Making noise in the blogosphere with beer.
Star Bar is one the oldest dive bars in Denver. Opening in 1959 and still in existence but under new ownership. Justin, owner and operator, loves his beer. While serving Pabst’s, Bud, Miller, and Coors he’s true passion is in craft beer. Running six taps (draft beer) he’s found that variety is the spice of life.
From the outside it looks like a hole in the wall or a watering hole with just a large star for a reference point. The bar stretches along the east side of the restaurant, wooden tables and chairs line the west side with bathrooms in the back. Fridays and Saturdays they have live music playing some good ole dirty classic rock. You’ll find karaoke throughout the evening and these people are a blast- always ready to rock out and sing the night away. The patrons vary night to night from the young hipsters looking for a cheap beer to the craft beer lovers that appreciate the finer microbrewery selections offered at Star Bar.
Star Bar, while remaining one of Denver’s great dive bars, does a couple things differently than the rest. First they have a B.Y.O.F. policy. No kitchen. Bring your own food. Star Bar is located on Larimer Street (2137 Larimer St.) which is home to a slew of bars and restaurants. Picking up some food and bringing it over to Star Bar is not only welcomed but encouraged.
They also take a great pride in their spirits selection as well as their beer selection. One could order a Crown Royal and Coke, but Leopold’s Whisky does the trick even better. Damn near featuring everything Leopold Brothers (52nd and Nome, Denver) has to offer, Star Bar shows that you can step out of the box when ordering your shot or mixed drink. Even though they are a dive bar they offer the same selection you’d find at most high end establishments.
We’re here to talk about beer though. As great as their spirit selection is, that’s not the purpose behind Star Bar. Their beer program is what sets them apart from not only every other dive bar in town, but some of the big boys too. Local is the name of the game. While still having macro brewery crap (for the cheap), Star Bar has taken a focus on featuring Colorado micro breweries as the craft beer to drink.
Their taps for draft are always rotating and ever changing. The pour is 20oz for $6. That’s almost unbeatable. The taps change daily to weekly all based on how fast the beer goes down. Normally you’ll find one strong beer, one sour, two unique, and one macro brew available. Since I rolled in just after St. Patty’s Day, the tap selection was more mainstream. Tara (bartender) says, “We were afraid of people doing car bombs with Oak Aged Yeti by Great Divide,” (9.5% vs Guinness at 4.2%). Totally understand their thought process and I’ll be back to see what they throw up on tap next. Typically you’ll find some crazy New Belgium stuff, Left Hand Brewing, Oskar Blues, and Great Divide.
So maybe you don’t like draft beer. They serve a variety of craft beer in cans. Want a bottle? Forget the bottle. You’re at a dive bar son! Cans rule this playground! Ska, Upslope, Avery, and Oskar Blues showcase their can selection. Microbreweries such as Oskar Blues only deal in cans and Star Bar has their whole line. Whether you want a 4% session beer or a 10% kick you in the ass beer – Star Bar has it all.
Lastly, let’s touch on a new craze: Beer Cocktails. That’s right folks. Star Bar not only offers great spirits and great craft beers, but the blend of the two is something else entirely: it’s beyond delicious. Try this one on for size: “Collab Vieux”, Leopold’s American Small Batch Whisky, Cognac, Sweet Vermouth, Benedictine, and Avery Brewing’s Collaboration not Litigation Ale. Fan-fricking-tastic. They offer a few more as well: Hopped up Double Co Blackberry Whisky Sour or a Saison Ginger Snap. My mouth waters as I type this – know that.
Next time you’re out and about in Denver, make your way up to 2137 Larmier St. and checkout Star Bar for all your craft beer needs. Make sure to say hi to Tara (red headed vixen). Not only is she a craft beer lover, but she’s also a pretty damn good bartender – one of the best this city has to offer.