Anyone from outside Colorado might never have the idea that Denver is booming with top-of-the-line breweries. But it didn’t start that way for Denver. Did you know that one of the city government’s first ordinances prohibited selling liquor on streets, from wagons, or tents? Homebrewing then became legal in 1978. And people from Denver take their breweries and beer seriously. They love their craft, and they’re not afraid to show it off — at whatever cost.
Since then, Denver is deemed as the Napa Valley of Colorado. Over 335 breweries are now serving up the best booze for all hopheads. And in 2018, Colorado snatched the World Beer Cup Awards, which landed them with nine gold medals, seven silver medals, and 13 bronze medals. Even the Guinness Book of World Records finds that Colorado is one of the top states with the most number of tipplers. Also, one of the reasons why the Great American Beer Festival is held in Colorado yearly.
Your mouth is probably craving for a good ol’ brew right now, so let’s get poppin with the best breweries in Denver, Colorado.
Rock Bottom Brewery
Their dedicated brewers concoct around 40,000 barrels yearly. The experts behind their brewery believe that the best beers are the freshest beers. And that’s why they take their craft seriously by brewing the freshest booze for all beer aficionados. This obsession is what makes them one of the top breweries in Denver.
Rock Bottom Brewery has a rigorous brewing process and standards. If the brew doesn’t pass their quality assurance standard, then they scrap it. The experts ensure that their brews are kept away from heat, light, and oxygen, so they maintain the beer’s freshness. Plus, their beers don’t stay in kegs or bottles for months as well. Of course, their beers get out of stock quickly!
They have an eight-step brewing process:
- Grain storage – Malted barley is stored in a 30,000-lb silo
- The mill – Grains are selected and poured into the grain mill
- Grist hopper – Grains are stored in a grist hopper
- Mash tun – Mash is collected in a huge mash tun
- Brew kettle – Wort is pumped and brought to a rousing boil
- Plate heat exchanger – Wort flows from kettle via a plate heat exchanger
- Fermentation vessel – Stainless steel pipes pump water from the heat exchanger
- Serving vessel – Beer is moved to serving tanks and served
Great Divide Brewing Co.
The Great Divide Brewing Co. was founded in 1994 and brews one of the world’s most flavorful beers. This is the reason why this brewery has a lot of awards under its belt. Some are:
- 18 Great American Beer Festival medals
- 5 World Beer Cup awards
- 14 spots on BeerAdvocate’s Top Rated Beers: Colorado
- Was in the 2014 Top Brewer In The World
- Was in the 2013 Top Brewer In Colorado
- 12th place on the 2013 Best Brewers In The World
The brewery’s catchphrase is “Bold Character.” This doesn’t only refer to the beer they brew, but the entire staff’s beliefs and principles in brewing beer. If you’re on a diet, Great Divide Brewing Co. offers a fastpack IPA with just only 99 calories and 4 percent ABV.
Denver Beer Co.
The Denver Beer Co. is the result of the love and passion for beer brewing of the founders. This brewery only serves artisan lagers and ales, using the freshest ingredients. The brewing process also entails the most innovative as well as old-school styles.
Denver Beer Co. boasts of new and familiar brews that will excite anyone’s palate. They offer seasonal brews as well as some old favorites for their new and regular customers. One of their best brews that landed them the 2019 GABF Gold Medal is the Graham Cracker Porter. You may also get the delectable Peach Saison or the Fresh Hop IPA.
The Denver Beer Co. has some exciting events and offers. They hold Beer Dinners where they hook up with some local food carts. And they also invite anyone to be their DBCExplorer Ambassador.
Wynkoop Brewing Company
With almost three decades of experience in beer brewing, Wynkoop Brewing Company is Colorado’s remarkable first brewpub. Former Denver Mayor and Governor John Hickenlooper co-founded Wynkoop Brewing Company in 1988.
Wynkoop Brewing Company produces over 4,000 barrels of fresh beer yearly. When you visit this brewery, you won’t only enjoy their booze, but you’ll also get to play from the 22 pool tables on the building’s second floor. And, that is the famous Wynkoop Billiards.
One of the best breweries in Denver, Wynkoop Brewing Company produces over 40 styles of beer. From seasonal brews to experimental rule-breakers, rest assured hopheads will always have something exciting to try.
Also, visit Wynkoop Brewing Company with an empty stomach as the brewery also serves up the best beer-infused food menus. Plus, you can even go for food and beer pairing to enjoy the most out of your Wynkoop Brewing Company experience.
Black Shirt Brewing Co.
One of the family-run breweries in Denver, Black Shirt Brewing Co. has been concocting the best booze since 1999. The experts behind this brewery ensure that they “Do one thing and do it better than anyone else.”
Black Shirt Brewing Co. brews beer in small batches to ensure freshness in flavor. From red saisons, kolshes to IPAs and red porters, Black Shirt Brewing Co. lets you experience the best hop flavors in your palate.
If you’re also into beer and music, then Black Shirt Brewing Co. is the best place to enjoy it. You can check out their website to see the schedule of music and events.
Founded in 1990, Breckenridge Brewery started in humble beginnings — under the brewer’s basement, to be exact. Now they have the best and most versatile beers Colorado beer aficionados will love. They concoct over 60,000 barrels annually, so every beer lover will always have something new or familiar to taste.
They have the nitro series, which entails innovative nitrogen packaging. This type offers a velvety flavor in a can. They also have seasonal beers for fall, summer, winter, and some new ones created for a particular year. Finally, you can choose the barrel-aged beers and specialty singles with unique flavors packaged in cage and cork bottles.