Patrons tapped their feet or rapped the table in time to the Celtic music filling the air Nov. 7 as it does each Thursday when musicians gather at the Brew on Broadway, 3445 S. Broadway.
“We are just a group of people who love Celtic music and get together to play that music anywhere we can find a location that will have us,” said John Hammer, self-appointed leader.
“There is nothing formal or planned. We just get together for an open session the way they do it in Ireland. A few of us set up and start playing the music we love, and anyone who has the desire is welcome to join in the session. We don’t use sheet music. Every song is played from the memory and from the heart.”
He said the sessions had been held at the Celtic Tavern until it recently closed. He was on the lookout for a new place to play and he met with The Brew on Broadway owner Paul Webster, who offered the opportunity to play at the craft brewery on Thursday evenings.
There were about 20 musicians taking part in the Nov. 7 session. Musicians young and old played their individual instruments. Frequently, it was a fiddler who started a song, joined by musicians playing guitars, the flute, the banjo, the harmonica and whistle.
Hammer joined in on the hammered dulcimer while Patty Oliver, who recently came to Colorado from Illinois, moved around the room as she played the fiddle.
“It is such a joy to make music with others who love the tunes like I do,” she said with a smile. “Every song is played from the heart and a love of playing these tunes.”
Nearby, Ginny McKay played the harmonica.
“I love being here and playing these songs with others who love Celtic music,” the Englewood resident said. “We all know a lot of songs. Someone will start playing a melody and we just join in with them. I love doing this.”
Bear Valley resident Margaret McBride played the whistle.
“I have been playing Celtic music since I was knee-high,” the 90-year-old McBride said. “I love the music and it makes me feel good to join the group playing the songs we love.”
Webster said he was glad to welcome the Celtic musicians to his craft brewery and coffee house.
“It is fun to have them here on Thursday evenings,” he said. “Everyone I have talked to said they like having the Celtic music here in our brewery.”
The long-awaited craft brewery opened in July.
Webster, an Englewood resident for 29 years, said in an earlier interview that, about a year ago, he was at a point where he needed a job when he and his wife came up with the idea of BOB, which stands for The Brew on Broadway. He said opening a craft brewery has been something he wanted to do for himself and for his community.
“I have been brewing beer at home for 29 years, so now I am doing that on a much larger scale,” he said. “We are brewing English-style ales. It takes 10 days to two weeks to complete a brewing process. Then we let the beer age for about a week before we put it in kegs.”
He has five brews available, ranging from pale ale to a stout.
The business also has a variety of coffees and teas available. But, except for snacks like chips, the Brew on Broadway doesn’t have food. However, Webster said customers can bring their own food or place orders to have food delivered to them at the brewery.