The Butcher and the Boar beer garden: the prices practically make it a round-the-clock happy hour, parking is free on the street after 6 p.m., and you fall right into it from the 12th St. exit off I-394. They host dog socials and show sports games on a giant projector screen.
Butcher and the Boar doesn’t need another review. The secret’s out. Look at the press page. Don’t just look at the quantity, look at what they’ve been recognized for. Even on Yelp, the only curses are spoken by one friendless Denverite boob. What more can I possibly add?
I can teach you the ways of the beer garden. I know Back to School season just ended, so how about an education you can really enjoy?
The Basics: Butcher and the Boar was founded in 2012. Using the number above (and that photo was taken two months ago), that’s an average of just over 500 sausages served every day. On top of that, they are presently the world’s number one restaurant seller of Knob Creek whiskey. Find them on the corner of 12th St. S and Hennepin, and online.
Butcher and the Boar has so much outdoor seating, it doesn’t fit under one tent. No, really: they’ve got this curious, purgatorial patio section between the restaurant itself and the beer garden. It’s comfortable if your butt’s in a seat, but passing through it is like playing a Frogger level.
Get to the beer garden, and you’ve got options. The bar seats are the best (duh), but there are barrels to gather ’round at the front of the classroom; chaired tables, large and small, situated throughout; and long benches, in case you and your lab partner want to get handsy or you just want bathroom breaks to feel like project management exercises. You really can’t go wrong.
Let’s run down the course material, shall we?
Beer, brat, and a shot: $12.
Where’s George Thorogood when you need him?
That’s a house-made brat, by the way, and the last two beers I’ve had on this have been Summit EPA and Fulton Sweet Child of Vine. And the whiskey? Fine, it’s Jim Beam Black … but Jim Beam Black isn’t bad.
Here’s how you tackle this:
GOOD DAY, WITH FRIENDS: Cheers with the beers, chit-chat, few chomps, shots when everyone’s ready, finish up.
BAD DAY, WITH FRIENDS: Rage-eat the bratwursts, extra sauerkraut, aggressively clink and shoot the Beam, aggressively set the shot glass down, snatch your beer and drink it with zeal. You’re probably doing this twice.
GOOD DAY, ALONE: Pupil’s choice. Raise your beer at some point and salute your astral body of choice, even if you can’t see it.
BAD DAY, ALONE: Order two sets at once, take both shots immediately, slam one beer, then casually enjoy the brats and drink the second beer as if none of that happened. Make it a whole new day.
What else have we got on here?
Behold, the hot link croquettes: crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, without any element overdone. You get seven per order, so equal shares are out of the question (because seven’s a prime number). You’re probably better off just not sharing at all.
The chicken wings are among the only wings in the area that I’ll order at full price without hesitation. They’re $10, but a meal-sized portion. Come hungry, and don’t sleep on that sauce. You could call this … chickenomics.
Hey, get back here!
There’s a cheeseburger on the menu, but I haven’t had it. I doubt they’d get this far, though, and screw up the cheeseburger. That’d be like filling a bathtub with Cristal, getting in, and passing gas right away. I’ll vouch for the cheeseburger.
The sriracha Brussels sprouts are tasty and come by the ton. The kick is respectable, and a little earthiness hides in the heat. They’re the perfect appetizer for the human who wants to maintain a health-conscious facade. The ice cream sandwich garnered mixed reviews. If you’re into chocolate, peanut butter, nuts, and ice cream, wonderful. It’s not the easiest thing to eat, though. If making a mess concerns you, I’d recommend skipping it.
The one downside to this beer garden is the occasional closures for private events. It happens just often enough that you’ll want to call ahead before going too far out of your way. They’re good about announcing it on Twitter, though.
Butcher and the Boar is overqualified for the distinction of merely “a good restaurant,” and they bring that same A-plus-plus-game to the beer garden … but they do it in a casual, enjoyable atmosphere and the tuition won’t leave you penniless.
STILL GOT TIME? The podcast is now independent and better than ever! If literature is your thing, here’s Justin Miller of Sixpoint dropping some beer industry knowledge.