With summer drawing to a close, it’s time to get your last minute trips in. For this weekend away, we thought we’d tour you around Colorado based on some of the best local breweries. Visit Colorado from end-to-end while tasting the best Colorado craft brews, with our list of the best Colorado breweries below.
- Tommyknocker – Idaho Springs
The tiny town of Idaho Springs (and boy do we mean tiny, with just 1,800 full-time residents) is called the gateway to the mountains. If you’ve ever strapped your skis on to the top of your car and made a b-line for Vail, Copper, Keystone, or Breckenridge, you know why. Instead of passing through this summer, take a couple hours to sit back and enjoy some fresh brews at one of Colorado’s oldest breweries. Tommyknockers was up and running in 1859 and continues to serve some of the best beer (including root beer) and food.
What else should you do in Idaho Springs? While there, kick back for the afternoon at Mt. Evan’s Trout Fishing, where you can try your luck fishing in a stocked pond (a novice-fisherman friendly adventure). If fishing isn’t for you, head up to St. Mary’s Glacier, a short hike with arguably one of the best views in the state.
- Ska Brewing – Durango
This local brewery focuses predominantly on canned beers, offering well-executed small batch brews to appease your hankering for hops. Ska Brewing was founded in 1995 and started small. True to form, they’ve yet to break from tradition producing only 21,000 barrels a year.
What else should you do in Durango? As one of Colorado’s most southern cities Durango can be a bit of a trek to get to, but well worth it. Perched on the edge of the San Juan National Forest, Durango offers some of the best hiking, and best views in the entire state. If you’re not up for much of a hike after your afternoon beers, try instead a ride on the Durango narrow gauge railroad. This half-day trip will lead you along narrow cliff edges to spectacular sites.
- Left Hand Brewery – Longmont
Founded in 1993, and named after the chief of a local Native American tribe that spent the winter in the area, Left Hand Brewery is definitely a local’s favorite. Their emblem: a red left hand (not to be too on the nose) is easy to spot on most bumpers in Colorado. So why is it a local favorite? Mainly because of their risk-taking. In 2011 Left Hand Brewery introduced a Milk Stout Nitro, which uses nitrogen in the beer to create smaller bubbles. Aside from that, simply put: they just make good beer.
What else should you do in Longmont? If you have your pup in tow, take a break at Union Reservoir Park, one of the few parks in Colorado that allow dogs to swim. This scenic area, is perhaps the closest thing Coloradans have to a beach. Cool off with a walk around the water or even waist-deep wading.
- Avery Brewing Company – Boulder
Our list would be remiss if we didn’t include at least one Boulder brew house, and when it comes to beer few do it better than Avery Brewing. With hundreds of unique beers served year round, you can try drinks on either end of the craft brew spectrum. From light, citrusy brews, to deep browns you’ll find full-flavored beers that satisfy even the pickiest of drinkers.
What else should you do in Boulder? While in town stop by the Pearl Street Mall, where during the summer they have a range of street performers, sidewalk stalls, and often parades. If the day is hot, cool down at the Boulder Reservoir, or even take a scenic stroll through Chautauqua Park.
- New Belgium Brewing Company – Fort Collins
A name practically synonymous with beers, you don’t have to be from Colorado to know about New Belgium Brewing. With their famous fat tires on tap, it’s almost a Mecca for true beer aficionados. With two locations in Fort Collins one has to ask what came first New Belgium Brewing, or the college town?
What else should you do in Fort Collins? Fort Collins has made multiple lists as one of the best places to live. Beer lovers could spend an entire day in Fort Collins and still not run out of places to go. With top breweries like Budweiser, Black Bottle Brewery, Funkwerks, Equinox, Fredom’s Edge, Fort Collins Brewery and Odell, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more beer-friendly city than Fort Collins.
6. Great Divide – Denver
Denver may not hold the reputation of Fort Collins or Boulder, but the mile-high city can certainly hold their own when it comes to craft beer. The Great Divide is best known for it’s boozy beers. With an ABV over 7% and their heavy beer Old Ruffian, with an alcohol percentage of 10.2%, Great Divide does not make average beers. Combine easy drinkability with high ABV, the Great Divide will always make for a fun night out.
What else should you do in Denver? Colorado’s capital has more than a day’s worth of fun activities. If you’re in the mood for good food, and the best outdoor patios hike up to lower highlands for a great selection of mid-range restaurants. If you’re looking more for outdoor fun, pay a visit to Washington Park, which has paddle boats, and canoes for rent throughout the summer.
What gets your vote for one of the best Colorado breweries? Let us know by commenting below or on our facebook page. As always, stay up to date with all Wishlist news by following us here or on any of the social media outlets.