Denver's 8 Best Breweries
When it comes to beer, Colorado doesn’t mess around: the state consistently tops the charts for the number of breweries and microbreweries per capita. Plus, it’s home to the Denver Beer Triangle: the Rocky Mountain front range between Boulder, Fort Collins and Denver, where you’ll find more than 72 breweries, including Coors Brewing Company.
As the state’s capital, Denver sits at the heart of the brewery action. Every fall, the city showcases more than 3,000 beers at The Great American Beer Festival—dubbed the world’s largest beer event by Guinness World Records. Colorado’s craft beers also deserve a mention—killer in taste, trade and eco-minded production—they regularly win national and international awards.
Thirsty yet? Here’s our list of the top watering holes and craft favorites in the Mile-High City.
1. Breckenridge BreweryBreckenridge Brewery was founded in the 1980s by Richard Squire, a ski bum with a knack for home brewing. His ales and porters soon became the town of Breckenridge’s après ski drink of choice for athletes after a long day on the mountain. And in the 1990s, this little brewpub migrated into Denver. It now has 5 locations and ships to 32 states, but retains its integrity as one of Colorado’s most interesting producers of a pint.
Must Try: The heavier Nitro Vanilla Porter combines hints of chocolate, caramel and coffee.
2. Great Divide Brewing CompanyBoth brewery and taproom, Great Divide has been a staple of Denver’s beer scene for 20 years. It’s one of the most decorated breweries in the nation, winning 18 awards at the GABF. Great Divide specializes in strong beers with alcohol content greater than 7 percent, making it the place to drink for customers who want pints to pack a punch. You can tour the brewery floor to witness the brewing process firsthand, and afterward taste 9 year-round and 12 seasonal brews.
Must Try: The Hercules Double IPA isn’t for the faint-hearted. Its hoppy zing and nutty undertones surprise your palette from start to finish.
3. Crooked StaveKnown for its outlandish take on experimental brewing, Crooked Stave fits right in with Colorado’s quirky, hipster stereotype. The brewery recently relocated to The Source, a massive warehouse-like artisanal marketplace. Inside, the brewery and taproom lies adjacent to a bakery, coffee roaster and art gallery. Crooked Stave specializes in sour ales, bringing a refreshing twist to Denver’s beer scene. You can’t go wrong trying any brew from its signature Wild Wild Brett series.
Must Try: The Wild Wild Brett Rouge—a tart red—has traces of hawthorn berries, rosehips and tropical fruit, with an earthy finish.
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