Dillon Dam


In the sleepy town of Dillon, just off I-70 in northwestern Colorado's Summit County, lies Dillon Dam Brewery. Appropriately enough, right next to the dam on the road between Dillon and Frisco. The attractive wooden structure is close to the town's ugly stripmalls but the standalone building with its grain silo set it apart from its mediocre surroundings. Inside, the horseshoe-shaped light wood bar features two eight-tap brass towers pouring the house brews. The dining area offers two dozen dark wooden tables and chairs in a green carpeted room. Silent TV surround the bar and large fans hang from the 30 foot ceiling. Upstairs is home to pooltables and more seating and offers a peak into the mill room through a glass wall. The stainless steel brewhouse occupies one side of the building, visible from the lounge/bar area. An outdoor patio with green patio furniture stands ready to accommodate demand when the weather permits. Most areas are wheelchair accessible.

The Wilderness Wheat is a clear gold, well-carbonated, with an even flavor balance and nice clean underlying hops. The Dam Straight Lager is a clear light amber color, medium-bodied, it starts with a toasted malty character and finishes with a light hoppy flavor. The Brew Brother's Extra Pale Ale is a clear amber, well-carbonated, with a creamy head, hoppy aroma, pronounced Cascade hop flavor matched to a supporting maltiness. Very nice! The Palivicinni Porter has a sharp black malt flavor tempered with its caramel malts. The Old Dillon Oatmeal Stout shows a thick dark head and offers a creamy mouthfeel and slightly roasted malt character. The seasonal Raspberry has a slightly fruity aroma, smooth mouthfeel, moderate raspberry flavor with subdued hops and malt. Other regulars include the Yo Han Bock and the Sweet George's Brown.

The price structure offers something for everyone. A sampler tray is $3.75, four ounce tasters $1, 10 ounce glasses $2.25 and 16 ounce pints $3.25. A pitcher can be had for $10 and growlers are available to go. For the really thirsty there's a 2 1/2 gallon Party Pig for $25. Crowd pleasers include 5 gal kegs at $35 and half barrels for $95. Merchandise includes denim shorts ($35), T-shirts ($15), pint glasses ($4) and 22 ounce bombers ($3). Live music is squeezed in front of the brewhouse near the bar and lit by overhead track lights. Smoking is allowed at the bar but happy hour can cause that to be overlooked. The abundance of windows means you can enjoy the beers and the vistas simultaneously. It just may be hard to retreat to your condo after a long day in the Rockies and a long night at the Dam Brewery.

Photos by Tom Ciccateri

Dillon Dam
100 Little Dam Rd.
Dillon, CO

Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - October, 1998

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