2-for-1 drinks: it’s a beautiful thing. Who doesn’t love a great deal?! I know I do, which is why I always carry my Passport. But how you do get free stuff with a passport? What’s that all about? It’s the Denver Winter Passport, and it gets you BOGO drinks at 64 different locations!
As I both live and work in Denver, I don’t often have much time to get out of the city. But when I saw Page 7 of the Denver Passport, I knew that an Olde Town Aravada Field Trip was in order. The Field Trip is comprised of the following four establishments and their respective 2-for-1 offers:
- Steuben’s Arvada (Featured Classics)
- Kline’s Beer Hall (Regular Priced Craft Beer)
- Arvada School House Kitchen & Libations (Single Barrel Flight)
- New Image Brewing (House Beer)
A friend agreed to join me on my excursion, and we started charting our course. Since we planned to have a drink at each place, we figured it was in our best interest to start by fueling up with a big meal. Three of the four Field Trip spots serve food (New Image is the only one that does not), so it was a tough choice, but we ultimately decided on Steubens for Stop #1. And since it was still morning, we started with mimosas (though they have a good selection of beer as well, often doing tap takeovers with local breweries).
We wanted to share something, and once I saw the Crispy Brussels Sprouts Appetizer I looked no further. I love Brussels Sprouts, and Steubens does them right. Crispy yet chewy and served with Green Goddess Aioli (drool!).
Steubens has lots of vegetarian options, but I’ve been hooked on the Impossible Burger for months and couldn’t bring myself to order anything else! I’m a cheese fanatic so I added provolone, but the burger can be served vegan by selecting Texas Toast instead of brioche. And I wasn’t aware of this pro tip until after my meal, but I’m trying it next time: order it Rachel style with cole slaw and Russian dressing (a la the Rachel sandwich on the menu). It’s served with really yummy house-made chips.
My friend had heard rave reviews about the Lobster Roll, which turned out to be accurate. Just how fresh can a lobster roll in a landlocked state be? Steubens cuts no corners here, with live lobsters flown in from the East Coast twice a week. I didn’t sample it since I don’t eat meat (no–not even seafood), but the feedback from my friend was excellent! For a close-up of the lobster roll, see photo near bottom of post.
Last up was dessert. We didn’t have a ton of room left, but the Mississippi Mud Pie with malted chocolate mousse, Oreo cookie crust, bourbon caramel corn was amazing and just the right size for two people to split (see mouthwatering photo at bottom of post). Everything at Steubens was so delicious!
On to Stop #2: Kline’s Beer Hall, a very cool place reminiscent of a European style beer hall with a spacious, open floor plan, exposed brick, an open rafter ceiling, and lots of long wooden community tables. And over 50 beers on tap, where you’ll find everything from lagers to IPAs, sours, saisons, ciders, stouts, and cask-conditioned ales.
I went with a Watermelon Sour from Platt Park Brewing Co. for two reasons: it’s a fantastic beer bursting with fruit flavor, and it’s low in alcohol content (right around 4% ABV)—a good fit when on a drinking field trip. And to give us a good idea of the diversity of beer on tap the bar manager, Andrew, created a flight (pictured at top of post) for us with these picks:
- Helles from Bierstadt Lagerhaus
- Festbier Marzen from Gran Teton Brewing Company
- Horse & Dragon’s Nitro Vanilla Caramel Double Cream Ale
- Neopolitan Stout from Untitled Art (Waunakee, Wisconsin)
My favorite was the Neopolitan Stout, which truly tasted like a liquid version of the tricolored dessert.
To help soak up some of that beer, Kline’s serves a variety of sausages, Rotisserie chicken, sandwiches, pretzels and more. Grilled cheese with tomato soup is on my agenda for my next visit.
Next up, Stop #3: Arvada School House Kitchen & Libations, one of the more unique establishments I’ve been to in a while. As you can see in the photo above, the bar top is packed with #2 pencils. They use plastic classroom chairs, the bar menu is printed on Scantron sheets, the host stand is a card catalog cabinet, and cocktails are served in beakers. It’s a very fun atmosphere.
One of the things that struck me most is the extremely impressive collection of whiskey. I have never seen a more extensive selection of whiskey in one place. Since my friend and I had even more drinking to do later, we didn’t take advantage of the 2-for-1 deal at School House, a Single Barrel Flight of whiskey; instead we chose from the tap list of around 30 beers. I got a Black Raspberry Sour Ale from Deschutes, another tasty beer with a low ABV, 4.3%.
Next time I’d like to visit during brunch, and one item that’s calling my name is the Bartman French Toast: Hawaiian bread French Toast + crumbled Butterfinger topping! And I’ll use my Passport to try some of that whiskey.
The final stop on our Field Trip was New Image Brewing. I had heard they make some killer IPAs, and from the one I drank, I agree. Better Together is a hazy New England style IPA, a collaboration with Molly’s Spirits. This juicy, hoppy, citrusy beer is a fine example of a hazy NE IPA.
I would have liked to have tried more from New Image, but I had to watch my intake. I’ll be back again though, as they brew some really interesting stuff. One beer I remember fondly (and often crave) is yet another collab with Molly’s: I Can’t Believe It’s Butter, a pastry stout that was like a Samoa Girl Scout Cookie. It was one of my top beers at Collaboration Fest 2018.
Others that have piqured my interest are the Kombucha Brett Saison and Hoppy Brett Saison. Oh, and they just did a collaboration with Weldwerks. It’s Weldwerks’ Juicy Bits turned it into Juicy Bust: a sour IPA with mango and blueberries. Don’t miss the Release party at New Image this Saturday, December 8th!
All four Field Trip establishments are within walking distance of one another in Olde Town, making for a truly enjoyable day (or night) out. If you don’t have your Denver Passport yet, get on it. They’re good through April 15, 2019 and are still available for just $25!
Interested, but living outside the Denver area? The Passport Program offers 8 other passports: Boulder, Ft. Collins, Colorado Springs, Colorado Mountains, and even St. Louis, Washington D.C, Kansas City, and Minneapolis—all chock full of local deals. Cheers!