Where: 5809 West 44th Ave., Lakeside
Pro: Having more than enough to satisfy even the pickiest consumers.
Con: Not having enough money to buy everything.
Bombers have a storied history in the craft beer world. According to lore, many craft breweries would ship its brew in 22-ounce bottles for mostly economical reasons. As well as saving money, in a world of Bud and Coors and Busch 12 ounce cans, a big glass bomber stands out on the shelf. The trend of craft beer being sold in mostly just bombers is gone for the most part. Now bombers contain your specialty brews, your seasonal, and your experimental stuff. But it’s not all gone. Not at Molly’s Spirits in Lakewood.
“There’s so many beers — more than 500 overall –.”
Molly’s is one of the newest liquor stores in the area, and at 36,000 square-feet, it’s no small-fry. Liquor store is really an understatement – haven is probably more appropriate. Molly’s contains a huge arsenal of spirits and beer, but inside the cooler you will find over 400 different bombers from Denver, California, the Pacific Northwest, Belgium, and nearly everything in between. Over thirty different countries in all. If you step outside for a moment you will notice the additional 100 or so wilds, sours, and barrel aged bombers that prefer be left in a warmer climate. There’s so many beers — more than 500 overall — even beer manager Grant Kleinwachter admitted to not trying all of them. Even though he’s pretty close:
“I’ve tried maybe, 93.5 percent of them,” he said. “But there is constantly new stuff coming in. That’s the whole beer scene, it’s constantly changing.”
The bomber cave is rather unique to Molly’s. In the Lakeside area, there isn’t another boutique liquor store of this size with this many options. The walk-in cooler is a specialty, as well as the selection of beer — not to mention the number of bombers available. So many bombers in fact, that we at 303 Magazine decided to get Kleinwachter’s picks of the best bombers to buy at Molly’s based on different beer styles. Here are his top nine picks:
Nine Beers to Buy in a Bomber
Gluten-Free Beer: Glutonator from Epic Brewing & G-Free from St. Peter’s Brewing. The Glutonator is made with potatoes and molasses. A lot of gluten-free foods/drinks are made with sorghum, which Kleinwachter says can yield a funky aftertaste.
Hoppy-Style Red Beer: Red Evelyn from Black Shirt Brewing. It’s a red that has the pinch of an IPA with a less sweet malt of a traditional red.
Less Traditional Saison: Nelson Sauvin from Funkwerks. Nelson Sauvin is a hop from New Zealand, and it gives this beer a light, crisp, bubbly flavor and smell. Reminiscent of Chardonnay wine.
More Traditional Saison: Saison Dupont from Brasserie Dupont. Saison means season. You will find beers brewed in summer or in fall that’ll have ingredients that are in season. Saisons are similar to Farmhouse ales, where beers are brewed with herbs and spices. The Saison Dupont is the classic Belgium Farmhouse style beer.
Double Porter: Coffee Porter from Dry Dock Brewing. The Coffee Porter is part of the Signature series from Dry Dock. The entire Signature series is aged in Colorado whiskey barrels. Kleinwachter enjoys the nice char and the whisky back-notes that this series comes with. He mentioned these styles of brews are some of his favorite this time of year.
Sour Beer: Damn, it Feels Good to be a Gangsta’ from Trinity Brewing. This beer gets its name from the movie Office Space and it’s part of the Case of the Mondays series from Trinity Brewing. Kleinwachter admitted to liking it because of the name but also because it’s a little different for a sour. It’s a bit darker for a sour beer which helps give it some depth.
Black IPA: Sublimely Self-Righteous from Stone Brewing. Stone’s black IPA comes on the end of an apparent IPA phase. He mentioned how IPAs go through phases. Black IPAs started about three to four years ago, then it evolved into white IPAs, now the current trend is a session IPA. Apparently people still want their hops, but are sick of getting loaded off one beer.
Cider: Anything from Blue Mountain Brewery according to Kleinwachter because as of right now, it is one of his favorites. Blue Mountain hails from Washington near the Wala Wala area and one of the highest apple-producing parts of the country.
If you get the opportunity — and it is an opportunity — to visit Molly’s Spirits and stand in the bomber cave, make sure you ask for a recommendation. You can stand there for hours and keep learning things. Just don’t expect one answer from Kleinwachter when you ask his favorite beer.
“I get that question every day. It changed by the day. Even by the hour. I like all beer,” he said. “I enjoy all beer.”
If you want to sign up for the beer list and get first dibs at new stuff that comes under Kleinwachter’s control, sign up on the website for the newsletter. It is highly recommended that you do so.
All photography by Camille Breslin