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Estes Park Brewery

Not Rated.
Estes Park BreweryEstes Park Brewery
Based on:
13 Beers
381 Hads
Place Score: 77
Reviews: 28
Visits: 56
Avg: 3.14
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

470 Prospect Village Dr.
Estes Park, Colorado, 80517
United States
phone: (800) 343-2736

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Reviews: 28 | Visits: 56
Photo of DenverHopHead
3.69/5  rDev +17.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Atmosphere - you enter on the lower level, which holds a gift shop with a ton of t shirt racks; at the back is a bar offering up to four free 2oz samples! On the same level the brewery and bottling area can be seen. Upstairs is the restaurant and bar. Plenty of seating inside and some on the outdoor patio. A game and pool area as well, which is a good touch for those of us with kids!
Quality - I have had many of their beers before, but sampled the stout and the porter because I was planning on having a pint of one of the two with lunch. The porter is the weakest of the beers I had, the stout was very good; I also sampled the pumpkin, which was decent. I ultimately had a pint of the wet hop pale ale, which is a seasonal; this was the best of EPB's offerings for me, definitely more of an IPA than an APA! I also purchased a 6 pack of the Renegade IPA on my way out!
Service - I've been in on a weekend before and it has been busy, but not crowded and the service has been good; nothing really to complain about really.
Selection - usually about 10 of there beers on tap, with about 7 year rounds and 2-3 seasonals.
Food - typical pub fare; nothing on the menu really stands out. Good value for a family of four for lunch.
Overall - fun place to go for lunch and a few beers if you're in Estes Park with the family!

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.02/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 2.75 | selection: 3.25

Copied from my Trip Advisor review.

This place seems to have a ramshackle vibe, like it was thrown together hoping it would work. The tap room staff seemed like they weren't very into their job. And I've never seen a growler get filled from a pitcher before. The beer tasted good.

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Photo of TominGermany
3.66/5  rDev +16.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

You have to like a place that offers four free beer tastings when you enter into their building. After sampling four of their eight beers on taps (and deciding I would have their Lager for dinner) we moved up to the restaurant on the 2nd floor for dinner. The service was good, as was the food and the beer. The only thing I marked them down on was the vibe since there wasn't much going on - two different MLB games were on their their TV screens and that was about it. I would recommend it if you are stopping over in Estes Park for the night.

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Photo of mflamar
1.66/5  rDev -47.1%
vibe: 1.25 | quality: 1.25 | service: 1.5 | selection: 2.5

The vibe was like a sketchy run down arcade. I didn't have a single beer which I would consider purchasing for even a second. The gentlemen who helped us with the tasting said almost nothing and never smiled. I guess there were a variety of beers you could try though none of them were good. I would never come back here.

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Photo of EMV
2.9/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 3 | service: 2.75 | selection: 3

My wife and I stopped here one night while staying in Estes Park on a hiking trip to the Rockey Mountain National Park. All I can say is... wow, and not in a terribly good way. There are a TON of great breweries in Colorado. This isn't really one of them. The vibe was off... and the bartender at the tasting area downstairs was fairly disinterested in the beers. The upstairs bartender was better, although the vibe was sort of rundown sports-bar/arcade, and the guy 2 stools down flipping his switchblade open/closed didn't help matters. The beer was nothing special... with a few average brews (Renegade IPA, Bear Lake Blueberry Wheat) but nothing special... and having just come from Avery in Boulder this was a huge letdown. It has the virtue of being the only game in town though (brewery wise) so... if you're in town it might be worth a stop-in. Just don't expect a ton. My wife was overall skeeved out by the place so we ate elsewhere. Wouldn't go back.

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Photo of infinitebruner
3.53/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25

Pretty much DOA. We were there in off-season and you could tell. Some basic activity in the brewery but not much to watch. The bartender at the sampling station didn't have much to say about the beer, didn't seem too excited to be there. The guy upstairs in the restaurant (we didn't try the food) was friendlier and more welcoming, seemed to want to talk about the beer.

They do have a nice selection to sample for free and more to try on tap. They also have a pretty wide selection to buy and take with you. Unfortunately none of the beers were particularly interesting (maybe the Samson stout), and the fruit additions in their beers tasted sugary/extracty.

Not really worth the visit.

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Photo of Leazk
4.6/5  rDev +46.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 1

The overall lineup was not awesome but the barleywine was quite impressive. I would return if they get better food! Maybe it is an enditement of the food industry as a whole i dont know. Every restaurant needs to try just a bit harder, because you cannot get a good bite to eat in all of estes park colorado and it is a low down dirty shame.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
2.86/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.75 | service: 3 | selection: 2.75 | food: 3

I've had several people recommend Estes Park Brewery to me over the years. Unfortunately, our string of great Colorado breweries came to an end here.

Of the samples we tried, the Trail Ridge Red and the Renegade IPA were perfectly passable beers. The rest were below par. One of the best tasting brews was a combination of porter with the raspberry wheat, never a good sign when mixing beer is an improvement.

Because of my earlier recommendations, we waited past lunch time to eat at Estes Park while spening the bulk of the day driving around Rocky Mountain National Park; my patience and hunger were only adequately satisfied by a cheese pizza. Disappointing but fine. On this Saturday afternoon, the place is lively and full of locals. Seemed like a fun place to come with a group of people. If I found myself in Estes Park for the scenery or other reason unrelated to beer, I wouldn't fight going back to Estes Park Brewery. However, I definitely won't go out of my way for it, again.

Picture at http://pintsizedrevelations.blogspot.com/2013/05/estes-park-brewery-estes-park-co.html

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.38/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Just outside of downtown this brewery is a combo pizza/bar/tasting room/merchandise shop. The downstairs is where you can buy T-shirts, etc and then step up to the counter in back and grab some samples. They also sell individual bottles and six packs. On the other side of the wall is the brewing facility.

Upstairs is quite open and finding a place to sit was very easy, although it wasn't ski season per se. Pool tables and an outside deck are extras.

Service was ok; English isn't the first language of several servers which made it a tad hard to converse about the beer. No worries.

Beer selection was decent, about 10 on tap....I think. All of them theirs. Food was decent, but the better stuff is the pizza rather than sammiches or entrees.

A nice place to hit

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Photo of kemoarps
3/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Coming out of RMNP, we had less time to make the trip back to west texas than the drive was going to take. Upon learning of a local brewery, however, we decided to delay our departure.
Walking in felt like another souvenir store, as the entrance opens into an overstuffed array of tshirt racks and hats and a little cooler holding their variety of beers in bottle. This little store was kind of dark, which contrasted with the restaurant upstairs.
The tasting bar is on the first floor, in the back of the gift shop next to the stairs to the restaurant. The beertender seemed kind of aloof and almost annoyed at first, but I think it might have been because of the people who were finishing up as we got there, because as soon as we got into our tasting and started talking to him, he was really nice, and seemed to have at least a decent level of knowledge about what he was serving us.
The stairs are open to look out over the brewery itself (as is a balcony with a long table in the restaurant, but it was occupied when we got there), which I really liked. Waiting for my compatriots to use the facilities (road trips with girls - am I right, fellas? and WHAT"S with airplane food?), I got to look out over the set up, which was kind of fun, even though there wasn't alot of activity on the sunday morning we were there.
The upstairs restaurant was sparsely attended when we were there, and, as such the staff were attentive and talked with us while we drank. I agree, however, with other reviewers who have seemed a little perplexed at exactly what ambiance they were going for. It had the alpine wooden thing going with an airy atmosphere, but also part with alot of glass and neon lights. Then I got lost in the arcade.
It was ok, don't regret going, but not necessarily worth going out of your way for.

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Photo of fltmedic
2.8/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 2

The entry to the brewery places you in the very overstocked gift store. The saving grace was a sign pointing me past all of the merchandise to the tasting area. Beertenders there were slightly pushing about knowing which of their brews I would like. Tastings were of adequate size and served and explained well. They do have a raspberry wheat that is definitely worth the try, even if you are not a berry infused fan.

Upstairs the atmosphere was disappointing. There was no clear style: was it to be a casual beer hang out? Diner? Bar? Left me feeling like I was sitting in a really outdated restaurant that happened to have a good bar. Food and service was nothing more than the atmosphere.

I was glad that I stopped in to see the place and cross it off my map, but I won't make a point to go there again or recommend it to friends. Instead I'll use that time to hit the road to Ft Collins or Boulder!

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Photo of beerbrains
2.45/5  rDev -22%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 1.5

Others here have done a good job of describing the atmosphere(old & neglected). It reminded me of a hundred different bars spread throughout Rocky Mountain ski towns (was there one person designing these during the 90s). They know you're only there for a few days and then gone most likely to never to return, so they don't try very hard. That, and for most of the year they're empty.

I liked the idea of checking out the equipment from the balcony, however all the lights were out so I looked down on darkness.

Food was pricey and waaaay below par(ok, it was freezer to microwave to plate hell). Beer...not the best. $4.50 pints ($8.50 and you keep the glass). $9 sixers to go.

In a land of craft beer giants you have to try harder.

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Photo of mytireisfat
2.68/5  rDev -14.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 2 | food: 3.5

Estes park brewery beer isn't great. But they do have a couple good ones. Trail ridge red and the staggering elk organic lager are good. They have free samples on the first floor, and you can get a jug of beer filled for the road. The fermenters are well seen from dinning area. The food is ok, but way over priced. They do have pool, games, music box, and tvs around the dinning area. I've heard complants of watching sports games there tho. Its fun to go there every once and a while, but with out a big selection of good beer and expensive food its not my top pick by far.

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Photo of manahansf
3/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3

We were up in the mountains doing the tourist thing and had to hit up the local brewery once we found out it was there. It was an awkward walk to the big wood building with a true western sign hanging at a tilt that said brewery. The entrance is a shop with loads of cool beer and brewery stuff. Also, there is a counter for free samples. They are so tiny it is hard to get a taste for it but its a nice gesture. The dining area is up stairs and to get there you walk past a big opening that looks over the brewing equipment. Great sight and it really sets the mood. However, once the beers finally got to me I was a little let down. Good effort and great presentation but its a little rough. Light bodied beer with little to no personality. It was all drinkable but I'm not planning a return anytime soon.

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Photo of hjablohme
2.25/5  rDev -28.3%
vibe: 2 | quality: 1.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 1

I don't normally frequent tourist towns nor expect much from them. Because of this, I entered this establishment with low expectations. However, my expectations were still too high.

My five companions and myself entered here one rainy afternoon. Though the interior looked rough, we've all seen worse, and besides, we were here to drink and eat -- not re-decorate the place. One (un-named) companion and I tried out the free tasting bar and declared the Red (him) and the IPA (me) drinkable. Unbeknownst to us, that was to be the highlight of the day.

Walking upstairs to the dingy, tacky main dining/bar area looked no better than down below. "We're here to drink and eat" mantra repeated, less convincingly. We order our beers and our food reasonably promptly, and get fairly speedy delivery.

It was all downhill from there: The Red Ale, the best of the bunch, was no better than midpack; The "award winning" IPA, on more critical tasting was simply lacking an IPA's hop and body; the Hefeweizen was overbearing in the banana-y bubblegum (amyl acetate?) tones; and one of our crew tried the Lager -- he returned it. Enough said.

Though we be mostly gourmands, one thing we found worse than the beer was the food. The unlucky three that ordered pasta dishes received salads -- unruly chunks of iceberg with cores and some indifferent ice-cold sliced vegetables from some ready-made food service vendor, that you were given a pre-packaged little cup of dressing to pour over.

My baked pasta with marinara sauce had noodles that must have been cyclically frozen and thawed repeatedly to get that chewy yet flabby texture. And that baked faux-cheese topping had unctuousness without flavor. Though hungry, none of the three pasta eaters finished their meals -- from disgust, not quantity.

The other three opted for various types of burger platters and all complained of freezer burned patties. At least they managed to mostly finish their meals.

So, in a nutshell, the beer needs help; the food needs a lot of help.

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Photo of climax
3.38/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

If you can make it through Estes Park, this is a good place to come for a beer or two and some food. Its a couple blocks from the main drag on a somewhat goofy corner.

The atmosphere is anything but cozy, separate gift shop, register, restaurant and bar. Lots of trinkets and whatnot to chose from, as well as a good selection of singles to pick up room temp for your fridge at home.

The service was typical, the place was more of a restaurant than anything, so trypical food service expectations would apply.

Went there in the heat of summer, and there were a good selection of beers to chose from, (of the 2 i had there, and the 6 i brought home, they were mediocre).

The food was typical sports bar type food. It was good, but after all....its a brewery not a supperclub.

Obviously if your in estes at the foothills of Rocky Mtn NP, you have to be prepared to spend some cash, but if your a beer lover, you got nothin to lose.

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Photo of HeroJH
2.84/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3

I have to say I was a little disappointed here, though I probably went in with high expectations.

The beer is ok. Nothing outstanding for me, but all of it was on style and the variety available was great. The free tasting downstairs is good, and the server there was pretty cool. I ended up trying one of everything and that was all for free, so that's great.

I went upstairs to the bar. I was in the mood to have a few pints, but I ended up just having one. The interior is so unattractive that it was off-putting. They could easily improve it by removing the cheesy string lights from around the bar. I think that if the inside were a little nicer, it would bring people back.

On retrospect, I think that the beer is probably better than I perceived but it just because it wasn't the best inside. But, you can try samples and then buy some to go!

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Photo of riored4v
2.95/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Stopped in here last weekend while attending a Scottish/Irish festival in Estes Park.

First pulling up, the place looked to be a bit run down and old. After entering, my thoughts were confirmed. Not a very eye-appealing place. The downstairs tasting room was old and mainly a place for t-shirts and some beer purchases. The free samples were nice but the neon sign was a bit cheesy.

After tasting the brews we went upstairs for some food. The pizza was pretty good IMO, but otherwise rest of the food (philly cheesesteak and burgers) was average. The upstairs also had some old arcade games, pool tables and a bar all placed in the same room. It was an interesting atmosphere.

The beers were average as well. Most seemed to lack body and carbonation. Out of the bunch, the IPA, which was a GABF winner, seemed to be the best, with maybe the porter following it. I ended up leaving with a growler of the IPA, but I don't really see myself seeking these beers out in a store. The special beer, a blueberry wheat was pretty tasty.

Overall, the place was priced about average, had a less-than-average appearance, and average beers. Not sure I would stop in there again unless I had company in town and they were wanting to experience it.

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Photo of GilGarp
2.71/5  rDev -13.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5

We stopped in here on our way out of the National Park to see what it's all about. I hadn't tried any of the brewery's offerings before although they are available in stores where I live.

We entered on the lower level and, even though signs said tastings are downstairs, we were already there. A little misleading.

The tasting room is basically a t-shirt shop - racks of t-shirts all apparently in no particular order of size or color. Towards the back is a bar with no stools and a guy who pours free samples for the tourists all day. He wasn't very friendly but I'm sure his job gets old.

We each had about 4 or 5 samples of the 8 or so beers on tap. Nothing was exceptional. Most were average or less. Maybe we're spoiled being surrounded by great breweries in Colorado but this was noticably sub-par. At least they were free.

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Photo of nem2006
3.5/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

The brewery/restaurant was well-lit, but not necessarily the nicest place when it came to up keep of the building.

When you first walk in, if you keep to the first level, there is a sample bar manned by a knowledgeable server. The big perk I saw, was that you could try any (and all) beers for free. This way you could get one you liked from the start.

If you head upstairs, you make your way into the bar/restaurant area. There are TVs which are playing sports or ESPN. There are also a couple of pool tables. The food is alright, pretty reasonable in my opinion. I got the beer chili burger. Extremely sloppy, but tasty.

The beer you get here and not going to blow you away, but they aren't bad. If you are in the area, you might want to check it out, but if not, don't go out of your way.

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Photo of supercolter
3.33/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I stayed in Estes Park with my family this past week and had to try out the local brewery.
Atmosphere is pretty good, but it seems a little dirty. The vibe is layed back though which I like.
Service was good. Its fun in EP as there are people from all over the world that visit and live there. Our server was from Sweden and very nice.
Selection is pretty good. There are 8-10 beers and decent barfood selection available.
Food was pretty good. I tried the deep fried mushrooms and a chicken salad, both of which were decent. No complaints from the rest of the crew.
Overall, while its not the greatest beers you'll ever have, it was fun to visit and I would say give it a whirl.

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Photo of benito
2.9/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

Estes Park is the gateway town to (the eastern entrance to) Rocky Mountain National Park, and, not surprisingly, it thrives on a summer tourist industry that comes to see the elk, buy t-shirts, and take the aerial tram. The folks at the Estes Park Brewery were smart to capitalize on the constant flow of customers, but what they sacrifice to the dollar is a strong feeling of a local pub. Visiting the brewery in early April, my friend and I were the ONLY folks in the place. The downstairs part of the brewery is a store that hawks Estes Park brewery beer and logo wear; a nice touch is the bar that offers free samples of all of their brews. The brewhouse is adjacent and from upstairs, where the restaurant is, you can peer down into the brewery watching the magic happen.

The ambience inside the pub obviously can't compare with the ambience outside, so what about the beer? They had nine brews on tap when we visited--seven of their eight full time beers and two seasonals (a pale ale and a tripel). Most tasted slightly undercarbonated and a little underhopped, but I was happy to find that their Renegade IPA (a former medal winner at the GABF) is a solid English-style IPA; their "red" (really an ESB), honey wheat, and stout were all passable as well, but the rest of the brews ranged from pedestrian to poor. I ordered a Trail Ridge Red--again, an ESB--with my philly cheesesteak, which was fine, if unexceptional. The rest of the menu was a mix of burgers and pizza, rather 1980s-like pub fare.

At the height of tourist season, I imagine that this place is jam-packed and even a touristy ambience might enhance the feel of this place--not that I'd ever dare to fight the crowds in and around Estes in June. And, I might even be tempted to pick up a six-pack of the IPA next time I see it, but otherwise, the Estes Park Brewery doesn't leave me much to advocate.

Visit Rocky Mountain National Park, drive through Big Thompson Canyon, and head down to Lyons, where Oskar Blues (with better food and incomparable beer) awaits.

Pass on this one.

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Photo of russpowell
3.28/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Went here on the sunday proir to labor day & wasn't impressed

The bottom floor was the tasting room & store, then a tiny ass stairway takes you up stairs to a maissive ugly warehose layout. This place just had minimal character. It reminded me of a large greasy spoon diner to be blunt. The one bright spot was being able to look down at the brewery & watch pack bottle cases by hand

The few beers that were on were okay, I had the renegade (their best beer IMO)& Samson (allright, but pretty flat) & my wife had the long's peak rasberry wheat (had a taste, it was passable for the style)

Service was adequate, but no one there seemed super happy to be doing there jobs. This was 180 out from most brewpubs I visited

4 beers on tap during a long weekend, 2 of which honey & fruit wheat beers (yawn)& a weizen (just couldn't after the crappy ribs)

My kid's meals were okay. The rib dinner my wife & I split was a mixed bag, the ribs were tasteless except for the mediocre sauce there were drowned in. The salad & bread were okay

To pay$50 for this lunch was a joke IMO. Go visit the tasting room & bolt. Next time I'm in estes, I'll go to the smiling elk or one of the other establishments listed here for the city.

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Photo of ndekke39
3.73/5  rDev +18.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Looked up the Estes Park Brewery on BA.com while on vacation. You can walk to it from "downtown" Estes Park; the building sits right next to a family fun center with miniature golf, go-carts, etc. The building itself is a bit rustic, and you can tell the brewery caters mostly to tourists, although that's not all bad. The small entrance leads you right into the tasting/gift shop area. The tastings are free - our bartender was an awesome guy named Kevin who was quite friendly and helpful. He gave us suggestions of other places to eat and things to do in Estes Park. At the end of our tasting, he gave me a handful of unused labels from their beer bottles. In the shop there, you can purchase six-packs of their beer, or mix and match individual bottles (always a big fan of that).

Upstairs, the eating area is big and open. Some of the booths overlook the bottling area, which was in motion while we ate, although not too noisy. Decent atmosphere, although a bit touristy.

The servers were very nice and attentive, and seemed to know their beers well. Decent selection on the menu, although the food didn't impress me too much. I had a basket of fish and chips, which again were decent, but a far cry from other fish and chips out there. My friend tried the Philly cheese steak sandwich, which he pronounced good. I tried a pint of the Bear Lake Blueberry Wheat while he tried the Samson Stout. Both beers complemented the meals well.

Overall, not a bad place to hit up if you're visiting Estes Park, if only for the tasting. But it's a nice dinner stop if you're coming back from hiking Rocky Mountain National Park, and what with the miniature golf nearby (which we played twice - great course), makes for a good night out.

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Photo of briman
3.43/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Overall I thought this was a good experience. The beers in general are good, but maybe not great. They had a decent selection of styles, but I thought the IPA & stout were the best. Service was prompt, attentive, & friendly...especially since the tasters were free and there were easily a dozen people milling around the tasting bar. Food was decent as well, at least better than your typical bar fare. For me, I think the overall positive experience outweighs the "good but not great" tag for this place, so I would definately go back.

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Estes Park Brewery in Estes Park, CO
77 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.