Wow, cool place in downtown Idaho Springs, CO. 15 beers on tap counting the 3 seasonal and the cask conditioned Pale on the hand pull. In an old building on main street, bar area is IN the brewery so the smells are awesome, but the noise level is phone/conversation prohibitive when they are operating. The bottle works are in the basement which you can see from above in the bar area. Big menu and it all looked/sounded good, but we were just passing through so we tried their sweat potato tatter tots. A twist on a classic and done well. Their beer is bottled and sold in several states around the country, so if you find one you like, chances are you can get it locally.
Cask conditioned pale ale - dark mud brown with a tan frothy head. It appeared unfiltered and wild when it got to me, but settled down a bit after a few minutes. Mild carbonation with a mid-ranged hoppiness added to this big and rich “pale” with an intimidating look.
CO IPA Nouveau - Just great. What the definition of the IPA is. If I only had time... and a driver.
If you are in the area and need a little break from the mountain driving and the snow (if winter), I say do yourself a favor and stop in.
TommyKnockers - a leprechaun creature that live beneath the ground wearing tiny versions of miners garb and commit random acts of mischief. Just before a cave-in, the timbers creak and miners believed the creaking were the TommyKnockers hammerings on the walls and supports to cause the cave-in.
OK! That's the official Wikipedia explanation.
In Idaho Springs, TommyKnockers is a brewpub with a mining motief inside complete with large timbers (fake) holding up the building....and plenty of fastastic beer to boost your spirits.
#1 & #2 sons gave me a Christmas gift in 2009 -- tickets to the Gream American Beef Festival and it was there we came across TommyKnockers Maple Nut and Imperial Nut Brown Ales. Beer made with real maple syrup? Sounded a little like Bacon Beer....probably wouldn't taste very good but what could be wrong with maple syrup and beer?
Delicious is not a strong enough word. Extraordinary is closer.
TommyKnocker's was chosen as the Best Brewpub in 2009 by Coloradans and with very few exceptions, almost all of their beers have won numerous awards. The only other brewery that could give TommyKnockers a run for their money in awards is Rogue Ales out of Newport Beach, Oregon.
We made a point of stopping here to celebrate #2 son's installation as a Student Doctor in medical school. What a celebration it was!
A 10-beer sampler that produced 8 winners; only the Amber & Pale Ale proved disappointing to us....but every brewpub needs to have a Bud / Coors knock-off for those who dare not to dare too far in the nether reaches of craft brewing. The food was outstanding. Buffalo is the meat of choice here; much leaner and tastier than any beef steak for my money which also means, if you must eat red meat, this is THE way to go! My pulled buffalo tacos were overwhelmingly delicious and paired with the Rye Porter, it was a meal that just could not have been any better.
The one complaint I have is that TommyKnocker beer can be "had" in 25 states, but NOT THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST!!
What's the matter with us, guys? HUH???
Can't cross the Rockies in winter? Not buying that.
To get this beer on a regular basis, I might have to look into becoming a distributor myself...with a customer base of just ME.
Great place to stop for lunch when cruising down I-70. The food is great but a little pricey for pub fare. Parmesan garlic french fries are great.
I always sit at the bar as it is attached to the open air brewery. The smells and sounds of a working brewery are wonderful.
Beers are OK. All the beers seem sweet to me. The Maple Nut Brown should be but the lager and pale ale also seem to have a sweetness to them that I am not fond of. They are multiple medal winning beers so must be my taste preference. They bottle and distribute regionally.
Last visit I did have an IPA brewmaster special that was great. Called the Bitter Brewer I think.
Required stop for all true beer lovers. The beers and the beer selection is second to none (only 1 of their regular beers is not an award winner). Check out the website to view all of the awards. While you can't go wrong with any of the beers, I recommend the Bock.
The bar area is open to the brewery and is a lot of fun to sit in and watch them at work.
The food is quite good if a little spendy.
The service is hit or miss. 1 waiter scored a solid 5. The typical service is mediocre at best.
I stop by every time I make the drive through the area.
Would love to hear of ANY brewpub that has more award winning beers than Tommyknocker's.
En route to my company's software providers office, I stopped by for lunch and sat in the bar area next to the brewery. Most of the brewpubs I've seen put their breweries behind glass. Not here. You can see the brewers working away.
I got there a little before noon on a Thursday, and there were a few people around. More arrived after I ordered. The selection is amazing. I didn't know what to order. I had thought about the rye porter, but they were out, darnit. So I chose a Pale Ale and a Cajun Chicken Sandwich. Great sandwich! I topped it with a little chipotle sauce, and was sure glad I had the pale ale. The hops cut the spice perfectly. My server was friendly and attentive.
It cost me $20 to get out of there. A little more than I wanted to spend, but, oh well, it's on the expense account. Ssh. Don't tell my boss.