A more leisurely guide to the city – and state’s – amazing breweries
As the host city of the annual Cat 5 hopfest known as the Great American Beer Festival, and as the incubator of what seems to be a new nanobrewery a week, Denver (in the collective sense) can easily lay claim to the home of beer (or The Home of Beer, if you want to make look more magnanimous). It’s a music festival with more tents, more performers, and equally the same amount of buzzed celebrants, but without all those gnarly glamping concerns.
And, as the quantity of Colorado breweries have multiplied over the past decade, so have the medals at GABF. Scroll through the winners at this year’s event and you can’t avoid being proud of the product pouring out of this state – if not slightly dumbfounded by all the new names taking names so quickly.
The best part about all this glorious 5280 nectar-making is that you don’t have to wear a mouthguard and elbow pads to fight the crowds at GABF for a 1-ounce pour. For the most part, you can visit Lone Tree Brewing, Twisted Pine, Black Bottle (to name just a few winners), on pretty much any day ending in “y.”
Of course, The Home of Beer does not medal-winning breweries make. This town has built up cornerstones of the industry over the decades, and you will never be lost finding perennial all-stars with the right guide. Rate Beer is to beer as Wine Spectator is to, wait, I’m thinking… and for many years the boys at Rate Beer have built a user platform to cut through the hype and lay out where the best cold beverages are, not just in Denver, but around the globe. If you have been on the site, it’s a must-visit for enthusiasts. Be careful about how much free time you have, because you may go down some rabbit holes you won’t be too excited to back out of if you have a meeting in 45 minutes. For now, here’s your rating guide for Denver’s best beers. Outside the 303 is easy to find, as well, but for now here’s your platform for a good beer deep dive. Salut!