Tess on the Town: Suds Bros.

QUICKREAD

WHAT: Suds Brothers Brewery II.

WHERE: 127 E. Aspen Ave., Fruita.

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday (bar stays open a bit later); closed on Sunday.

PRICE: Less than $10 for most food items; sampler of beer is $5.

CONTACT: 858-9400 or sudsbrothersbrewery.com.



Somebody is creating suds in Fruita.

They’re not the first to try to float a brew pub in the west-end valley town. In fact, they are the third brewery in the same location on Aspen Avenue in Fruita.

But Suds Brothers Brewery seems to be making a dent in the market and an impression with the people.

The original Suds Brothers — this is the second location — is in Evanston, Wyo. The Wyoming owners and a second pair of converts decided to go into business together, and Fruita seemed an ideal spot to sprout their hops.

Suds Brothers in Fruita breathes an immediate good vibe. We visited on a recent weekend and the place was relaxed but buzzing. After a complete remake, the 8,000-square-foot building is modern and bright while maintaining its old-fashion brick-and-mortar presence. Brewing is done on premises, in view of customers behind a large glass wall.

Patrons can sit inside in one of several large dining areas, or out front in a courtyard fronted by wrought-iron railing. Suds’ decor is devoted to classic rock ‘n’ roll, particularly the Beatles. The walls are lined with guitars, concert posters and pop art.

The outside courtyard was packed with bicyclists when we arrived, but there was plenty of room inside to handle a crowd. The brewery caters to town events and, on this day, created a special menu for a bike rodeo.

Suds’ menu is packed with pub grub, including burgers, nachos, chicken wings, fish tacos, tons of sandwiches and, of course, craft beers. Trying the brews without the commitment of a full frosty mug is easy.

Just order the sampler of seven microbrews for $5. Suds Brothers started out with six beers and recently added a seventh.

On the sampler tray were hefeweizen, witbier, pale ale, amber ale, brown ale, chocolate porter and a new creation called WTF. WTF might sound familiar if you’ve followed the town of Fruita’s self-searching marketing quest. Fruita eventually rejected the ribald acronym, but at Suds, WTF stands for Wyoming to Fruita.

Red Monkey Butt amber ale was the favorite at our table, although the Nut Brown Ale and the Bizzy Bee Hefeweizen also drew votes.

The group also loved the burgers and fries, regular and sweet potato. With chef Tiffany Nash in the kitchen, we expected, and received standout pub fare. Also of note, the Szechuan pulled pork sandwich with onions and peppers, beer-boiled brats, fiery chicken and pastrami burgers.

In deference to their downtown neighbor, Hot Tomato Cafe & Pizzeria, Suds Brothers doesn’t serve pizza. That’s one of three things I think Suds has done right.

First, the owners want to be part of Fruita, courting both the community and tourists, and playing nice with their downtown neighbors.

Second, they have placed emphasis on food, which is often an afterthought at many breweries.

And third, the total renovation of the building gives it a fresh and appealing new start.

SEA WORTHY: The Red Rose Cafe in Palisade is cooking up a Lobster feast, and you can be sure it will be a notch above what Red Lobster calls a Lobster Fest.

In the skilled hands of lifetime restaurateurs Tom and Rose Casabona, the prized crustacean will be the center of the Red Rose menu all summer long. Landlubbers and coasties alike can expect to see such variations as lobster steamed with Prince Edward Island mussels, lobster Ciopino, crab stuffed lobster and New England style lobster boil with a whole lobster served in a chafing dish with corn on the cob, sausage, clams and potatoes.

The Red Rose is in downtown Palisade at 235 Main St.

QUOTE: “This is every cook’s opinion — no savory dish without an onion,

but lest your kissing should be spoiled

your onions must be fully boiled.”

— Jonathan Swift

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