Arvada Beer Company and Manneken Frites are an ideal pair in the northwest suburbs

Categories: Second Helpings

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Lori Midson
Out in the northwest suburbs for family events this holiday season, I was looking for a low-key place to unwind with some out-of-town relatives after all the feasting and present-wrapping concluded. Unwilling to settle for one of the strip-mall chain restaurants that are so prevalent on that side of town, I headed into Olde Town Arvada to explore.

That particular stretch of Olde Wadsworth Boulevard has picked up some good culinary options in the last four years, including the Udi's restaurant, which boasts a massive collection of absinthe, and the Archive Room, which serves up better than average bar-and-grill food alongside a decent-enough beer list and occasional live music. That night, though, I was after one of the newest additions to the neighborhood: the Arvada Beer Company, which opened in October under Kelly Floyd, an award-winning homebrewer.

The space that houses the brewery and tasting room is basic, and the seating area feels more like someone's basement all-purpose room than it does a spot to hang out. But between the $5 pints, the incredibly attentive staff and a massive stock of board games and cards, which give you plenty to do while you nurse a beer or five, the place is like a time machine: You're liable to get sucked into your seat for way longer than you'd think.

It helps, too, that the brewery will allow you to bring in your own food or order from a nearby joint -- and that one of those nearby joints is Manneken Frites, a Belgian fry joint that serves up frites and a long menu of sauces plus Vienna beef hot dogs and Belgian beer. We ordered three different rounds, plunging our thickly cut, salty sticks of potato -- fried until golden and crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy within -- into earthy curried ketchup, sweet-spicy barbecue sauce and, my favorite of the three, the wickedly fiery ghost chile ranch dressing. Each round of fries begat more beers; each round of beers begat more fries. And before I knew it, I'd been monopolizing a table for four hours.

Had the place not been closing up for the night, I probably could have easily been there four more.

Location Info

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Arvada Beer Company

5600 Olde Wadsworth Blvd., Arvada, CO

Category: General

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3 comments
Brewdude
Brewdude

I found the beers to be perfectly balanced and very clean, the double IPA was amazing as is the Doppelbock.

Daveed
Daveed

A buddy and I were pretty excited to check out the Arvada Beer Company, so we dropped by shortly after it opened.  HOLY DISAPPOINTMENT!  The beer was dreadful: the IPA was mediocre at best, the brown and the porter were both flat, and the Mexican-style lager was horribly sweet.  I'm really hoping that they were just shaking out some of the early problems that occur when trying to scale-up from homebrew batches to higher volume production.  We've decided to give them 6 or 8 weeks to get the kinks out, at which time we'll try again.  In the meantime we'll just drink the Belgian beers they offer with the frites at Manneken.

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