Paige Latham Didora
bru to wild woods: the great Boulder beer tour, pt 2
Wild Woods Brewery and Bru are the newest places that we visited during our great beer (and bathroom) tour. After leaving Upslope, Bru was a very short drive away.
Not quite two years old, Wild Woods has made a splash as a sort of quiet, tiny underdog in Boulder’s brewing scene. The brewery’s concept came together for owners Jake and Erin Evans (a nurse, no less!) while on a visit to Colorado from their former home in the Midwest.
We opted for one flight between the three of us – Andrew, Nikki, and I – knowing we were only about halfway done with the day’s drinking. The bartender handed over a colorful and cloudy tray of beer and we found a table inside the open, wood-clad space.
The crowd was pretty mixed, and we had frequent visits from one curious toddler and some dagger-eyes from a apprehensive dog.
Overall I was far more impressed by Wild Woods’ lighter beers than their darker ones. Better than the other way around, in my opinion, both due to the season and also because typically “lighter” beers are more tricky to create well.
The jasmine of the Wildflower Pale Ale was perfectly refreshing and distinct without even bordering on overwhelming. Aroma alone will draw you in like a fly-zapper.
Made with natural berry puree is the Berry Patch Wheat, an American-style wheat beer the features nice yeast and wheat character with fairly subtle berry notes. The malt bill contains 50% wheat and the beer is unfiltered. Though it didn’t stand out quite as much as the previous sample, it was very good.
Among the beers that were not bad, but somewhat boring, were the Campfire Red, an amber ale with no personality, and the Treeline IPA. The IPA was definitely not flawed in terms of brewing, but we found the juniper berry to be a bit redundant with the hop character rather than standing out on its own.
It was snack time. We were all getting hungry. Nikki pulled a bag a surprise bag of Goldfish out of her purse, which we forgot is the object of all toddlers’ homing devices.
The darker beers were significantly weaker. The Ponderosa Porter had some questionable diacetyl, with abundant butterscotch notes and less distinct vanilla. There was a plastic undertone, too, and it was slick in the mouth.
Visit Wild Woods on a hot day when you’re craving a wheat beer or drinkable IPA. Maybe you, too, will find a friendly toddler (insider tip: bring Goldfish).
Snacking was not quite enough, so we made our way the very short distance to Bru Handbuilt Ales, an unexpected and classy restaurant in a small strip mall. The patio was busy but Nikki swiped a spot in the sun for our final tour stop.
Bru was a wild card but Andrew had written it into the itinerary. I was shocked to taste some of the best beer of the day alongside high-caliber food and good service.
The majority of the beer at Bru turns over quickly, meaning their menu changes frequently. In my opinion, this is a very good thing, as it is with food. So it is hard to make suggestions, but here were our favorites–
Nymeria- a very good IPA/pale ale using experimental hops. The quality of the hop flavor was unique and subtle (for a change).
Big Brown Woody- a fantastic barrel-aged imperial brown with hot whisky notes and and intriguing stone fruit aroma. I’m not usually one to sit on beer, but I’m guessing this would age beautifully.
Visiting Boulder for beer is so easy it’s silly. Everyone should do it, maybe on a bike or with pocket Goldfish. Cheers!
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