So, I’m a blogger now. I blog. I’m also a Realtor, so if you’re interested in living near Joyride, there’s a link to live listings as well as my contact info at the bottom of this post.
This One’s On The House is so proud to have Dave Bergen of Joyride Brewing Company join us on our maiden voyage. AHOY! I can’t say enough good things about this place, but I’ll start with the BEER! Each of their brews is complex and balanced, there’s not a snore in the lineup and each of them has their own personality. I recall describing a few of the specialties as “sinister”, “beautiful”, or “cheeky” during the wonderful years I worked there behind the bar while getting started in real estate. The Joyride Double IPA is one of my all time favorite beers and I enjoy it regularly. I gotta say that their level of community involvement might just be my favorite part of what they do at Joyride, beyond the beer. They work closely with the town of Edgewater and Edgewater Collective, whose mission is “Cultivating Partnerships to Help Edgewater Families Thrive.” Joyride often has events wherein $1 per pint sold goes to charity. They’re an integral part of getting folks out and enjoying their community through their involvement in events like Edgewater Market and Music, which is every Thursday in the summertime and features local businesses, artisans and musicians. Sloans Lake is showcased through the open garage doors from their convenient location at 25th and Sheridan. This is one of my very favorite neighborhoods, as I also live in the area. The vibe throughout Edgewater is so hip and still very chill. I think Dave said it best, so I’ll let him tell you just how great this ‘hood is in the interview.
Here’s what you can look forward to when you visit Joyride:
- Stellar service, if I say so myself, and KILLER tunes by DJ Beertender.
- DOGS! They’re located in Jefferson County, so it’s all good!
- Food trucks every evening and now also for lunch on Thursdays and weekends.
- If you’re from the midwest, you’re gonna love this… Euchre tournament EVERY MONDAY night.
- You think you know stuff? TRIVIA every Tuesday night… the questions are created by Joyride staff, so expect a challenge.
- Run Club meets every Wednesday at Joyride to run ‘round Sloans lake.
- 25th is blocked off on Thursdays in the summer for Edgewater Market and Music
- They work with Seed Stock, WestFax, and Hogshead for a fun time bike party, the West Side Brewery Bike Loop. They do a similar route for the West Side Brewery Bus loop as well, and you may have guessed, its on a bus. Check their facebook for dates on this one and other events!
I couldn’t be more grateful for the time the wonderful Mr. Dave Bergen donated to the “My First Blog” cause. Without further ado… the interview.
This One’s On The House: Joyride Brewing… I know you all so well, but I’d like to tell the story about how Joyride came to be. How did a few midwestern gents come together to build Edgewater’s most famous Brewery?
Dave Bergen: It all started when I bought my dad a Mr. Beer homebrew kit for Christmas. I think it was ’05 or ’06. He used it once or twice and decided it wasn’t really for him, so he asked me if I wanted it. I started brewing with it and had a lot of fun. My problem with it was that I didn’t have as much control over the process as I wanted and started to think about getting more advanced equipment. Around the same time, two of my friends and current business partners (Grant Babb and Brent Smith) were also talking about getting into homebrewing. We decided to combine forces and got into all-grain brewing, getting together for a batch once a week. We started off brewing in Brent’s garage and my driveway, but after 6 months, we wanted a place to brew that was out of the elements, where we could brew year round. Grant had just bought a house in Edgewater, and had an extra room in the basement. We ended up converting that into our brewroom, and the system was actually pretty advanced for a bunch of homebrewers. We brewed on that basement system for 5+ more years, once a week, 10 gallons a week. We kept really good notes and tweaked our recipes and processes constantly. I had a job where I was driving 3,000 miles a month, so I had lots of time to listen to beer podcasts like the Brewing Network. Our batches kept getting better, so we decided to write a business plan and see what happens. We found a few investors who believed in us, and then our location at 25th and Sheridan across from Sloan’s Lake kind of fell in our lap. Then everything kind of came together. We began construction in December of 2013 and opened our doors on July 16th, 2014.
TOOTH: You just had your 4th anniversary, with 4 excellent collaborations, How do you choose who you collab with and also what you will brew together?
DB: Last year, for our third anniversary, I had this idea that instead of doing an anniversary beer, I would do three instead, and all of them would be collaborations. So I picked Downhill, Hogshead, and Little Machine. Downhill is owned by Doug Hyndman and Jake Minturn, and they’re both important to me. Doug has been a mentor for me and the entire Joyride team from back in our homebrew days. He’s given me so much good advice over the years, I’m not sure where we’d be without that expertise. Jake was one of our original beertenders and assistant brewers at Joyride, and we became close during his time here. So they were an obvious choice. Hogshead is the closest brewery to us by distance, and have been very welcoming of us from Day 1. We’re more than neighbors and contemporaries, we’re friends. Finally, Brett from Little Machine was also very influential and helpful during our startup days, offering tons of advice. We had also worked with them previously for Collab Fest, so it was a natural fit.
For our fourth anniversary, I wanted to keep the same three breweries from the previous year, so it made it really hard to pick who the one additional one would be. I chose Station 26 because we had collabed together the previous year on a hazy pale ale that we released over Phish weekend in September. Plus I’ve known those guys over there for a little while now, and knew we’d have a fun brew day.
TOOTH: What’s your favorite style to brew?
DB: My favorite style to brew is either our Ice Cutter Kölsch or a brand new recipe. I like brewing our Kölsch because it’s a fairly simple recipe, so we can get a lot of other side work done at the same time, or we can relax a bit. New recipes are always exciting, especially if it’s using new ingredients. I like to take in all the different sights and smells in the brewhouse on those days and think about how they’re going to influence the final product. Last year we brewed 56 unique recipes, so new recipe brew days are pretty common.
TOOTH: What’s your favorite style to drink?
DB: My standard response in it depends on the weather, what I’m eating, what I’m doing the rest of the day, what else I’ve had to drink that day, my mood…there’s a lot of variables. But my desert island style would probably be an American Pale Ale. I like the classics like Mirror Pond and Sierra Nevada. I really dug Pale 31 from Firestone Walker, but they’ve discontinued it. Whenever my parents drive out to visit, my dad normally brings me some Zombie Dust from Three Floyds, and that’s always nice.
TOOTH: Y’all always have some very creative brews on tap. Where do you get your brew inspiration from?
DB: Inspiration can come from anywhere. Sometimes I’ll think of a funny name (at least I’ll think it’s funny) and make a recipe around that. Sometimes I’ll want to play around with a new ingredient, so I’ll build a recipe around that ingredient to make it a star. Every once in awhile we’ll want to do a particular style, and we’ll think about what we could do differently to make it stand out and be unique. I also get great advice and suggestions from my two assistant brewers, Kyle and Kyle.
TOOTH: What’s the number one thing that sets Joyride apart from the other neighborhood breweries?
DB: Maybe two things: service and the experience. We pride ourselves on having the best service in town. Not many other breweries have dedicated floor servers. Aside from additional staff, we require everyone who works here to at least be a Certified Beer Server from the Cicerone program. I personally work with the staff several times a week for the purpose of continuous education. We really have the best team here at Joyride, everyone is so friendly and they want to help the customers find the perfect beer for that particular moment. And they’re going to get it to you quickly without having to wait in a long line. I also think we’ve created an experience here that can’t be beat. When the garage doors are up and it feels like an open patio, great tunes are playing on the sound system, you’re surrounded by friendly staff and fellow customers, you take a glance at the lake and do some people watching, then you take a sip of beer…everything seems to be perfect at that moment in time.
TOOTH: What’s your favorite thing, aside from Joyride, about Edgewater?
DB: The best thing about Edgewater is how unique it is. We’re right across the street from Denver, we have Lakewood to the south and west, and have Wheat Ridge to the north. So it exists as this entity that seems like it’s apart of the big city because of its proximity, but it also seems like it’s the suburbs since it’s nestled between two other suburbs, and it also feels like a small town because, well, it’s less than a square mile so it is. But the people who live in Edgewater are what make it feel like a small town. I love it when our neighbors walk their dogs or ride their bikes to the brewery. I love it when people have just closed on a house 3 blocks from us and they’re telling us that they will be our new regulars. I don’t know if anywhere else in the Front Range has that hybrid of qualities and location that Edgewater has. We’re extremely fortunate to be here in Edgewater, and we’re proud of our city as well.
TOOTH: What’s the next thing you’re excited about that people should know you’ve got coming up?
DB: Man, there’s always something new going on. I’m really looking forward to wet hop season, which is coming a little early in Colorado this year. We should start getting shipments of wet hops in mid-August, so we should have those beers available by Labor Day. I’m a super big fan of wet hop beers, they’re so unique, and there’s something about the fact that you can only make them one time a year. I’m actually going to the Fresh Hop Festival in Yakima, WA at the end of September, really looking forward to that. I’m also really looking forward to participating in Paired: Los Angeles in October, where we’ll be matched up with a famous chef to create some amazing food and beer pairings. We were one of only 40-something breweries to be selected to participate in this Festival, and it promises to be pretty amazing. But lots of other stuff going on between now and then.
TOOTH: Anything interesting you’d like to share about the rooftop patio? (Edited for brevity)
DB: We’ve recently just starting brewing into our new fermenters in anticipation of the rooftop opening this fall, so that’s pretty exciting. The whole process of opening up the rooftop has been long and slow, but we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The rooftop will more than double our capacity, so we gotta make a lot more beer to serve all those thirsty people. We’ve been running with 6 fermentation tanks for so long, it’s a little weird going into tank 7 and 8, and they’re in a different room, so that’s creating some logistical challenges, but that’s all apart of the job. When the rooftop opens up, there’s not going to be anything like it. Unobstructed views of Sloan’s Lake with downtown Denver behind it. It’s going to be amazing and we can’t wait until this project is finally completed.
TOOTH: Who’s your favorite brand new beer blogger… =)
DB: Well, of course you, Shan!
You’re my favorite too, Dave! I can’t wait to blog from the rooftop while sipping a Joyride Double IPA soon! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING!
I’ll be there tonight doing a few raffle giveaways and enjoying the Edgewater Market and Music! Come see me there around 6p-8p. Enter to win some quality Joyride gear or put your name in the hat for a high end MOUNTAIN BIKE I’ll be giving away to a lucky winner in the coming months.
Joyride Brewing Company is located at 2501 Sheridan Blvd, Edgewater CO 80214. You can find them on Facebook or check out their website at www.joyridebrewing.com
Don’t be a dummy, go check it out.
If you’re interested in living near Joyride Brewing Company, I’ve got some listings below.
I’d love to share my knowledge or help you or anyone you know find and own the right home. Please visit my website, www.TheShanGroup.com to search listings in Colorado and let me know how I can be of service. I can be reached via phone at 214-952-1010 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out what’s on the market in the area:
Here’s a calendar I put together for y’all to help folks get out and enjoy the community! Please let me know if I missed anything.