Saturday, February 4, 2012

Boulder County Trilogy #2: Left Hand Brewing

For the second stop, we made our way out to Longmont (which we cleverly called Schlongmont when we were younger) to visit Left Hand Brewing. Left Hand is another local brewery I started in on early- I had my first Sawtooth when I was 21, give or take four or so years.

1265 Boston Avenue
Longmont, Colorado 80501

Left Hand is another place with a ski lodge feel, and like Avery is surprisingly small given the brewery's popularity with locals. Speaking of the locals, one thing I immediately noticed here was that the clientele covered a wide range of ages. The San Diego breweries, and Avery before this, are chock full of mostly younger folks. There were a bunch of older folks at Left Hand, grandparent-aged, hanging out enjoying an afternoon beer or two with friends. I'm not sure why that detail stood out to me or why I enjoyed it, but there it was.

I went to the light end of the scale at Left Hand, starting with a Polestar, their pilsner. It was pretty standard for the style (at least the American version of it), though it was a touch sweet, which gave it a cidery character. Second was their flagship Sawtooth, an ESB. I still love this beer- it kind of tastes like herbal tea, but with the herb being hops. They describe it as a great session beer, and they're right on point with that. Third was the Stranger, an American Pale Ale. It's got a bit of rye in it, which gave it a nice depth, and the hops provide a good balance. I could probably treat this as a session too. And last was their 400-Pound Monkey IPA. Super grassy, which is a nice touch, but the malt sweetness is a bit strong. The grassiness won out in the end, though, which produced a clean finish. It was inevitably going to be tough for this one after this IPAs at Avery.

If I had to sum up Left Hand succinctly, I'd call it well-crafted easy drinking.
They make delicious and approachable beers, which explains their popularity among the full cross-section of ages present in the taproom. While their stuff would probably get lost in the IPA-laden shuffle of San Diego, they've got a nice niche in Colorado and a loyal following that they've maintained for a long time.


  1. That taster row is probably the best I've seen

  2. Yeah, their tasting glasses were miniature tulips. I don't know why more places don't do that.