Beer In Situ: 300 Suns Brewing

In a sad day, Mark Lusher, the founder and brewer for 300 Suns Brewing Company, passed away on 12 April 2015. He had a brief and brave battle with cancer, and left a beautiful community brewery as a legacy. Please visit this link for more information about this fantastic brewer and donate to help his family with medical costs. Live the life you love. 

We find ourselves spending a lot of time in brewpubs, brew places, breweries, and tap rooms now that we are doing the visa waiting game for our next move abroad. It’s amazing to have so many places available to us in the Front Range of Colorado. Every time I come back from living abroad, new places have opened and new beer is waiting to be discovered. We happened upon a handcrafted brewery in Longmont.

The Pertinents

  • 300 Suns Brewing
  • 335 1st Ave., Unit C · Longmont, Colorado, USA
  • Founded in 2014 (I believe!)
Their beautiful coin bar.
Their beautiful coin bar.

Their Self-Description

“300 Suns Brewing was really just an idea brought up years ago, that kept surfacing every time a brewery was toured, a GABF was attended, a new craft beer was tasted, a bottle of homebrew was shared on the back deck in the cool summer evening air. It was just a dream and one day (gulp), we worked up the nerve to make it a reality. We wanted to put our time and our work into something that brought joy to others the way those moments brought joy to us. And we wanted to give our community very meaningful ways that they could become part of the shaping of our brewery.”300sunsbrewing.com

Gorgeous and unpretentious.
Gorgeous and unpretentious.

The Space

It’s open, light, welcoming, and above all beautifully handmade. The tasting room is large and has garage doors that can open if it’s warm enough. To me, it appears that everything in the room was made by hand with a cohesive aesthetic. The back wall is beautiful, with blue pine beetle boards and a great display of the beers. The bar itself has been covered in coins and pennies, and matches the colour scheme perfectly. There are hop sculptures made of shovels on one end of the room. There is a mason jar chandelier. There is original (and breathtaking) artwork on the walls.

More than all that, the place has a true sense of community about it. The brewery supports local artists and songwriters with showcases, and there is a ‘Pour It Forward’ poster at the end of the bar. Using their system, one can buy a beer for a friend who isn’t currently able to join you in the brewery. Next to that, a donation collection and Get Well Soon poster for everyone to sign for the brewer, who is currently battling cancer. 300 Suns runs a lot of activities; game leagues, home brewing clubs, food and beer classes, and a painting group.

If I lived closer, this would be my place. I loved the sense of community. The pride in the work that the brewery does was palpable.

Presented in custom-made lunch tins!
Presented in custom-made lunch tins!

The Beers

Clean and distinctive. The beers were clearly made with an eye to balancing flavours, and the many years of home brewing experience for the owners show through. Some of the beers were really surprising; the pale ale tastes a bit like an orange creamsicle!

We tried everything on draft that day, and not a single one was off-kilter. My personal favourite was the smoked porter, served on cask. It was sublime! Some smoked beers get a Barbecue of Death taste to them, and I expected the flavour to really come out on the cask pump. Instead, it was just a touch a smoke and otherwise perfectly balanced.

I couldn’t get over how good the beers were. There must be something in Longmont’s water.

Hops sculptures.
Hops sculptures.

Tasting Notes

A selection of the beers, lest this get too long.

Colorado Sunday Smash 3.0

  • Style: Single Hop, Single Malt Ale
  • Geekery: 4.5% ABV, 33 IBUs, SRM = Light and Sunny
  • I’m not always a fan of Willamette hops, so I was a little bit skeptical of this beer. I was wrong to be. It’s balanced, creamy, clean, and low on the malt scale. The only beer for a Sunday. Hits session ale right on the noggin.
  • Overall Rating: 4.6 pints (out of five pints)

1st Avenue River 

  • Style: Pale Ale
  • Geekery: 5.0% ABV, 31 IBUs, SRM = Slightly Golden
  • I said that the smoked porter was my favourite earlier, but it’s really a tie. This beer is freaking amazing. It’s pale, with hop haze and just a hint of toasty malts. Gorgeous creamy initial taste that blends through orange creamsicle and finishes on tasteful bitterness. Definitely needs to be served in a pint, because it only gets better as it warms up.
  • Overall Rating: 4.8 pints

    It's like they took what I want to make on Pintrest and made it all giant and perfect.
    It’s like they took what I want to make on Pintrest and made it all giant and perfect.

Sun Worshipper 

  • Style: Brown Ale
  • Geekery: 5.5% ABV, 35 IBUs, SRM = Toast
  • Not a typical Colorado brown ale, and that’s just fine! The aromas are full of roast and smokey notes, and their combination with a strong malt backbone reminds me of a mini-porter or a German raucchbier. Tastes of dark chocolate, and even manages to capture that slight sourness a 70% cacao bar can have.
  • Overall Rating: 4.5 pints

Sunscorched 

  • Style: Smoked, Cask Porter
  • Geekery: 5.3% ABV, 35 IBUs, SRM = S’more Chocolate
  • Initially, aromas of woodsmoke and lapsing souchung (not overdone). Seriously, seriously tasty beer. It’s complex; the tastes are slightly sour, leafy, smokey, and BBQ wood chips. There is a sudden middle taste of unidentifiable spices, which then smoothes into chocolate and creamy roast dinner flavours. That’s right. Roast dinner with cream on it. A unique and remarkable beer.
  • Overall Rating: 4.9 pints

 The Munchies

We didn’t sample any food, but the parking lot is huge and could definitely accommodate a few food trucks. There is also a cheesemaking course in the near future.

Darts!
Darts!

Russell’s One-Line Review

“THIS IS SPARTA!” 

Check out all the Beer In Situ posts in one place! This is where travel and beer intersect. 

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