Hopworks takes its role as a patron of the earth very seriously. At the heart of its operation, this eco-brewpub maintains an unbending commitment to sustainable practices, utilizing everything from rain barrels to composting. Even the building it resides in—an industrial ski lodge crafted from reclaimed materials—stands as a testament to that commitment. It's also easily accessible via public transportation and bicycle, enabling customers to play a part in the brewpub's mission, too.
Hopworks produces a staggering 10,000 barrels of beer annually. The brewery's handcrafted organic beers—made from organic malts and locally sourced hops—keep the facility's 10 taps loaded throughout the year. The selection includes seasonal specialties and year-round creations, such as the popular Survival 7-Grain Stout, a dark concoction made with barley, wheat, oats, quinoa, amaranth, spelt, and Kamut.
With so much of its focus on beer, it might be easy to assume Hopworks isn't a place to bring children. But that couldn't be further from the truth. The brewpub encourages families to visit by keeping a play area stocked with toys and books to entertain the kids. Every month, Hopworks also hosts fun family events featuring craft activities, story time, and healthy snacks. Just like its use of sustainable practices, these events are all part of Hopworks's mission to engineer a safe future for younger generations.
From cracking two-row malted barley in a roller mill to carbonating at 31 degrees Fahrenheit, brewer Adam Roberts’s five-step process yields each of 4th Street Brewing Co.’s handcrafted beers. A window in the brewpub’s restaurant lets patrons take a peek at the working microbrewing equipment, which churn out the ales, porters, and IPAs that make up the five mainstay brews. Adam also crafts seasonal beer selections such as the Get Jiggy Wit It, a belgian white ale, and the czech pilsner.
In the kitchen, Chef Abe uses locally raised, organic ingredients to craft pub food that complements Adam’s beers. Those dishes include beer-battered onion rings by the pound or half-pound, charbroiled or stone-oven-baked pizzas with toppings such as IPA barbecue sauce and artichoke hearts, and a pork-fillet sandwich topped with french fries. Meals unfold in a spacious dining room where sports flicker across nine high-definition televisions and magician Brian Proctor dazzles diners every Friday night by performing card tricks and magically, with only the use of minutes, turning once hot dishes into lukewarm ones. 4th Street also accommodates private feasts in two party rooms equipped with amenities such as a 78-inch projection screen and a private bar.
In Aurora, visitors can find antiques that are as old as the town itself. Founded back in 1856, Aurora has been lauded as one of the best destinations in the U.S. for antiquing, and many of the historic buildings are now occupied by locally-owned businesses including Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage, Time After Time, White Rabbit Bakery, and Aurora Antiques. In addition to antiques, the town is home to a number of artisanal wineries, candy shops, and galleries where artists showcase their hand-made wares.