Eater searched high and low for the most sought-after, most recommended, and the most iconic Colorado breweries. From the oldest to the boldest, new brewing entrants look to these breweries to do it right. Great American Beer Festival-goers, follow suit and visit as many as you can on your vacation to Denver to see how it’s done.Read More
Twelve Iconic Breweries to Hit During The Great American Beer Festival
Colorado is a juggernaut in the craft beer scene. Denver is a natural fit to host and boast the largest ticketed beer festival in the United States.
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Avery Brewing Company
This family owned and operated brewery has been a Boulder staple since 1993. Avery is known for its unconventional wood-aged ales and lagers and for bending the rules on styles with boldness.
Located in Boulder’s Flatiron Park, Upslope prides themselves on developing beers that pair perfectly with Colorado’s active lifestyle; hence the always portable can and easy recycling. Watch the canning in action at the Flatiron Park, boasting a greater tap selection and more one-off selections, or visit the Lee Hill location for more beer delights.
Great Divide Brewery
Great Divide is one of Denver’s favorite breweries and well deserved for 20 years. With numerous GABF awards under its belt, brewery goers can’t go wrong with stopping in to try the strong beers.
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Wynkoop Brewing Co.
Wynkoop was founded by Denver’s governor, John Hickenlooper, in the late 80’s, which makes this LoDo brewery a must hit cool spot. Wynkoop is also one of the breweries that offers a full food menu.
Dry Dock Brewing Co.
In 2009, after only 4 years of being open, Dry Dock won GABF’s best new small brewery award. The accolades have continued with 5 GABF awards last year. The tap room is well worth the trip to Aurora.
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New Belgium Brewing Company
Since its opening in 1991 in Fort Collins, New Belgium is one of the fastest growing microbreweries in the world and for good reason: the brews are amazing. It produces more than 400,000 barrels of beer per year. But sure to get a reservation for a tour, its worth it.
Odell Brewing Company
Odell’s was founded in 1989 by the Odell family in the outskirts of Fort Collins. Easy Street Wheat and 90 Shilling were the first brews at Odell and are still the most popular. Be sure to try any of the seasonal taps.
Crooked Stave @ The Source
Crooked Stave specializes in unique sour and bitter ales. It has rapidly gained notoriety by becoming a sour ale mecca in the United States. Its tap room is located in The Source, an artisan market housing local food focused businesses.
Breckenridge Colorado Craft
Breckenridge Brewery started in the 1980’s as the perfect pint for skiers after a long day at Breck. Now they have 5 locations and distribute to over 30 states. Be sure to try the Nitro Vanilla Porter.
Left Hand Brewing Company
Located in Longmont since 1993, Left Hand Brewing has received accolades left and right (pun intended.) The Left Hand name comes from the infamous Chief Niwot (meaning Left Hand) whose tribe is from the area. Be sure to try the Milk Stout on nitro.
Oskar Blues Brewery Tour
Originally from Lyons, Oskar Blues brewed America's first hand-canned craft beer, the infamous Dale's Pale Ale. With several more locations, Oskar Blues is probably one of the most recognized cans from Colorado.
Boulder Beer Company
Once a goat farm, this plot of land was the first Colorado craft brewery to open and quickly became the epicenter of the craft beer movement. Boulder Beer is an essential pilgrimage stop for any beer aficionado.
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