If you’re like me and enjoy perusing the various nooks and crannies of the Colorado craft beer scene, then you know that the best-kept secrets are often found in garages. These cramped little hovels are home to innovation, experimentation and love. But sometimes you just get tired of living in a garage. You suddenly find yourself identifying with the great frontiersman, Davy Crockett and his incessant search for “more elbow room.” Maybe you even want to play a game of pick-up basketball, a little table tennis, an arcade game or just lounge on an enormous patio while enjoying the lovely weather. Well, if you find yourself in that situation, then please allow me to suggest a visit to Wonderland.
Wonderland Brewing Co. — located off of U.S.-287 and Sheridan Boulevard in Broomfield — is simply enormous. The building and land once belonged to a local church youth group, but in 2014 Wonderland turned the 9,000-square-foot facility into a local hangout where just about everyone could find seating. The never-ending bar top is made of reclaimed wood, the booths come from a Chinese restaurant and the large rectangular picnic tables look like they’ve seen a fair amount of life.
Wonderland may only be three years old, but it has that comforting, lived-in aesthetic that I adore in some of my favorite bars throughout the country.
As the name suggests, Wonderland draws inspiration from the famous Lewis Carroll fairy tale and the 1951 Disney animated film Alice in Wonderland. Considering that the film inspired the brewery’s logo, they really ought to brew a beer in honor of the great Ward Kimball, who animated that dastardly Cheshire Cat smile, and the incomparable Sterling Holloway, who provided the Cat’s mischievous dulcet tones. In the meantime, Wonderland offers fantasy in the form of Alice Blonde (5.2% ABV), a quaffable German wheat that is heavy on the wheat, The Cat’s Pajamas (8.6%), a fizzy sipping Belgian Doppel Weizen with plenty of clove and banana, and TweedleWeiss (5%), an easy drinking light-bodied German Weiss Bier, all designed to “turn every frown upside down” as their marketing tag promises.
Not every beer at Wonderland is beholden to the English fairy tale. With 12 taps, Wonderland offers myriad American inspired beers — Three Putt Pale Ale (5.5%) and Hoppy McHopFace (6.8%) — Belgian — The Fuzz (5%) and Farmer’s Only Saison (6.4%) and German — Good Gose (5.6%) and Blood Orange Shandy Time (6.3%) — to please a large crowd seeking a night out where some can watch television, others can play a bout of ping-pong, a couple can enjoy the live music and the rest can just sit and drink while they pretend to listen to each other. Or you can just go and enjoy a Farmer’s Only Saison on your own with the company of your phone. It’s not lonely; it’s relaxing.
On tap: Wonderland Brewing Co. 5450 W. 120th Ave., Broomfield, 303-953-0400, wonderlandbrewing.com.