A good brew pub serves up a hoppy IPA, a meal a bit better than bar food, and offers a nice place to sit and relax. The Dam Brewery delivers none of these.
Nowadays, IPAs are de rigeur in all brew pubs. But not here. That should have been my first hint of what was to come. Shortly after being seated upstairs next to the billiard tables, the floor show started. A dozen pre-pubescent children regaled us patrons with whooping and hollering around the billiards table. Nothing beats having a pint of watery pilsner like the syncopation of 10 billiard cues stomped in unison against the floor.
The parents were AWOL, having retreated to a corner of the bar, only too happy to escape from their little darlings. The staff played ignorant to the cacophony, inured by the sounds of the inbred mountain locals that make up their daily patronage. (A night out for the mountain women offers a chance to display their finest North Face jackets, purchased with the money they saved by boycotting make-up). At one point, I got the attention of one of the workers–the Jerry Garcia-looking wannabe in a tie-dyed shirt– to prevail upon the kids to keep the roar to a minimum. A seance with the real Jerry Garcia would have been more productive.
Clearly the place is a destination for tired parents to dump the kids after a rough day of schussing. But why not “drop the kids at the pool” down the street at McDonalds, where banshee behavior is expected?
As to the food and service... salads are usually served before the entree, not with it. The warm spinach salad featured tired mushrooms, with too much dressing. The only breakfast item was huevos rancheros, which I figured could not come out of the kitchen too cocked up. Its just eggs and beans. And that’s what I got–eggs and beans on a tortilla. My wife’s French dip sandwich was served on ciabatta bread, a nice touch. I stole some of her fries, which were wooden and over-cooked.
All in all, I expect better in Colorado–but not in Dillon. The food is unimaginative, the ambiance torture, and the lack of an IPA inexcusable for a brew pub. The place is conflicted between being a bar and a daycare operation. My suggestion–tell the staff that if the parents abandon their sugar-enriched kids for an hour, Mickey Dees is just down the street. And Mr. Brew Master-- find the recipe for an IPA.
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