Sunday, April 15, 2012

Breckenridge Ball Park Pub

Heading to a Rockies game downtown last Friday night, we popped into the Breckenridge Ball Park Pub for some pre-game beer and food.

Originating in the Summit County ski town that bears the same name, Breckenridge is mostly known for its brewing operations, but the company is also creating a small empire of beer-centric restaurants.

The Ball Park Pub has been operating at its current location since 1992, or essentially since the birth of LoDo. Breckenridge recently opened the Ale House at Amato's in the Highlands, and they also operate an Ale House in Grand Junction.

If you're interested in seeing where they actually brew, you'll have to head to their original location in Breckenridge, or their tasting room in Denver's Golden Triangle.

We showed up around 5:30 pm - about an hour before the Rockies game - and met up with a couple of our friends.

Walking into the newly renovated Breckenridge Ball Park Pub, I was shocked at how large the space was. It's at a great location by Coors Field, but I'm skeptical that the restaurant can consistently stay anywhere near busy most nights. Even at the pre-Rockies-game time of our visit, there were still a few empty tables.

Since the Ball Park Pub is operated by Breckenridge Brewing Company, we expected an ample Breckenridge beer selection. We were disappointed to find they were sold out of probably their two most popular beers, the Vanilla Porter and the Ball Park Brown. They also don't provide sampler flights during Rockies games.

Thwarted on his top two beer choices, my husband settled for a Lucky U IPA, which he found to have an unbearably bland hop profile, followed by a much more palatable Oatmeal Stout.

Living in Colorado, we are spoiled with numerous amazing local microbrews, and we've become very picky about our beer. That being said, the beer at Breckenridge is nothing special. It certainly doesn't stand out in a local market saturated with Colorado-based craft beers.

Of course, the Ball Park Pub has consistently stayed busy for nearly 20 years now, so obviously some people disagree with me on that matter.

Anyway, getting to our food, Mr. Oyster ordered the Adobo Chicken Sandwich ($8.75).

Adobo Chicken Sandwich

I ordered the Bison Burger with pepperjack cheese ($9.95).

Bison Burger

Both dishes arrived with a side of "seasoned brew fries" and a pickle. The food was decent but nothing extraordinary; it tasted like standard bar food. My husband's chicken sandwich had a hint of heat from a roasted green chile. My bison burger was pretty standard; it was cooked properly to medium and served with the usual accompaniments.

The Ball Park Pub appeared to have growing pains associated with their new renovations. Our server seemed to have entirely too many tables. She couldn't bring us all waters at once because they were "out of glasses." We waited long stretches for our water to be refilled and our empty plates to be cleared.

The average food wasn't good enough to compensate for mediocre beer selection and clunky service.

Breckenridge Ball Park Pub has an outstanding location near Coors Field, and offers a typical bar menu and beer selection that seem to have mass appeal. But with so many other excellent beer and food options nearby, it's certainly not at the top of my list for a return visit.

Casual Dining

(5 of 10)

Pros: Easy to get a table, great location
Cons: Food and beer are forgettable, clunky service (maybe due to recent renovations)


Breckenridge Brewery & Pub on Urbanspoon


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