Wherever beer is, there too will be people – even a mile high. Denver, CO has one of the best beer scenes in the country and we got to enjoy a bit of it with our own self-guided tour while visiting this summer.
Now before I dive into our brewery tour, how about a quick history lesson?
With the discovery of gold in nearby rivers, the beautiful city of Silver and Gold was established in 1859. Soon after, a man by the name of Adolph Coors started the Coors Brewing Company – and we all know how that went. Actually in Golden, CO, you can visit the MillerCoors Brewery (which we sadly did not have a chance to do), and see the Rocky Mountain Springs that Coors built their brewery around.
In fact, the people loved beer so much that the first government in Denver was essentially formed in a saloon. Maybe not the best way to form a government, but hey, it seems to have worked in this instance.
With an established beer culture, microbreweries began popping up all over the Mile High City. If quantity and quality is what you want, Denver is the place to go! Just head downtown near Union Station and you will find yourself surrounded by numerous breweries, each giving tours and each with their own boozy flair.
Bonus tip: While you’re there, don’t just pass by Union Station though! Pop in because there are a ton of cool restaurants and shops inside. The modern architecture feels classic at the same time – giving you a sense of the American rail life our country was built with!
While we only managed to hit three spots up with our limited time, rest assured we asked around and did our research to select some of the best. So, without further ado, check out our self-guided Mile High Beer Tour from Denver below!
1. Wynkoop Brewing Co.
Turns out these guys were first in the Denver microbrewery game and are a local tradition! Wynkoop has a lively and spacious atmosphere, making it a great place to gather with friends, or catch the FIFA World Cup in our case. We watched as Croatia beat Russia, and Dayna essentially fell in love with the team’s star, Modric.
This spot has multiple TVs, surround sound, and a cool night time hangout area with its upstairs billiards. With well over 20 beers on tap, their Mile High Pale Ale and Uber Lager were perfect for our first stop.
Next on the list:
2. Jagged Mountain Brewery
About a 10 minute walk from Wynkoop, you will find a brewery that seems to have flowed straight from the mountains themselves! Jagged Mountain is for those seeking an adventure in their beer profiles – and for those who like a bit of competition at Battle Ship or Connect Four.
They list all of their beers under one of three categories, ranging from easier to heavier drinking: Trailhead, Base Camp, & Summit. Dayna got the Trailhead “For The Adventure” – an easy sippin’ lager with a beautiful amber finish. I got the Base Camp “Wolfpack” – an amazingly smooth and light beer, despite its dark color. This was my first saison and I must say that it was awesome!
We loved this place so much, we went back the last night we were in town! If it’s you’re thing, you can also check out the “fueling” station across the street.
Last, but not least on our list:
3. Great Divide Brewing Company
Great Divide Brewing also started very early on in the Denver beer scene and became an official brewery in 1994. In addition to their beer, which is great, I must say that Great Divide’s logo is one of the best – a giant Big Foot… or maybe it’s a Yeti?
Their patio was the perfect spot to throw a cold one back, especially on the hot day we had. They also have a rotating food truck outside incase you have the munchies after visiting that “fueling” station across from Jagged Mountain. Check out the eats, and if you need a recommendation for your brew, we enjoyed the Colette Farmhouse Ale and the Denver Pale Ale.
Despite only hitting up three spots, we certainly were riding a buzz. I guess that’s fair for vacation mode in Denver, right? While we wish there was more time to check out other breweries, we were more than satisfied with our self-guided tour and hope for a chance to go back soon for more!
Let me know your thoughts on these recos and any other suggestions you have for our next time back in Denver.