We love talking about a few things here at TapRm: great beverages, the great brands who make them--and who we have the honor of working with, and the great cities we get to deliver these great beverages by these great brands in--to great fans like you! With the big, wide world of craft beverages absolutely exploding seemingly by the minute, every single city TapRm is in just so happens to be its own unique haven of breweries, bars, taprooms, bottle shops, restaurants, venues, and gathering places no beverage enthusiast should miss. That’s why we’ve started curating our own mini guides to some of these cities, perfect whether you’ve lived there your whole life or want to plan a vacation. We started with the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, covered Philadelphia, and this week: Denver, Colorado!
Tbh, it’s almost a bit intimidating to attempt a craft beer guide to such a, well, craft beer capital. Since craft beer sparked a few decades ago, Denver has been a leading city, with influential breweries helping to shape the rest of the country’s beer scene. You would need a million vacations to hit all the breweries and beer spots, and there is truly something for everyone, each and every place creating genius, top-of-the-line, inspired, painstakingly made drinks. We could never get to every single spot in this little guide, but we sure can get to a few. So, cheers to Denver--enjoy our round-up of several of our favorite must-visits.
Denver Beer Co.
When in Denver, you gotta start at the Denver Beer Co., right? Capturing the balance of excitement over craft and laid-back hangs that makes Denver special, this brewery is a great start to a taproom-hopping day. It’s got a welcoming atmosphere inspired by Bavarian beer gardens, rotating food trucks, and a stella beer list that artfully incorporates both traditional classics and rotating innovations, from juicy IPAs to graham cracker porters. Visit their site for info and hours.
Balancing the OG breweries that helped shape craft beer in Denver are younger, inspiring breweries with fresh and unique identities, keeping the scene exciting with creativity and important messaging. Right next door to Denver Beer Co., Cervecería Colorado is a shining example of this. This brewery is as devoted to inclusivity and diversity as it is to fantastic beer, and celebrates Mexican traditions and flavors with everything from its ingredients and processes to its beer styles, names, and can art. Take in the vibrant taproom and fall for the Señor Piña Pineapple Blonde, the Churro Stout, and the ¡Venga! Mexican Lager. Visit their site for info and hours.
From this central Denver Beer Co. + Cervecería Colorado hub, you can head in one of two directions, and leave the path not chosen for the next day. Onward with route option one, heading north!
Recess Beer Garden
You’ll probably want some lunch after your first two breweries, and Recess Beer Garden--a 10-minute walk from Cervecería Colorado--is a beloved spot by locals and beer tourists alike. An exceptional beer bar like this is an instant cheat code to unlocking an entire city’s beer scene in one visit, which is absolutely crucial if you’ve only for a few days in town. You can breathe that beautiful Colorado air on the sunny outdoor patio, which will probably have plenty of very good doggos to admire, and feast on elevated comfort food while sipping the best of the best from different Colorado breweries old and new. Visit their site for info and hours.
Diebolt Brewing Company
A lovely stroll through Denver post-meal will feel good, so stretch those legs on a 20-minute walk to your next stop, Diebolt Brewing Company. Diebolt embodies the dedication to craft and attention to detail that makes Denver breweries stand out, and applies both tradition and experimentation to brewing the best versions of classic, crowd-pleasing styles. The beers embrace American craft and culture with a French accent, courtesy of the owners’ roots--think an amber French lager alongside the “Electric Cowboy” West Coast IPA. Visit their site for info and hours.
Head another 20 minutes or so to a destination on many craft beer connoisseurs’ bucket list, Crooked Stave. Crooked Stave is built on years of the founder’s research into Brettanomyces yeast and fermentation: the brewery is a living, breathing embodiment of expertise, a deep and ever evolving brewing knowledge and passion--and each beer is an ode to that. Focusing on Brett-fermented beers, wild ales, sour ales, and barrel-aged beers, Crooked Stave promises a portfolio of lovingly made, drinkable works of art sparkling with unique flavors. Alongside their sour rosé ale and series of petite sours you’ll find hoppy IPAs, crisp pilsners, and spicy saisons. Visit their site for info and hours.
Hops & Pie
When you’re feeling those hunger pangs again, take a quick nine-minute Uber to popular spot Hops & Pie for a thoughtful, elevated, craft take on the most iconic and essential pairing: pizza and beer. Treat yourself to slices made with the best ingredients, and wash it down with lagers, IPAs, sours, Belgians, and ciders from hometown breweries and further-flung purveyors alike. It’s the perfect way to end the day. Visit their site for info and hours.
Epic Brewing Co.
Your other beer-adventure route can start here at Epic Brewing Co. Hang in this fun and spacious taproom to enjoy big flavors: juicy, tart, funky sours; hoppy, tropical, resiny IPAs; roasty, chocolatey, jammy, oaky stouts--and of course some perfect lagers to strike that perfect balance. There are even cask beers, and free brewery tours on Fridays--just schedule yours first online. Visit their site for info and hours.
Next up, take a quick four-minute walk over to Bierstadt Lagerhaus. It’s one of Denver’s best-loved breweries--nay, one of the country’s best-loved breweries. Lager-brewing is more time-consuming and can be more painstaking than ale-brewing, and lagers are so clean and strikingly simple that they’ve got to be absolutely perfect. So, right alongside casual beer fans who want the easy-going refreshment of a lager, you’ve also got seasoned beer nerds geeking out over how special a well-done lager is. And a lot of that benchmarking these days comes from Bierstadt. Bask in the German- and Czech-inspired traditions of brewing in the beautiful taproom with one of the brewery’s iconic Art Deco-esque glasses topped with a pillow of foam. Visit their site for info and hours.
A little over 15 minutes away on foot is another special beer bar. You’ll want to go wild at Goed Zuur--considering this spot is a haven for wild ales and sours. “Goed Zuur” is “good acid” in Dutch, so expect an eclectic yet well curated selection of rare, special, and unique delights in the tart, funky, bright, fruity, wine-esque vein. And to pair with those gems, Goed Zuur specializes in artisanal cheeses and spreads plus delicious fare like tarts and salads. Visit their site for info and hours.
Trve Brewing Co.
At this point, you’ll have to hop in a rideshare, and then it’s just a 10-minute drive to another spot where you can go a little wild--both in terms of wild ales and wild tunes. Trve Brewing Co. made its mark on craft beer not just in Denver but in the US thanks to its deep, dark devotion to heavy metal. Other breweries may play some head-bangers in the taproom but Trve eats, sleeps, breathes, and brews metal, and the taproom is of course the best place to fully experience the music, the mood, the aesthetics, and the cool factor of it all. Don’t let the metal distract you from the main attraction, though, which is Trve’s incredible beer. Their mixed-fermentation beers have long been a hit, and they brew up just as mean a hoppy IPA or Vienna lager, festbier, and blonde ale. Visit their site for info and hours.
Copper Kettle Brewing CompanyAnother brief car ride away is a Denver staple, Copper Kettle Brewing Company. A family-(and dog-)run operation inspired by German brewing traditions, this inviting and light-filled taproom is just where you want to unwind and sample your way through beers that combine those time-tested traditions with constantly evolving innovation and creativity. Fill up on tasty grub from rotating food trucks and sit back with any of a host of lagers, sours, stouts, and IPAs. The well-executed variety is a great way to toast all that makes Denver’s beer scene amazing. Visit their site for info and hours.