Review: Avery Brewing

Avery is much older and much bigger than the other breweries in Gunbarrel, by a lot. They started in 1993 in Boulder, and moved to Gunbarrel in 2015.

(Photo from their website; not from me.)

Avery’s huge building is just north of Asher, in the Twin Lakes Tech Park and it’s very close to West Twin Lake:

Avery runs a full restaurant in their tap room, along with about 30 beers, half of which are tap-room-only. According to Yelp, the food is pretty good, but my daughter and I only had the giant pretzel. It was excellent, so maybe you can extrapolate from that?

Avery beers are pretty well-known, and you’ve probably had them many times, since they’re widely distributed in cans and bottles. In the tap room they’re fresher. I had an Old Jubilation Ale, which was just great.

Prices are high in the tap room. You can get a $6 pint (no pints at $5), but some of the exotic beers are a lot more, such as $9 for 5 oz. The food is up there, too. Nothing like a pint for $3.50 at Vindication on Mondays.

Here are a couple of photos of the tap room:

If you get a beer at the bar, you can walk around on a catwalk above the brewing and canning/bottling equipment:

And there are some interesting places to sit:

When the Avery tap room first opened, it was impossible to get in. But now things have calmed down a lot, and you can make a reservation on their web site.

In summary: Avery has some interesting beers in their tap room, they’re expensive, and it’s somewhat of a hassle to park and walk into the big building and up the stairs. For me, it’s not a place I’d just drop into–more of a destination. Example: Yesterday I was driving on 71st St., and decided to just swing by Vindication. I don’t see myself “swinging by” Avery. Which is not to say that I’m not thrilled that they’re here in Gunbarrel!

Voting for an Increase in Gunbarrel Green HOA Dues

The Gunbarrel Green HOA can’t seem to arrive at a straight answer about what vote is required to raise the annual dues. For example, there’s this from the 2016 Annual Meeting

Motion to increase dues to $100/yr – Reese Killeen
Seconded by Joe DiRago
Motion Passed
Discussion:
Al Coelho – formally protested the vote. Does not believe a vote to increase the dues follows the Articles of Incorporation.

There’s no indication of whether the vote was a simple majority or 60%, and I don’t remember the details, so I guess from the minutes we can assume it was a majority of those voting.

At the 2017 meeting, the subject came up again. From the draft minutes:

Jonathan Mills also provided a statement on the Dues were raised at last year’s annual meeting based on Article V, Section 2 that states “Such dues or assessments may be set by the Board of Directors at the annual meeting of the members of this Association or at any other meeting, provided notice as above-defined has been given to Association members.” He acknowledged there is ambiguity in the bylaws about how dues can be modified and that this is also an area that the Board would like to clarify in the future.

Mills is referring to the Bylaws, not the Articles of Incorporation. What’s strange about Mills’s statement is that at the 2016 meeting the increase was not set by the Board, but by a vote of the members. I suppose one might say that the vote was merely an informal approval of the Board’s action, and that the Board “set” the dues implicitly by taking a vote. As we shall see, this confusion is interesting but irrelevant.

We also have  Article IV of the Bylaws, which conflicts with Article V:

The Board of Directors of the Association shall have the power to set dues and special assessments.  The dues shall initially be $25.00 per year; approval of sixty percent (60%) of the membership shall be required to change the dues or levy an assessment.

So, there’s no question that the Bylaws are ambiguous about what vote is needed to change the dues. My interpretation is that the Board makes a proposal (“set”), but 60% of the membership is required to for “approval” of the Board’s proposal. But I understand if someone wants to argue that the Bylaws are unclear. Nowhere in the Bylaws does it say that the dues can be increased by a vote at the Annual Meeting. It’s either the Board alone or 60% of the membership.

The Articles of Incorporation also has something to say about the dues, first in Article III, “Purpose and Powers of the Association.” Paragraph C reads:

fix, levy, collect and enforce payment by any lawful means dues and assessments as approved by the majority of the members; pay all expenses incident to the conduct of the business of the association, including all licenses, taxes or governmental charges levied or imposed against the association

Which seems to suggest that a majority of members can “fix” dues, although this is a general statement about the purpose and powers of the association, not specific details about voting. Nonetheless, the language is there.

Much more explicit is Article X of the Articles of Incorporation, “Prior Approvals:”

The following actions will require the prior written approval of sixty percent (60%) of members:

E. approve of increased dues or levy assessment.

So, according to the Articles of Incorporation, maybe changing the dues takes a majority vote of the members, or maybe 60%, but I think it’s pretty clear that the latter is the intent.

As I said, the Bylaws are a lot less clear than are the Articles of Incorporation, and there’s a conflict between those two documents. However, this possibility is addressed by the Bylaws, in Article XIV, Section 2:

In the case of any conflict between the Articles of Incorporation and these Bylaws, the Articles shall control

Therefore, we can completely ignore what the Bylaws say or don’t say about voting for changes in the dues, and go with the Articles of Incorporation alone.  I think it’s 60% of the members, but even if one thinks its only a majority, there’s no way to interpret the Articles of Incorporation as saying that the Board can change the dues on its own or that it can be done at an Annual Meeting, unless the number of voters in favor is also a majority of the members. The website claims 315 members, so a majority would be 158, and there definitely weren’t that many voters present at the 2016 meeting. The super majority, 60%, would be 189. There were maybe 50 or 60 people in the room, and many of those were couples with only one vote between them.

In short, the 2016 vote was invalid, and HOA dues were in fact not raised to $100. It’s likely that the vote some years ago to raise them to $60 was also invalid, but maybe one could argue that too much time has passed to argue about that. What the HOA Board should do immediately is invalidate the 2016 vote, put the dues back at $60, and refund any overpayments.

 

The Horrible Gunbarrel Green Website and a Conflict-of-Interest

[Note added 30-May-2018: The website critiqued here is no longer the HOA’s website. Also, I’ve removed the name of the Board member with the conflict-of-interest, since my concern is with governance, not this individual.]

About a year ago the Gunbarrel Greeen HOA launched a new website, our third. Here’s the top part of the home page:

We have a useless welcome message, a photo of the Fatirons, and four facts inspired by a MasterCard commercial. If these facts were more interesting, they might deserve such a prominent positioning. Perhaps:

  • Formation in 1870
  • 31,500 houses
  • 700 miles from Pearl St.
  • Prideless

Unfortunately, the true facts are not only uninteresting, but seem to suggest that Gunbarrel has nothing of itself to offer (“7 miles to Pearl St.”). A photo of the Fatirons is as clichéd as you can get, and has nothing to do with Gunbarrel.

But the worst part is that the entire “above-the-fold” part of the web page, the most important part, is wasted. It’s importance is nicely explained in an article from the Nielsen Norman Group titled The Fold Manifesto: Why the Page Fold Still Matters:

The fold matters because what appears at the top of your page matters. Users do scroll, but only if what’s above the fold is promising enough. What is visible on the page without requiring any action is what encourages us to scroll.The fold matters because what appears at the top of your page matters. Users do scroll, but only if what’s above the fold is promising enough. What is visible on the page without requiring any action is what encourages us to scroll.

If the reader is somehow motivated enough to scroll down, here’s what’s next:

Apparently, photos of the board are the next most important thing, but, even though Sandi and Bev have been on the Board for many months, nobody was able to get any photos of them.

Next comes something that might actually be useful, some contact info:

On a smaller screen, such as a phone, things are much worse. Here are the first three screens:

So, you have to scroll past three screens to get to something interesting, and that’s only the contact information. With such an unpromising top part, not many will keep scrolling.

Suppose you want to see the Covenants, perhaps the most important item on the entire website. That takes three layers of menus:

Here’s a home page I put together in 10 minutes, which I would say is 100 times more useful that the actual site:

Starting out with a photo is pretty common on home pages, and is OK provided it’s not too high and has something to do with the web site. Here’s what I had on the predecessor site, the one that the current site replaced a year ago:

I took the photos and assembled the triptych, so I’m biased, but I think it’s pretty good.

There’s a lot more wrong with the site besides what I’ve said so far. A month ago, it was full of links that went nowhere and boilerplate left over from some earlier mock-up, such as this:

If the print is too small for you to read, here it is:

“Sed ut perspiciatis, unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam eaque ipsa, quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt, explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem.”

I wrote a long letter to the Board, and some of what I complained about has been fixed. But why did I even have to do this? Why wasn’t the site checked out before going live?

The overall design failure remains. To summarize it:

  • Boring material that never changes doesn’t suggest that the reader should put more effort into browsing deeper.
  • The Board seems to be enamored with their own photos, which appear not only on the home page, but also on the special Board of Directors page. Yet, they couldn’t even take time to snap photos of the newer members.
  • It’s ridiculously awkward to get to the only thing useful on the site, which are the documents. Many readers looking for, say, the Covenants will give up in frustration.

Well, how did this travesty come about? Here’s some history:

Originally, when I moved to Gunbarrel Green, HOA President Chuck Simmons had a rough website that looked amateurish, but at least had the relevant documents. Chuck gave the job of maintaining the site to me. Janet Ruetcke, Chuck’s successor, asked me if I could come up with a way so she and other Board members could easily add text without requiring the services of a web developer. I changed the site over to Drupal, a content-management technology that is specifically designed to allow different members of an organization to edit different parts of the site. I also moved the hosting to save the HOA hundreds of dollars a year.

That was fine until sometime in 2016 when new Board member XYZ (not the real initials) took on the job of replacing the site. In his words, at the 2017 Board meeting, this was because the old site was “out of date.” (I now suspect that what he meant was “no spiffy graphics.”)

Who did the site? A commercial web development company called ABC (not their real name). I didn’t know that at the time; I thought XYZ was doing the work himself for free, which is how Chuck and I worked. I learned at the October 2017 HOA meeting that ABC was paid $5,000 for the work.

Why was ABC picked? Well, I have no idea, since I wasn’t at that Board meeting and haven’t seen the minutes. But, get this: XYZ works at ABC!

So, what do we know? This much:

  • The web site fails at its most important purpose, which is to provide for efficient and up-to-date communication between the HOA and its members.
  • The HOA paid $5,000 for the site, and looks forward to as much as $1,000 per year for maintenance.
  • The money went to a Board member’s company. I haven’t yet been able to find out whether there was a written contract. I asked the Board about this, but they didn’t know.

At the last HOA meeting, the Board said that the $5,000 was a bargain, and that typically such web sites cost $15,000. In other words, a 67% discount. But, not really. You can get a shitty site for a lot less than $5,000!

Ordinarily, if the HOA contracts with an outside firm and gets poor results, they can go back to that firm and ask for fixes. Examples might be landscaping that fails to meet the specifications, or a “Covenanted Community” sign (see photo above) that has cracked. But, if the HOA were to do that in this case, XYZ would  be representing the Board and the contractor both.

There’s  a conflict-of-interest: Is XYZ suppose to represent the Board’s interests (getting the fixes and design improvements), or ABC’s (defending their work and minimizing the costs to make the corrections)? Board member or loyal employee?

I’ve communicated all of the above to the Board, the design failure, the bugs, and the conflict-of-interest problem. So far, not much has happened, except that, as I said, some of the bugs have been fixed. The Board is considering the conflict-of-interest problem, and two members seemed to understand it, but I’m not sure if anything will happen. As for the main problem, the complete ineffectiveness of the site, I very much doubt that anything will be done.

So, this embarrassing site is all we’re going to have for our $5,000.

I hope that the Board learns a lesson from this fiasco and takes their fiduciary responsibilities more seriously the next time they start spending our money. As the old joke goes, the site isn’t a complete waste; it can always serve as a bad example.


Featured Comments

Petur Williams says:
23-Nov-2017 at 12:39 pm
If the story about a five thousand dollar homeowners’ association website that takes a thousand dollars a year actually gets worse with the addition of someone on the board who benefits from creating and maintaining it, this appears to be preposterous mismanagement and misuse of funds. If this is all true, I think the Board and the Homeowners’ Association are owed an apology and a refund. There are many almost no cost website builders out there for the asking.

Jamie Stroud says:
23-Nov-2017 at 8:15 pm
I guess this goes in line with their culture. I was asked to redesign the logo about two years back from the ugly musket. I gave the board a few ideas, in which I was going to refine one and create a professional look for our HOA. Instead they just took my rough and started using is without my knowledge. None of my phone calls or emails were returned. Since I was not able to finish it I have been conflicted over whether to mention it considering the cheap quality and not wanting my named linked to the work. But after reading Marc’s note I realize I am not the only one dealing with poor management.

[Note added 30-May-2018: Two member of the Board have a different version of Jamie’s involvement and the logo process.]

Review: Asher Brewing

Asher Brewing claims to be Colorado’s first all organic brewery, but that’s not the only reason to drink their beer. Those I’ve tried are excellent, and their tap room is probably the most comfortable in Gunbarrel, as you can see in the photo just below. That’s what you can do if you have cheap industrial-park space, instead of expensive retail space.

The main room has a small bar and a few high-top tables. There’s also a play room with corn hole, a few other games, and plenty of room for parties. There are snacks for sale, and apparently occasional food trucks, although I didn’t see the schedule, but you can call to get it.

You’ll sometimes find Asher in bars and restaurants, but they’re not yet bottling or canning. Here are the beers, with appropriately organic names:

I had the stout, my favorite beer, and is was top notch, although maybe not quite as good as Vindication’s Freedom Stout. My daughter had the Sooper Trooper, which she liked a lot. I tasted it, but sours aren’t for me. (It’s strong; $7 gets you just 10 oz.) I once had an Asher in a restaurant, but don’t remember which one. It was good, though.

Asher is in the Twin Lakes Tech Park, just south of giant Avery:

If you live in Twin Lakes, you can easily walk there, which gives you a choice of Avery or Asher. If the noise and crowds of Avery aren’t what you’re in the mood for, Asher is the complete opposite.

Colorado Brewery List

I just discovered this:

https://www.coloradobrewerylist.com/

It seems very complete, although the search function is quirky. If you check Full Service Restaurant, it doesn’t show Avery, although Avery’s listing show that it does have a full service restaurant. I’ve sent them a message, so maybe they can fix the search function. The problem is that the filters are too specific.

Also, when Avery first opened in Gunbarrel I tried several times to get in, and failed every time because it was full. They now take reservations. So, I’ll have a review within the week.

I went to Asher last night, and plan to have that review posted later today. (Spoiler: They’re great!)

Are the New Apartments the Cause of More Traffic at Lookout & Idylwild?

About 550 new apartments were added to Gunbarrel in the last couple of years, split between Gunbarrel Center, Boulder View, and Apex 5510. The three developments are just north or just east of Lookout and Spine.

Based on reading posts at nextdoor.com and listening to my friends and neighbors, it’s widely believed that there’s more traffic at the intersection of Lookout and Idylwild, and that these apartments are the cause. Are either of those opinions true?

As for more traffic, I don’t think anyone knows. People who dislike the apartments, which includes everyone I know, tend to look for evidence to support their view, so it’s pretty unlikely that they’d say that there’s no increase, and they would certainly not say there’s a decrease. (Probably some of these people would also blame the apartments for an increase in homeless people in Gunbarrel, not realizing that an apartment dweller can’t simultaneously be homeless.)

So, I can’t say much about whether traffic has increased at Lookout and Idylwild, although I also can’t think of any reason for it to decrease, and, since there are more people in the world every day, there must be a slight increase, even if it’s not noticeable. (The apartments surely contribute to increased traffic at Lookout and Spine and Lookout and 63rd, but I’m only talking about Lookout and Idylwild.)

So, for the purposes of this article, let’s just say there is more traffic, even though no one knows by how much. The second question is: Are the new apartments the cause?

It’s widely believed that they are. Here are a few snippets from a thread on nextdoor.com titled, in part, “Traffic light at Idylwild and Lookout:”

Since only 1/3 of the new residents have arrived, I think the traffic on Lookout will continue to get worse.

it’s only going to get worse when 900 more people move in.

And this from an article on gunbarrelgazette.com:

As development increases along Lookout Road in Gunbarrel (Gunbarrel Center, Boulder View Apartments, etc.), there is some concern that traffic flow won’t allow arterial street traffic to enter Lookout in a timely manner during peak traffic hours.

OK, so let’s figure out how the apartments contribute to increased traffic at that intersection. As everyone knows who enters the intersection from Idylwild, traffic is heavy westbound in the morning rush hour, and heavy eastbound in the evening. By contrast, eastbound traffic is extremely light in the morning, and westbound is extremely light in the evening.

Let’s just consider the morning. If any of this traffic is due to the apartments, there are a few explanations:

  • Apartment residents who work the night shift east of Gunbarrel and are taking Lookout to get home in the morning.
  • Apartment residents who drive the Diagonal to Longmont, but forgot their lunch and are circling back to get it.
  • Commuters who live east of Gunbarrel but work in the apartments as non-resident managers, nannies, house cleaners, plumbers, electricians, interior decorators, massage therapists, and so on.

What the traffic is not is apartment dwellers who are going to work. If that were true and they were using Lookout (which doesn’t really go to any place where people work), they would be going eastbound, not westbound.

Well, none of my three ideas make much sense, and I can’t come up with any other plausible reasons why these apartment dwellers are going westbound in the morning. You can work out the evening case for yourself.

I conclude that the apartments aren’t the cause of increased traffic at Lookout and Idylwild.

What is the cause? I don’t really know, but I’d guess it’s people who live in Heatherwood or even Erie who are going to work. You’d think that someone who really cared about the increased traffic at Lookout and Idylwild (if there is an increase) would want more apartments in Gunbarrel, not fewer. Fewer westbound commuters, not more. In fact, the higher the density in Gunbarrel and Boulder generally, the less traffic east of Gunbarrel. To imagine an extreme, suppose everyone now living in Heatherwood moved to a giant highrise somewhere around Lookout and 63rd, and Heatherwood were turned into open space. That would drop traffic at Lookout and Idylwild by at least half.

Gunbarrel Restaurant List

Here are all the restaurants and tap rooms in Gunbarrel, as far as I know. The locations are:

  • Gunbarrel Square (where King Soopers is)
  • Gunbarrel Center (the new on-street retail under the apartments)
  • Spine South (Spine Rd. south of Lookout; just south of First Bank)
  • Spine North (Spine Rd. north of Lookout Rd.)
  • Twin Lakes Tech Park (Nautilus Dr, off of 63rd St.)
  • 63rd St. and Lookout Rd.
  • Gunbarrel Tech Center (71st St.)
  • Longbow Drive (where Medtronic is and Leanin’ Tree was)

Restaurants in bold are ones I’ve been to; a link means that I’ve written a review. A ♥ means I go to the place regularly or want to. If a place I’ve never been to doesn’t have a ♥, that doesn’t mean I won’t like it once I’ve been there.

I’ve omitted cafes inside office buildings and factories, such as the Celestial Cafe inside Celestial Seasonings. Also omitted is the Boulder Country Club, which is open only to members and their guests.

Ampersand Coffee Roasters – Spine North
Aperitivo – Spine North ♥
Asher Brewing – Twin Lakes Tech Park ♥
Avery Brewing – Twin Lakes Tech Park ♥
Beyond the Mountain Brewing – Longbow Drive ♥
Blackjack Pizza – Gunbarrel Square (now closed)
Burger King – Gunbarrel Square
Cafe Blue – Gunbarrel Square
Dannik’s Gunbarrel Corner Bar – Gunbarrel Square
Deli Zone – Spine South
Element Bistro – 63rd & Lookout (almost gets a ♥ for its rooftop bar)
Finkel & Garf Brewing – Spine North ♥
Gunbarrel Brewing – Gunbarrel Tech Center ♥
Gurkhas Restaurant & Bar – Gunbarrel Square (moved to Longmont)
Up Dog Cafe – Gunbarrel Square (replaces Page Two Cafe)
Proto’s Pizzeria Napoletana – Gunbarrel Center ♥
Sancho’s Authentic Mexican Restaurant – Gunbarrel Square
Snarf’s – Gunbarrel Square ♥
Subway – Gunbarrel Square ♥
Tod’s Espresso Cafe – Gunbarrel Square ♥
Vindication Brewing – Gunbarrel Tech Center ♥ (now closed)
Yurihana – Gunbarrel Square ♥

Not open yet as of June 2018:

The Morning Table – Gunbarrel Square (in the space vacated by Gurkhas)
Rush Bowls – Spine North
Bittersweet Cafe & Confections – Gunbarrel Center
Raglin Market – Gunbarrel Center

Review: Aperitivo

The Apex 5510 apartments at the north end of Spine Rd. mention an “On-site Coffee Shop” on their web site. It’s turned out to be Aperitivo, which calls itself “The Gathering Place: Coffee – Tapas – Bar.” It’s a great addition for Apex 5510 and other Gunbarrel residents, and, alone among Gunbarrel restaurants, it’s good enough to be a destination for people outside the area. (I think the Element Bistro hoped for that, but they fall well short.)

I visited for the first time with my daughter on Friday, and we were impressed. It’s got a comfortable feel, an attentive staff, good food, and reasonable prices. And, unique among the Gunbarrel restaurants I know of, it’s open for breakfast at 7 AM every day. (OK, so is Subway, but not till 8 AM, and only if you want a breakfast sub.)

Here’s the dinner menu:

My daughter had the Italian Potato Schmear and the Trio de Tacos. It’s fusion! Italian, Yiddish (“schmear”), and Mexican.  Thai, too: Slow Braised Short Ribs Panang Curry, which I didn’t try. I had the Penne Meatball Marinara instead, which is a big dish, not a tapa. All were excellent.

There’s no beer on tap, but a fine assortment of beer in cans, which is next best. I had the Finkel & Garf Milk Stout, which came all the way from the brewery located about 500 feet to the south, between Aperitivo and Lookout Road. My daughter had a glass of wine. There’s a full bar, too.

The Mexican influence is from executive chef Miguel Vazquez, who I met briefly. I also had a nice conversation with the owner, Edward Vanegas, who you see at left in the photo below. He appears to be hurrying out of the picture, because he was all over the place, seating customers, asking diners about their food, and generally radiating enthusiasm and joy, which is exactly why Aperitivo is so much fun.

Speaking of fun, look at the deal you can get on Sundays if you rush right over without getting dressed:

That’s not all they have on Sundays. Look at the piano in the far corner:

That’s for Brews, Burgers and Blues, when the Burgers are only $5, from 5 PM to 8:30 PM. On their website they say that anyone is invited to play the piano… I wonder if anyone has? [UPDATE: $5 burgers is what I thought I heard, but, unfortunately, it isn’t true. They’re $11. And when we went back last Sunday evening, we had a fine time. The music was excellent, and so were the burgers.]

One thing I like about Aperitivo is that there’s no large expanse of asphalt in front of it for parking, but that does mean you might have to walk a block from your car. Walking only a block would be called easy parking in downtown Boulder or Denver, but in Gunbarrel some might think of it as inconvenient. Get over it! There are a dozen spaces right in front, not for use by Apex tenants, and lots of on-street parking on Odell Place and Spine Road. But stay off of the Apex internal streets–they’re for permit holders only. (They’re labeled “Spine Rd” on the map above, but there are permit-holder-signs.)

There are three restaurants in Gunbarrel that I go back to over and over: Yurihana, Proto’s, and now Aperitivo. You eat and leave at the first two, but at Aperitivo you might hang out for a while.

I’m looking at my pajamas now and trying to decide if I want to wear them to breakfast. I might have get onto the LL Bean website and find something better. Edward told me that you can’t cheat by sleeping in your clothes.

Mockingbird Concept Plan

The concept plan has been filed with the City of Boulder for development of the so-called Mockingbird site, on 2.4 acres SE of Lookout Rd. and Gunpark Dr. I blogged about this a couple weeks ago.

Disclosure: I have no connection with this development, but I am friends the Petur Williams, one of the principals. I do like beer, food, and libraries, all three of which will be part of this development.

There’s an open house every Thursday starting around 5PM where you can learn about what’s planned first hand from Thysson George Williams, Petur’s son, who is main guy behind the project. I dropped in just once, even before their concept plan was filed with the City. Good wine and barbecue. Most recently, it was 5-7pm at 6700 Lookout Road, No. 3 & No. 6.

Anyway, the documents for the plan are now posted on the City web site:

0_LUR Application.pdf
1_Sign Posting.pdf
4_Legal Description.pdf
6A_Written Statement.pdf
6B_Written Statement.pdf
6C_Written Statement.pdf
22_Context Map.pdf
23_Schematic_Architectural Sketches.pdf
31_Trip Generation_Trip Distribution .pdf
33_Inclusionary Zoning.pdf

If you have time to read only one, is should be 6B.

My impression of the whole thing is that it’s totally first class, and I also appreciate the transparency that the Williams family has offered as they go through this very long process.

Review: Vindication Brewing

Vindication closed on 28-April-2018.

Vindication opened as Kettle & Stone Brewing in 2013, but a conflict with another brewer (on the West Coast, as I recall) forced them to change their name. Their tap room is small compared to Gunbarrel Brewing, but, then, so is everybody else’s tap room. But it’s comfortable and, unlike Gunbarrel Brewing, has a view of the mountains:

Like the other breweries in Gunbarrel, except maybe for Avery, Vindication is nothing special on the outside:

Being more established than Gunbarrel Brewing, Vindication already has distribution to some of the smaller liquor stores around Boulder, but apparently not Hazel or Liquor Mart. I’ve seen their beer on tap at the Boulder Country Club, too.

I first visited what was then Kettle & Stone when it opened, but hadn’t been back until last Monday. I had a Freedom Stout, which was excellent. Vindication has around half as many beers as Gunbarrel Brewing, fewer events, and no food trucks. But, if all you want is a beer and maybe some snacks, it’s top notch. Here’s their beer list, enlarged from the first photo:

If you’re walking or biking from any of the neighborhoods to the south of Gunbarrel Technical Center, there’s a shortcut from the LOBO trail, with a skinny bridge that somebody built to cross the ditch, which you can see on the map below. Otherwise, enter the Tech Center from 71st St. and follow Winchester Circle to Vindication.

If you’re going by bike, you probably don’t want to ride it over that bridge, because you’ll suffer a nasty, wet fall if you go off it:

If you go on a Monday, pints are $1.50 off, which is a great deal.