Everyone has their specialty. If you’re Coors, it’s banquet beer. If you’re Odd13, it’s hazy IPAs. If you’re Open Door Brew Co., then it’s stout, and boy do they have some doozies for you.
Open Door co-owners Michael Badaracca, Billy McDivitt and Andy Riedel hit the Boulder County beer scene a little over a year ago without a brick and mortar store. Their focus was distribution first, location second. In fact, my first introduction to Open Door’s brews came via Mountain Sun’s Stout Month with their Over the Moon Milk Stout (5.6 percent ABV) featured as a guest tap. Over the Moon is a not-too-sweet, not-too-milky stout with a middle-of-the-road alcohol content that makes the beer an easy lunchtime drinker. Over the Moon must have been a Stout Month hit because as quickly as it came, it went. It would be another month before my associate would get to try the brew at Left Hand’s Hops+Handrails festival and fall in love as well.
And now, thanks to Longmont’s trendy new neighborhood, Prospect New Town, Open Door has a taproom to feature their offerings. Just don’t expect to tour the facility or see how the sausage is made; Open Door is still contracting the brewing aspect of the business with Sleeping Giant down in Aurora. Instead, Open Door — named by Reidel back in his college days when home brewing in his apartment would steam the place up — is strictly aimed at the communal aspect of drinking the product. There is a patio out front, a large room for parties, an annex full of picnic tables and even an attractive rooftop patio for drinking with a view. There’s also a series of doors scattered around for décor, in case you forgot the name of the place.
Though Open Door offers plenty for everyone, including their Short Arms IPA (6 percent), the pre-Prohibition cream ale, Libertas (4.8 percent), the imperial pale lager, Übertas (8.1 percent) and the cream ale, Arminius (5 percent), they shine when it comes to the stouts, particularly for their session-ability. Over the Moon (5.6 percent) — your standard milk stout with a dash of vanilla — lays the base while Fly Me to the Moon, Chai-L & Error and Elatha all play variations on a theme. For Fly Me to the Moon, that theme is dark chocolate-covered cherries. For Chai-L & Error, it’s chai spice. If you’re not a fan of chai, this is not the beer for you; if you are, welcome to Beervana. My personal favorite is Elatha, brewed in honor of St. Patty’s day and includes 3 pounds of dry mint in the batch. It’s a McDonald’s Chocolate Shamrock Shake with legs and a booze backbone.
While the Colorado beer scene continues to grow by leaps and bounds, each brewery will have to carve out their niche in the business. So far, it looks like stouts are the way to go at Open Door Brew Co. With a base this good, who knows what they are capable of coming up with.
On tap: Open Door Brew Co. 2030 Ionosphere St., Unit G, Longmont, 720-593-1401, opendoorbrewco.com.