Renegade Brewing Company has a classic startup brewery story. One Christmas, Brian O’Connell’s wife Khara bought him a home-brewing kit. Over the next few years, he got increasingly enthused with brewing and began to experiment with his own unique recipes, much to the chagrin of his friends and family.
When Brian was on a business trip for a statistical analysis conference and skipped the conference to drive three hours to the Dogfish Head brewpub, he knew it was time for a career change. He worked at his job for another few years before a work trip in 2008 with his wife where he saw the beginnings of Denver’s now explosive craft beer scene.
Both Brian and Khara quit their jobs in 2009 and after two years of preparation they opened Renegade Brewing Company on June 26, 2011. The brewery is located at 925 W. 9th Ave. in Denver. Upon entering the market, Renegade immediately gained recognition. In 2012 they won Best Neighborhood Brewery in Denver from Westword Magazine and Denver’s Best New Brewery in 2012 from 5280 Magazine. They have been so successful that they have already made a 15,000 square-foot expansion from their original location.
After trying a few of their beers I can say the praise they have been receiving is well deserved. I bought a variety pack of four of their five year-round beers of so I’ll review each one.
The first beer I tried was Hiatus, a cold-coffee infused oatmeal ale. The beer uses cold-brew coffee from Denver’s Novo Coffee and has an alcohol content of 6.5 percentABV. This beer is heavy and dark and has a wonderful coffee flavor without being too bitter with the thick malty base to complement it. The beer is so heavy in fact that it drinks like a light stout or porter.
Next I tried Consilium, a pale ale brewed with oats, lactose, and orange peel (5 percent ABV). The lactose balances the bitterness of the hops and makes for an interestingly creamy beer. I’ve never tried a beer with lactose in it but it was surprisingly good. The orange peel is very subtle but adds a nice touch to the aftertaste. This is a unique and delicious pale ale.
Third in the lineup is 5:00 Afternoon Ale, a pilsner crafted with ale yeast coming in at 5 percent ABV. I would imagine drinking this beer on a hot summer day as it is very light but it does still pack a lot of flavor for a pilsner.
Last up is Redacted, a rye based IPA with an alcohol content of 7 percent ABV. The use of rye lends the beer a slight peppery flavor to complement the citrusy hops. Upon starting to drink the beer I wasn’t really impressed but after a few sips I began to appreciate the rye flavor more. I personally wouldn’t want to drink too many with the peppery flavor but its definitely good for one or two.
Renegade Brewing Company is yet another Colorado brewery which doesn’t disappoint. Give them a try some time. Their beer is available in six-packs and variety 12-packs at Coaltrain.