Westbound and Down - An Idaho Springs Brewery With Some DAMN Delicious Eats
Like the sound of a Coca-Cola can opening, or the smell before the rain, post-hike beers and burgers are a few of life's simplest (and a few of my guiltiest) pleasures. And I wasn't sure there was a way to make these pleasures any more pleasurable but Westbound and Down in Idaho Springs, Colorado found a way.
In addition to the beer being delicious and the food being delectable, they are entirely dog friendly. As in, you can bring your 4-legged, furry best friend into the bar. Yes, you read that right. In. The. Bar. Which makes it the best post-hike place to grab a bite and some beer.
In addition to being hangry after our hike, all 5 of us were at a place in our lives where we just needed a juicy burger and a beer to cure our Sunday scaries and were honestly still needing a bit of recovery food from shows, travels and St. Paddy's day celebrations. So, we headed to Westbound and Down, located downtown Idaho Springs to refuel and this was the perfect place to do so.
Westbound is very unique in that it is modern with a touch of rustic that provides the warmth and comfort that many modern establishments lack. Brick walls are painted that flaky white that gives the brewery the "lived in and loved" sort of feel and old fashioned lightbulbs give off a soft warm glow that give you that warm and fuzzy feeling on the inside.. The bar area is very modern with a white marble top that provides for a great view of the taps and brew room. The family-style tables are wooden high tops flanked by industrial styled metal stools. The back patio is decorated similarly and features garage doors that open up to a beautiful view of the water-wheel.
Westbound and Down knows, loves and respects the art of beer all while respecting and preserving the natural resources that go into brewing thier beer. WD uses snowmelt and rain to brew their beers AND use windpowered electricity.
I started with the "Geographically Confused IPA", a very heavy on the hops IPA. It is citrus-y and melon-y, packing a decent punch at ABV 6.8%. Westbound and Down partnered with two New Englanders to craft up this craft beer. It is dry and has a bit of a sassy snap at the end. If you like IPAs, and hoppier IPAs, this is the beer for you.
I finished with the house IPA, "Colorado Pale Ale", weighing in at ABV 6.9%. Citrusy in flavor and essence, this beer is full of hops without the heavy hoppy flavor. I usually prefer a heaviness with my IPAs, but this was a perfect post-burger, pre-dessert beer.
The five of us started with the green chili cheese fries. If you haven't had chili cheese fries before, this is an excellent place to start. The fries are that perfect crisp but not too crispy. The fries are loaded with jalapeno beer cheese, house pork green chili, jalapenos and cheddar cheese. If you do not like the spice of jalapenos, have no fear, I promise that you can handle it.
For my main course I ordered the buffalo burger. How could you not? I've searched high and low for a great buffalo burger and this is the best that I have yet to find in Colorado. The burger is a natural patty topped with white cheddar, tomato, lettuce, pickles and dijonnaise. Delicious enough, but if you want to up the ante add a fried egg. You won't regret it.
For dessert, we ordered "something chocolate". Holy. Smokes. These are not your basic beignets. These are beignets that are encasing a chocolate (possibly nutella, I was too busy drooling to even really thing about it) cordial cherry. I am normally not a cordial cherry kind of girl but I could have ordered plate, after plate, after plate of these. Light and moist (hate that word but true!) with just the right amount of powdered sugar so there is no accidental inhaling or powdered sugar remains on your clothing. This is that dessert where you know your heart, soul and stomach want more but your waistline will not be thanking you later so you have to say no.
Safe to say, Westbound and Down, I'll be back. For you, your food, your beer and anything chocolate you have to offer.