September 5, 2013

Diebolt Brewing


Brewing has long been a family tradition the world over. Even in the US, just look at the Coors’ lineage in Golden, or the Yuengling empire out in Pennsylvania. Nowadays, though, the familial succession of many of our breweries is based more upon the younger generation’s business prowess than any sort of inherited brewing knowledge. Call me crazy, but I don’t think you’ll find Pete Coors stirring a mash tun or Dick Yuengling suggesting they up the late hop additions.

However, there was time when the secrets of brewing were passed down from parent to offspring (mother to daughter in many cases). In Belgium, the country that has best maintained traditional brewing practices, many breweries still do this; it’s not unusual to find two generations brewing side by side, the elder passing down knowledge to produce better and more creative beer. Unfortunately, here in the States, the mass popularity of dull, pale lagers has led to monopolistic family businesses that instead focus on creating larger profits and bigger distribution.

But there is still hope…With Denver sitting amidst this new wave of craft breweries, we have yet another unique arrival to add to the list; one that brings with it the hope of an artisan-minded brewing family: Diebolt Brewing Company. Pronounced [DEE-Bolt], this little Sunnyside brewery located just off 38th Ave on Mariposa, is primarily made up of father and son team, Dan and Jack Diebolt.

Opening their doors only a few weeks ago, there are currently only three beers on tap: the Standard Porter (5.7%), Mariposa Pale Ale (6.0%), and the Sunnyside Wheat (4.3%).  More should eventually become available as a saison and an IPA were conditioning in the fermenters during our visit. Diebolt’s focus appears to be balanced, drinkable beers, rather than boundary-pushing brews, but time will tell where their niche will truly end up.

When you visit, you’ll find their taproom industrial, yet intimate. Concrete floors and high, exposed ceilings meet warm woods and elegant metal working to breathe life into the space. The real charm, however, are the Diebolt’s themselves. On a weekend visit with friends, before even stepping foot inside, we were greeted by Mrs. Diebolt who graciously offered to let us park our bikes in the brewery since they hadn’t been able to install a bike rack yet. Once inside, Dan, the senior Diebolt, welcomed us as his son, Jack, described and poured the beer. As the brewery filled up throughout the afternoon, the process repeated with each patron, allowing everyone to feel at home as soon as they walked in.

Back to the beers, the definitive favorite was the Wheat, with an impressively clear yeast profile and a wheaty mouthfeel that was perfectly present, but not overwhelming. The Pale was enjoyably hoppy,  not too bitter, and immensely drinkable. The roastedness of the Porter was almost coffee-like up front and while I like my porters bit chewier in the winter, the low carbonation and fairly dry finish made this dark beer an enjoyable drink on a hot summer day.

After a spontaneous tour of the brewery, in which Dan proudly showed off the setup that he and his son had largely put together themselves, you couldn’t help but feel proud of them. Here’s hoping that their familial approach churns out beer for generations of Sunnyside residents to come. Drop in and get to know them.


Diebolt Brewing Company

3855 Mariposa St

Open Thursday through Sunday

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