Visiting Denver’s New Breweries: Ratio Beerworks & Goldspot Brewing

Typically, we tend to avoid reviewing brewery grand openings. The crowds are usually insane, and occasionally the beers are a bit underwhelming – good, but not always totally dialed-in yet. Typically we like to wait and review breweries after they’ve had a chance to work out all the new-business kinks, when we know they’re a bit more established and their product has been perfected through a few batches. Fortunately, we didn’t run into any of those issues at two of Denver’s new breweries. We visited both Ratio Beerworks and Goldspot Brewing on their opening weekends and were pleasantly surprised by how awesome their beers lineups were. If they’re this good now, the sky is the limit for these two new breweries.

Ratio Beerworks

Ratio Beerworks opened on Valentine’s Day – February 14th. Being the beer lovers we are, we relished the thought of spending our Valentine’s Day together making googly eyes over pints at a new brewery. Unfortunately the rest of Denver felt the same, and Ratio Beerworks was packed within an hour of unlocking their doors on opening day. We drove by but kept on driving, and returned on Sunday to a much calmer crowd.

Ratio Beerworks 02152015 (22)

Ratio Beerworks is in RiNo, in the space formerly occupied by Mile High Spirits. The brewery and taproom are large and open, with a wall separating them that doesn’t quite reach the high ceilings, making it feel like one cohesive space. The decor is modern and industrial, filled with lots of bright colors. It may sound weird but we loved their floor, a cement floor beautifully stained with an aqua blue that worked perfectly in the space. A huge patio sits just off the taproom, which will be the place to be in the warmer summer months.

Jeff waited “in queue” for tasters of all six of their brews, but some confusion ensued and he returned, exasperated, with just three. I went up and ordered all six with no issues. Opening day confusion maybe? We don’t know, but it meant we had a few duplicates in our taster flight. Fortunately a few sips in we were thrilled to have them, as the Ratio Beerworks beers were all solid and delicious. We were really impressed with our first brew, Domestica, an American standard ale that is a perfect craft beer take on the American light later: crisp, lightly hopped and bubbly with a low 4.9% ABV. It’s the perfect beer for those friends that “don’t like craft beer,” and it’s nice to see a brewery tackle this style. For those who like bigger, bolder beers there are plenty other great options at Ratio. We loved the Dear You French Saison, Repeater Extra Pale Ale, and the Novo Hold Steady Scotch Ale with Coffee. All were incredible, well made beers. We were quite impressed with their diverse and delicious opening weekend lineup, and cannot wait to taste their future creations.

Goldspot Brewing

Goldspot Brewing opened on Saturday, February 21st, in the midst of quite a snowstorm, but even the weather couldn’t keep the crowds from celebrating the long-awaited opening of this Regis University-area brewery. Given the crowds we couldn’t get a table – or a seat – or a sampler tray. Instead we opted to pick two of the Goldspot brews and enjoy them in the only space we found, just inside the door where we could take in the crowd without having to fight our way in. The scene was a nice mix of college kids and young families, all seeming to be happily enjoying their beer, a good indication that Goldspot will become a successful neighborhood hangout spot.

Goldspot Brewing 02212015 (13)

Jeff selected the Cutter IPA, while I had a pint of Gus’ Breakfast Porter. Wow. Both were incredible. The IPA had a strong bitter bite and pronounced citrusy aroma that made Jeff, our resident hop head, a very happy fella. Meanwhile I fell in love with the roasted coffee and chocolate notes in the breakfast porter.

If those two beers are any indication of the quality of Goldspot’s beer, we cannot wait to try the rest. Unfortunately not long after we arrived the wind kicked up into some blizzard-like conditions that made us cut our visit short. We will be sure to visit Goldspot again soon to taste the rest of their lineup, and get a better feel for their space. We hope they continue to be successful, but maybe next time the entire neighborhood won’t be visiting all at once, and we can actually get a seat.

To sum up these 2 new Denver breweries…

Color us impressed by both Ratio Beerworks and Goldspot Brewing. After being burned by a few lackluster grand openings, these two breweries give us hope that not all is lost, and that it’s possible to open a brewery and make top-notch beers on day one. They clearly both put in a lot of hard work and had the experience prior to opening their brewery, all of which shows in their product. We’re excited to have them both in our Denver craft beer scene, and look forward to wasting many afternoons at both locations.

We strongly encourage you to visit Ratio Beerworks and Goldspot Brewing for yourself. Then come back & let us know what you think!

Ratio Beerworks on Facebook
Ratio Beerworks on Twitter

Goldspot Brewing on Facebook
Goldspot Brewing on Twitter