ZUNI STREET BREWING COMPANY – A BREWERY REVIEW THAT FITS LIKE A GLOVE
Real neighborhoods have their own pulse, a fundamental sense of being – a radioactive soul emanates from the concrete and iron and brick that compose its layout. The redolence rising from bakeries and restaurants lays like an invisible fog over the street corners. If you live there, then you might call it home. If not, then you may experience it like you are staring into a snow globe. Every little enclave of a city has distinct cultural centers that connect people to the greater whole like a spider web. Zuni Street Brewing Company is a new and vibrant one of those focal points in perhaps the most highly sought after areas of Denver.
Their building is set on the corner of 29thand Zuni at the start of LoHi Denver. The scene is painted with strollers, medium size dogs and fall sunshine fading in the background. Zuni Street Brewing has two patios; one in front and one in the back. Garage doors connect the entirety of the space forming a huge open-ended, summer night’s craft-beer-dream. My friend Kris and I grab beers and sit down.
While Kris and I wait for one of the founders to arrive we talk about the goings on in our respective lives. The conversation is easy and enjoyable. The atmosphere at Zuni Street Brewing embraces the candid talk, the surprisingly deep and winding turns, the Hemingway sidetracks and the lights dim as the noise picks up. I choose their Sour Bombadale (6.6% ABV) and Kris goes to the Back to Beta Saison (8.4%).
TJ arrives with a casual demeanor, apologizing for being late. I am thinking to myself that I should be apologizing to him for not stopping at his cozy, LoHi Chateau-de-beer on previous adventures with The Denver Hopper. The Sour Bombadale is tart and juicy and mouthwatering – just the way a sour should be. The Back to Beta Saison is a delicious malty brew that should be consumed with caution. That 8.4% ABV is sneaky and could roll you like Chuck Norris in his prime if you aren’t minding your manners.
Zuni Street Brewing Company has been open less than a year but they have their finger on the pulse that I mentioned at the beginning. Not long ago, TJ brought in a jumpy castle and inflatable boxing for the patrons both young and old. When he says that, I want to give the man a hug, but I think better of it since I just met him. But goddamn, that is a great idea! The bounce house was predominantly for adults, but, of course, the kids used it and everyone got to take turns.
Their staple C-3PA (9.1% ABV) settles on my shoulders like a friendly angel of intoxication. The conversation carries on with levity and we go over different activities going down at Zuni Street Brewing that fit the vibe of LoHi, like a Cheesy Christmas Sweater Party and Homebrew Work Shop already are already on the way. Zuni also has live bluegrass music, acoustic Thursdays for solo artists, Ski Porn Sunday for broadcasting Warren Miller films, live bands every Saturday afternoon and taproom yoga Saturday morning. They have board games for the young and old alike and beer and cookie pairings once a month. Activities, activities, activities!
Kris and I float out into the LoHi wandering to different bars or breweries feeling a good deal better about this life. She was quite the companion for the review and carries a conversation naturally. As we walk through the neighborhood, TJ’s description of what sets Zuni Street Brewing Company apart rings in my mind. He wants Zuni Street Brewing to fit the Lower Highlands like a glove, like an old pair of jeans. I can say with confidence after my experience that Zuni Street Brewing embodies their place of residence as if they have been there for a decade.