I’m in Denver for a conference, but was able to sneak in a few days of exploration before work. It was my first try at AirBNB and I got a cozy little room with a friendly little cat for cheap in the 5 Points area. If you haven’t traveled using AirBNB, do it! Friday I walked around Denver and spent Saturday in Boulder. Honestly, I didn’t get to see much. There are just too many breweries here to hit them all, so I concentrated on a few high quality spots.
Friday started at Syrup, a great breakfast place with custom made syrups, pancakes and french toast. I opted for the french toast. Then I walked around town then relaxed at my AirBNB room. In the late afternoon I headed out to Crooked Stave’s taproom at The Source. I’m a huge fan of all their funky and sour creations, but the Nightmare on Brett was my favorite.
Next I stopped by Epic and could smell spent grain as I walked up. I’ve had several of the fruity Brainless beers, so I stuck to their hoppy beers. The Escape to Colorado and Hopulent were very good. It was dinner time, so I went downtown to The Falling Rock Taphouse, one of the oldest and most respected craft beer bars in Denver. I can describe Falling Rock with three words… Pliny on tap. Great burgers too.
Many of the brewery taprooms close at 10 and I only had time for one more. Great Divide and Breckenridge Brewery were close, but I’ve had their beers and wanted something new to me. River North was a 15 minute walk from Falling Rock, right past Coors Field. RiNo specializes in Belgian beers and was worth the walk. I enjoyed their Wit and the Hoppenberg Principal Belgian IPA was fantastic, gave it 4.5 stars on Untappd.
Saturday started earlier, and I took an Uber to Avery in Boulder. Avery just opened a new brewery with a beautiful new restaurant and separate taproom. I’m a big fan of Avery beers, but I avoided the regular beers and concentrated on Taproom only beers. My only exception was Maharaja, a big double IPA that I just had to try fresh at the source. Very good! The Lilikoi Kepolo was the White Rascal Wit with passion fruit and was delicious. The Bad Karma, a sour Belgian pale was tasty too.
I headed closer to downtown Boulder and stopped by the Backcountry Pizza & Taphouse. A Yelp search said they had a great beer selection and good food. Since I couldn’t hit every brewery, Backcountry was a great alternative with taps from the local scene. The had a Real Ale cask ESB from Hogshead, a Denver brewery that specializes in English styles. It had low carbonation and was warmer than the tap beer, so it was perfect!
After lunch I walked about a mile to Fate Brewing and got a flight of their 5 core beers. The Laimas Kolsch was a great example of the style, and just won the Gold at GABF this year. Also, be sure to try their Moirai IPA and Sudice American Stout.
On Sunday my work conference started, but the Bar Louie next to the hotel had several local CO breweries on tap from Breckenridge, Odell, Eddyline, Great Divide, Dry Dock and Upslope. All good stuff. The hotel bar wasn’t too shabby either, besides a few locals, they also had Firestone Walker Wookey Jack on tap… one of my all-time favorites.
Denver and Boulder were great, I just wish I had more time and that June could have been with me. Can’t wait to go back!
I left the good camera at home, but here are some shots with my iPhone.