Wagon Rides: Copper Kettle

If Tour de Fat and Ragbrai have taught us anything, it’s that bikes and beer go hand-in-hand. My perfect day is a easy-paced bike ride bookended with espresso and beer. In part one of this new series – and soon to be Wagon-sponsored event – we’ll be mapping out rides from Denver to some of our local bars and breweries.

This past Friday I took advantage of the break in rainy weather to get back in the saddle and take a ride somewhere I hadn’t visited since they opened their doors: Copper Kettle Brewing.

The Ride

7 miles, 250 ft. elevation gain

The ride to Copper Kettle from downtown Denver is mostly a breeze. Get on the Cherry Creek path and follow it southbound. You’ll pass through the Cherry Creek Mall, Four Mile Historic Park, Garland Park and finally through Cook Memorial Park. This’ll put you at the intersection of South Quebec and Cherry Creek South Drive. Don’t do what I did and keep going on the path past Quebec unless you want to add a couple of miles to your trip.

At this point the ride gets a little crappy and you start to realize that for all intents and purposes, you’re basically in Aurora. You’ll have to go two blocks north on Quebec and then east on East Florida Ave until you hit South Parker Road. Head north-west on South Parker road for 1 block and take a right to head north on Valentia. The first industrial complex on your right is the home of Copper Kettle.

One unfortunate aspect of riding down to Copper Kettle is the lack of bike parking – a problem the owners are trying to fix as soon as they can. They’re on their landlord about it so let’s hope he comes around soon. In the meantime there are a couple of street signs nearby you can lock up to.

The Drinks

Copper Kettle focuses a lot on classic styles, especially of German origin. Expect to see a lot of malt-forward ales and lagers – when I showed up they were brewing a schwarzbier and it smelled delicious as hell!

Summer Ale

Oh man, what a fantastic post-ride beer. A great malt backbone with just enough hops to make this beer deliciously crisp and thirst quenching. Subtly spiced with orange peel and coriander to evoke the brightness of summer days.

Bavarian Hells Helles

A little citrus up front with more of a smooth mouthfeel than the crispness of the Summer Ale. Characteristic light sulfurous bite from the lager yeast. Another great summer thirst-quencher.

I was also lucky enough to get a preview of their almost ready Mexican Chocolate Stout, brewed with cinnamon and an array of chili peppers. They’ll be releasing the beer Saturday, May 21st at 4 PM. Alvie’s Eats will be there serving up a couple of dishes designed specifically around this beer.

What’s Next?

Mural

We here at the Wagon are opening the next rides up to the public to make it a big ol’ event. We’re working with Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop – one of our favorite bike shops in town – to help get the word out and to have an official start point set up. The next ride’s gonna be on June 18th out to Golden City Brewing – closer to a 15 mile ride with a little more elevation gain. Keep an eye on the events calendar for a start time!

 

About Nick Nunns


Nick loves two things above all others: Beer and heavy metal. He's the owner and brewer at the soon-to-open TRVE Brewing Company. If you get him drunk enough, he will probably raise a toast to a Norse god.

  • Kyle

    I’ve done this ride a couple times. I recommend turning left at the bridge near Cook Memorial Park and riding past Place Middle School, then heading up Florida. It lets you avoid riding on Quebec. But then you’re partial to Quebec, aren’t you, Nick.

  • Kyle

    Is a bike beer crawl a really bad idea? Del Norte to Strange to [Denver Beer Co | Amato’s | Wynkoop] to Bull & Bush to Copper Kettle.

    • http://nicknunns.com Nick Nunns

      The idea’s on my list!

  • Will

    I need a beer ride to a microbrewery right about now… Actually, the first in years just opened in the District, DC Brau. They’re working on their tasting room license, but they are adjacent to one of our newer bike paths.

  • Maggie

    I used to live very close to the Copper Kettle and would ride my bike to work downtown. I think the best way to bike it is to get off the bike path at Garland Park and cut through to E Mississippi Ave. Follow Mississippi and cross Quebec, then make the first left. I think it’s E Mississippi Drive. It has a gate that says it’s a private road but it’s always open. Follow that all the way to the top of the hill. There is a little dirt path from the road to the bike path where it intersects with Parker Rd and E Mississippi. From there just follow Mississippi east then make a right on Valentia. Copper Kettle is at the end of the street. The hill up E Mississippi Drive is a bit steep but I’m pretty sure it’s the most direct route, and it’s definitely the best way to avoid busy roads and narrow sidewalks.

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