Tour de brew: Nighthawk Brewery

Susan France

Let’s get right to it: Nighthawk’s Brett Tropihop Tropical Saison is a dream. The nose is fragrant, the body is creamy, the taste is bright and it features a good deal of malic acid in lieu of saison’s traditional black pepper backbone. And at 6% ABV, it’s the perfect beer for summertime, not those dreaded dog days of summer where everything is sticky and you spend your days sucking down Freon in front of the air conditioner, but early summertime. When the windows are open, the breeze is still a little cool and the world smells green.

Those days should be behind us, it is October after all, but they aren’t. The thermometer broke 80 degrees last Saturday and looking ahead, has plenty of 70 and 60-degree days in the forecast. With no snow predicted into the first week of November, you might as well put away the skis and snowboards for a few more weeks and embrace the practically perfect weather outside with a delicious pint of beer. Thankfully, Nighthawk Brewery still has plenty of warm-weather brews on tap.

Nighthawk is relatively new to the scene, but they know what they are doing and they are doing it right. Their welcoming and unpretentious digs feature 18 taps with a rotating selection of goodies to be consumed at the bar or at one of the quieter tables that fill the front room. I say quieter because there is a large room in the back where the warehouse is divided into a rec room full of dining tables, couches and arcade games for large gatherings. The night my associate and I visited, the rec room was overrun with screaming children wolfing down pizza and playing cornhole while their parents ignored their created chaos by downing pints of hefe and lager.

Screaming children aren’t our speed, so we sought solace at one of the front tables and immediately loaded the surface with a plethora of snifters featuring Nighthawk’s diverse offerings. There wasn’t a bad one in the bunch, but the summer brews in particular beckoned me. Beers like the Brett Berliner (3.8%) — a full sour wheat that taste like a fresh Jolly Rancher — and the Randy’s Candy Berliner Weisse (3.8%) were positively giddy in the glass and rewound the clock back to June.

While I busied myself with the lighter fare, my colleague handled the heavy lifting, singling out the Lamp Post Coffee Milk Stout (5%) — a nice, roasted stout with hints of chocolate and a touch of cold brew coffee — as her favorite. The Imperial Rye IPA (8.3%), with its pleasing mellow malt, came in a close second.

All of these went down nicely with a hearty calzone — Nighthawk has a pizza-themed kitchen on the premises — and was capped off with a Trout Like Brown IPA (3.8%), a light and fragrant ale that frankly tastes a little like fall. You can almost hear the leaves crunch under your feet and feel the crisp smell of chilled pine as you drink. How apropos. The sun had set, the wind blew a cool breeze and leaves danced along the pavement. Today may feel like summer, but that won’t last forever.

On Tap: Nighthawk Brewery. 2780 Industrial Lane, Broomfield, 720-262-3900.