Finkel and Garf Brewing Company
5455 Spine Road Suite A, Boulder, CO
Open Date: July 14, 2014
Brewing System: 15 Barrel Brewhouse
Taproom Hours Mon-Fri: 3-9pm Sat-Sun: 12-9pm
Finkel and Garf is Boulder County’s newest craft brewery. While they’re joining a long list of already successful breweries and numerous others with great potential, they have found a way to distinctly differentiate themselves. Finkel and Garf is the brainchild of Eric and Dan Garfinkel and along with the talents of head brewer Mychal Johnson, the business is bound to go places. Upon entering the brewery and sitting at the bar beautifully crafted from old boxcar floors, I was prompted for my ID. Like any other establishment, they require you be an adult to partake in the libations. But this might be the place that, aside from my age, encourages me to be the least adult version of myself possible. One wall is decorated with a large Rube Goldberg ball machine that sends croquet balls through computer fans and around other obstacles before reaching its resting place at the bottom-only to be hoisted back to the top by the next inspired guest. The opposite wall proudly displays table top games for challenging your newest friend or playground adversary. Community tables throughout the bar are adorned with constantly changing Duplo block centerpieces crafted by previous guests.
The taproom is inspiring- it reminds me to forget about my adult responsibilities and focus on the truly enjoyable aspects of life: smiling, laughing and making friends. While the taproom succeeds at inspiring the inner child, the beers are far from childish. Mychal has produced a unique set of offerings, likely inspired by his own inner child. The full flight I ordered showcased beers that were all beautifully crafted. I found myself most drawn to the Pale Ale and Dark Cream Ale. The Pale Ale definitely tips its scale in the hop-forward direction, but is nicely balanced by a wonderfully crisp and and cracker-like malt complexity. Of all of the beer offerings however, the Dark Cream Ale really stood out the most. Like the playground that is the taproom, this is the most creative of the flight and least like any traditional style. This beer is the epitome of underdog pushes and four square aces. Unlike any traditional beer style, this beer takes no direction, but instead defines itself. The slightly nutty and chocolate-y nuances keep the beer bright and playful without the acrid or astringent characteristics of roasted malts that define your run-of-the-mill stout or porter.
For an extra creamy texture similar to that 8oz chocolate milk carton you always craved in your middle school cafeteria, ask for it on nitro! On the horizon is a Rye Saison and Lager, so be on the lookout for their next taproom releases. If the taproom and patio aren’t evidence enough, the Big Wheel, robot, wind-up car, frisbee and jack-in-the-box that are proudly displayed in the brewery coat of arms is. The logo proudly displayed on the brewery wall is a constant reminder to go places, stay curious, let it go, play often and surprise yourself. Don’t believe me? Order the beer flight and pairing… but be warned, i’m going to turn up my nose and snort “I told ‘ya so!” when you’re served Oreos and Goldfish Crackers with your beer!