Colorado is known for its microbreweries with more than 175 craft breweries (and growing) ranking among the top five in the country for the fewest number of people per brewery in the state. CNN even recently ranked Denver as one of the eight Best Beer Towns in America, also mentioning all of the great breweries in nearby Boulder. Sure, there are a lot of great microbreweries to check out in Denver, but take just a short drive west to Boulder for many other amazing places to sample some truly delicious craft beers. If you haven’t taken any of the taproom tours or sampled any of the Boulder brewery options, then here is a short list for you to see where to start.
Mountain Sun Pub and Brewery
1535 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
In a city known for being laid back and relaxed, this brewery fits right in. The casual atmosphere and attentive service pair perfectly with the low prices and amazing beer. There are no televisions, no noisy music; just great food and great beer in a super cozy environment, making this spot a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Mountain Sun offers several brews year-round as well as some seasonal flavors that pop up at different times of the year. One of its bestsellers is the Blackberry Wheat with a light body and more than 250 pounds of blackberry puree in each batch. The Colorado Kind Ale is another great favorite with its caramel malty flavor, plenty of hop and surprisingly sweet finish. The Colorado Kind Ale won the silver medal at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival as did the Illusion Dweller IPA, for those seeking a traditional English-style IPA.
Related: Top Resources To Brew Beer At Home
Boulder Beer Brewery
2880 Wilderness Place
Boulder, CO 80301
The history of Boulder Beer starts in 1979 when a couple of teachers from University of Colorado started Colorado’s first microbrewery. Today, Boulder Beer is available in more than 40 states. You can stop by this well-known brewery for a tour, some samples or a casual meal. Both the brewery and the pub are open six days a week, offering tours of the brewing process, complete with free samples nearly all day long. From the unfiltered amber ale of Hazed and Confused to the toasted rye and caramel malty flavor of Singletrack Copper Ale, there are a lot of finely crafted beers to try here. Plus, the tap in the pub changes often, so you can visit a few times and check out different beers on tap each day.
6880 Winchester Circle
Boulder, CO 80301
Visit the brewery and taproom at Vindication Brewing for a taste of this other local favorite. The taproom is great for a tour, which are usually available upon request. Everything is handmade and specially created for Vindication Brewing, down do the handles on the taps themselves. Enjoy an ice-cold mug of the fruity American Bold Ale or take some to go in 22-ounce bomber size. Or check out the popular IPA called Go Ask Alice. Freedom Stout is another favorite with its big chocolate stout flavor, or for those looking for something non-alcoholic, you simply have to try the fresh brewed ginger ale made from all natural ginger root. There is a lot to enjoy at Vindication Brewing, so grab a few pals and check out this local hot spot. The prices are very reasonable, especially if you visit on a Monday, when there is always a discount offered on the beer.
5763 Arapahoe Ave.
Boulder, CO 80303
Currently, Avery Brewing can be tough to find. (Although they are preparing for a big move to Gunbarrel soon.) Look for the big red “A” sign on Arapahoe Street and you’ll have found it. Once there, you’ll enjoy the fact that there is a different beer menu on tap every day, keeping things fresh and exciting for each visit. There are lots of great beers to sample, like the White Rascal Belgian-style Wheat, the Mint Chocolate Stout or the India Pale Ale. You can also get tours of the taproom, offered every afternoon. You can pick up a souvenir Avery Tour Glass to sample the beers and take it home with you for just two dollars. Avery Brewing is available in more than 26 states across the country, proving that this local microbrewery is a popular favorite among beer fans from all over. Check it out to see just why that is.
301 E. Simpson St.
Lafayette, CO 80026
Just outside of Boulder in nearby Lafayette is a truly fun and welcoming microbrewery known as Odd13. You won’t find any food, though it often has food trucks on hand to offer you a bite to eat while you sample the many different varieties of locally crafted American and Belgian style brews. All of the beers are created with fun superhero characters to describe the flavors. There are flavors like Doctor Cougar, a pale ale without a lot of yeast and very delicate hop flavor, or Zed the Zorcerer with an IPA style but low bitterness and flavors of grapefruit and Mandarin orange. If you are lucky, you may show up when Spruce Campbell is on tap, which is an Imperial Brown Ale with lots of malt and hints of pine and citrus. Plus the environment at Odd13 is almost as fun as the beer itself, with lots of great activities, trivia and other things going on all of the time. So stop by Odd13 if you are ready for something truly different and delightful when it comes to beer.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.