Considering its full slate of signature beers, Lazy Boy Brewing may be a misnomer. That's because the brewery stays busy crafting beers such as the hoppy IPA, the Bavarian-style Hefeweizen, and the chocolate-infused Porter. Beers are more than showcased, they are poured for thirsty patrons inside the taproom. From here, guests can watch brewers as they add malt to their creations or read The Little Engine That Could to fermenting tanks. All of this has helped the brewery earn awards such as the gold medal at 2007's North American Beer Awards for its Belgian Strong Ale and the bronze medal at 2007's Strange Brewfest for its Mistletoe Bliss.
Sassafras, sarsaparilla, and vanilla: above all, these are the flavors celebrated by The Root Beer Store, which is chock-full of root beers from around the country. Owner Corey Anderson grew up making root beer with his dad, generating his admiration for root-beer culture. Anderson was featured on King 5 for his passion for the soft drink, which manifests in his selection of more than 100 types from craft root-beer makers. From Hawaii to Maine to Australia, the creativity of each brewer shines in the collection, which customers browse with visions of ice cubes and ice cream to accompany them. The staff is on hand to help home brewers make their own soda with root-beer kits, extracts from different brewers, and the lyrics to the chant sung to the root-beer lord before starting each batch.
Fremont Brewing Company has all the markings of a big-time brewing operation, but with smaller accents that make the place seem approachable. Just a little bit rustic, with big, wooden communal trestle tables and comfortable chairs in the adjoining taproom, Fremont also holds lots of industrial stainless steel vats and barrels inside their outsized concrete blue building. Seasonal brews on tap help to quaff the thirst of local craft beer fans, and a suppertime urban beer garden routinely fills up on sunny days. Pints are available to enjoy while on the premises, and growlers to go keep the regulars coming back. Each of the brewery’s small-batch artisan beers are made with local ingredients, and range from a handsome India Pale Ale to stouts, porters and assorted ales. The fact that the place is both kid- and dog-friendly also tells you a lot about the business.
What to Drink
Where to Sit: Grab a table near the floor-to-ceiling picture windows that recall the building’s early days as an automotive showroom.
When to Go: during one of two happy hours, which take place every day from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to close
While You’re Waiting
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: See art inspired by Star Wars, War of the Worlds, and other pop-culture staples at Ltd. Art Gallery (307 E Pike Street)
After: Catch an independant play such as Urinetown at Balagan Theatre (1524 Harvard Avenue)
The Beer: No bottles. No cans. Georgetown Brewing Company specializes in draft beer only. That means your options inside the brewery’s retail shop are limited to kegs or growlers. But if you’re lucky, you might get to sample the brewery’s latest beer before it’s released.
Kegs by the Numbers
When to Go:On Saturdays, when the brewery hosts tours.
Inside Tip: Check this list of area festivals, concerts, and other events where Georgetown Brewing Company’s beers will be on tap.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Flip through comics at Fantagraphics Books (1201 S. Vale Street).
After: Order lunch at Lect’s Soup Stop (5327 Denver Avenue S.), a small takeout restaurant with an ever-changing selection of housemade soups.
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: One of the many bars in the area that have Georgetown Brewery Company on draft; for example, 9 Pound Hammer (6009 Airport Way S) showcases the Georgetown Porter.
When Mike Hale founded Hale’s Ales some 25 years ago, his focus was clear: brew only top-quality, handcrafted ales in the old English style. And though his production capabilities have increasingly expanded over the years—from 6,000 barrels a year to 20,000—he still sticks to that initial vision, following brewing methods that have been perfected over centuries. Along with standards such as IPAs, porters, and a cream ale, Hale’s also brews seasonal ales, such as the Wee Heavy Winter Ale, available from November 'till January, and a Harvest Ale, available from September to November or until the last bottle has been plucked from the vine. Hale designed his brew pub based on the real English pubs he first fell in love with more than 30 years ago, complete with a classic mahogany bar, booths, and leather couches, plus a deck and family dining areas. And of course, there's plenty of pub grub to pair with Hale’s full-flavored ales. The diverse menu includes hearty plates such as fish and chips, garlic mac and cheese, and meatloaf, along with pizzas, burgers, and small tapas for sharing.