In Colorado, we are surrounded by great beer. There are over 300 breweries in the state but too often we get trapped in the routine of visiting our favorite brewery. It’s just easier to drink what we know especially when it’s good. This is something that needs to stop. Yes, the hyped breweries in our state, you know who they are and we are leaving out the names on purpose, deserve all the praise and awards they have received but not to the detriment of other breweries.
It’s time to challenge ourselves. If you love beer, you owe it to yourself to try a new brewery at least once a month. If you don’t know where to go – look up the most recent award winners from the World Beer Cup or the Great American Beer Festival. You will find a new place to sip on some brews.
Below is our list of breweries that we believe deserve your attention.
Paradox Beer Company
Location: 10 Buffalo Ct., Divide
Lowdown: The current population of Divide, Colorado is less than 5,000 people so even for natives to the state it’s a place that can get missed. It’s behind Pike’s Peak and sitting on the patio might give you the best unobstructed view of the mountain. It’s worth the drive — all of the beers are on point, the food pairs well and cuts through the predominantly sour menu for a full beer experience. There is also a certain swagger – you will see it with the murals near the bathrooms and throughout the badass decor.
Recommended Beer: Future Knowledge is a great starting beer when you visit Divide. This tart farmhouse ale gives you a crisp, well-balanced flavor with just enough sour to set the table for your tasting experience. From there you can’t go wrong with any of the bottles, although Salty Lemons which is a golden sour ale with lemon and salt holds a special place in our heart.
Cannonball Creek Brewing Company
Location: 393 N Washington Ave, Golden
Lowdown: If you love beer and Colorado you need to set aside a day to explore the brewery scene in Golden. Cannonball Creek sits alongside Highway 93 but you wouldn’t know it while chilling on the patio. Inside you can enjoy a number of award-winning beers and outside you are relaxing at the base of the mountains. It gives you that mountain vibe without having to deal with all the traffic.
Recommended Beer: Some beers have great names and some beers taste great — Trump Hands IPA is both and you need it. This session IPA is light with hints of grapefruit and a touch of hop bitterness. It’s crushable and the 2018 gold medal winner at the World Beer Cup. This is the kind of victory you need to experience.
Our Mutual Friend Brewery
Location: 2810 Larimer St., Denver
Lowdown: It has been said that you can’t walk around RiNo without falling into a brewery and it’s true. From Ratio to Bierstadt Lagerhaus to the newly opened Odell it is a craft beer lover’s paradise. It’s because of this that Our Mutual Friend is underappreciated. This brewery is consistently releasing award-winning beers while creating its own unique, artistic vibe. If you happen to be there when Saison Trystero, the gold medal winner at the World Beer Cup in the Brett beer category, is on tap jump on that opportunity.
Recommended Beer: There are a lot of great options when you walk in the door which is the right kind of problem to have. Our standby is Times Arrow. This West Coast style IPA pops with hops but is balanced by the malt bill. It’s what you need when you are in the mood for this style of beer.
Launch Pad Brewery
Location: 884 S. Buckley Rd., Aurora
Lowdown: The beer scene in Aurora is small but impactful. There is more than Dry Dock picking up medals in the city just east of Denver. Tucked away in an unassuming parking lot is Launch Pad. The beers much like the décor are military in nature and the beers will assault your senses. If you don’t get out of Denver much make the trek to this neighborhood brewery with huge potential.
Recommended Beer: When it comes to these beers we recommend walking in and doing what feels right at the moment. The Peacekeeper Porter is a session porter that did just take home bronze at the 2018 World Beer Cup. With its smoked Cherrywood flavor, it can be enjoyed in both the heat and the cold. However, Soyuz, the Russian Imperial Stout is rich, malty and the right kind of smooth.
Location: 118 W 4th St., Loveland
Lowdown: In the town of Loveland, not to be confused with the ski resort, there are some fun beer things happening. Just off of the main drag, you will find Loveland Aleworks – it’s a smaller taproom with a surprising patio space just out of sight. The people know each other and they know sour beers, not just at the World Beer Cup either but also at the Great American Beer Festival.
Recommended Beer: While it can be fun to chase the rotating beers, it’s important to try the winning flagship brews. The first beer you need to have when you sit down is the American Sour with raspberries. It was the guava version that took home the bronze in 2018 at the World Beer Cup but the raspberries are the original. It’ll give you the juicy tartness that begs you to go back for more. Plus, it’s a damn beautiful beer.
Wiley Roots Brewing Company
Location: 625 3rd St. Unit D, Greeley
Lowdown: Greeley has many breweries – sometimes that gets lost in all of the WeldWerks hype. It’s time to pay attention to who else up there is pumping out a variety of delectable brews. In the last year, Wiley has stolen the beer slushy scene, produced award-winning mixed culture beers and acquired itself a reputation for top-level barrel-aged beers with the Vanilla Pseudonym. There is a reason this brewery just announced an expansion – more room is needed to make more great beer. Don’t sleep on Wiley on your next trip up north.
Recommended Beer: The slush beers will catch your eye with the bright colored labels and the sour program is on point but do not miss Funk Yo Couch. Another example of a great name, even better beer, the Galaxy hopped version of this took gold at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival. Currently, on tap you will find this mixed culture Brett beer hopped with Citra, it’s a wonderfully carbonated funky beer with tropical fruit kick. Get it.
This list is by no means fully inclusive. There are other breweries out there winning awards, creating awesome vibes and waiting for your visit. When people ask us about places that are seriously underrated these are the breweries the come to mind immediately. As we move forward through this year we look forward to seeing if the same is true for others. On our list to visit in the upcoming months includes Jessup Farm Barrel House and Purpose Brewing and Cellars up in Fort Collins along with Maxline Brewing and down south in Colorado Springs we need to check on the rumblings about Local Relic. Hope to see you there.