Beercation to Denver/Boulder/Ft. Collins

Discussion in 'Mountain' started by dcloeren, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. dcloeren

    dcloeren Savant (470) Texas Sep 15, 2010

    My wife and I are taking a trip up to Denver for new years (28th - Jan 1st) and are looking for some tips from the locals. We are wanting to go to some breweries, great restaurants/bars, see the sights and whatever else there might be to do.
    Just to list a few breweries that we were wanting to check out:
    -Great Divide
    -New Belgium (possibly)
    Nothing is set in stone though and we are open to suggestions if we should add or drop any breweries.

    We haven't booked hotels yet but from the looks of it we are going to stay a night in Ft. Collins due to the drive back to Denver after visiting breweries and having a good time.

    Please help point us in the right direction. Cheers and thanks!
  2. denver10

    denver10 Poobah (1,020) Kentucky Nov 17, 2010

    New Belgium offers the best tour. You might not be able to get a reservation in such short notice but if you go early in the day you might be able waitlist and get in. That's how I got to tale my tour. You don't have to be a fan of theirs to enjoy the tour.

    But definitely do Odell. And I think Funkwerks is a must stop too.

    Equinox Brewery is a cool taproom if you have time. Black Bottle just opened up, their place offers about 4 of their beers in addition to 36 guest taps, and they also serve food (which I have not tried). Them and Coopersmith's are the only two breweries in town with food and Black Bottle is a far better choice, as the guest taps they offer kick ass.

    And as Alex warns, don't skip Choice City Butchery/Deli; great food, great beer. Right across the street from Tap N Handle, a nice beer bar with around 75 quality taps.

    There' also Mayor of Old Town, a beer bar with 100 quality taps.
    dcloeren likes this.
  3. Steve_0

    Steve_0 Savant (320) Colorado Mar 14, 2012 Verified

    If you like sour/wild ales Crooked Stave is a must-stop!
  4. alexipa

    alexipa Savant (455) Colorado Oct 7, 2011

    One I forgot and you wont find by searching:

    Wild Woods in Boulder is definitely worth a stop and is right by Avery. Great brews, great atmosphere, TINY brew house. It's a lot of fun.
  5. Prospero

    Prospero Champion (775) Colorado Jul 27, 2010 Verified

  6. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poobah (1,100) Colorado May 19, 2005 Verified

    You're gonna need a bigger boat. That is, you'll need more time :)

    I think you can jump onto a NB tour w/o reservation. Sometimes they have openings

    Ft Collins "row" (what I call it) is a must: Funkwerks, Ft. Collins Brew, Odell, NB, Pateros Creek, Equinox, Coopersmith's) all walking distance. But maybe not so much in the winter.

    Denver has exploded with beer (mmmmm....). I'd prioritize Prost Brewing, if you want some really good German beers. Crooked Stave for wild/brett/not-so-sour beers, and Yak and Yeti for Indian food and good English mild. Bull and Bush for Legend of Liquid Brain....
    ....and a bigger boat....
    dcloeren and Domingo like this.
  7. Domingo

    Domingo Poobah (1,080) Colorado Apr 23, 2005 Verified Subscriber

    Agreed. I'd prioritize those stops along with Dry Dock (they do EVERYTHING well) in Aurora as the must-visit spots in Denver. We've got dozens of breweries now, but if your time is limited, you can't go wrong with any or all of those. Great Divide's beers are as good as anyone's, but their tasting room can be a madhouse. Try and hit them during off hours to minimize that.

    Ft. Collins is painfully easy, so don't even worry about planning anything more than the order you want to hit things. Personally I'd prioritize Funkwerks, Odell, and New Belgium in that order, but all of the breweries are VERY close to one another.
    dcloeren likes this.
  8. Jefeipa

    Jefeipa Aficionado (210) Arizona May 6, 2009

    I'm heading up to Denver Jan. 18-21 this seem like some good list to go by. I have a few more questions for you guys. What are some good foodie restaurants, doesn't have to be great for beer but is a plus? I was thinking about taking a brewery tour with Colorado Brewery Bus( Is that good company to do tour with and which tour is better Fort Collins or boulder?
  9. Steve_0

    Steve_0 Savant (320) Colorado Mar 14, 2012 Verified

    There might be food suggestions in that thread as well. Some great restaurants also with good beer would be Euclid Hall, The Kitchen, Colt & Grey, and the Rackhouse Pub. Also, Fruition is one of the best restaurants around.
    Prospero likes this.
  10. Jefeipa

    Jefeipa Aficionado (210) Arizona May 6, 2009

    What's the best way to get to Crooked Stave from downtown? I probably getting a room at the Curtis hotel.
  11. Jefeipa

    Jefeipa Aficionado (210) Arizona May 6, 2009

    Thanks Steve_O
  12. Take 14th down to speer and head north till you hit the I-25 junction. Take I-25 north to 38th. 38th to Pecos and head north. Turn right on 46th and its like 1/2 block down in a really weird/hard to see wearhouse row thingy
  13. Jefeipa

    Jefeipa Aficionado (210) Arizona May 6, 2009

    Sorry I didn't say I won't have a car. I didn't know if there was any public transportion to get there or just cab it.
  14. I'd just cab it then
  15. Prospero

    Prospero Champion (775) Colorado Jul 27, 2010 Verified

    Downtown, some of the best food is at Osteria Marco, Rioja, Cholon, and for small plates, Freshcraft. Fruition and Rackhouse are indeed great, but you'd have to cab to both.

    Any quality establishment with a reputable chef (for foodies) will have a good beer list in this city, and do.

    Fruition caters their beer menu to their food menu on a regular basis, even though they are a wine place.
    Jefeipa likes this.
  16. MarkyMOD

    MarkyMOD Advocate (705) Colorado Apr 5, 2012 Verified

    West Flanders in Boulder has really unique/awesome American takes on Belgians and some of the best brewery food I've had, lots of choices too for a super new brewery.
  17. alexipa

    alexipa Savant (455) Colorado Oct 7, 2011

    Alright now I know I have to give them another shot. I went and was not at all impressed... what beers do you recommend from them?
  18. dcloeren

    dcloeren Savant (470) Texas Sep 15, 2010

    These are some awesome suggestions! Very much appreciated. This one isn't exactly beer related... but are there any cocktail bars around down town in Denver? Not like Jack and Coke cocktails but where they make them the old fashioned way and all of that...?
  19. ssteigerwald

    ssteigerwald Savant (385) Colorado Mar 4, 2010 Verified

    Green Russel and Williams and Graham are the 2 best "speakeasies". Expensive, but great cocktails.
    coreymcafee likes this.
  20. dcloeren

    dcloeren Savant (470) Texas Sep 15, 2010

    Perfect! Thank you.
  21. dcloeren

    dcloeren Savant (470) Texas Sep 15, 2010

    Also, any suggestions on where to celebrate New Years? We will more than likely go to a nice dinner but we will be wide open after that.
  22. MarkyMOD

    MarkyMOD Advocate (705) Colorado Apr 5, 2012 Verified

    Angry Monk was super tasty and unique and is why I give them my recommendation. I can't empathize the unquieness enough, also tasted a little bit of that uniqueness in their pale ale, which was pretty good for a style I'm not fond on. Tripel was only ok though. Really wanted to try their dubbel and stout, which sounded great, but I had to go and the last time I tried to go back (Sunday) they were closed for a private event. Can't wait to go back though, wish I had the low-down on more of their brews! (Had a grassfed burger from them which was pretty damn good and one of lesser fancy/expensive items they had).
  23. DenverBeerDrinker

    DenverBeerDrinker Savant (440) Colorado Apr 5, 2012 Verified

    Avery is doing a tap takeover at the Lowery Beer Garden (
  24. Jasonrm72

    Jasonrm72 Savant (495) Colorado Apr 29, 2012 Verified

    Unfortunately it isnt near anything else, but if you are a stout fan, try to get to Copper Kettle in Denver (near Aurora) for their Mexican Chocolate Stout.

    For Boulder I definitely recommend Wild Woods, it was the first brewery where i liked every beer. Twisted Pine is usually worth a quick stop. And of course Avery.
    Skip Walnut, its garbage. Unless you like Boulder Brewing or they have something special going, I wouldnt bother. I find their beers are as bland on tap as in bottle.
    Generally when we hit Boulder, we make the trip to Longmont after for Left Hand and Oskar Blues and their second Taproom, Tasty Weasle. If youre a Ten Fidy fan, Tasty Weasle will occasionally have a barrel-aged version.

    Fort Collins: The New Belgium tour is a must. Online it is booked solid, but generally there are no-shows, so put your name on the list when you get there and theres a good chance youll get in one.
    I personally hated Odells. I find their beer to be OK at best, but what bothers me is how they set up their taproom. Everyone gets stuck in one giant line that snakes out the door to outside. You have to stand and wait while people are shopping for merchandise in that same line, when all you want is a freaking beer. So unless you really like their stuff, theres better places to try.
    Fort Collins, which is on the same road as Odells, has nice food and pretty good beer. Really if it wasnt for their Double Chocolate Stout, we wouldnt bother. But if you want some good food, we've always had a good experience there.

    There are of course tons more as previously mentioned. The time youll be here will only allow you the tiniest glimpse. So stay longer, come back, or just move here (thats what we did :)

    dcloeren likes this.
  25. Steve_0

    Steve_0 Savant (320) Colorado Mar 14, 2012 Verified

    I havent been there during the Winter, is there some sort of heating or closed in area? I would imagine it could get extremely cold and uncomfortable during Winter evenings.
  26. DenverBeerDrinker

    DenverBeerDrinker Savant (440) Colorado Apr 5, 2012 Verified

    I haven't been either but it's suppose to be enclosed. Avery should have a pretty good line up of beers there.
  27. Domingo

    Domingo Poobah (1,080) Colorado Apr 23, 2005 Verified Subscriber

    For New Year's Eve, downtown is fun, but extremely crowded. Light Rail and Buses are free, though.
    The area right near the clocktower off of the 16th St. Mall is a popular gathering spot. From there, you're right by Freshcraft and not far from Euclid Hall either. If you're into cocktails, there's a Russian restaurant called Red Square right there that has terrific food and about 50 different vodkas and infusions on their menu. They also serve Baltika beers, which aren't too bad (or common in restaurants), too.
    No matter where you end up on the 31st, you're going to want to make least if it's a nicer place.
    dcloeren likes this.
  28. jorjor

    jorjor Aspirant (40) Colorado Aug 26, 2011

    Bus route 52 runs through downtown and I believe it stops almost directly in front of Crooked Stave. It runs somewhat often (every 15 minutes maybe) during the day on weekdays but is reduced to every half an hour or hour during the nights and weekends.

    It is walkable from downtown too on a nice day. It's a long walk, but you would go almost directly by Denver Beer Company and Prost (and the aforementioned Williams and Graham is just a couple blocks out of the way).
  29. incubuscience

    incubuscience Savant (425) Illinois Jul 26, 2012