(credit: Star Bar)
Colorado is known for being one of the top producers of craft beer in the country. However, you may not realize that Colorado is also the proud home to many distilleries offering local whiskey, vodka, tequila and more. If you haven’t ever ventured out of your usual favorite drinks, there are lots of great bars all over town to help you find a new favorite or two. Local spirits are always some of the best and you’ll be supporting Colorado while you sip down your favorite cocktail. If you’re ready to find some local booze to enjoy, here are a few bars to start your search.
Interstate Kitchen & Bar
1001 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80204
Interstate Kitchen & Bar is a hip establishment with a massive menu of local offerings and amazing food. When it comes to local whiskey, Interstate offers several choices. From the more common local choices like Breckenridge and Stranahan’s to harder-to-find selections like Leopold Bros. American Small Batch or Colorado’s Own Corn Whiskey and Colorado Gold Rye, and even Down Slope Whiskey and Spring 44’s full line, you’ll find a lot of local choices to enjoy at Interstate Kitchen & Bar. If you are new to whiskey, ask the bartender to whip up a Horse’s Neck cocktail with a local whiskey of your choice. It’s a sweet drink with ginger ale and lemon that is perfect for a refreshing sip.
The Curtis Club
2100 Curtis St.
Denver, CO 80205
Located at the corner of 21st and Curtis in Denver, The Curtis Club is the kind of high-end eatery that you’d visit for a special date or important business meeting. However, don’t rule this place out when it comes to local spirits and amazingly crafted cocktails. The Curtis Club’s specialty cocktails are the work of magicians. Try the Mile High 75 which has locally made CapRock Gin along with Prosecco, hibiscus syrup and lemon. Or fall in love with the B*tches Brew that has Goat Artisan Vodka (locally made by Peach Street Distillers) with raspberry preserves, simple syrup, ginger beer and lemon. Then there is the drink called Dos Diablos, which is made with Leopold’s Blackberry Liqueur (made by Denver’s Leopold Bros.) with jalapeño-infused tequila, ginger beer and lime. Curtis Club can also make all of your favorite cocktails, but order from the menu to really sample the very best of these Colorado spirits.
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Bull & Bush Brewery
4700 Cherry Creek Drive S.
Denver, CO 80246
Since 1971, the Bull & Bush Brewery has been a popular spot in the Cherry Creek neighborhood for anyone who loves great local beer or an extensive whiskey list. The beer served up at this great joint is all made by Bull & Bush with lots of great seasonal choices as well as guest beers on tap from all over the world. If whiskey is your thing, you’ll be very impressed with the full line that includes everything from small batch bourbon to single malt scotch and even straight rye. You can enjoy several local specialty whiskeys including Stranahan’s Whiskey and Colorado Straight Bourbon Whiskey from Peach Street Distillers in Palisades, Colorado. Plus, the Bull & Bush is a large and welcoming establishment with plenty of seating, so it’s a great place to meet up after work for a few drinks with friends.
2137 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80205
When it comes to local spirits, Star Bar offers up more than any other joint in town. You’ll find the full line-up from Leopold Brothers Distillery in Denver, as well as Spring44 and Dancing Pines, both from Loveland. There is also plenty of booze from Peach Street Distillers in Palisade, plus Montanya Distilling from Crested Butte and the always popular Breckenridge Distillery. Once you pick your favorite spirits, try the smoked cocktails, made with an actual blow torch, perfect for a great Colorado whiskey. Star Bar is the perfect spot in town to sample some spirits from lots of local distilleries. Show your support of local crafts and drink up.
Cap City Tavern
1247 Bannock St.
Denver, CO 80204
Cap City Tavern is the kind of local joint that mixes up a tasty cocktail and lots of yummy food while you enjoy a leisurely evening with a few friends. Cap City often offers deals on local drinks, and its brands include local vodkas like 303 and Breckenridge, plus Stranahan’s Whiskey and much more. The food is all delicious as well, with all the great bar fare standards including pizza, calzones and more. Cap City is a pretty large place too, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding your favorite booth for a few rounds with your pals.
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Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.