Dolores River Brewery sits in downtown Dolores, a small town that I often pass through on my way from Durango to Telluride.
It's a young brewery, using equipment cobbled together from across the West and Midwest. The place is small, dominated by a few large tables and an enclosed bar lined with taps.
It seems to have become the go-to place in Dolores. I was there last weekend during Dolores River Days, and a steady stream of customers flowed in.
Dolores River Brewery is a brewpub in the same mold as Carver's in Durango. It offers a full food menu, but pizza is the specialty.
On tap during my visit were a mild, a pale ale, ESB, dry stout and seasonals "Liquid Sunshine" (style unknown but definitely undistinguished), an IPA and an imperial stout on nitro.
I started with a pint of the pale ale, one of my favorite styles. It was mediocre, lacking the hop character that is desirable and, really, expected in the style. Caramel malt was the foremost flavor.
Dolores River Brewery's standout beer is its dry stout. I'd been impressed by the dry stout before on tap at the Columbine bar in Mancos. My second impression was as good as the first. It is indeed dry, full of dark malt flavor that is well balanced by hops. It's very easy to drink and light-bodied enough to enjoy even in 90-degree heat.
Small tastes I tried of the Liquid Sunshine and IPA were unimpressive. So it seems Dolores River Brewery is inconsistent. That stout, though, is certainly worth seeking out.
Dolores River Brewery opens daily at 4 p.m. The brewery offers growlers to go.