Colorado Brewpub/Brewery Advice

Discussion in 'US - West' started by arizcards, Jun 6, 2020.

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  1. arizcards

    arizcards Poo-Bah (5,631) Jun 11, 2003 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Hey Colorado BA's, my wife and i will be traveling up to Fraser Friday June 12th for a weeks stay to get out of the Arizona heat. We are flying into DIA and renting a car from there. On the way out of DIA, I plan on stopping in Denver on Tennyson street for Hops and Pie and Small Batch Liquors for lunch and to pick up some brews to imbibe on while at our resort.
    The question for you all is what are the brewpubs and taprooms that are a must visit outside of the Denver area and out in the Rockies? Mind you, we like to get out and drive around for hiking and sight seeing. My typical MO is to weave in a brewpub visit for lunch or dinner, or a brewery tap room for some kick ass to go beer, with one of our sightseeing trips.
    I apologize if this is covered in another thread but i did not come across one in a search of this forum.
    Thank you in advance and i look forward to hearing from you!
    Cheers, Tom
  2. gyorgymarlowe

    gyorgymarlowe Disciple (324) Aug 24, 2019 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Personally, I would suggest skipping Small Batch and going to Mondo Vino. If you don't want to go to to MV, Highlands Wine & Liquor has a better selection as well. I have nothing against Small Batch; they have some good beers for sure, but not as much variety as the other two.
    arizcards likes this.
  3. dauss

    dauss Zealot (599) Aug 9, 2003 Colorado

    I'd call ahead and see what hours of operation are. Colorado is under a modified "Safer at Home" order and restaurants (including brewpubs) if they decided to reopen, are allowed to operate at 50% occupancy or 50 occupants max (whichever is lesser)
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  4. Dtapeski

    Dtapeski Initiate (55) Oct 26, 2012 Colorado

    What Dauss pointed out will be a concern for you everywhere you go in CO.
    An alternative to your plan, which would truly be a change, would be to head out to Golden and hit Cannonball Creek for lunch and beers. They will have a food truck and I would guess if it’s before 5pm, seating shouldn’t be a problem. Their website lists the food truck schedule.
    In downtown Golden there is a small liquor store called Foss. While it is small, they have a great selection of beers and spirits. It’s a little more expensive than the bigger places, but probably on par with Small Batch. From what I recall, Small Batch has a way better large format beer selection though. Not even sure Foss has any big bottles of beer.
    From Golden you can head up Clear Creek Canyon (US-6) to meet up with I70 just before Idaho Springs. Taking the canyon will give you a prettier drive than just 70 up the hill.
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  5. arizcards

    arizcards Poo-Bah (5,631) Jun 11, 2003 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    @dauss Appreciate the heads up on limited hours. AZ has opened up and most places are up and running now.
    Cannonball Creek sounds like a fun alternative to the Denver stop and although IPA's and Stouts are my go to i am thoroughly intrigued with trying the Rosemary Sourdough Saison! Although i have not seen it for about 4-5 years, i really liked Epic's Sage Saison. And i do see a food truck is scheduled - perfect! And i see Foss will be open so we'll stop there.
    If memory serves me right i believe Colorado will fill 1/2 or full growlers with other breweries branding - is this correct? Seems like i did this at Outer Range when we stayed in Vail a few years ago (Sorry my memory is sliding in my advancing years LOL!)
    Thank you for your replies so far.
  6. dauss

    dauss Zealot (599) Aug 9, 2003 Colorado

    In normal times yes. Some breweries out of an abundance of caution may not be filling growlers during the pandemic. Also I'd call ahead and just double check
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  7. Dtapeski

    Dtapeski Initiate (55) Oct 26, 2012 Colorado

    Cannonball has been filling growlers, but they had asked customers to only bring in clean ones, no concern towards the branding. They also have crowlers available (everyone does at this point I guess).
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  8. Canada_Dan

    Canada_Dan Savant (903) Jun 14, 2013 Colorado

    You'll be passing through Idaho Springs for sure. Check out Westbound & Down. They make great beers in a wide variety of styles and have awesome food too from local staple, The Buffalo restaurant. Had a west coast IPA called True West recently that really hit the spot.

    A small detour to Nederland would be fun and not super out of the way. I haven't been to the brewery yet (soon I hope!) but I've tried a lot of beers from Knotted Root and been impressed. From what I've seen, they stick to mostly New England style IPAs and fruited sours, and they do them well!

    Happy beer hunting!
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  9. arizcards

    arizcards Poo-Bah (5,631) Jun 11, 2003 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Thanks for the advice @Canada_Dan. I am sure we will be making the "loop" around the R.M.N.P. so i'll make it a point to hit up those places you suggested! Cheers, Tom
  10. travis224

    travis224 Aspirant (202) Jul 24, 2010 Colorado

    I would second stopping at Westbound and Down in Idaho Springs on your way there or back. They've got a great taproom, assuming it's fully opened now. You can also visit Tommyknocker right down the street. I haven't loved TK's beers recently, but they've been around for a long time. You can also get pizza at Beau Jo's, which I've heard some people claim is the best pizza in Colorado. I had it once and thought it was very good. Get the honey for your crust!

    One more thing you might consider is driving to the Frisco/Dillon area. It's a little over an hour from Fraser and I would imagine that it's a beautiful ride. As people mentioned above, I'd check with these breweries to see if they're fully opened but Dillon Dam and Pug Ryan's are great breweries that have equally great pub food. Both breweries do dialed-in, delicious classic beers. You'll probably find a few more lagers at Pug's, but both are excellent choices. I might give the edge to Dillon Dam because I think their food is slightly better, and I love their bar area. But Pug's is right near the Dillon Reservoir, and in the summers I think they have a Tiki Bar that they set up right by the reservoir where you can get most of their beers and cocktails. Definitely check out the reservoir if you go. It's beautiful. Also, Outer Range is in Frisco and does some of the best NEIPAs in Colorado. Definitely a must stop. I also always stop at Prosit when I'm there. It's a German sausage house with super fresh import lagers on tap. Getting a big mug of beer and sitting on their patio is always a blast. Cheers!
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  11. arizcards

    arizcards Poo-Bah (5,631) Jun 11, 2003 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Thank you for all the suggestions Travis!
  12. arizcards

    arizcards Poo-Bah (5,631) Jun 11, 2003 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Hey all, well our week here in Fraser is winding down and i wanted to thank everyone again for their suggestions and report out what Da Boss and i checked out.

    Unfortunately last Friday's plan of Clearwater Creek and the food truck was ruled out by Da Boss so we ended up at Hops & Pie which was good and picked up some beers at Small Batch. I enjoyed the draft More Dodge Less Ram from Comrade which was solid - the story behind the beer name was very humorous! We did drive US-6 from there which was cool!

    After a hike on Saturday we ended up at The Peak Bistro and Brewery in Winter Park. The outside deck was wonderful but unfortunately the beer and food were a bit subpar and i do not consider myself too picky.

    Sunday we drove the Colorado Headwaters scenic byway which was very nice and ended up at Dillon Dam for a late lunch and a beer. We enjoyed the outside seating and general ambience. I enjoyed the Schwarzbier and food there. The drive back I-70 is gorgeous every time!

    Monday and Tuesday were hiking days at RMNP and after we ended up at Smokin Dave's in Estes Park. Food was awesome and reasonably priced and their taps were pretty solid, Enjoyed the Wibby Dubbel Dunkel one day and a Rock Art Galactic Portal IPA the next. I wanted to make a stop on Tuesday at Knotted Root in Nederland but unfortunately they are closed the front part of the week.

    Wednesday we hiked again and then ended up and West Bound & Down for a late lunch and beers. We both enjoyed the food and beer there, good stuff!

    Overall it has been an awesome week and other than the annoyance/inconvenience of Covid it has been memorable. Thanks again for all the suggestions!

    Cheers, Tom
  13. Schmittymack

    Schmittymack Zealot (597) Sep 3, 2008 Colorado

    Glad ya enjoyed CO; I've been here since '92 and love it. Sorry about Winter Park; I haven't been to The Peak since it was still the second location of The Library; they had good food and solid beers. Hideaway Park is a good/small brewery on thea in drag you should visit next time you're in WP. There's also a new brewery in WP: Big Trout. Have yet to visit them....or the two breweries in Fraser or the one in Granby. Road trip for me, eh?
    arizcards likes this.
  14. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (2,103) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Smokin Dave's is worth the trip itself. Glad you enjoyed your time here.
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  15. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,819) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    Rock Cut in Estes Park is a hidden gem. Every beer I've had from them (both trendy and traditional) has been solid to excellent. I really need to make it back over that way. It's a beautiful area and there's a lot to do.
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