Steamworks Brewing Co.

Brewery, Bar, Eatery

801 East 2nd Avenue
Durango, Colorado, 81301
United States

(970) 259-9200 | map

View: Beers | Place Reviews
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Ratings by coldriver:
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Reviewed by coldriver from Texas

4.19/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75
Visited with the family on July 6. Despite the huge capacity of this brewpub, we waited 30 minutes for a table on our Saturday night visit. The place was hopping with lively tourists and locals most of whom had probably spent the day enjoying the fantastic outdoor activities the Durango area has to offer (we did a five mile alpine hike).

Steamworks has around 12 or so taps ranging from an imperial IPA, mole stout, and saison to more tourist friendly kolsch, amber, and lagers during our visit. All the beers I tried weren't neccessarily amazing, but certainly tasty and more than passable, and a welcome respite from the three previous area brewpubs we'd tried which seemed to be focused blondes, ambers, and lagers (in fairness we did not go to Carver or Ska).

The food is what really stands out at this place. I'll go so far to say that Steamworks is really a gourmet restaurant disguised as a brewpub. The prices were very reasonable considering the quality of the food. Overall, it's probably the best brewpub food I've ever had. Service was quite good and the waiter was very knowledgeable about the beer selections.

So what's not to like here? Family friendly lively atmosphere, wide selection of good beer, and great food at reasonable prices. Most importantly, the wife and kids (two teenagers) loved it which is certainly not always the case when I drag them along to brewpubs.
Jul 15, 2013
More User Ratings:
Rated: 4.02 by LXIXME from New Mexico

Sep 15, 2019
Rated: 3.89 by COBEERHUNTER from Colorado

Jan 30, 2019
Rated: 3.56 by denver10 from New Mexico

Aug 04, 2018
Rated: 4.14 by ADKbeerguy from New York

Nov 26, 2017
Rated: 4.7 by aareid2009 from Texas

Aug 09, 2017
Rated: 3.68 by kingpin1010 from California

Jul 01, 2017
Rated: 3.5 by Edie from Oklahoma

Oct 26, 2016
Rated: 4.51 by Chucker17 from South Dakota

Aug 18, 2016
Rated: 4.54 by firkingroovin from Illinois

Dec 11, 2015
Rated: 3.91 by jbeervt from Vermont

Oct 17, 2015
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Reviewed by s3igell from Arizona

4.19/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
Popular with Locals and Tourists, Steamworks has the Largest BrewPub in town - both in BrewPub Size and in number of Brews. The Vibe is rather standard American BrewPub, with a menu to match. Catch the Cajun Boil - but don't be afraid to get messy. Or just have some Peanuts - and sweep the shells onto the Floor.
The In-House Beers offered cover the whole gamut, from Pilsners and Lagers through Ales and IPAs to recently added Saisons and Session brews. Regardless of your favored style, Steamworks can pour you a Good Brew.
Jul 30, 2015
Rated: 4.38 by Determined_021 from New Mexico

May 28, 2015
Rated: 3.75 by SlightlyGrey from Minnesota

Apr 25, 2015
Rated: 3.4 by Yagi1

Dec 14, 2014
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Rated by Scobu from Texas

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
Good food and beer
Dec 13, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by 2013beer101 from Colorado

Nov 22, 2014
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Reviewed by dcscientist from Colorado

3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
Steamworks is a smaller brewery in Durango, living in the shadow of Ska, but they still have a few good ones to offer. Don't overlook them on the shelf at the store.
Sep 26, 2014
Rated: 4 by Gerred from Missouri

Jul 23, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

Jul 10, 2014
Rated: 3.25 by Lost_Medic from Colorado

Jul 08, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by Bobhoya from Arizona

Jun 26, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by timlyon from Arizona

Jun 18, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by bulldogg915 from Wyoming

Apr 14, 2014
Rated: 4 by drdiesel9483 from Ohio

Feb 24, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by javlin624 from Texas

Dec 19, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by williamjbauer from Colorado

Oct 30, 2013
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Reviewed by WickedSluggy from Texas

4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
Steamworks is a popular location in Durango for both locals and tourists. The thing you have to be aware of about the locals in Durango is that they are pretty laid back. They don't get in a hurry. They also deal with tourists constantly, and while the economy of Durango runs on tourism, the "employees types" of the various establishments have a love-hate relationship with their guests. People on a holiday can be in a great mood at times, and sometimes they can be super assholes. I was sitting at the bar at Steamworks and one of the locals was telling me about how a woman the night before kept asking him if he was getting ready to leave. She actually suggested that he had been their long enough and that she would like him to leave so that she could have his seat.

Steamworks is not a tourist trap. It is a great location - rustic, lively with all kinds of people. Tourists go there because it is one of the most high-profile joints in town and it has a great reputation for gourmet food and excellent beer. Locals hang out there because it has a great comfortable bar and lot's of their friends work there. The food is pretty spectacular. Go for the specials. Last time it was fried chicken and habanero waffles - Wow! I live in Dallas where there are more restaurants per capita than almost any other city in the USA. We know good food. It’s not always easy to find it in Durango, but Steamworks' got it. If you go there - show some class and remember that you are sharing the place with the local slackers. Relax and have a conductor IIPA on tap.
Jan 29, 2013
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Reviewed by Juner03 from Illinois

3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4
Steamworks is where seemingly everyone goes. The next day everyone also feels terrible: headaches and stomach aches. I don't think they clean their lines with any regularity or something cuz it never fails. I always feel horrible the morning after. Their novelty is always interesting, their service is inconsistent, and their beer is too tempting to obey the fact that it comes from some dirty lines. All in all you can't escape the goodness that is Steamworks. and as long as you're there get the CAJUN BROIL. it's to die for.
Apr 29, 2012
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Reviewed by knm from New Mexico

4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
What a cool place! Great for the whole family. The kids can color on the concrete floor with chalk. And you can shell your peanuts and throw those on the floor! Then the food-what an amazing menu. The quiche comes with a bowl of soup and a salad, very good. Then there is the blue cheese steak, oh my god! Oh ya, then the beer. I reccomend going on Friday nights with there $1 10oz drafts! This way you get to try several. All of there beers are quite good, but there Third Eye PA is amazing! Can't wait to go back! Cheers
Jan 21, 2011
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Reviewed by Yeastcakes from Colorado

4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
Atmosphere - Somewhere between a low-key live music brewpub and an upscale restaurant. The place was packed. Several TV's around would make this a decent sports bar. Bar itself was clean and had ample seating.
Service - Service was quick and very good. We got our food in a timely manner and beers were refilled quickly.
Food - Really good quality. I got pasta with grilled chicken and a sun-dried tomato suace. My friends got some great food as well.
Beers - Their flagship beer is their lager which has won several GABF medals. Their kolsh is also good. But they have about another 10 beers on tap if you want something darker. After the lager I got their sampler. Their Hefeweizen has a wonderful mix of spices and phenols. Their IPA and IIPA were also wonderful. Their red ale had a wonderfully complex malt bill. Their stout was also very well balanced.
Cost - Very reasonable. We got 2-3 beers and dinner a person for about $20 a person.
Mar 13, 2009
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Reviewed by ColoradoBobs from Colorado

1.4/5  rDev -63.4%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1.5 | service: 1 | selection: 2 | food: 1
Visited on Tuesday evening, June 17, 2008, at 6:00 p.m.

After reading the other reviews, I was looking forward to this place. What a filthy disappointment!!!

The decor is awful -- an old dirty warehouse that looks like it was never cleaned up. Just grungy. No air conditioning -- it was at least 80 degrees in the place! -- so we asked to be seated under a ceiling fan. One of the hostesses actually rolled her eyes at us! Then when we were seated it was 6 minutes before anybody stopped. We had to ask the waitress to wipe off the table, which was sticky in several places. She rolled her eyes at us too! A little later we got water: a different server this time. We both wanted to order the sampler, but when we found out that 2 of the 6 beers weren't available or were being substituted for something else, my wife decided to just get the Kölsch: $4.75 for a pint! (What is this, New York City?) The sampler was $8 for six 4-ounce beers. It took just over twenty minutes from the time we ordered our beers until we got them. We were surrounded by empty tables, there were four people at the bar, and it took 20 minutes to get our beers, and then only AFTER I went to the bar to ask about them.

After we finally got our beers, our server asked us about food. They were out of what my wife wanted, so she settled for a $10 sandwich and fries. I got the special: a taco salad. We wanted to taste and discuss the beers, but the music was SO LOUD we literally could not hear each other. I asked the waiter to see if they could turn it down, and when nothing changed, I went to the *other* hostess, who managed to get it turned down to less-than-rock-concert level.

After we ordered our food, it was TWENTY-TWO minutes until we got it. My taco salad, was not so good -- and VERY greasy! I couldn't finish it. My wife had a sandwich and fries -- pretty average, and ten bucks. I repeat: "What is this, New York City?"

Here are the beers I sampled:

Colorado Kölsch is exactly to style, smooth and easy drinking but very unremarkable.

Steam Engine Lager has a great mouthfeel, with nice chocolatey-malty base with moderate floral hops.

Third Eye Pale Ale is standard IPA fare with a very nice creamy mouthfeel.

Chili Beer (this was a replacement for the Lizard Head Red, which is what my wife had wanted to order, but they were *out* on a Tuesday evening!) is an undrinkably awful concoction brewed with habanero peppers. Who would drink this on purpose??? Blllleeechchchch! Couldn't drink it.

Back Side Stout, a nice dry American Stout, with a rich creamy mouthfeel, with a decent dry finish.

Conductor Imperial IPA is the star of the show, with a rich sweet malty base and big load of floral and pine hops, a big beer at 8.1%

In another context, with decent food, cleaner surroundings and a better environment, some of these beers would have been pretty good, and the Conductor Imperial IPA would have been even enjoyable. But in this context, we just wanted to pay the bill and leave. Unless somebody else pays, I will certainly never go here again.

Overall, this was a $40 mistake. I STRONGLY recommend you avoid this place if you're in Durango.

Review edited June 28, 2008, to reflect the non-response of the establishment to my complaint.

Just re-read this review, and I must say that I was, in fact very generous. None of my several attempts to contact the management were even responded to personally (got one automated response), so I finally gave up. So, now, as I reconsider, here's what I say about this place:



Jun 18, 2008
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Reviewed by woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.58/5  rDev +19.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
This was a huge place, located on the corner of E. 2nd Avenue and 8th Street. I began by peeping in the windows of this former car dealership and showroom just to get a sense of its enormity. Wide, long, and high were my initial impressions. Big! The attendant at the m.d.s. came out and told me that this was not China - no Peking! Ha, I'll make the jokes around here, thanks!

The entryway was on the 2nd Avenue side and there was a short vestibule that opened onto a display case full of logo items, including embroidered work shirts, growlers, and patches. My jaw dropped. The m.d.s. was just beyond, with the copper-jacketed brewhouse off to the right and the long, snaking cement block bar with a polished pine wood top just beyond it. High tables and chairs lined the bar area which was fronted by corrugated aluminum. Looking aft on the bar side, there was a short hand-bottling line on the left and the lavatories were on the right. Proceeding aft, on a raised stage, was the restaurant area which was mainly standard restaurant tables and chairs. Continuing aft was their outdoor patio deck with a wood roof and ceiling fans. To the extreme right of the patio was a secondary bar which was open daily after 4 pm. On the deck, by making a button-hook right, I arrived at the smoking area, outside under a circus tent, which used to be their horseshoe pit, but no longer. Back inside, the overhead made of wood with heavy wood beams and joists, was festooned with signage, spinning ceiling fans, swinging lamps, flags, banners, and posters. Busy? Yes, but not in an unpleasant way.

As to my visit in general, not to brag, but if you are not sporting a patch jacket, you may be missing out. Upon arrival, the owner came out and greeted me and gave me a tour, hence the historical background. On the tour, I ran into John Herr, a member of the Lancaster (PA) County Herr family, whose father taught at McCaskey H. S., my alma mater and current teaching site. He took great pride in having graduated from Hempfield H.S. and we had a nice chat after he finished his cigarette. I also met the General manager, who had been dispatched to find patches; the brewer, who took time from a busy brew day to converse with me; and Kate, my server, who was a wonderful, patient person. Frankly, I could have hung out in there all day, but that was not in keeping with the purpose of the trip, which was to keep moving.

Beers: They try to keep twelve (12) to fourteen (14) on at all times. During my visit, they had Third Eye IPA (6.0 %), Conductor Imperial IPA (8.7 %) on both CO2 and N2 taps, Steam Engine Lager (5.2 %), "Our" Mai Bock (8.0 %), Regulator Doppelbock (8.5 %), Prescribed Burn Chili Beer (4.6 %), Hefeweizen (5.1 %), Backside Stout (5.9 %), Lizard Head Red (5.6 %), and Colorado Kolsch (4.7 %). They also offered a Raspberry Imperial Stout, but I opted out of a sample of it. They were out of Engineer Light (4.8 %), but I persevered. The chili beer went well with my salmon entrée and the Third Eye and the Conductor had plenty o' hops to keep me just right. My hops jones reached an all new low (definitely NOT high) while in SLC, UT. Gimme dem hops!
Mar 14, 2008
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Reviewed by chileman13 from New Mexico

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
Steamworks is housed in an old car dealership. It offers different sections, the bar, sections of the rstaurant and 2 patios (one overlooking Durango). The place is usually crowed between 6-8:30Pm. They offer a good selection of grub and great brew. The food can range from salads,burgers, home made pizza to the ever famous Cajon Boil. I had had the Boil, well seasoned, well cooked. add the crawfish and go man go. The buffalo wraps are great and so is the pizza. I have had numerous beers there and have always been satisfied. Try the regulator or conductor IPA and you'll never want to leave.
Feb 07, 2008
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Reviewed by gmcfarre from Colorado

3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5
First off, this place is enormous. There are multiple rooms of seating in this giant warehouse/brewery style building, and peanut shells adorn the floor (even away from the bar). Oddly enough, I saw no one eating peanuts.

Our waitress did a decent job, except that when asked for a beer list she pointed me to an illegible chalkboard about 50 ft from our booth. Not being able to pick out something special, I went for her recommendation of the stout. It was ok.

The beers at steamworks are pretty mediocre. Nothing I tasted stood out as anything better than average (sometimes worse). The food, however, was very tasty with lots and lots of ordering options. Food ranges from seafood to pasta to sandwiches and back again.

After visiting Smuggler's in Telluride earlier in the day, this place was a bit of a let down. Don't go out of your way to visit, but if you want some good food and are in town it might be worth your time.
Aug 16, 2006
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Reviewed by benito from Oregon

2.83/5  rDev -26.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4
Steamworks is just off of Main Street Durango, and it follows in the style and atmosphere of the American brewpub or sports bar, with separate table and bar seating, lots of big screen TVs, a few local artificats decorating the walls, and windows that look onto the brewing facilities.

I stopped through as I was heading back to Leadville, hoping to try Steamworks and some of the other SW Colorado brewpubs. Steamworks was my first stop and, unfortuantely, it was also the most disappointing. While their food was quite tasty (I had a cajun penne pasta, very spicy) and their dunkelweizen was very well done, the place just didn't seem to have it together.

There was no beer menu to be found anywhere, the server said that the beers listed on the board above the bar weren't all available anymore, and she didn't know what they did have on tap exactly. She was happy to offer me tastes of a few beers, including their steam lager and a beer called 'Face Plant' that didn't have any style description. Perhaps this just didn't sit well with my desire for organization and predictable outcomes, but I really found the whole show here disorganized. I would happily drink the Slam Dunkel again, but I'd be sure to get a growler of it and escape the chaos of the Steamworks pub.

There are better places in the San Juans. Skip this one.
Jun 18, 2006
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Reviewed by rrwiltse from Colorado

2.9/5  rDev -24.3%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 4
Wow, was I ever disappointed. I was very excited to check Steamworks out while I was in the area, even though the only beer of their's I've had (the Steam Engine Lager) I was unimpressed with. I'll get the good stuff out of the way--the beer was very good (especially the Third Eye Pale Ale), the food was very good. However, it was the experience there that really brought things down. It began with the hostess, who was fairly rude, and when she finally noticed us waiting, said, "So, are you eating dinner, or what?" We said yes, and she said, "Well, it might be a few minutes." THE PLACE WAS NEARLY EMPTY! The waitress was little better, indifferent, and barely acknowledged anything we said to her. She only stopped by to bring the beer and the food, and we had to wave her over for the check. When we went to the bar to purchase beer glasses, the bartender was also rude and seemed like he'd rather we weren't there. We had planned on having several beers there, but only had one round because of the horrible service. Also, the place didn't seem very clean, the table was sticky, and the windowsill was gummed up with food that had fallen off the table and built up over who knows how long.
Sep 19, 2005
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Reviewed by Caesar1pup from Georgia

4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5
This is one of my all time favorite Brew Pubs and I often daydream about the times that I have been there wondering when I might be able to return.

Their beer is very good but their food is even better. Specifically their Cajun Boil! If you are a fan of seafood then you have to have their boil! Crab legs, shrimp, sausage, red potatoes, and corn on the cob all boiled in a spicy broth and dumped onto wax paper on your table! You can even add crawfish for an extra charge. AWESOME!

I have been here probably six or seven times and have also tried their pizzas, burgers, and steaks which were all very good. There are a number of brewpubs in Durango but in my opinion this is the best. Fridays and Saturdays in the summer often have up to an hour wait but that just gives you more time to sample their delicious brews.

Prices were reasonable for a touristy mountain town and they always have a beer special. Last time I was there I tried the Third Eye P.A. which was very good.

This is one not to miss if you ever find yourself in the Four Corners region!
Aug 11, 2005
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Reviewed by Wolfsdenbrew from New Mexico

4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
Great place to eat and enjoy a few pints, nice bar and plenty of tables for eating in. Nice big patio to enjoy the crisp, mountain air.

Food has always been better than average, the cajun boil is a must, and now they do it every night. Dump everything right onto your table.

Good selection of entrees, apps, and beers. One great thing about Durango breweries/brewpubs is the exchange of competitors beers. You can always find one or 2 competitors' products in each place.

My wife and I enjoyed this place immensely...she had the Engineer Light lager and I enjoyed several pints of the Rock Hopped Pale Ale.
Jun 14, 2005
Steamworks Brewing Co. in Durango, CO
Brewery rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 808 ratings