Thursday, August 19, 2010

A visit to Ouray Brewery

Ouray Brewery has swings instead of bar stools. The swings appear to be sturdy, attached to the ceiling by strong cables. We'll see if the staff has any issues with over-exuberant swinging by customers.

The new brewpub is now fully open so I figured I owed a visit. Three house beers were on tap: a Kolsch, a rye pale ale and an IPA (the rye is at left in the accompanying photo, along with the Kolsch).

A taste of the Kolsch revealed a well-balanced, crisp and clean version of the German-style beer. It was less than 5 percent ABV, making it an ideal beer for summer refreshment.

The IPA is strong and well-rounded. It appears fairly dark for an IPA, a rich mahogany color. The hops give off a piney taste.

My favorite was the rye pale ale, a full-bodied, tasty and idiosyncratic craft beer. I could easily see this becoming a local favorite.

All three of Ouray's beers were above-average craft beers (a fourth, Box Canyon Brown Ale, is coming soon). All of them would rate at least a B.

My friends and I didn't eat there, but Ouray Brewery has a Louisiana-inspired menu. Visitors can either enjoy the tasting room or an inviting rooftop patio that was not yet open when we stopped by. (The tasting room opens at 4 p.m., but the kitchen and patio open later).

Also noteworthy were the pair of guest beers offered on tap: Pinstripe Red Ale from Ska Brewing Co. and Yeti Imperial Stout from Great Divide Brewing in Denver. These are exceptionally well-chosen: Pinstripe is a Southwest Colorado classic, and Yeti is perhaps the most sought-after craft beer in the state.

Ouray Brewery came out of the gate swinging with three good beers. This is an auspicious beginning.


  1. I visited Ouray with my parents who were in town for a visit, and we were disappointed when we approached the brewery around 1pm for lunch and it wasn't open. I will have to make another trip to Ouray soon (Darn!) to try this place out!

  2. Definitely. It's a little frustrating that Ouray (and Dolores River Brewery, too) don't open until 4 p.m. I bet they're missing out on a lot of Noon-4 p.m. business. It took me forever to get to Dolores River Brewery because I passed through town too early. Maybe as they get on their feet, they'll expand hours. Here's hoping!