The city of Denver was founded in a saloon, which may explain why it now brews more beer on a given day than any other American city.
With more than 100 brewpubs, breweries and taprooms in the metro area—the Mile High City earned its status as a mecca for beer enthusiasts. Let’s jump in with a few of our favorite Denver craft breweries and festivals.
Top of Our Tap
This short list is exactly that, and merely the tip of the icy mug. Look for the requisite cool logos, creative beer recipes, stylish swag, killer food trucks and dog-friendly outdoor patios.
Jagged Mountain: From juicy IPAs to bourbon-barrel-aged stouts, this downtown taproom is an appealing pitstop after a Rockies home game at nearby Coors Field.
Epic Brewing: Like a work of art, each brew in Epic’s Elevated Series comes numbered. The “Brainless Belgian-Style Golden Ale” sneaks rock candy in with the hops and grains.
Our Mutual Friend: Located in the hip RiNo (River North) neighborhood, OMF has a colorful Insta-worthy mural background. We suggest the “Bier de Garde,” an all-Colorado Belgian amber.
Ratio Beerworks: Order a “Dear You” French saison (dryer than Belgian saisons) as you chill on the patio. You might even catch an aprés yoga session inside.
Novel Strand: We love the hoppy ales at this corner brewery in the historic Baker neighborhood. It was founded by a trio of pals, one of whom goes by “La Jefa.”
(P.S. We’ve got you covered if you’re curious about microbreweries in other cities).
Fight or Pass
Check out the Beer Fight Club, a monthly membership that lets you expand your palate with 2-for-1 offers and other specials. Or a Denver Pub Pass lets you knock back a free beer at 25 local breweries.
If you happen to have vacation time in the fall, don’t miss Denver Beer Week, where you can jump in on your choice of 160 beer-related events around the city. It all culminates at the Great American Beer Festival. At this granddaddy of beer celebrations, more than 800 independent brewers from Boston to Boise gather to compete and serve thousands of tastes, one ounce at a time.
For a more intimate festival ambience, Westy Craft Brew Fest takes place in July amid Rocky Mountain vistas and live music, showcasing some 45 regional breweries. Another cozy gathering is Winter Brew Fest, benefiting local nonprofit Swallow Hill Music.
Kimpton Pours It On
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Denver makes the perfect home base for your artisanal explorations. In fact, the recently revamped hotel serves local beer from Black Shirt Brewing during nightly wine hours, while onsite Panzano—named a top restaurant in America by Zagat—carries five local drafts.
If you’re visiting soon, see some ideas for things to do in Denver in the spring.