With no Champions League games to watch and the weather actually holding up for a change, I decided to make the short drive down Wyoming to check out the Desert Valley Brewing taproom that recently opened next door to Poki Poki Cevicheria.
The DV taproom effectively takes the place of the Red Door Brewing taproom that closed back in August, but it is not in exactly the same space. The setup of the complex has Suite A occupied by a coffee shop, Sweet Cup, in the northeast corner, Suite B by Poki in the northwest, Suite C by Desert Valley in the center, and Suite D by Kody’s Smoke Shack. Red Door was in Suite D at 3517 Wyoming NE.
Now located smack-dab in the middle, Desert Valley has an open doorway into Kody’s, so one can order food in one space and enjoy it with a beer/cider/mixed drink in the other. The actual taproom space is fairly simple, with a small number of short and tall tables flanking around a bar in the middle with 20 taps, 12 for beer and the rest for Sandia Hard Cider’s offerings. Desert Valley also has a distillers license now, so you can order mixed drinks if beer or cider are not your cup of tea, so to speak.
There is also an upstairs area with some TVs in the overhang above. It almost feels like sort of a reverse image of the old Red Door spot, albeit with a different decor.
Of the 12 Desert Valley beers on draft, I went with the Dark Side Stout, which checks in at 9-percent ABV and 39 IBUs. It’s a drier stout, with some pronounced roasted and almost licorice/star anise flavors. The rest of the lineup is varied from hoppy to malty, heavy to light (in ABV and appearance), and if I had more time, I would have sampled a few more. Trying the barbecue is also on the agenda for a return trip.
The parking lot is still too small, and a car attempting to leave out the Wyoming entrance/exit and I almost collided as I pulled in (you cannot really see around that corner), but otherwise the building setup is pretty much as it was during the Red Door era. Just be aware that the lot will fill up quickly during the busier hours.
Another craft beer and food option in the Heights is always welcome. We will be back to try Desert Valley and Kody’s Smoke Shack again.