Wynkoop Brewing Company

1634 18th St.
Denver, CO 80202

Wynkoop Brewing CompanyWynkoop Brewing Company is a landmark as much as it is a brewpub. If Denver’s microbrewery scene is a family, then Wynkoop Brewing Company is definitely the grandfather. The one who fought in WWII, who has all those great stories to tell.

Colorado’’s first brewpub, Wynkoop Brewing Company was founded in 1988 by a group of entrepreneurs that included former Denver mayor and current Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper. Named after Denver’s first sherrif Edward Wynkoop (who incidentally helped name the city “Denver” after the Kansas Governor [Kansas owned the territory at the time], James Denver), Wynkoop Brewing Company is highly acclaimed and has won tons of awards for their brews over the years.

Wynkoop Brewing CompanyThe brewpub also helped revitalize the LoDo region of downtown Denver, taking over a 1888 building in the downtrodden region. Many bars and restaurants followed their lead and moved into that part of town, making LoDo a fun and exciting part of Denver. Today Wynkoop is a fixture in downtown, and helped make Denver (complete with the 16th Street Mall, great nightlife, and expanding restaurant scene) what it has become. Wynkoop has also grown from it’s beginnings, and now owns and operates many bars and restaurants in the Denver area (including Wazee Supper Club and Ghost Tap and Plate), and even have a new partnership with Breckenridge Brewing Company.

While it’s not necessarily my favorite Denver brewpub, it’s historical significance and fixture of the downtown landscape make it impossible to dislike. Combine that with a couple of great beers and more than enough variety of better than average offerings, and I seem to find myself in the Wynkoop bar at least once a month.

Beer Lineup Rail Yard Amber Ale
Organic Light Rail Yard
Two Guns Pilsner
Elitch Orchard Wheat
Patty’s Chile Beer
St. Charles ESB
London Calling IPA
Mile HI-P-A
B3K Black Lager
Cowtown Milk Stout
Silverback Pale Ale
Wixa Weiss
Brewjolais Nouveau Sour Ale/Wild Ale
Taste/Quality  Wynkoop is a bit of a mixed bag. Most of their offerings are good, but few go beyond that. Their lighter beers are a bit generic, but I’ll give them a pass because they got into the craft beer game a long time ago, when you HAD to offer a good amount of light beers. They change beers every so often (2 or so new ones every year-ish) which brings me back in to try their new offerings. They’ve also been canning a few of their bigger beers recently (Rail Yard, B3K, and Silverback), but unfortunately, I find the cans don’t do those beers justice. They’re much better from the tap.
My Favorite Beer  The B3K is what brought me here and continues to be the go-to. But their ESB, Rail Yard, and Chile Beer have all hit the spot depending on the time and day.
Atmosphere It feels like a chain restaurant/brewery, but it only has the one location. It’s hard to put a finger on exactly WHY that is (maybe because everything feels “branded”, or maybe because there’s so much wood), but it just feels like a Rock Bottom or a TGIF in there. The beer and food are better than TGIF of course, and their location is great. It’s the perfect place to bring friends and family visitng from out of town to get them started on their beer tasting days in Denver.
Service Everything from bar service to a full-blown restaurant service.
The Lowdown  A mix from $4-$7 depending on the alcohol content. Happy Hour most beers are $3.50. They do 4 oz. tasters for $1.50-$2.50, again, depending on the alcohol content.
Rating  Four Beers

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