A mecca for beer aficionados from throughout the country, the Denver – Boulder – Fort Collins area is a hop and barley lover’s paradise. If you want to spend a day or two beer tasting in the “Napa Valley of beer,” you have dozens of options to choose from. While you might be hard-pressed to hit up all of them on the same outing, here are four Denver breweries you should make a point of visiting in the Mile High City.
Denver Beer Company
Known for rarely brewing the same beer twice, Denver Beer Co. is a popular place to visit for Denverites…especially their patio which many claim to be the best in the city. If you like to sip a beer outdoors with your dog, this is your spot. Dogs on leash are allowed both in the building and on the patio of the taproom. And an even better bonus for dog owners, treats made from the brewery’s spent grain are available to for your pup.
Established in 2011 in an old auto body shop, Denver Beer Company serves a variety of seasonal ales and lagers made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. In fact, their Graham Cracker Porter won the bronze medal speciatly beer category in 2011 at the Great American Beer Festival, also known as the “Super Bowl” of beer. Located in Lower Highland and near AMLI Riverfront Park, this brewery is a must for beer lovers.
Great Divide Brewing
Named for the epic mountainous divide that separates the West Coast from the Great Plains and the Midwest, Great Divide is a prolific name for a prolific Denver brewery. A favorite of many locals and craft beer enthusiasts across the country, the most popular regularly brewed beers are probably the Denver Pale Ale and the Yeti Imperial Stout. Free tours are offered at 3 and 4PM on weekdays and every half hour or so on the weekends between 2:30 and 5PM. If you happen to live in an AMLI Riverfront Park or AMLI Park Avenue apartment, it’s just a short walk away from your home.
Wynkoop Brewing Company
As the oldest and largest continuously operating brewery in Colorado, Wynkoop is something of a household name throughout the Centennial State. Wynkoop’s strong brand development has had little impact on the effort they put into their brewing and the maintenance of their facilities, both of which are top-notch. Located in the historic J.S. Brown Mercantile building just a few blocks from AMLI Riverfront Park, the Wynkoop Brewery boasts awe-inspiring views of the recently renovated Union Station.
It also offers free public tours, which start at 3 and 4PM Tuesday through Saturday. Private group tours for up to 20 guests can be arranged by request. The B3K Black Lager, Rail Yard Ale, and Mile HI.P.A. are three of the brewery’s most celebrated drafts.
Yes, it’s a big company with headquarters in Chicago. No, it is not located in the heart of Denver. Yes, some craft beer snobs might turn up their noses at the idea of visiting. But if you like to taste the Rockies or are a beer lover with an open mind, the MillerCoors Brewery tour is definitely worth your while. In addition to an engaging, self-paced audio tour, visitors to the brewery (aged 21 and over of course) can enjoy three generous beer samples of their choosing following the tour.
Located just 15 miles from downtown Denver, the brewery is accessible by a combination of bus and light rail. The aforementioned qualities, coupled with the fact that its golden location gives visitors a chance to glimpse the impressive downtown Denver skyline and the snow-capped Rockies simultaneously, earn the MillerCoors Brewery a spot on this list. It’s open for free self-guided audio tours from 10AM to 4PM Monday through Saturday and 12 to 4PM on Sundays.
With so much stellar beer brewing taking place in and around Denver, selecting four breweries to feature was not easy. We may just have to do another blog post with some of our favorite local craft breweries. Once you’ve had the chance to hit up these breweries, do some research to find others in Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins that brew to your tastes. The next time you go out for some beer tasting, have fun and drink responsibly!
What is your favorite Denver area brewery and why? Share with us in the comments!
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