It was beer that brought suds-loving A.J. Brinkerhoff and his wife Darcy Brinkerhoff to the mountains in 2014. And on Friday, January 27, after several years of planning, construction, DIYing, and brewing, the duo celebrated the grand opening of Angry James Brewery in Silverthorne.

Denver’s beer scene has gotten so crowded,” A.J. says, who started brewing in his Denver garage. “And we always wanted to move to the mountains so we sold our house in Denver and put all the money we made into a loan.” Now, after amassing experience at Crazy Mountain Brewing Company in Vail, the now-closed Backcountry Brewery in Frisco, and the Dam Brewery in Dillon, Brinkerhoff finally has a place of his own.

“I’m somewhat of a purist,” he says. “I don’t like using additives. I like to take classic styles and make them new again.” Combining A.J.’s expertise with that of brewer Jim Rinke (who A.J. met while playing hockey in Breckenridge), Angry James’ rotating beers look something like this: Norwegian Farmhouse (traditional in style but made with Norwegian farmhouse yeast), Bavarian Blonde (slight citrus notes with a tart, dry finish), 4th Street Brown (American-style brown with nice malty sweetness), Alpen Weisse (traditional German-style with hints of vanilla, clove, and banana, but fermented cooler to keep the banana notes in check), Glacial Nugget Pale Ale (smooth and subtle lemon and cedar flavors), and Two Tone Footer Stout (traditional American stout with Red Buffalo’s Jazzy Java beans chocolate malt and Chinook and Cascade hops).

With just seven barrels, Angry James is the smallest brew house in Summit County. “That gives us the flexibility to brew what we want,” A.J. says. “But we still need to have staples.” In just a short time, the IPA (which sold out in six days) and the Farmhouse have emerged as community go-tos. As for A.J., who calls himself a “moody beer drinker,” picking a favorite is difficult but right now, it’s that coffee-forward stout.

Whatever your preference, raise a glass during Angry Hour, 4 to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and nab $1 off all pints. Or visit during regular business hours: Monday through Thursday, 2 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.; or Sunday, noon to 9 p.m.

Bonus: Mountain Lyon Cafe, Silverthorne’s always-busy diner, serves food truck style eats out of Angry James’ catering kitchen.

421 Adams Ave., 970-455-8800, Silverthorne

Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.