Finally, the residents of Chain Restaurant Land (AKA, Stapleton) have a craft beer haven right in their own back yard. No longer do you have to drive all the way to downtown Denver, rely on your local package store, or be limited to the few (but excellent) local breweries. Rejoice! For you now have 30 taps at your finger tips at the Stapleton Tap House.
Opened August 3rd in the Northfield Shopping Center, owners Diana and Michael Kearns have dedicated all of their taps to Colorado craft beers. The Stapleton Tap House focuses on serving beer that otherwise might only rarely make it to the neighborhood, featuring breweries such Hall Brewing, Pateros Creek, and Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew (check out their tap list for a sample of what’s been on lately). The 30 taps change regularly and no two handles are ever the same brewery at the same time. For example, you will never find Wynkoop’s Rail Yard and Mile Hi-P-A on at the same time, although it’s possible for one to follow the other. In fact, Michael Kearns recently said that, to the best of his knowledge, no other bar in Denver has a larger variety of Colorado craft breweries on at one time, not even Falling Rock! Pretty rad, no?
This is no super-loud sports bar either. There is a large TV on one side of the space and it will occasionally have the current sport du jour playing, but without sound (unless its like, the Super Bowl or something) so as not to be intrusive. The decor and general theme of the space pay homage to the former Stapleton Airport by having “Gate” numbers on their tap list instead of generic numerals, nifty photos on the wall, and other nice small touches. While they do offer tasty pretzels, there is no kitchen here. So bring some food of your own to put into your pie hole, or grab something to-go from the numerous restaurants in the Northfield shopping center and take it into the Tap House.
Places like the Stapleton Tap House matter because they bring craft beer to an area that may otherwise have very little exposure to the more limited distribution breweries, such as Caution and Bonfire Brewing. This helps grow and educate the beer drinking population and a smart, informed beer drinker is exactly what Colorado (and the craft industry as a whole) needs to continue growing. In a part of Denver that is not typically replete with places to drink such a large variety of local brews (the “local” Coors and Coors Light notwithstanding…), the Stapleton Tap House is beginning to fill this need.