What makes a local brewery unique? Every beer-lover retains his or her personal measure, whether it be the brewer’s approach or the finished product in your pint glass. But it’s the ambience—the people, atmosphere, and culture—that make the beer-drinker’s experience distinctive. Grandma’s House on South Broadway is hitting the mark as a memorable destination, and their hook isn’t hard to buy into.
Location: South Broadway is a lengthy stretch of odds and ends, but south of I-25 the continuation of restaurants and bars starts to lull. Though Antique Row still claims the majority of SoBo’s commerce, a case can be made for the opportunity and potential to be found in the neighborhood around Grandma’s House. With few businesses occupying the surrounding buildings, parking is plentiful and one-off patrons are nearly nonexistent.
Ambience: Getting cozy at Grandma’s House is as easy as getting cozy at your grandma’s house—and it’s not just a result of the crocheted adornments that line the walls or the hutch filled with trinkets and nostalgia of yesteryear.
The taproom welcomes you like a familiar living room that just happens to have a really great bar on the far left. It’s chock-full of seating options: You’ll find ten-ish spots to belly-up to at the bar, family-style seating at a hearty oak dining room table, several fantastically upholstered gliding chairs, and a few of the usual four-tops. Prime real estate resides at the far right of the room in front of the on-the-floor box TV, the battlegrounds for Nintendo NES and SNES fans to duke it out on games like Contra and Mario Kart. Directly ahead of the front door, a seven-foot-tall bookshelf hosts a plethora of puzzles and board games that are familiar classics (Guess Who, Operation, Battleship, checkers, and Mouse Trap), as well as some lesser known forms of entertainment (Game of Thrones: The Board Game, Trump Trivia, and handheld games circa 1980).
A straight shot from the entrance, the back room functions as a quasi-antique store and additional lounge space for Grandma’s admirers. It appears as though someone took just enough furniture from a nearby antique store to create a few mini living rooms, complete with serving trays, tea cups, lamps, coffee tables, and giant porcelain tortoises (because grandmas). Price tags dangle from each item, so you can recreate the feeling of Grandma’s House at home. Or, you can use the space to gather your friends for a game of Adverteasing, SORRY!, or any one of their many trivia games.
Who You’ll Meet: The easy answer is “people who love craft beer,” but Grandma’s House attracts so much more than that. Among the suds sippers you’ll find: antiquers, board-game fanatics, those who appreciate nostalgic video games (but would rather not deal with the crowds at 1Up); and those who find comfort in aesthetics that remind them of their grandmother.
On Tap: Although offerings are varied, the flavors aren’t polarizing; all six options available the days of my visits were dangerous in the best way—I couldn’t get enough. Narrowing top suggestions, Grandma’s Dortmunder export and Vienna lager would be best suited for those whose palates prefer a lighter brew and a milder ABV (within 5 percent). As for drinkers who appreciate a little stronger flavor and don’t mind a little more punch in their pint (6 to 7 percent ABV), their Vondruke (oatmeal stout) and Red IPA aren’t to be missed.
Make a Night of It: Any visit to Grandma’s House could easily turn in to an entire evening, given the addictive nature of friendly competition. In addition to the always-available entertainment, Grandma’s House hosts Mario Kart Mondays and Bingo on Tuesdays. Their event calendar also outlines their food truck schedule, so you can plan a fuss-free dinner into your evening.
If you’re looking to make an afternoon of it, you could make Grandma’s House part of your Antique Row crawl, or take advantage of a sunny afternoon to complete a DIY biking and beer crawl. Should you choose the latter, be sure to include Declaration Brewing, Former Future Brewing Company, Renegade, and Black Sky Brewery.
More: If you were lucky enough to snag a Denver Passport this summer, you know that Grandma’s House is on the list. Enjoy a two-for-one deal on any brew, but be sure to get there before Labor Day (when your Passport expires).
Hop on their website and you’ll notice a section for Grandma’s “Grandkids.” This title belongs to the locals who Grandma’s House opens their brewing operations to. These novice brewers are able to test their concoctions on patrons of the brewery, providing more visibility and market research for their growth than homebrewers can typically get. Think of it as the underground world of craft brewing—you have the first taste of brewers in the making.