One of the numerous reasons I am proud to call City Park my ‘hood is because of all the incredible people that live here! Craig and I met in the park while we were both playing with our pups. As we started talking we realized not only are we practically neighbors and both Chicagoland transplants but also that we both appreciate the fine craft of a certain liquid gold—beer. Craig has been brewing beer for six years and even had the honor of his beer on tap at the Great American Beer Festival and currently at Factotum Brewhouse. I have had the honor of trying it, three syllables—amazing. It’s not everywhere that you can randomly strike up a conversation with someone and next thing you know you’re grilling out in the backyard drinking hand crafted ale, but in City Park, it’s just how we roll. So next time you’re hanging out in City Park-City Park West, start a conversation, who knows, they could become your new good friend!

What neighborhood do you live in?

City Park

Why did you choose that neighborhood?

I choose the City Park neighborhood because it’s so ideally situated in Denver and had so much to offer. I knew I wanted to be close to downtown, but since I have a dog and love being outdoors, I wanted to live close to a park. City Park fit the bill perfectly. First off, I’m only minutes away from downtown, and other hot spots like Cherry Creek, Capitol Hill and RiNo, but if I feel like walking my dog or getting a little sun, the park is right across the street from me. I also wanted to be in a lively neighborhood with an abundance of bars and restaurants that I could easily walk or bike to. With Colfax and 17th Ave. just blocks away, my choices are practically endless. Add the fact that we have Jazz in the Park, the Museum of Natural Science, and the Denver Zoo, it’s hard not to like the neighborhood.

What are your favorite local places?

I love being walking distance to so many great bars and restaurants and thoroughly enjoy some local classics like Denver Biscuit Company/Atomic Cowboy, Stella, Bastien’s, Three Lions, Humboldt, Argyle, Patzi’s and Tag Burger Bar. Plus, with Colfax so close to me, if I want to catch an Indie flic at Sie Film Center or a show at the Bluebird or the Fillmore, they’re right around the corner from me.  

What do you love about Denver?

Wow. Where to begin? I’ve already been fortunate enough to live in some amazing cities. I was born in Illinois so Chicago was always close by, and I lived in Phoenix for over twenty years. Both are amazing cities with plenty to offer, but they both had their downfalls when it came to weather. Whether it was the cold, wet winters of the Midwest or the unbearably hot, oppressive summers of Arizona, there were times of the year where you were miserable. Sure, it gets cold here in winter but nothing like the Midwest, and unlike Illinois, Denver is only 90 minutes away from some of the best skiing in the world. As for Arizona, I always loved the state for its hiking and natural beauty, but even with the Grand Canyon, I think Colorado has even more to offer to an outdoorsman. The great outdoor activities withstanding, Denver has all the culture and cuisine you can ever hope to find in major city. Throw in four professional sports teams, our amazing microbreweries and top notch restaurants and Denver is very difficult to beat.

Are you from CO?

No, I’m originally from Moline, IL.

How would you describe the personality or “vibe” of Denver? Your neighborhood?

Collaborative. Of all the places I have lived, I never seen a community that collaborates so effectively and so enthusiastically. Individuals and businesses alike seem to love to work together as a means of cross promoting each other. Even among competitors, you see a lot of collaboration. Restaurants team up with each other, breweries make “collaboration” beers together, and even markets make it a point to carry locally grown produce. The “locovore” community is huge in Denver. For someone with a background in marketing and public relations, I found that very appealing. Plus, I think there’s a lot of civic pride behind it. Everyone here truly loves supporting and promoting local businesses, restaurants and breweries.

How would you describe your personality?

Creative. If there’s one characteristic that has been consistent throughout my life, it’s that I have always been creative. Although I’m in sales and marketing by trade, I have a degree in English and have always considered myself by writer at heart. Copywriting and advertising has become a big part of what I do in my field and being highly creative is a necessity when it comes to that. Essentially I get paid to dream up new ideas and new concepts. It’s actually a lot of fun and has even translated over to my home brewing hobby. I recently had the pleasure of promoting one of my beers at this year’s Great American Beer Festival.

Interview by Taylor Arns. Our Denver Vibe partner & City Park expert.