915 16th St
Greeley, CO 80631
Continuing in his parent’s footsteps, recent UNC graduate Warren Wood opened Grand Lake’s 16th Street Tavern in December of last year. Wood grew up embedded deep in the craft beer scene, first starting off working in his parent’s brewery as a young child and working his way up to becoming the Northern Colorado Sales Rep for Grand Lake Brewing and opening his own location.
Watching Wood as he worked his way through college, you could tell that he wasn’t just following in this line of work because it’s what his family wanted. No, he has a true passion for beer. Given even the smallest opportunity, he loved taking the chance to talk about his plans for The Tavern or whatever his latest batch of beer would be. He’s always been friendly, but whenever the topic was brought up, you could see his eyes light up a little bit more. It didn’t matter if he was talking business, brewing, or even good beer-pairing food.
And now his dream is starting to come true. The Tavern has 12 taps alongside an amazing menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, brats, wings, and pizza. Although most of the beer he serves are Grand Lake brews, there’s a rotating selection of other local microbrews to choose from as well. Looking forward, Wood hopes to add a brewery on-site sometime in the near future, but first, the focus is on getting established in the quickly-growing craft beer scene.
Now, at just a couple months old, The Tavern is already making a big impact. Word is spreading that they not only have good beer, but also the best food in town. In my two visits, I’ve tried the Wooly Booger Brown Ale, Plaid Bastard Scotch Ale, beer brat, and chili dog, and if the rest of their menu is this good, I’m going to have to agree with that.
I personally love strong, dark beers, and the Plaid Bastard is just that. Having never tried a Grand Lake beer before, I wasn’t sure where to begin, but this one was recommended to me by the bartender and I think it was the right place to start. My next drink, the Wooly Booger, was a little bit lighter but still very tasty.
But on to the food. The dogs and brats are cooked just right so that they’re hot and juicy with a nice crisp on the outside, just enough to add a little something to the flavor and texture of the dog, then they’re served on warm, toasted buns with a side of kettle chips. Everything is so good and it’s cooked to the exact right point. The onions on my brat were actually carmelized, not just sauteed, and the chili on my dog was simple, but fresh and delicious. I’d kind of given up on finding good, fresh chili from a lot of places, but I’m so happy to know I can find it here.
It still gets better. An entree and beer will only run you around $10-15 here. Even less if you take advantage of their daily deals on their food and drinks. If the rumors are true, and I’m tempted to believe they are, $15 for the best meal in town is a hell of a deal. Just to be safe, I’ll be going back soon to try more like the barbeque pulled pork. And make-your-own grilled cheese. And Frito chili pie. And the Shadow Mountain Oatmeal Stout. And Rocky Mountain Red Ale. You get the idea. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so excited about a new place like this and I can’t wait to see how it continues to grow.
They just got in a projector for their seven foot screen, there will soon be an expansion to their menu including a whole dessert section, and, like I mentioned, they eventually want to add their own brewery. Big plans are in motion which will only make this gem even better. If you’re in the Greeley area, I can’t recommend it enough whether you stop by for lunch, dinner, or drinks.