It isn’t often that someone buys me dinner for their birthday. Since Breckenridge was celebrating their 20th birthday, they are out to prove two things: they are almost of legal drinking age and they intend to remain a Denver institution for a long, long while.
Admittedly, I have never been to their ballpark location (2200 Blake, Denver). Even my trips to their brewery on Kalamath were few and far between as I preferred bar stools that were less of a crawl home. I just never thought to go to the ballpark location as I have spent many years avoiding bars in that neighborhood; having to wander amid a flood of over-enthused Rockies fans or brohemes fresh of the light rail and looking to tear this town UP!
How can I be expected to resist when it is a birthday party involving me getting fed on the cheap? Hell, I’ll even wore a clean(er) shirt – a good move as the ballpark Breckenridge was far, far nicer than I imagined.
The big deal was about the “improved” menu. Upfront: I’m not much for writing about food – which is why I contribute to a magazine about drinking. I also have no idea what the menu was like before tonight so I can’t exactly attest to how much of an improvement was made. Ultimately, the food was dandy enough. While they may not be making a pitch for a James Beard award anytime soon, it does have everything to keep diners happy: standard American pub fare with a few inventive things thrown in – like the salmon tacos and what I could only imagine are some hardcore BBQ dishes.
What else? Oh, the drinks!
Upon entering we were handed a tasting glass filled with “The Naughty Girl Scout” – a beer cocktail composed of Breck’s Oatmeal Stout, peppermint schnapps, and Frangelico. Maybe I wasn’t wearing the right sorority letters (and I can’t believe I’m about to type this next bit) but the Naughty Girl Scout was not for me. They were shooting for minty-chocolate but all I could think of was “Jager, Jager, Jager”. Opted for the Christmas Beer next, a lovely winter warmer that I could drink steadily all night. Before I left I was handed a Manhattan made with barrel aged Peach Street Distillers bourbon – one of the many cocktails on tap. Also on tap – margaritas and varieties from Infinite Monkey Theory winery.
Overall? I’ll be back. After my visit the ballpark Breckenridge Brewery the location is no longer in that pit of avoidance my mind has shrouded the Coors Field neighborhood in. The bar area was actually quite nice and stocked with beers beyond what was brewed by Breckenridge (Upslope, Oskar Blues, Left Hand, and other locals). It’s the kind of place I could have dinner with the folks or a weird situation that involves having to eat with kids. Or maybe this is the kind of place to lay down a solid base before I go and sit in the bleachers for five hours and drink overpriced swill.
So happy birthday, Breckenridge. Congratulations on growing up (and out) your menu. Next year, I’ll buy you your first shot. It will probably be something weird and disgusting and instantly regrettable.