Steamworks Brewing has brewed a house beer for Katie Mullen's, a new Irishy pub on Denver's 16th Street Mall. Steamworks may have thought it could escape Soggy Coaster's hawk eye by debuting a Front Range-only beer. No such luck. Soggy Coaster assigned a Denver buddy, Dustin Bradford, to review it for Beer at 6512. We are everywhere. Many thanks to Dustin for the review (and a hat tip to Beer Run Blog for the initial word). Without further ado, Bradford's review:
DENVER - When we walked into the 11,000-plus square foot Irish-themed bar occupying the 16th Street Mall-facing side of a large downtown Denver hotel, we thought we had entered some sort of strange time warp. Over a hundred middle-aged and above folks, all wearing green shirts, hats, and beads appeared to be getting drunk early on Saturday afternoon ... about two weeks before St. Patrick's Day is typically celebrated. One woman who must have been able to see the confusion written across our foreheads came up and explained that the group was responsible for planning Denver's St. Patrick's Day Parade, and was on a one-stop pub crawl, at Katie Mullen's.
We managed to find two empty bar seats next to each other, which was a feat given the size of the crowd. Katie Mullen's apparently has four bars (I saw two but the restaurant is arranged in a large loop). On tap, next to Harp, Smithwick's, and Guinness, was Steamwork's Katie Mullen's Lager.
What came out of the tap was a very clear and even maple-colored pour with little head that quickly disappeared. The first few drinks of the crisp lager seemed pretty complex, with a quickly changing flavors and a dry finish. The carbonation was evident, though pleasing - the keg I drank from was fresh.
I'd estimate the ABV to be substantial, because I found it hard to focus on the intricacies of the taste after the first have of the large glass. The flavor remained pleasant, and for me more enjoyable than the similarly-flavored Killian's Irish Red lager. I took my time with each of my two glasses, and the flavor was enjoyable to the end. I give the beer a solid B, for its crisp drinkability, relative complexity and beautiful color.
It would be hard to stay with Katie Mullen's Irish Lager for more than a couple glasses while perusing a "Guinness Blacklist," which is the bar's menu of variants on Guinness, from the well-known "Black and Tan" to the lesser known "Midnight" (Guinness with a dash of port), or "Snakebite" (Guinness with cider). However, I've got to hand it to Katie Mullen's for even attempting to offer a "house beer." Kudos to the restaurant and to Steamworks for pulling it off. B