This is long overdue, but it’s time to examine the beers that we imbibed in Denver! We were pretty busy with wedding activities, so you’ll have to forgive us for not having the same, comprehensive list that we created in Beer in Portland.
We lived in the Capitol Hill/Five Points area, and we prefer to explore breweries within walking distance (for obvious reasons). We also like dog friendly breweries so the pup can join us for a brew after a hike! However, we found that the week we moved to Denver, the health department said Dogs were no longer allowed in breweries [or patios]! Boo, Denver. This was enforced even on patio areas, where the dog needed to be outside the gates. Don’t get me wrong- I don’t need the dog around all time, I prefer her like while we’re eating, but when we want to grab a beer after a hike (when we have her along), it would be nice to sit on the patio because she can’t stay in the car on those sunny, hot Colorado afternoons.
Denver does have a healthy brewing scene. The difference here is that you will not always find them filled with bearded beer connoisseurs that spend a good portion of their income on beer; on the contrary, Denver breweries are full of beautiful, young, polo-wearing yuppies! And if I were a brewery/taproom business owner, this would not be a bad thing. I’m just saying, it’s not our scene.
Grandma’s House is an eclectic stop on Broadway, South of downtown Denver. The whole area is very hip and up-and-coming. This place features doilies on the tables, rocking chairs, and a Super Nintendo on an old tube TV. The beers are solid, though the smaller production can make it tough to try everything they produce. Order some take-out from some of the restaurants in the area; we ordered from Maria’s Empanadas, which was a great combo with the beer.
Ratio was a good example- a Saturday afternoon will have you in the middle of a Match.com meetup, dodging happy peddlers, and looking for a table so you can sip the delicious suds without having a bro talk about how crazy last night was and how great tonight will be (see the background of the photo). Ratio has solid offerings, and there are many breweries in crawling distance in this RiNo area, so check it out. We had wings from a food truck posted out front, settled me down a bit about the other patrons. There is one plus- we ended up talking to a professional “grower” for 20 minutes or so- God bless Colorado’s lax weed laws.
Epic Brewing hit a good note for me. It’s also in the RiNo area and features a large brewery and tap room. They have a big fireplace which would surely be wonderful to huddle around in the cold Colorado winters.
Lost Highway brewery is on the Colfax, “the longest, wickedest road”, just East of downtown. We enjoyed this hole-in-the-wall feeling, chill brewery. It has a small-er facility and brew with some interesting ingredients- They do an almond porter where they actually start with almonds and not just extracts, pretty cool. It was a great spot to run for some weeknight brews. They also will can 32 oz “crowlers” right in front of you–this is a tall-boy that would be easy to take on a weekend camping trip.
Twisted Pine in Boulder is a nice stop after tackling some foothills mountains in the area. It is just East of the downtown area and offers a good selection of food with decent beers. We did this with Beth’s parents one lazy Saturday afternoon.
Great Divide has been brewing in downtown Denver for quite some time, and puts out solid beers. It’s a busy place, but you should be able to find a spot as long as a giant bike group hasn’t just walked in to celebrate a good ride.
Barrels and Bottles Brewery is another Golden brewery that served decent beers, but the more interesting feature is the wine dispensing system they use–very high tech!
Mountain Toad in Golden offered some good beers and a solid selection of rotating food trucks! This is actually the place we went to get the pizza food truck, Basic Kneads to cater our wedding- delicious! Dogs are everywhere here, since it is not in Denver and does not need to adhere to the Denver No-Dog policy.
Avery has quickly become one of my favorite breweries, period. They just do really good beer, all round. We took down quite a few of them on this list; including my favorite here, the 17% Imperial Stout with Espresso- Tweak! The brewery was packed with people, but the servers are really good at finding you when you arrive, so it was a pleasant experience despite having to eat while sitting on a bench; which reminds me- great, upscale food!
Declaration has a beautiful patio area and nice indoor spot about 4 miles South of Denver. Solid beer, and great place to hang out on a sunny weekend day (dogs are NOT allowed, unfortunately, since it’s still in the Denver metro area).
During our wedding we did some 5.5 gal pony kegs of Upsloap Pale Ale and Great Divide Titan IPA. Sorry no pics, not even the keg stands… 😀