DENVER

Craft Beer Spotlight: SandLot On Rockies Opening Day

04/01/2011 12:35 pm ET | Updated Jun 01, 2011

The Rockies play the Diamondbacks on April 1 at 2:10pm -- and while cheering on the Rocks, craft beer lovers should spend an inning or two at SandLot Brewery inside Coors Field. I know, I know: This is controversial. SandLot is owned by Coors and serves Blue Moon -- two brands that don't exactly inspire a lot of love from craft beer fanatics, nor bring to mind innovative craft brews. But where else can you enjoy craft-style beers at a brewery inside of a ballpark on opening day?

The SandLot is officially part of the Blue Moon Brewery Company, and it's also one of Coors's experimental research and development breweries outside of the main Coors Brewery in Golden. As a special treat to ticket holders, it's closed to the public on Rockies game days; if you are at the game, you get an added bonus of having the brewery all to yourself (and 50,000 of your best friends).

Brewmaster Tom Hail tries to keep the SandLot as microbrew-oriented as he possible, given the Coors ownership. Once you calm down and get over the Coors-branded beers on tap, have a couple of judgment-free pints of their award-winning house beers: Barmen Pilsner, Brewmaster's Special Helles and Clove Hefeweizen.

The Barmen Pilsner is a classic take on this historic Czech brew -- light and easy to drink with a light, hoppy flavor and a creamy, bready finish. The Brewmaster's Special is a bright gold lager with a light apple-lemon aroma and mild, dray and drinkable favor-profile (a great replacement for the Silver Bullet on game day). And, finally, the Clove Hefe is a really exciting full-bodied hefeweizen with a subdued clove flavor and a really intense banana aroma and flavor. It's arguably the best beer you can get at the ballpark.

Watch the Rocks pound the D-Backs, skip the requisite baseball-beer fare, and enjoy a few amber ounces of extremely fine beers on opening day.

SandLot Brewery at Coors Field
2161 Blake St.; 303-298-1587

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