….Yeah and it’s called West Flanders Brewing Company, located at 1125 Pearl St. This is the former site of BJ’s, a large chain brewpub. Nice to see another locally owned brewpub on the Mall.
A Sunday seems to be a good day for a soft opening.. A restaurant can work out some kinks with a smaller, more casual crowd. I wandered into W. Flanders at about 8:45pm, it was definitely a little slow, but not unusual for Pearl Street on a Sunday. I sit at the bar and it took about two minutes to be greeted by the bar staff. Now that does not seem like a lot of time, but in the service industry, that is an eternity. Once I’m greeted, I was immediately set at ease and ready to really get down to the nitty-gritty of beer drinking.
When I’m trying a brewpub that I’ve never been to before, I like to start with the beer that seems the most difficult to pull-off. Staring at the beer menu, the ESB jumped right out at me. It’s called the (tbd) ESB. I’m don’t know if this is the official name, or it’s actually to be determined. My impression; An easy drinking ESB but not as bitter as I normally like an ESB to be. It was very good though. Very drinkable.
The next beer I tried was the Daisy Cutter, a Belgium style ale and rolling in at 9% does not taste like a 9% beer. This is a little dangerous, because this caramely beer is so damn tasty. I can imagine myself really spending some quality time with this beer.
Next up is the IPA. India Pale Ales are one of the most popular styles in Boulder. This IPA is a dry hopped IPA so the hops on the front-end really come through nicely, and the back-end of this beer finishes nice and smooth. I liked it, but the standards for IPA have really been challenged in recent years by companies like Stone, Avery, Mountain Sun and Mendocino. I’m really curious to see how this beer will be received by the Hop Heads.
Next up, Canniption Pale Ale. This is a much more hoppy beer than the IPA, but the hops are more noticeable in the finish, but the nose is really quite tame. Head to head I prefer the IPA simply because of the bouquet, but if you want a hoppy beer, then this might be right up your alley.
I finished off the evening with the classic Angry Monk. A Trappist-Style ale. Heavy on the nose and just a little sweet, and very smooth. I love this beer.
All in all, I feel I really got a good sense of what these guys I are trying to do. The beers range from 7% to 9% ABV so these are not really session beers, but there seems to be an impressive list of guest beers as well. Mostly Belgiums though. I guess they’ll have Rubens and the Kitchen Upstairs really challenge their selection of expensive imports. However, if you only drink light lagers, then you probably won’t like anything on the beer menu.
I’ll be heading back soon.