The debate of East coast IPAs vs. West coast IPAs rages on, but aptly named LandLocked Ales in Lakewood, Colorado, is just focused on making good beer and enjoying it with their neighbors and friends. Opening just over a year ago in the not nearly as saturated Southwest side of the Denver Metro Area, LandLocked is turning out an impressive list of unique and delicious beers from their neighborhood brewery.
As is often the case with great breweries, LandLocked Ales was started by a couple of talented homebrewers. Tyler Burgei and Nick Stafford met at work, but soon realized they shared a passion for beer. The two started brewing together on a regular basis, and when they won a Pro-Am competition with a beer they brewed with New Belgium, they figured they might be good at this whole brewing thing. With the encouragement of Brandi, the third owner and Tyler’s wife, they took the leap and decided to open their own operation.
LandLocked Ales is tucked into the Westgate Shopping Center in Lakewood just off Wadsworth and Hampden. The adjoining businesses say the brewery has brought new life to the once sleepy shopping center. The steady hum of conversation and laughter drifting around the taproom supports that sentiment. The 4,200 sq. ft brewery has seating for over 100 guests in their taproom and on the patio. It’s an open, inviting space with a large wrap around bar and plenty of space to have a beer, catch a game on TV, or watch the brewers at work on the 7-barrel brewing system. They currently house three fermenters and a brite tank but have plenty of room to grow.
Now over 75 batches in, LandLocked Ales has a nice mix of flagship beers and rotating seasonal brews. Never the ones to pick sides in the IPA battle of the coasts, they have both New England Style IPAs and a West Coast IPA. Grenade Jumper, one of the New England Style IPAs, is double dry-hopped with Galaxy and Citra hops, giving it a juicy, sweet, and citrusy flavor that defines the style, but also has an unexpected matiness that sets this brew apart. Their West Coast Style IPA, Inland IPA, is a more hop forward IPA, citrusy with a dry finish. There are plenty of options for those that don’t identify as Hop Heads, too. The Coffee Blonde will catch you off guard with its light caramel color while still packing tons of roasted coffee flavor. This one is fermented with actual coffee from LandLocked Ales neighbors, Café Ole. If you’re in the mood for an autumn treat during the Fall ask for the seasonal Pumpkin Latte, a mix of the Coffee Blonde and the pumpkin ale, Scythe Harvest. This concoction could give Starbucks a run for its money, with its fall spices, real pumpkin flavoring, and Madagascar vanilla beans.
So what’s better than hanging out at the tap room and having a beer or three with your friends and neighbors? Not much, and at LandLocked Ales it’s pretty easy to do as they pride themselves on delivering delicious, yet low gravity options. They always have a number of sessional beers on tap, between 4% and 5%, so having a few beers with friends doesn’t turn into a headache, literally. LandLocked Ales is proving you can make delicious, full-bodied beers, without the high ABV that so many breweries lean on. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have anything north of 6% on tap. After a patron suggested they don’t have any high ABV beers on tap because they aren’t able to brew them, they quickly proved them wrong with aptly named Honor In Revenge, a 10% ABV malty yet balanced barley wine. They’ve got something for everyone!
As LandLocked Ales continues to grow, the owners credit some of their success to other breweries that have been around to lend a helping hand. “It’s a really unique industry” says Brandi Burgei. “Unlike other industries, the brewing scene in Colorado really fosters a sense of collaboration, and we wouldn’t be where we are without some of the other brewery owners we know”. Being one of the youngest female brewery owners in Colorado, that sense of inclusion is even more important.
If you need more reasons to come into LandLocked Ales, just check out their event calendar. The taproom hosts trivia nights, live music, brewery boot-camps, and an ever-rotating selection of delicious food trucks, just to name a few. So grab a few friends and grab a few beers, because at Landlocked Ales there’s a little something for everyone.
LandLocked Ales, 3225 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Lakewood, CO 80227. Landlockedales.com