Now that we've cleared up some of the confusion with Craft Beers 101, it is time to get out there and find out why it is such a big draw in Colorado. With some breweries also offering great food and informational tours, local tap houses have become more like destinations than just watering holes. You may even find that some breweries are located within walking distance of each other to allow sampling of a few different brews. Here are some suggestions around Colorado if you would like to learn more about great places to have some great beer and fun adventures.
Dry Dock Brewing Company - Aurora
For those that live near Aurora, Dry Dock has been brewing great beer for 10 years now. They have many events such as trivia nights and beer and cheese pairings. It is located right next door to the home brewshop ‘The Brew Hut’ if making your own beer at home sounds like fun.
Breckenridge Brewery - Littleton
Breckenridge Brewery recently opened a campus-style brewery on South Santa Fe in Littleton. It offers a full dining menu in the attached restaurant and a large outdoor area with tables and games with a wonderful view of the Rocky Mountains. Brewery tours fill up fast, so reservations on the weekend are suggested.
New Belgium Brewery - Fort Collins
New Belgium, in my opinion, has one of the most enjoyable brewery tours. The huge copper kettles are beautiful as well as functional. New Belgium is employee-owned and a very “green” company—using various ways to save energy and water in the brewing process. Don’t pass up the chance to go down the slide at the end of the tour before hitting the Liquid Center for one more beer!
River North Brewery - Denver
‘RiNo’ or the River North area of Denver has exploded recently with tap rooms and breweries. River North Brewery was the first brewery in the RiNo district and focuses on “yeast-centric” beers. Their tap room is open seven days a week.
Backcountry Brewery - Frisco
Colorado’s ski season is almost here. A great place to stop for a well-earned beer after a day on the slopes is Backcountry Brewery. It has a very skier-friendly location on Main Street in Frisco if you aren’t ready to fight the I-70 traffic back into Denver on a Sunday afternoon. They have a full food menu and if you sign-up for the “Mug Club,” you can take advantage of discounted food and gifts.
Ska Brewing - Durango
Ska Brewing has been a well-respected brewery in Durango since 1995. Dave Thibodeau and Bill Graham started beer production here based on the mutual love of beer and ska music. This brewery is known for some clever and colorful names for their brews such as “Modus Hoperandi” and “Steel Toe Stout.” Try the tasty “Mexican Logger” which was recently awarded the silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival.
Tommyknocker Brewery - Idaho Springs
The Tommyknocker Brewery has been around for over 20 years. The headquarters is located on Miner Street in downtown Idaho Springs just off I-70. Miner Street is a wonderful shopping area, full of old-fashioned storefronts and gift shops. The brewpub is always packed on weekends so be prepared to wait for a table. You will be seated in the historic building and treated with a variety of great beer and food choices. The root beer is also a wonderful choice for those who don’t have a taste for, or are too young for, beer.
What are some of your favorite watering holes around the state? Leave us a comment!
This post was written by Steve Svenningsen, a paralegal with Colorado PERA. If you’d like to submit a guest post, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.