We have less than two weeks until Halloween: has everyone taken their annual trip to the pumpkin patch yet? If not, have no fear; there are plenty of places in and around Denver that are great for picking pumpkins, either for your kids or for the kid inside you that still carves a bitchin jack-o-lantern every October. And even better to note, the suburbs and small towns that surround Denver have been spontaneously poppin’ out plenty of good beer to satiate your needs when you venture out of the city.

This year, we adventured at the very popular Anderson Farms in Erie for our pumpkin picking and all around fall festivities (though with the 80 degree weather this past week, it’s hardly fall sweater weather), and drove through Lafayette on the way back. This was, of course, not an unintentional decision, but was instead made specifically for the need to visit the very popular, award winning small-batch brewing company: Liquid Mechanics.

Liquid Mechanics have been canning and distributing locally for almost exactly a year now, and up until my visit, that was the only way I had ever tasted any of their beers. But, being essentially married to the beer industry, I’ve known well of their superior reputation in the beer world, and that was that these guys make great beer. And so, I was excited to finally get my hands on the harder to get/seasonal taps that their taproom boasted this month. Of those, I was happy to try the Hop Nectar, the Raspberry Triple Porter, the Kolsch, and the Peanut Butter Porter. As usual, a little bit of tastes from all ends of the spectrum to get a feel for their overall menu, both classics and special brews (And since we should by now be very aware of my love for all things dark beer, I will be excited to return for the Chocolate Coconut Porter that is currently on deck fermenting as we speak!)

Liquid Mechanics nails the classic go-to’s, because as my husband says, if you can’t make something as textbook as a Kolsch or an IPA, then you’re basically botching a cheeseburger. And who has time to eat from a menu that can’t make a proper cheeseburger? That said, my style is more on the flamboyant side. So, while I’ll collect a few tasters to try out a full round, I always give myself one full pour to properly (and responsibly) indulge. And indulge I did sipping on the delectable and dangerous Raspberry Triple Porter. It was a big beer that deserved my time, after all. This beer takes its namesake literally, and tastes exactly like a dark chocolate covered truffle, with just enough bite of booziness to remind you that you don’t have to share this kind of candy with your kids. It’s bold, big, and absolutely divine: my kind of lady. And so, the menu therefore satisfies all in your party, from the adventurous adjunct flavor lover like myself, to the guy that judges a place by their execution of a staple product. All in all, Liquid Mechanics can do it all.

Of the space, LM is large, open, and undeniably unpretentious despite their local success and well-deserved recognition. They have a separate, dimply-lit barrel room space to drink as an overflow from the large taproom tasting room, as well as a pretty big patio space complete with umbrella tables as well as loungers by fire pits. Not too bad for the ‘burbs, if you ask me. So, whether you’re exploring the farms around Denver during Colorado’s finest fall season yet, are on your way to Boulder, or just want to check out what else is out there beyond your local neighborhood, be sure to head North on 285 and make a stop at Liquid Mechanics to find out for yourself what the fuss is all about.

Erica Hoffmeister earned an MFA degree in creative writing and an MA in English from Chapman University of Orange. She has creative work published in the literary journals Shark Reef, Rat’s Ass Review, Split Lip Magazine, and others. She has been teaching for over a decade (claiming 8th grade as her favorite grade level because she’s an actual crazy person) and currently teaches composition and literature courses for Morgan Community College out of Fort Morgan. Always considering herself a bit of a beer nerd, she met her husband at Our Mutual Friend brewery while on vacation and fell in love with him, Denver, and its beer scene in one fatal swoop. While born and raised in Southern California, don’t worry—she’s earned her spurs as a transplant by creating her very own Colorado native. As a new mom, she is currently renegotiating her role as a world-traveling, bar-hopping, beer-loving free spirit by taking advantage of Denver’s beer culture, where you can find as many babies in breweries on any given afternoon as beers on tap.