Chain Reaction Brewing Company, Denver Colorado
Chain Reaction Brewing Company is located slightly south of downtown Denver riding along the edge of a residential neighborhood and a slew of small businesses. Normally it might be a “blink and you’ll miss it” unassuming building in an area like this, but once you spot the parking lot, usually complete with a Denver food truck parked in front near their newly added patio, it’s a welcome beacon of craft beer light.
Upon walking into the building, you’re greeted by some pinball machines to your right and the open high ceilings of the taproom to the left. You can get a quick glance at their most recently added fermenters along the back wall along with the beautiful wood sign and trim. The bar itself is a magnificent wood structure that helps invoke the natural feel of the entire interior.
Their cooler and tap system acts as a mild barrier between the taproom and the production facility, but it’s easy to maneuver around (especially when heading to the bathroom) to get a glance at their 7 bbl system that helps them produce some of the most unique and inventive flavors Denver has to offer.
The Christofferson brothers, owners and brewers, don’t shy away from imagination or stick to trends when composing their recipes, an attitude I find very refreshing amidst the some of the stiffness that can come from new breweries looking to make their mark. They want to have fun when brewing and pass that along to the customer in the form of an exciting and unique final product.
Their orange cream ale, or pink peppercorn saison are regular beers along with darker offerings like their Belgian rye stout or black IPA. Fans of unique, or lighter beers can enjoy their hatch chile amber, English mild and rye pale ale as well. In the past year or so they have been expanding their barrel aged offerings as well. One of the most memorable experiences I had at the brewery was trying on of their saisons that had been aged in gin barrels. The barrels were from the exact same batch of gin, yet they both produced slightly different flavor profiles on their beers. Instead of blending for one final product, Chain Reaction released them both separately as a way to sample both and learn how barrels can change the final outcome.
There’s more to the brewery than just beer. They host regular trivia, comedy and music nights that are free to the public to attend. On top of fantastic beer, Chain Reaction knows how to throw a party. They host an annual chili cook-off, Cajun cook off, chip and dip off and most recently had a massive response to their mac and cheese cook-off. These events are free to the public to enter and attend/taste making it feel more like a backyard gathering with the neighbors than a brewery event.
If you’re looking for a brewery that can do one better than being a place where everyone knows your name, and actually be a place where you feel like one of the neighbors, stop by Chain Reaction and have a pint or two, enjoy the food truck of the day or try to make it to one of their cook-offs. You’ll feel right at home.