Rockyard Brewing Company, Castle Rock’s OG Brewery

Today marks the beginning of Castle Rock Craft Beer Week, which takes place now through March 3. As proud Castle Rock residents we want to join the celebration of our local craft beer scene by shining a spotlight on our five Castle Rock craft breweries this week. We are kicking things off today with a look at the longest running brewpub in Douglas County: Rockyard Brewing Company.

Rockyard Brewing Company, Castle Rock, Colorado. Castle Rock's original brewpub and craft brewery.

About Rockyard Brewing Company

Rockard Brewing Company is more than just a brewpub, it’s a Castle Rock institution. Founded in 1999, Rockyard is the longest running brewpub in Douglas County. In fact, the brewpub has called Castle Rock home longer than three-quarters of the town’s current residents. When Rockyard opened in 1999, the town population was around 15,000, compared to over 62,000 residents today. For many newish residents (like us; we moved to Castle Rock in 2005) Rockyard is one of just a small handful of local establishments that welcomed us when we first moved to town, and are still serving us today.

For those of you less familiar, Rockyard Brewing Company stands just southwest of I-25 and Meadows Parkway. It’s less than a mile from the Outlets at Castle Rock, which we only mention because it’s the point of interest that we know most non-Castle Rockers know best. As a brewpub, Rockyard has a full menu of locally-crafted foods and elevated pub fare. On a cold day it’s worth a visit for their Cream of Jalapeno soup alone. As frequent diners, we can vouch for their burgers, salads, sandwiches, and fajitas. We’ve never had a Rockyard pizza, but that’s just because pizza was added to the menu long after we already had established our favorites. I’m sure like everything else at Rockyard, they’re delicious.

It’s long been our belief that it’s exceptionally hard to do a brewpub very well on both sides of the menu – beer and food. Too often we’ve visited brewpubs with a business model clearly favors the food over the beer, serving great meals but struggling to make exceptional beer. Occasionally we see the opposite, with great beer but just okay food. We won’t name names, but certainly y’all have been to those kind of places. Fortunately, we don’t put Rockyard in that category. Yes, the food at Rockyard is excellent, but the beer is equally delicious and easily stands on its own merits.

Recent Changes at Rockyard

A couple of years ago, Rockyard Brewing Company decided it was time to shake things up and started making some big changes. They began by scrapping all their flagships in order to rebuild and refresh their beer menu. It was a bold decision. Many locals griped about losing their favorite beers, like the Lynx Lager and Hopyard IPA. However with great risk comes great reward, and we applaud the move. It seemed like a well-timed change that was necessary to help push their brand forward in an ever-competitive craft beer market. Plus, the new lineup of Rockyard beer is fantastic. We quickly found favorites in several of their new flagships, including the Primadonna Pilsner, Hopalypto IPA, and Rugged Grind Coffee Stout. We also seriously love the barrel aged series of seasonals, like the Gondolier Cherry Kriek Sour released last summer. It’s delicious stuff!

Rockyard’s New Brews. Credit: Rockyard Brewing Company

We’re not the only ones enjoying Rockyard’s new beers. In 2017, Rockyard earned a Great American Beer Festival gold medal in the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer category for their Plum Creek Sour. It was a surprising win, given the amount of competition in the sour beer category, but Plum Creek Sour was an outstanding brew. Rockyard followed that gold up with another in 2018, this time in the German-Style Pilsener category at the 2018 World Beer Cup. These two awards are just the latest additions to Rockyard’s impressive trophy case, but they were big wins in competitive categories. Furthermore, they were validation that their menu changes were a step in the right direction.

Recent changes at Rockyard Brewing Company weren’t limited to recreating their beer menu. Over the past couple of years, Rockyard has moved away from beer bottles and started canning. Along with that change, they also entirely reimagined their branding with new label artwork. Most recently, Rockyard announced the promotion of Derick “Poke” Rivera to a new role as their head brewer. Rivera has been with Rockyard since 2015. We can’t wait to see what new and exciting things he has in store for the brewery.

Rockyard’s Head Brewer Derick Rivera. Credit: The Brewtography Project

Experience Rockyard Brewing Company

Obviously, if you haven’t tried Rockyard Brewing Company in a few years, a lot has changed, so you should check out the new Rockyard. Their Castle Rock brewpub is open seven days a week for lunch, dinner, and drinks. You can also find Rockyard Brewing Company beers in many retail locations throughout the state. Find their beer near you by using the Rockyard Beer Locator.

Rockyard Brewing Company
880 Castleton Rd
Castle Rock, CO 80109

Website:rockyard.com
Facebook: facebook.com/therockyard/
Twitter: twitter.com/rockyardbrewing
Instagram: instagram.com/rockyardbrewing/

About Castle Rock Craft Beer Week

Castle Rock Craft Beer Week runs from February 25 through March 3, 2019.
Grab a Castle Rock Craft Beer Week passport at one of the 5 Castle Rock craft breweries this week and earn prizes for drinking Castle Rock beer.

Participating Castle Rock breweries:
Rockyard Brewing Company
105 West Brewing Company
BURLY Brewing Company
Iron Mule Brewing
Wild Blue Yonder Brewing Company

Castle Rock Craft Beer Week - Castle Rock, Colorado - February 25 to March 3, 2019

For more information on Castle Rock Craft Beer Week visit the official event page at facebook.com/events/Drinks/castle-rock-craft-beer-week/372650170218468.

TIP: If you enjoy Castle Rock craft beer, you should also look for the Castle Rock brewery collaboration beer at the 2019 Collaboration Fest happening in Denver on March 16.

Cheers to Castle Rock beer!

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