Purpose Brewing brings elegance at a cost

Mack Beaulieu

A row of light and dark beers in glasses lines a table.
(Collegian file photo)

Born from the collaboration of former New Belgium and 1933 brewmasters Peter Bouckaert and Zach Wilson, Purpose Brewing and Cellars serves small-batch, expertly crafted beer in an intimate atmosphere.

The menu can change every weekend at Purpose as they strive to be creative and crafty with their beer, and that’s really the allure here. The beer combined with the atmosphere makes it easy get drunk on Purpose, but it won’t be cheap.

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Most of the interior at Purpose is laden with wood, matching the wooden barrel room that puts on display the tools of the trade that help Purpose fulfill its own mission of being collaborative and artistic. Patrons can sit among the barrels, but the real draw is behind the sliding wooden doors.

Nestled behind the doors is the one room not finished in wood. It has an elegant living room like appeal and has low mood lighting like much of the rest of the brewery but with more of a community feel. The rest of the brewery offers a lot of varied seating. There are some indoor tables, outdoor benches and bar seating, but it seems a little sprawled.

Still, the living room is pretty amazing, with well matched tables, chairs and couches inviting you into an area that feels as if real conversations can happen here. With the homemade mood lighting to match, it’s like stepping into the living room of a swanky but cool cocktail party. It’s like you’ve jumped into a white collar, 20-something-year-old’s living room for a party where mature conversations lead into youthful nights.

If beer is the real reason to go to a brewery though, Purpose has some strong reasoning. It’s largely what you would expect from two brewmasters, one of whom left the one of most successful craft brewers in town. It’s wonderful, varying and creative.

The menu changes every week and seems to typically sport a mix of wine and liquor barrel-aged beers as well as regularly brewed and fermented beers.

I cannot recommend the Smoeltrekker #22, which actually is like the champagne of beers. The Smoeltrekker #22 is a soft sour, aged in a white wine barrel. It’s very light drinking with a white wine tinge and the fizz to give it a champagne feel. At $8.50 a pour, it should feel like champagne, but it’s the lightest drinking. If you drink them as quick as I drank mine, you’ll probably feel your wallet bleeding. 

However, the Bos Trip and Nacht Up both exceed expectations. 

The Bos Trip is simply described as an amber beer laid down on top of shiitake mushrooms. To me, it was the simplest, best beer I tried. As someone who doesn’t particularly like mushrooms, they didn’t come through enough to bother me. The Bos Trip is the least complicated of the beers here. It has a really sound amber taste and just enough body to slow you down. It’s just an all around solid beer at 5.53 percent ABV. If it was in stores it’s something I would buy again and again for easy drinking.

The Nacht Up’s name likely isn’t an accident. The malty black ale carries a 7.45 percent ABV and is at the baseline price of $5.50. It taste of Sumatra Coffee blended with the sweetness of coconut and vanilla bean. It still hits you with sweetness, but it has more bite on the back end and less of a smooth sweet finish than some other black ales.

Purpose Brewing and Cellars has everything that makes a brewery great, but it’s prices seem like a little much when you consider what the same amount can get you in other local, amazing breweries. Purpose is an absolute must for beer enthusiasts, but more casual drinkers might want to wait for a special occasion.

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Collegian reporter Mack Beaulieu can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @Macknz_James.