Denver Bar Association
February 2011
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Bar Review: Rackhouse Pub Serves Up Whiskey and Comfort Food

by Sara Crocker

Wanting to warm ourselves with a pint or a few fingers of holiday cheer, the Docket Committee paid a visit to the Rackhouse Pub instead of the DBA offices for its December meeting and holiday party.

Nestled in the south Baker neighborhood, at 208 S. Kalamath, Rackhouse Pub cozies up to Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey Distillery. There, local is the name of the game—whether it’s the beers, the spirits, the ingredients for their gourmet pub fare, or the art on their walls—their aim is to be "as hardcore Colorado as our neighbors," according to the pub’s website.

Rackhouse Pub has an open, warehouse-like frame lined by whiskey barrels. There are tables and booths throughout that you can seat yourself at, as well as a long bar. Copper, cherry woods, and granite highlight the barrels and cedar beams

Becky Bye, Heather Clark, her son William, Natalie Lucas, Kate Mills, Greg Rawlings, James Garts, Marshall Snider, and I straggled into the pub on Dec. 7, thanks to the construction on Alameda Avenue and Kalamath Street. We opted for proper pours of Stranahan’s (which are $1 off during the daily happy hour) and Colorado beers (drafts are $3.50 for happy hour).

We also dug into a sampling of appetizers: street tacos, a giant pretzel, hot bean dip, and sticky wings. Some also tried the selection of sandwiches. All in all, we agreed the food was exceptional. Typical bar offerings like pretzels and wings were taken to a different level: the pretzel was the right combination of chewy outside and fluffy inside. The beer cheese and spicy mustard dips were wonderful compliments. The wings, though baked instead of the traditional fry, were great too, pairing a sweet glaze with a spicy wasabi cream sauce. The service was swift and the pub filled out but wasn’t unreasonably stuffy.

Those who imbibed the local brews enjoyed the selection, which ranges across the state from Denver locals Great Divide and Wynkoop to Boulder’s Avery and Fort Collins’ New Belgium and Odell breweries.

The jury was out on Stranahan’s whiskey, getting roses and thorns from the Docket crew.

Snider described the whiskey as average.

"It was special only in that it is made in Colorado," he said.

Bye said her husband, Garts, has been hooked on Stranahan’s ever since.

"He says it’s his ‘thing’ now," she said. D


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