While putting together a list of facts for our Denver, Colorado Beer Facts graphic, we also came up with this list of 10 must-see Denver area breweries.
While this list isn’t incredibly scientific – it’s based as much on our own experience as Denver natives as it is anything else – we did try to focus on breweries that met some of the following criteria:
- It’s gotta be a real, local brewery. Chains like Rock Bottom and Chop House didn’t make our list (but their beer is very good).
- They needed to have some good reviews on Yelp.
- They needed to be a good spot for tourists and beer aficionados alike.
We figure there are going to be a few out-of-towners visiting Denver for the upcoming Great American Beer Festival, so we wanted to hit the tourist highlights a little bit too. Anyways, on to the list (which, by the way, is in no particular order).
View Must See Denver Breweries in a larger map
Must See Denver Breweries
Wynkoop Brewing Company – This is the oldest brew-pub in Denver (founded in 88′), and one of the founders (John Hickenlooper) is currently Denver’s mayor. Consider a visit part of your “civic duty,” and check out the Gumbo.
Great Divide Brewing – Award winners? They got em’. Lots of them.
Bull & Bush Brewery – This is a 30 year old pub that was once a dairy. Lots of stories, lots of good food, and in addition to a great beer selection they’ve got a solid selection of single malt scotch.
Dry Dock Brewing Co. – This relatively new brewery (established 2005) is in Aurora, a place more known for sprawling shopping centers and cookie-cutter homes than beer making and fine dining. However, this little brewery is one of Denver’s best, having won the 2009 Great American Beer Festival’s “small brewing company of the year” award.
Breckenridge Brewery – Established in 1992, they’ve got a couple of locations in Denver and a fast-growing national reputation. We recommend the Ball Park location next to Coors Field.
Pints Pub – They specialize in producing cask-conditioned beers, a traditional brewing technique that matches the old English tastes and feel of this brew pub.
Del Norte Brewing – Del Norte specializes in Mexican-style beers, some of which are the perfect compliment to a tasty Mexican meal. Del Norte’s list of awards is rather impressive, so be sure to check them out on Friday afternoons for a free sample.
Strange Brewing Company – Small and rather new, Strange has just won two brewing awards at the Colorado State Fair. To celebrate, Strange will be open everyday during Beer Week 2010 (September 13th-19th).
Golden City Brewery – The joke is that Golden City is the 2nd largest brewery in Golden, but the fact is that a visit to Golden City Brewery is a great time. During my days attending the nearby engineering school, Golden City was a great place to find friends and get a great deal on a pitcher or two.
Coors – OK, so it’s the only major brewer on the list, and the beer community tends to turn it’s nose up at the thought of a Coors product. So be it. The brewery is both impressive and picturesque, and the product is popular. It’s a Colorado landmark.
Denver Beer Co – Haven’t been there, but it looks cool.
Colorado Cider Company – Recommended in the comments
Banjo Billy’s Brewery Tour – A cool new bus tour that gets you out on the town while leaving the driving to someone else.
What do you think – any breweries or brew pubs we missed?