With all of culinary comings and goings in Denver’s frenzied restaurant scene, sometimes the anchors are forgotten. Well, here’s a friendly reminder to spend your appetite where the food is tops and the beer is abundant. Or, better put, here are five reasons to love Thirsty Lion this season:
1—52 craft beers, many from our beloved Colorado. That’s not counting the handful of rotating taps that represent the season—and our particular suds-loving palates—so well. This winter, Thirsty Lion is pouring the Telluride Ski-in Ski-Stout—a refreshing brew that juggles coffee and chocolate with an approachable ABV—plus our recent favorite, the Breckenridge Christmas Ale that offer a warming, spice-friendly bear hug. If you’re less keen on malty, don’t fear; Thirsty Lion does a remarkably good job of spreading their beer offerings across the hoppy-malty spectrum, so there’s something for everyone (yes, you too, IPA heads). Oh, and if you’re not ready to commit to a full pour, get the flight—six four-and-a-half-ounce tasters of anything on tap (including seasonal offerings).
2—Seasonal menus tap local ingredients and timely comforts. Grilled Salmon cakes with Sriracha aïoli (a current seasonal menu feature) may not seem like a winter staple, but the beauty of Thirsty Lion is the way in which they balance surf and turf to round out permanent menu offerings. If you’re not a fan of fish, try the Scotch Eggs—a must-have comfort creation that nests a medium-boiled egg inside a casing of ground sausage and panko coating, all deep-fried. Or just save your hunger for the Rib-Eye (though we recommend subbing out the side of cheddar mash with garlic noodles).
3—Jameson’s Bing Cherry Bread Pudding. Let’s face it, there’s never a season when bread pudding is not the first thing in our mouths (yes, even for breakfast), but this dense, decadent, devourable delight is truly second to none. No really, get it with extra whisky caramel and lots of whipped cream. Then remember why you love your life.
4—Let the games begin! Sure, you may not be a die-hard Broncos fan or don a Nuggets jersey every day, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have hometown spirit. With a dozen-plus big-screen TVs strategically placed throughout the dining room, you can catch the action from any vantage point. When you’re not stuffing your face with burger or bread pudding, that is.
5—Two Denver locations at Union Station and in Cherry Creek. If you’re a regular commuter, work downtown, or simply love the LoDo vibe, Thirsty Lion is an insanely convenient option for happy hour, impromptu meals, or sort-of-work-related-outside-the-office-whilst-drinking meetings. In warm snaps—of which there are plenty a mile high—dock on the patio and watch the goings-on while you finish that report and sign off on a merger.
BONUS: Thirsty Lion knows how important it is to stay connected, which is why they offer free WiFi to patrons at both locations. Whether working or simply social media-ing, this is definitely a cherry on top of an already delightful experience.
For both permanent and seasonal menus, visit thirstyliongastropub.com. Or just drop by and have a pint: 1605 Wynkoop at Union Station and 201 Columbine Street in Cherry Creek.
Jeffrey Steen, Managing Editor