Is it a restaurant? Is it a brewery? Is it a blues bar? Is it an old barn with a silo painted like a giant beer can, welcoming visitors to Longmont? Oskar Blues’ Homemade Liquids and Solids is the last one for sure—and some combination of the rest.
If you love beer, this is your kind of place: 44 American craft beers on tap including the entire Oskar Blues lineup. If you love blues and bluegrass, this is also your kind of place due to its nearly nightly live lineup.
What might come as a surprise is that it’s also your kind of place if you love good food.
Full disclosure: this is a pub, and the noise level, service and menu reflect that, but beyond that there are a few standout items that transcend the stereotype. Appetizers here are hearty and heavy. Fried pickles are a must; crunchy, salty homemade pickles coated in a peppery batter and fried crisp. Careful! They’re hot. They also go down amazingly well with a cold brew. The fried green tomatoes were disappointingly flavorless, and I wished the pickle batter had been applied to the tomatoes as well. But the smoked chicken wings were amazing. Tender and flavorful, not greasy, these guys are seriously addictive.
The large main menu offers a selection of pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, barbeque and more—all perfectly serviceable, but the gems are hiding out along the edges. The Haystack goat cheese flatbread (on the appetizer menu, but enough for a meal) is quite the surprising masterpiece, with piquant G’Knight goat cheese, creamy sautéed asparagus and salty prosciutto piled high with lightly dressed peppery arugula. The house-smoked salmon fish and chips are a pub classic turned on its head. Mildly smoked fish and light-as-air batter make this dish a true winner. And if by chance you happen to be there on a Tuesday, do not pass up the opportunity to order the toked meatloaf—nothing like mama used to make, and so much the better for it. Smoking the meats elevates this dish way beyond a blue plate special.
We also took a drive just up Ken Pratt to try out their new fast-casual—excuse me, craft-casual—location, CHUBurger, where the food is much more appealing than the name. Short and sweet, the menu offers burgers in a variety of proteins, including beef, bison, Berkshire pork, salmon and falafel, and a Berkshire pork hot dog. The burgers are thick, juicy, and crazy good, with all the traditional fixings, including house-made ketchups and mustards. Fries are crispy and addictive—unlike the limp, soggy ones served at Liquids and Solids—and the onion rings were out of this world: colossal rings battered perfectly to a golden brown. CHUBurger can hold its own with any of the myriad upscale burger joints in the area, no question.
In short, both of these beer halls can hold their own when it comes to the solids side of things.