In each state we visit, we love trying the local beers, so naturally we had to try some Colorado beer! I will actually be having a collaborative beer post coming up soon including some great breweries across the country! There are tons of breweries in Colorado, most of which are very successful and delicious! With that also comes some pretty fabulous beer festivals. While in Colorado, we spent most of our time in the Denver/Aurora area, but we also ventured to Fort Collins which is an absolute beer capitol, Boulder, Breckenridge and Colorado Springs!
For those of you beer enthusiasts reading this, you are probably saying to yourself, “How on earth did they not go to X, Y, or Z!?” and you are probably right! You have to keep in mind, that while we are traveling, we also work during the day. In the evenings and weekends, we try to cram as much in, in a way that makes the most sense. We might go to a museum or go on a hike, and then seek out the nearest place for a beer, and that is where we end up. But if you have recommendations for our next visit, please feel free to share!
I know what you are thinking, “why Aurora?” I don’t believe Aurora is a huge destination for most people, but we found an excellent deal on an Airbnb here with the nicest lady! It was close enough to Denver for us, so there. Since we were in the area, and we didn’t want to venture too far on some nights, we paid a visit to the local breweries, including one within walking distance for us! While in Aurora, we visited Drydock and Peak 2 Peak for our first two Colorado Breweries.
Drydock was a great brewery with outdoor and indoor seating, a refreshing Apricot Blonde, and my husband really liked their Hop Abomination IPA. We decided to sit outside, which was great, because they had several picnic tables, with heaters in the ceiling above! The nights in Colorado can get pretty cold, so this was really nice! This beer is also in many liquor and grocery stores all over.
Peak 2 Peak was super convenient, being walking distance to our place. Being the indecisive person that I usually am, I opted for their flight to sample a few different beers. This place is pretty cool because they have their own beers, but also a few other guest taps, featuring other Colorado beer. They also have food and live music which is a great bonus!
Fun fact about Denver, is that they have an awesome light rail transportation system, which makes commuting into the city pretty easy! This is great, especially if you plan on having a night of drinking and need a safe ride back! On our first night out in downtown Denver, we made our way to Denver Beer Co and Prost Brewing. On another day, we ventured out to Golden and did the free tour at Coors Brewery.
Since we were here for the whole month of June, the weather was just exquisite! We were able to dress comfortably during the day, and bring a light layer to throw on when it cooled off at night. We took the light rail into the city to explore a bit, and made our way over to the Highland Area where there is quite a bit of things to do, including drink beer! This area of town is really booming, with new apartment buildings going up, including many restaurants and bars to support the new residents.
Denver Beer Company is on Platte St which is a great walkable area. I enjoyed their Princess Yum Yum which is a raspberry Kolsch, which was really nice. They had a nice outdoor area, indoor, and even a special event space you can rent out for rehearsal dinners and other celebrations. From Denver Beer Co, we walked over the Denver Millennium Bridge to Prost!
Prost was a short walk from Denver Beer Co, very close to the “Collective Eatery”, Avanti Food and Beverage. This place is one big establishment with a hipster, food court feel, including entertainment from a DJ. Since Avanti had a long line to to get in, and we were not up for that scene, we opted to stop into Prost, which was a much better option! This is a German brewery, with your traditional German beers. I really enjoyed the Kolsch style beer, and my husband chose the Marzen.
We were able to sit outside, where they had corn hole games set up, and the Brava Pizza Truck! I don’t know about you, but after drinking beer, I’m always looking for comfort food. Mac n cheese, pizza, pretzel, you name it. Maybe that is why I can’t seem to shed these last 5 lbs! Haha! Well anyway, Brava was serving some flat breads and they hit the spot! I imagine they have a pretty awesome Oktoberfest here too! FYI, they also have a location in Fort Collins as well!
I had no idea that Coors Brewed so many kinds of beer! I almost didn’t want to do this tour, because I only ever thought of Coors Lite, which has its time and place, but I was pleasantly surprised! First of all, it is FREE! Free parking, shuttle to the brewery, tour, and tasting! Sweet! I highly recommend this!
I am sad to say that even though we made our way to one of the beer capitals in the country, we never even made it to one of the breweries! I will explain why soon. We took a day trip to Fort Collins for the Brewers Festival on June 24th which had at least 14 breweries from Fort Collins! This is a pretty small city, so it was pretty impressive to see so many local breweries! This festival was pretty awesome, because it was fairly small, in the cute and shady Washington Park, and they offered 1-2 beers initially, and then at 3pm they tapped their unique and limited beers, such as sours and barrel aged.
What I also loved about this festival is that they gave you a list of all breweries and what they were serving, so you could make notes! Too often I go to these things, and leave without consciously knowing what I liked and didn’t like. So back to why we didn’t go to any other breweries. My husband lost his ID, and we didn’t realize until after we left and tried going to a restaurant. It never turned up, so we did not end up going to any of the breweries in town. I really wanted to go to New Belgium! Guess we have to wait until we are in Asheville!
On our whirlwind last week in Colorado, we spent 2 nights in Breckenridge. This is usually a ski town in the winter, but they have done a nice job keeping the spirit alive all year long! Breckenridge, and its neighbor Frisco have some great breweries, most of which with a great view! While in Breckenridge, we visited RMU, which is not a brewery, but I will explain in a sec, Broken Compass, Outer Range, and Breckenridge distillery, which I know isn’t a brewery, but while we are on the topic of drinking, I might as well throw it in!
RMU Tavern, though not a brewery, has a pretty great local beer list! This place started as a ski shop, called Rocky Mountain Underground, and later turned it into a tavern. One of our airbnb hosts was a “co-owner” and told us about their grand opening. It is a great small, front tavern right off main street, and they also have an awesome new back area with turf, hammocks, lawn games, with a much larger bar. What was really impressive, was that even though we did not talk to the bartender much, we had left, and come back in the same night, and he remembered my name when I walked back in. SO awesome….
On our only full day in Breck, we rented bikes in Frisco, drove up to Breck, stopping at a few breweries on the way back. I know, I know, this is not a brewery, but whole we are on the topic of drinking, I decided to throw this in too. Breckenridge Distillery was our first stop, and when the bartender saw our helmets, he offered us a water before even asking what we wanted to drink. We found out they had free tours and tastings, which we obviously jumped on. It was amazing to hear how fast this place had grown in a short period of time, but also noting how great their spirits are! We really liked their vodka and bourbon, which I also had at RMU!
This was our 2nd stop on our way back from our bike tour. It was a really cool but small set up. It was in the industrial area on Continental Court, so the facility naturally has an industrial feel, but they also had great seating outside as well. I was talked into the Irish Red from the beer tender, which I really enjoyed. We liked sitting outside, under the sun shade sails, looking at the mountains, and people watching!
Before returning our bikes, we stopped at Outer Range for 1 more beer. I really wished we had come a bit earlier, because they had taken down many of their offerings because they ran out! We didn’t realize how popular this place was, but after our first beer, we knew why! They craft some great IPAs! I am on a life mission to better appreciate IPAs, and this place had the kind i’m starting to like, which is less bitter, unfiltered, and juicy! The two we tried were Forestry and Rustic Ways. We would definitely be back or buy this in a store if they were to start distributing nationally!
We actually made our way to Colorado Springs twice! When we were in Aurora, we made a trip to Garden of the Gods, to hike and do a photoshoot for my book. On our way back, we made a few stops before hitting the road at Cogstone and Whistle Pig. We returned to Colorado Springs for 3 nights at the end of our our travels, and made our way to Jaks Brewing Company, Nano 108 Brewing Company, and Pikes n pikes brewing company. On our very last day, we stopped in Manitou Springs to see the area, and had a beer at Manitou Brewing Company.
This was a refreshing stop after our hike! I enjoyed, what I remember to be, a cranberry or raspberry sour which hit the spot for me after hiking in 90 degree weather. We also had a nice time talking to the bartender, who was very interested in our travels. He wasn’t from the area originally, but he was able to give us some other recommendations which was nice. Our next stop was Whistle Pig, and I have to say we were not impressed. The reviews were not great on Yelp, but we figured we would give them a chance. The beer was ok, but had that skunky taste, which led us to believe they were not properly cleaning their lines each day. I rarely have beer I don’t like, and this was one.
Jaks actually had opened a new facility, right near our Airbnb, which was pretty awesome. I got the Blonde Bombshell which I enjoyed. My husband ordered the JAKRabbit IPA and I’m not sure if she just poured the wrong thing or what. There was nothing about this beer that tasted like an IPA. The beer was good, but certainly not an IPA. We didn’t want to risk anymore, so we moved on to Nano.
Nano has a great set up, closer to downtown Colorado Springs. I tried their pilsner that was infused with jalapeno which was interesting. It was actually really spicy, and kind of reminded me of the time I infused tequila with jalapenos, except this was a basic pilsner. They also had a food truck selling all different kinds of spring rolls but they seemed a bit over priced, but they did look good!
This was our last stop for the night, and I guess we saved the best for last! We got a seat right up at the bar, and the beer tender was so nice and helpful, and so was our neighbor! He recommended the a blood orange beer for me, which was really different but I enjoyed quite a bit. Tiago got the German Marzen beer, which he also liked. They had both indoor and outdoor seating, board games, tvs, and a popcorn machine!
After a day of sightseeing in Manitou Springs, we popped into Manitou Brewing Company. When we were there, they were expanding their facility into the front, which looked like it was going to be awesome! The back area was still open with indoor and outdoor seating, and I had a guest cranberry or cherry sour, which I really liked. Are we sensing a trend yet? I am really starting to get into sours! I think it is because I also love dry ciders, and the sours sort of remind me of ciders. Refreshing flavor that you can savor for a long time.
As you can see we drank a LOT of Colorado beer during our visit! In fact, we have drank a lot of beer all over the country! Writing this post has inspired me to write a collaborative post on some of our favorite beers across the country! I will have some of my fellow, Female Travel Bloggers also sharing their favorite breweries and beers across the country. Stay tuned! This one will be coming early November!