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Loveland Pass is a great place to bring your friends and family when visiting the Denver area; here’s another place that you can incorporate on the way to Loveland Pass! Tommyknocker Brewery is located in Idaho Springs, one of many small mining towns west of Denver. It’s about a 40 minute drive in decent traffic from North Colorado Blvd’s i70 ramp.
When our friend Chris was in town from Michigan, we didn’t get the chance to run up to the Pass, but we were able to bring him to Tommyknocker’s to show him more of Colorado’s awesome brews. Whenever we stop there, I always order the Nuts and Berries Salad and pair it with the Tundrabeary Ale. If a pairing isn’t notated on the menu, your server will be able to suggest a great brew to go along with any food ordered, whether it be a juicy burger or pub food, like their Homemade Bacon Jalapeño Poppers.
To give Chris an idea of what Tommyknockers is all about, we ordered one of each brew in a 5 oz. sampler size for $1.50 each – that’s only .30 cents an ounce! Also, we ordered up our favorite Beer-Battered Mushrooms (pictured below) drizzled with balsamic glaze, and the Bacon-wrapped Jalapeño Poppers (also pictured below). Both of the pub appetizers came out piping hot, and reasonably portioned. It was pub-food heaven with our apps and 50 oz of delicious, assorted beers.
Not only did we order these kick-ass appetizers, of course we had to try out some mains! Steven had a giant reuben with sweet-potato tots, while Chris had a few brots with kraut and fries. Let me take a minute to describe the fries Chris received; smothered in buffalo sauce and blue cheese, the fries definitely made a good impression at our table. The pairing of buffalo sauce and blue cheese atop golden french fries is genius!
I was content with my Nuts and Berries salad – the produce and apples are always fresh, and the caramelized walnuts are to die for. Again, this paired with the Tundrabeary Ale guarantees satisfaction. Adding broiled chicken adds $2, but is well worth it. The salad is so ridiculously large -I’m never able to finish it. Hooray for lunch the next day!
Everything is decently priced and beyond reasonably portioned – the plate sizes are huge! If you’re passing through and just want to try the brews and get a snack, split the Motherload Nachos – “A heaping platter of freshly fried tortilla chips, topped with chili con queso, cheddar cheese, black beans, pico de gallo, cilantro, and sour cream. Served with a side of salsa” (Credit: Tommyknocker Brewery menu). When they say a heaping platter, don’t take this statement lightly – these nachos are massive. Also, you can add some protein – chicken or buffalo; add guac as well, if you so dare.
Aside form the food and the brews, Tommyknocker’s venue is fantastic. You can see the beer being brewed while sitting in the brewery / pub area; it’s really incredible to watch the brewmasters go to work and do what they do best – brew outstanding beer! There is an additional room for restaurant seating as well. They also have a small shop, located right at the entrance, with a cooler full of their beer and rootbeer (that they ALSO brew themselves!), t-shirts, beer coozies, and other Tommyknocker gear.
Check out our glorious dinner!
Check out the Tommyknocker Brewery website and see what specials and events they have going on down at the Brewery.
If you find yourself heading west, take a break and check it out. They have a great menu, appropriate for all ages with good comfort-classics. The wait staff and bartenders are friendly, and the venue is incredible. Watching Tommyknockers brew staff actually brew the beer while you eat, drink, and maybe watch a football game or two creates such a cool environment to take your out-of-town guests.
Check it out and let us know what you think!