When one door closes, another one opens. When one brewery closes, another one opens. At least, that’s what happened when Old 121 Brewhouse took over the old Caution Brewing location in Lakewood, Colorado.
With breweries opening and closing at a record pace across the country, Karla and Brett Zahrte and their friend Eric Gupta couldn’t just stand idly by when their neighborhood favorite, Caution Brewing, closed its doors. Instead of simply saying goodbye to Caution, they decided to put their years in the brewing industry to good use and keep a brewery in the neighborhood. They started Old 121 Brewhouse in Caution’s old location and on its old brewing equipment.
They’ve done a great job with it too. Old 121 is that neighborhood taproom feel of which we are so fond. They not only brew some excellent beer, they’ve made the place extremely family friendly by including craft sodas made on site, as well as offering a variety of local craft tea.
The taproom has that combination of industrial / mountain feel that you’d expect from a Denver brewery, as well as a gorgeous entryway with plenty of outside seating.
What really makes Old 121 special though is its commitment to its community. Out of the gate, the Zahrte’s and Gupta made Old 121 a community gathering space. Yes, there are live bands, trivia nights, and other typical brewery offerings, but they also have educational programs in the taproom (such as talks about conservation and sustainability) and hold numerous fundraisers for a variety of organizations.
And just what is Old 121? It’s the state highway that runs in front of the brewery, which is known as Wadsworth Boulevard as it passes through the city.
Oh, and did we mention, the beer is damn good? Well, yeah, it is.
Old 121 Brewhouse – Stout Life Approved
Summer Stout (4.1% ABV) – This stout lives up to its name. It has all the roasted, toasty goodness and deep flavors you’d expect from a stout, but brewed especially for summer, it has a lighter ABV and body than a typical full-bodied stout. This is great when you love the dark beers, but want that lighter body to combat the summertime heat.
New Zealand IPA (4.5% ABV) – This is a little different style of juicy IPA. Lots of lemongrass aroma on the nose. It doesn’t disappoint with a healthy dose lemon, mango, and tropical flavors on the tongue with a fairly low ABV and a clean, dry finish. This one is highly sessionable, especially for a juicy/hazy IPA.
Old 121 Lakewood IPA (6.6% ABV) – A traditional, West Coast style IPA with all the danky, piney goodness, coupled with the solid dose of grapefruit you’d expect from an old-school IPA.
Old 121 Brewhouse has a solid tap list for such a small brewery, powered by a three-barrel system. Everything they do, they do well. From those mentioned above to a more traditional heavier stouts (including barrel-aged), a dry French saison, Mexican lager, honey brown, and more, the years that Old 121’s owners and brewers have spent in the industry shine through in every sip.