Oskar Blues Brewery makes craft brews, like Dale’s Pale Ale. Ever heard of it?
They originated in Lyons, Colorado in 1997, and that location is still there. I’ve been there a couple of times myself and there in Lyons you can always find some of the best blues and rock bands around, playing nightly, if you ever make an effort to drive up the front range on the weekend for a drink.
Their Pearl Street Taproom location has only been open for a short time, but it is a popular place for music and beer.
A great place to be social.
When you enter their Boulder Taproom you will notice the ceilings are high. There are plenty of tables with stools and some of the tables are even long and “European” styled seating.
On the speakers, be prepared to hear loud music. EPMD, Public Enemy and a Tribe Called Quest were blasting away when I was there, but if the music isn’t loud enough their customers will be, so if you need a place to go catch up with your buds or your “party of four” or more, by all means, stop into Oskar Blues Brewery!
Meet local folk legend, Danny Shafer.
I stopped by their Pearl Street location on a Tuesday night when Danny Shafer was having his open mike night.
Danny has played at many places across Colorado, as well as across the nation touring, but he’s been doing open mikes in Boulder for 18 years.
Personally, I’ve known Danny for about as long as I’ve lived in Boulder. I’ve seen him play at places like the Laughing Goat Café and also at both Conor O’Neill’s and Penny Lane Coffee House, which are now defunct, but now you can find him on Tuesday nights at Oskar Blues Boulder Taproom, hosting his open mike from 7:30-9:30 PM.
This night there was a small crowd huddled in the corner sitting below a chandelier made of empty Dale’s Pale Ale cans. The small crowd and myself witnessed musical creations from solo guitar players and singers. Some had the latest electronic music gadget boxes, but most had acoustic guitars and sung from a chair sitting on a red rug while a blue stage light shined down on them.
“Solid Ground” is an original song Danny wrote about the friends he’s made in the service industry and he sang this one to close out his open mike night.
An Impromptu Interview with Danny.
“At the end of the day I’m totally cooked, man, just like everybody else,” Danny informed me, “that’s why I’m like, man, You want to interview me, now! You’re probably not going to get what you want…”
“What else, Evan?” he asked as I held my iPhone out to record a quote from him for YourBoulder.com, while he was organizing his equipment so he could go home.
“Oskar Blues has been extremely good to me,” Danny said. “I grew up playing for them. They’re like family to me, now… Every interaction I’ve had since the day I walked in the door; they literally not only gave me good work but let me grow as a musician and stood by me when I was going through changes in the flood and everything else, man (referring to the Boulder flood of 2013). These folks have been solid, so I always want to do an extra special job when I’m working for ‘em, not that I don’t every night, but Oskar Blues Brewery family is ‘crew.’ They’re heart and soul family.”
Finally, all the beers!
If you’re going to Oskar Blues Boulder Taproom and you don’t want a beer… I don’t know….
There are so many beers available at this joint that you just might faint when you see their LED screens on the wall by the bar advertising almost 50 of ‘em!
Not all the beers listed are from Oskar Blues Brewery, though. Like when I was there I saw they had the “Golden Monkey” from Victory Brewing. It’s a Belgian Trippel from a brewery in Pennsylvania and I highly recommend you try it if you are a Belgian beer connoisseur like me.
The waitstaff is hit or miss. Recently, I sat down and felt I had three waiters, maybe the hostess got involved? But none of them were that attentive to my empty beer glass.
Everyone who works at Oskar Blues Brewery on Pearl Street looks like they work at a ski resort, all wearing winter hats and looking like “What’s up, bro?” could come out of their mouths at any minute. The same applies to the bartenders most of the time, too.
The Food Choices
“The Trustafarian” is a burger I got medium rare with arugula, goat cheese, honey and bacon on it. The honey on the burger made it sticky on my fingers when I picked it up, but I still enjoyed it. I got it with tortilla chips and salsa, but honestly, if I could do it again, I would’ve ordered it with their famous tatter tots or sweet potato fries.
When you’re charged ten dollars for spinach dip you are expecting something special and I won’t lie, it was “hardy” for the winter night that I ate it on, but you can get better tortilla chips at Chipotle next door or across the street of Pearl at a little place called Centro.
The spinach dip came in a bowl that looked like a small skillet and on top it was covered with diced tomatoes. The tortilla chips served with the spinach dip eventually got soggy in the celery and carrot water being absorbed through that the paper towel.
My orders were served on an aluminum tray and under the food was paper towels.
A couple of young men sitting at a table across from me ordered pizza and I saw the pepperoni was turned up at the edges and burnt.
I really expected a cafeteria lunch lady with a hairnet on her head to come out at any moment to ask me, “How was everything?” when it came to their food.
A Healthier Choice
Their house salad was served on a plate instead of an aluminum tray and cucumber slices were decorated all around it in a circle for effect, but the tomatoes and onions were diced into tiny, tiny pieces, which is not my favorite way to ingest tomato. I will add the blue cheese dressing was runny when I poured it and I had seen “blue cheese crumbles” listed on another salad on the menu, but I guess you have to request those special it seems.
All in all you can find food that is “prettier” and more nice in an appearance anywhere else on Pearl St., but you know as well as I do that it’s not about “food” at Oskar Blues Boulder Taproom!
$4 Dollar Beers
Take advantage of their four dollar beer selections, which they have listed all the time and that is changed weekly or so. They also have barrel-aged beers. Also, you will want to try their “Death by Coconut,” which is exceptionally rememberable due to its coconut flavor.
Things to remember about Oskar Blues….
– It’s a great place to hang out for a beer! Expect loud music and people talking.
– Try their tater tots, burgers and sandwiches, but don’t expect Gordon Ramsey or Chef Emeril to pop out of the woodwork or nothing!
– They have so much selection of beers on tap and if you need to take some home hit up their fridge, where it says “Cold Beer to Go,” on a red neon sign above and grab a 12 pack of cans.
– Plenty of LED screens to watch sports.
– On the weekend they have live music. Also, look out for “Geeks Who Drink” trivia every Thursday.
– They allow dogs on the patio but they prefer service dogs over your “ESA” because Pearl St. has rules, you know!
– If you want a beer named Priscilla, Beerito, or Can-O-Bliss(it has nothing to do with Cannabis), you’ve come to the right place.
– There are locations in Boulder, Lyons, and Longmont, Colorado (Plus North Carolina and Texas).
Click HERE to check out their website.
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