COPPER CLUB BREWING COMPANY (Fruita)
There are two breweries in Fruita, Colorado, a cute little suburb city and farming community outside of Grand Junction. One is also a restaurant with a full bar; the other is cozy Copper Club Brewing Company, a no frills brewery a couple blocks away on the quaint main street. Given that we only had time for one stop after a hike in Devil’s Canyon, Copper Club was the easy choice.
This three-year-old brewery is perfectly laid back, with a dog on the floor and a couple more on the outside patio and a handful of regulars offering hiking and biking tips. There’s a small bar, a handful of tables, a couple of dartboards in one corner and a small (and out of place) disco ball hanging from the ceiling. It was an atmosphere that suited us.
They had nine beers on tap when we were there and they typically have between 8 and 11, with four staples (ESB, Coffee Porter, Rye Pale, and IPA) and the rest rotating. We were surprised to find no Lager or Pilsner when we were there, but the Pale Ale was pretty light. As usual, the IPA was my favorite and I took one to go with me as well.
They also sell their four staple beers in 22 ounce bombers, but with very limited distribution –only two liquor stores in Grand Junction.
KANNAH CREEK BREWING COMPANY (Grand Junction)
Kannah Creek Brewing Company has two breweries: their original Kannah Creek brewery, which is centrally located in Grand Junction; and Edgewater Brewery, which they fairly recently purchased from another brewing company and which is located just outside of town in a more industrial setting along the Colorado River. We visited the original Kannah Creek location and missed the Edgewater brewery, which we expect was a mistake.
It was a nice afternoon day when we went to Kannah Creek and we were hoping to sit outside on the patio with the dog, but were greeted with a “no dogs on the patio” sign so opted to sit inside at the bar. The place has more of a feel of a pizza joint than a brewery, and not that cool of a pizza joint at that. Their food menu is dominated by pizza as well. Anyway, we didn’t like the feel of the place, from the interior decor down to the design of the taps.
Kannah Creek has been around since 2005 and they have three staples that they bottle year round – an amber ale, a pale, and an IPA – plus a number of seasonals. When we were there, we tried their old English cask IPA, a blonde, an extra pale ale and their IPA. Not surprisingly, the IPA was the winner, but we didn’t particularly love any of the beer – or the scene, as noted – and didn’t stay long.
We subsequently learned that their Edgewater brewery brews completely different beer. Judging from the outside and the location, it likely has a better atmosphere as well. Maybe next time…
PALISADE BREWING COMPANY (Palisade)
Palisade Brewing Company has been one of our favorite breweries to date – great atmosphere in a neat old building in a quiet little Grand Junction suburb, plus, of course, fantastic beer.
The Palisade brewery is in a former peach packing warehouse (this part of Colorado being peach country) and they’ve maintained the industrial feel, with concrete walls and floor and the brewery part of the tasting room. Calling it a tasting room maybe a bit of an understatement; Palisade also serves food (their smoked wings and chips and salsa were great!) and has a full bar, but it’s still all about the beer. The staff was knowledgable about the beer and seemed to be participating in the party in this fairly lively place.
While they had three IPAs while we were there(!), their staples are a session IPA, a dark wheat, an imperial red and a porter. They can those four beers and distribute themselves just in the western slope of Colorado.