Due to my uncanny resemblance to Jerry Garcia, I was extended an invitation to check out the Magnolia Brewing Beer Brunch at the Old Major Restaurant in Denver, Colorado. The reason is that the brewer and founder of Magnolia is a Deadhead-turned-craft-beer enthusiast. The music during the event was, of course, the Grateful Dead! And the event was in Denver…only thing missing was that it should have been held at 4:20!
The scooter included with my Airbnb made getting there a breeze, literally and figuratively. Upon arrival, there were some other beer writers hanging outside waiting to get in – one from Canada and the other from Chicago. It was nice to hang out with these folks and get their opinions on the GABF and the subject at hand, Old Major and Magnolia Craft Beer.
I spent some time with Dave McLean, the self-described Brewmaster / Kingpin / Sovereign Ruler of Magnolia Brewing Company. He has several places including a pub and gastro brewery. His main office is appropriately located on Haight Street in San Francisco, home to the original Deadheads, hippies, and yippies. Dave was introduced to craft beer while following the Grateful Dead tours in the ubiquitous parking lot parties that sprung up around each venue where the Dead performed. Inside the arenas and theaters was mainstream beer, but out in the parking lots could be found Anchor Steam and other early craft beer. Dave decided to start his own brewery and hasn’t looked back. He looks like my brother from another mother…
Like Old Major, Dave’s brewpub serves farm-to-table and carefully prepared local meats and fine food.
We had brunch with beer pairings at the Old Major. Each course was amazing and the beer was excellent. Here’s a few photos of the spread:
The Old Major is an amazing restaurant in Denver whose tagline is Seafood, Swine, and Wine. We only had the swine portion of that statement but added craft beer and good company. It is one of those restaurants where one is impressed with all aspects of the experience. From the service to the decor and the presentation of the food, the execution is crisp and professional. Even when there were issues with the carbonation of the Magnolia Brewing beer, alternative beverages were provided quickly and cheerfully.
Located in a nice area above metropolitan Denver, the restaurant is airy and nicely appointed. Definitely should be on your list to check out when in the city. A local friend actually suggested it for brunch on Sunday before my flight home. We ended up elsewhere, but even the locals know this is a good place!
I’ll be sure to go back on my next visit!
Laissez les bon temps rouler!