We gave up beer for a few days after our trip to Denver.
Because we went to more than THIRTY breweries in 4.5 days. That can wear out even the most mighty beer drinker.
Did I regret it?
Our beer trip to Colorado was in September- I’m months behind on posting, per usual. We’d been wanting to go for a while and found cheap tickets on Allegiant (I’m talking $80 round trip. They never let me down!) With a lack of vacation days thanks to our constant traveling, we decided we could cram Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, and Fort Collins all in one short trip. Did it, wouldn’t do it again– give yourself more time!
Speaking of time, there’s only so much in the day so I’m going to break this out into separate posts starting with Denver.
Denver, Here We Come!
I’m not sure what I was expecting, but downtown Denver surpassed my expectations. It reminded me a bit of Chicago with its sleek buildings (in areas) and shopping at 16th Street. For a second I thought I could live there, then I remembered my dry hands/lips and the fact I’m having a hard time breathing while walking at a brisk pace. After loving all the beer I reconsidered yet again, then I remembered how much snow they get. Bummer!
While in the downtown area, you must go to Snooze at Union Station for tasty breakfast, Biker Jims for an interesting selection of “hot dogs”, and The Source for cool vibes. Also, head south to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs for some awesome rock pics. It’s a short drive, you won’t regret it! We went early in the morning and were back just in time for breweries to open.
Denver Brewery Favorites
I have a hard time deciding my one favorite from the top breweries. Cerebral, Crooked Stave and Trve were all VERY good. Make sure you go to all of them!
Cerebral is a short drive out of downtown and well worth it. They make killer IPAs, and we also had a tasty stout. It was in a really cool space (science-themed) and if we weren’t on such a tight schedule I could see us chilling there for a while.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
Crooked Stave is within The Source, which houses some local shops and restaurants in a large industrial building. Really cool! And they make the best sours- THE absolute best. I’m a fan of deep/dark sours and they’ve got them all. I challenge anyone to recommend a better collection of sours to me!
If you’re just venturing into craft beer and don’t like sours, you probably won’t love this brewery as much as me. Their selection is primarily sour with a few other funky beers like Brett IPAs. Perhaps start dabbling in sours before you go- I hear it takes 20 tries to actually enjoy one 🙂 You may walk out of there a fan!
TRVE Brewing Company
TRVE rivaled Crooked Stave with their sours, plus they had a variety of other beer styles. Their beer is great, however their taproom is definitely “interesting”. The heavy metal brewery was very dark and gothic with loud music and somewhat disturbing decorations. While I must say TRVE sets itself apart, it’s not somewhere I’d go to hang out. As you can tell it’s still a part of my top three though, so they’re obviously brewing good stuff!
Denver Brewery Recommendations
The next few breweries were above average and I’d recommend having them on your list to visit.
- Epic Brewing: Cool space and buzzing with people. They had some pretty tasty (and weird) beers- Andrew tried a sour made with crickets. No thanks.
- Baere Brewing: I usually dislike “strip mall breweries”, probably because the commercial or lack of culture feel, but this place represented well. It was a cool space and decorated just how I like with wood accents and string lights 🙂 Forgive me for what I said, I take it back!
- Renegade Brewing Company: Bright and modern space, plus an outdoor area. Also, Andrew bought one of his favorite hats here- that must count for something.
- Fiction Beer Company: This was perhaps one of the most unique and cool spaces I’ve been in- themed like a library and full of books. The inside was cozy and there was a large back patio.
- Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery: The night ended here. I cannot confirm it was as great as my beered-up self remembers it to be, but I’ll throw it on here and you can tell me otherwise.
Denver Breweries with Time
There were a few other Denver breweries that had cool spaces but didn’t blow my socks off when it came to the beer. I’d check them out only if you have time.
- 10 Barrel Brewing
- Lone Tree Brewing Company
- Ratio Beerworks
- Mockery Brewing
- Crazy Mountain Brewing Company
- Great Divide Brewing Company
Overall, Denver had a lot to offer with good beer, good food and good vibes. Two days later, we hit the road to Boulder for another 10 breweries. I’ll share a run down of my favorites on my next blog!