While you can never be certain of the weather in Colorado, it is safe to assume that the patio season has arrived in Denver. There is no shortage of great places you can enjoy a summer beer outside, and some even allow you to bring along your furry friends. Whether you are looking for a new local spot or looking to take a road trip to your destination, there is an option for you. Below is our list where to sit and what to drink at Denver breweries this summer.
Copper Kettle Brewing Company
What to order: Czech Pilsner
Where: 1338 S Valentia St. #100, Denver
The Beer: The Czech Pilsner tends to be pale in color, but don’t let its exterior fool you. The sip starts light, bursts with spice from the hops and then gives way to a nice crisp finish. It’s a summer beer that is kicked up a nice notch, keeping it fresh.
The Patio: This patio is tucked away. Unlike the other patios where you can see the people and most of Denver bustling around you this patio is a quiet, cool beer oasis.
Black Shirt Brewing Company
What to order: Frontman
Where: 3719 Walnut St., Denver
The Beer:The Frontman, a bright, light-copper West Coast IPA, is a thirst quencher with a hop-forward attitude. It’s well balanced and has a nice, sweet malt backbone. It is definitely meant to be enjoyed in the sun.
The Patio:The back patio is a perfect spot to try out Black Shirt’s new kitchen which is full of beer-inspired food that will pair well with anything on the tap list.
Denver Beer Company
What to order: Princess Yum Yum
Where: 1695 Platte St., Denver
Style: Raspberry Kolsch
The Beer: Princess Yum Yum is fun to order and easy to drink. The beer is light with a slight bite from its Kolsch roots mixed in with a hint of sweetness from the raspberry. Simply put, this beer tastes like summer.
The Patio: This patio isn’t just dog-friendly — it’s dog-centric. You can enjoy the summer beers and your dog can make new friends. It’s the perfect social setting for beer-loving dog owners.
Declaration Brewing Company
What to order: Dec Lager
Where: 2030 S Cherokee St., Denver
The Beer:Finding a nice, light and refreshing lager can sometimes be a battle of futility. However, the Dec Lager from Declaration Brewing is all of those things. It’s also immensely sessionable at four percent ABV so you can sip away as you bask in the afternoon sun.
The Patio: You don’t have to sit inside to watch the game. While the patio is sprawling, it does have TVs. Finally, you don’t have to decide between hanging out in the sun or watching the game — whatever it may be.
Briar Common Brewery + Eatery
What to order: Joyce
Where: 2298 Clay St., Denver
The Beer:The Joyce encompasses the style profile of a traditional saison. It’s slightly bitter, a little bit spicy and finishes dry and crisp like you might expect from a champagne. Drink it on the patio after dark for the full experience.
The Patio: Two words — rooftop. This is the only patio on the list that gives you a view from the top while you enjoy your beers. You can look at the park or turn towards downtown, whatever suits your mood.
Banded Oak Brewing
What to order:The Kolsch
Where:470 Broadway, Denver
The Beer: When the spring and summer sun hits what you need is a beer that can quench your thirst and won’t knock you over. This beer is light, crisp and meant to be crushed for your patio shenanigans coming in at 4.9 percent.
The Patio:This patio is just off of the main Broadway drag but it still feels like a tucked away oasis. Dogs are welcome of course and since they can’t come inside (City of Denver rules) you can order through the window so your pooch is never left alone.
What to order:Dear You
Where:2920 Larimer St., Denver
Style: French Saison
The Beer: There are saisons and then there is this French saison from Ratio. It takes what you enjoy about the style but amps it up. It’s got a drier finish and with an earthier vibe at the forefront. There’s a hint of tart and you will enjoy the full presence of the hops. Don’t worry though it’s still day-drinking friendly at 5.5 percent.
The Patio:If you are looking to find the people and the vibe of RiNo — there is no better place than the patio at Ratio. The music is jamming, an outdoor bar is installed and it’s enclosed so you can enjoy the beer oasis.
New Image Brewing Company
What to order: East Coast Transplant
Where: 5622 Yukon St., Arvada
Style:New England Style IPA
The Beer:This beer is hazy, hoppy and as juicy as can be allowed. It’s got the tropical pop, creamy mouthfeel and is damn dangerous at 8.5 percent. This means that while you can crush this beer you will want to take your time sipping it in the sun.
The Patio:Old Towne Arvada is practically North Denver which is why this patio makes the list. When you walk in, you won’t see it but after you grab your beer make your way past the kitchen and you will find it. It’s a quiet, relaxed patio that offers you a break from the real world.
Zuni Street Brewing Company
What to order:White Wood IPA
Where:2355 W. 29th Ave, Denver
The Beer: This is another juicy IPA but it bursts with pineapple and grapefruit. The hops are balanced out by a strong malty backbone. It’s easy drinking and meant to be enjoyed on either of Zuni’s two patios.
The Patio: The best part about the patio at Zuni? This is more than one. You can watch the world drive by under the umbrellas up front or you can go out back for a game of giant Jenga away from the traffic. There is no bad option at this neighborhood brewery.
Station 26 Brewing Company
What to order:Tangerine Cream Ale
Where: 7045 E 38th Ave., Denver
The Beer: If you are looking for a beer that tastes like summer in a glass, this is it. The vanilla and tangerine do a special dance making it taste just like the ice cream push pops of your wayward youth.
The Patio: Have you ever wanted to drink on the patio of a former fire station? The answer is yes. This patio has it all from brunch and bluegrass on the occasional Sunday to their own food truck. This is more than a patio, it’s outdoor experience.
Fiction Beer Company
What to order:Logic is Relative
Where:7101 East Colfax Ave., Denver
Style: New England Style IPA
The Beer: Pro tip – any of Fiction’s New England style IPAs are worth ordering but this one happens to be the more regularly available brew. This beer is tropical and if you didn’t know better you would swear it’s straight orange juice – albeit hoppy orange juice.
The Patio:Unlike the other patios on this list this patio is low key. Tucked off of Colfax you get a peaceful feel that is a continuation of the tranquility of the book vibe inside. If you are looking for a sanctuary to enjoy a cold beer after a long day – this is it.
Bonus: One Patio Worth the Trek
New Belgium Brewing Company
What to order: Dayblazer at New Belgium Brewing Company
Where: 500 Linden St., Fort Collins
Style: Golden Ale
The Beer:This is what happens when a brewery dedicates its time to make a great golden ale. Dayblazer is light without being boring. It’s more than just a regular ale. It has a slightly citrus finish and depending on your palate, you will detect a hint of honey flavored sweetness.
The Patio: A trip to New Belgium in Fort Collins should be on every beer drinker’s must-do list even if they aren’t a beer geek. The outdoor space is huge with plenty of room for pets and family for an all-day adventure. Book in advance and take the tour, you won’t regret it or the trip down the slide to finish.
Editor’s note: This article was updated from April 2017 to include updated information and more patios.