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The Brewery: BRU Handbuilt Ales & Eats
5290 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder
The People: Founder Ian Clark
Give One Year of 5280 for just $16.
The Space: BRU is located in a small strip plaza along busy Arapahoe Avenue on the east side of Boulder. There’s a small patio out front, a medium-sized dining area that’s filled with wood tables and paneling, and a small bar at the back of the restaurant. Find a seat just about anywhere in this two-year-old space and you’ll have a good view of the brewing operations, which are behind a pane of glass that runs along the east side of the space.
The Brews: While BRU is still a relatively small space, that doesn’t mean Clark hasn’t constructed an extensive tap list. You’ll find 14 BRU beers on tap. Standbys include the Citrum IPA, which is brewed with lemon zest and juniper, and the Obitus Brown Ale that is concocted with dates and caramelized sugar. Feeling a bit more adventurous? Clark’s Osito Stout has flavors of coffee and vanilla bean, or sip on a Belgian style pale ale brewed with lemongrass and black pepper.
Buzzed Trivia: Before he turned to a career in brewing, Clark was an accomplished chef. In fact, Clark left his post as the executive chef at Centro Latin Kitchen in Boulder to start a nanobrewery in his garage. After about a year of operating a commercially licensed brewery in the garage of his home in north Boulder, he opened BRU Handbuilt Ales & Eats.
Sample This: Don’t leave without trying at least a taster-size glass of the Obitus American Brown Ale, one of the first beers Clark brewed under the BRU name.
Take Home: Most of the 14 beers on tap are available to be filled in growlers. Or go the bomber route: BRU bottles about a half dozen of its ales.
Tip: Look for BRU the next time you find yourself at a liquor store in Boulder; the brewery hasn’t expanded yet to liquor stores in Denver.
Bonus: Read a Q&A interview with BRU founder Ian Clark in which he discusses his brew pub reaching the two-year milestone, the Colorado beer scene, and the first brew he remembers trying.