers. This should really be a thing at more breweries; let’s make that happen. If you want more substantial food, you can also order food from the Cheeky Monk next door, in a pinch. They have amazing hamburgers, frites, sandwiches and much more.
Finally, if you’ll happen to be in Capital Hill area this Friday, December 5th, you can join Lost Highway Brewing for the party celebrating the release of their winter warmer, Liquid Pajamas Winter Ale. They are throwing a Pajama Party to kick off the release, so don your best PJs and join Lost Highway for games, food, and some of their new winter beer. The fun starts at 8:00 PM.
Go check out this new Denver brewery, and post a comment or Facebook message to let us know what you think. Is it too fancy, or just right? Is the bread and meat a little too fancy for a brewery, or is it totally genius? We’d love to get your take on this unique new beer spot.