When I approach a space, I’m immediately energized or de-energized.
I’m sensitive, and especially so to the presence or absence of good energy and beauty.
BRU in Boulder, is in an old strip mall, which itself isn’t that energetic or beautiful, but once you walk inside their space, the thrills begin.
All of the furniture was handmade by the owner, and there’s a specialness and style that shows it.
Wood is the main material in the space, and there’s also the bright aluminum of the beer tanks, seen through a long glass wall.
A sliding barn door marks the entry to the brewing room, and I liked the juxtaposition of the rustic and modern materials.
On a side wall, they’ve hung oversized letters, that mimic Scrabble ones, spelling out BEER.
On the main wall, BRU is spelled out repeatedly; my favorite iteration: the string art, where string has been looped around nails making each letter.
On each of the tables, are painted Ball jars in which succulents have been planted.
Silverware is true, vintage silverware – an unexpected choice at a brewery – and one I loved.
I was there for a media event, and we were given 3 tasters of beer by founder and Beer Chef, as he likes to be called, Ian Clark – the 3 beers he first began brewing in his home basement – and the ones which are now his flagship brews.
I liked each of them – even the IPA, which I’m not usually a fan of –
-BEEZEL BELGIAN GOLDEN STRONG ALE with honey and bitter orange peel. 9.3% ABV. My favorite of the three.
-OBITUS BROWN ALE with dates and caramelized sugar. 7.6% ABV and a close, close second to the Beezel.
-CITRUM IPA with fresh lemon zest and juniper. 7.2% ABV.
I drink enough craft beer to know when I’m tasting distinctiveness, and these three are definitely distinct.
And impressive, for a small brewer.
They have a few red wines, a white, a rose and a sparkling, so wine lovers aren’t left out of the mix here.
Ian is not only a Beer Chef, but a Chef Chef as well, having spent 14 years in kitchens, including Big Red F staples: Centro and Jax Fish House.
While Executive Chef at Centro, his brunch program was even featured on Cooking Channel’s Unique Eats.
We sampled some bites from the kitchen: The Bahn Mi, wood roasted meatballs, market sausage (types change frequently], and The Daily pizza, with wood roasted vegetables, arugula and grana padano on sourdough crust.
After sampling, a colleague and I ordered the Colorado Carrot Connection salad to share, and also the Buttermilk Fried Chicken.
The carrot plate was one of the most exciting I’ve had all year.
A carrot flan [a. carrot. flan!], sided with what I consider to be the best of all the lettuces – butter [though the menu says field greens; this was a happy surprise] – with jalapeno honey mustard vinaigrette.
The fried chicken was as it should be – crunchy outside, juicy inside – though I would have liked to see it [or rather, taste it] more seasoned.
Their menu is well rounded, and has a lot of stirring options on offer, also including whole Colorado trout and wood roasted Berkshire pork.
This is a place for beer and food lovers equally.
Something not all breweries can say, which is what makes it special.