10 Must-See Denver Area Breweries and Brew Pubs

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While putting together a list of facts for our Denver, Colorado Beer Facts graphic, we also came up with this list of 10 must-see Denver area breweries.

While this list isn’t incredibly scientific – it’s based as much on our own experience as Denver natives as it is anything else – we did try to focus on breweries that met some of the following criteria:

  1. It’s gotta be a real, local brewery. Chains like Rock Bottom and Chop House didn’t make our list (but their beer is very good).
  2. They needed to have some good reviews on Yelp.
  3. They needed to be a good spot for tourists and beer aficionados alike.

We figure there are going to be a few out-of-towners visiting Denver for the upcoming Great American Beer Festival, so we wanted to hit the tourist highlights a little bit too. Anyways, on to the list (which, by the way, is in no particular order).
View Must See Denver Breweries in a larger map

Must See Denver Breweries

Wynkoop Brewing Company – This is the oldest brew-pub in Denver (founded in 88′), and one of the founders (John Hickenlooper) is currently Denver’s mayor. Consider a visit part of your “civic duty,” and check out the Gumbo.

Great Divide Brewing – Award winners? They got em’. Lots of them.

Bull & Bush Brewery – This is a 30 year old pub that was once a dairy. Lots of stories, lots of good food, and in addition to a great beer selection they’ve got a solid selection of single malt scotch.

Dry Dock Brewing Co. – This relatively new brewery (established 2005) is in Aurora, a place more known for sprawling shopping centers and cookie-cutter homes than beer making and fine dining. However, this little brewery is one of Denver’s best, having won the 2009 Great American Beer Festival’s “small brewing company of the year” award.

Breckenridge Brewery – Established in 1992, they’ve got a couple of locations in Denver and a fast-growing national reputation. We recommend the Ball Park location next to Coors Field.

Pints Pub – They specialize in producing cask-conditioned beers, a traditional brewing technique that matches the old English tastes and feel of this brew pub.

Del Norte Brewing – Del Norte specializes in Mexican-style beers, some of which are the perfect compliment to a tasty Mexican meal. Del Norte’s list of awards is rather impressive, so be sure to check them out on Friday afternoons for a free sample.

Strange Brewing Company – Small and rather new, Strange has just won two brewing awards at the Colorado State Fair. To celebrate, Strange will be open everyday during Beer Week 2010 (September 13th-19th).

Golden City Brewery – The joke is that Golden City is the 2nd largest brewery in Golden, but the fact is that a visit to Golden City Brewery is a great time. During my days attending the nearby engineering school, Golden City was a great place to find friends and get a great deal on a pitcher or two.

Coors – OK, so it’s the only major brewer on the list, and the beer community tends to turn it’s nose up at the thought of a Coors product. So be it. The brewery is both impressive and picturesque, and the product is popular. It’s a Colorado landmark.

Other Nominees

Denver Beer Co – Haven’t been there, but it looks cool.

Colorado Cider Company – Recommended in the comments

Banjo Billy’s Brewery Tour – A cool new bus tour that gets you out on the town while leaving the driving to someone else.

What do you think – any breweries or brew pubs we missed?

9 Comments Responses to 10 Must-See Denver Area Breweries and Brew Pubs
Asem2012-12-29 01:07:44Reply
Regarding Silver City Brewery's new facility Although, yes it is crreuntly a production facilty only, we will have a tasting room, gift shop, and brewery tours happening in the future. Time frame TBD. Kurt@silvercitybrewery
Colorado wisdom? - Page 6 - Toyota 4Runner Forum2012-10-18 14:03:48Reply
[...] gonna cheat and just post this link: 10 Must-See Denver Area Breweries and Brew Pubs | Spork Marketing Blog Pints Pub has an interesting 'live ale' it's kept in the basement and hand pumped up to the [...]
Ten Things To Do In Denver | Deviree Denver2012-09-10 08:51:08Reply
[...] Go on a Denver brewery tour. Colorado has one of the largest beer cultures in the country and is home to the nation’s [...]
Mark2012-09-09 11:45:22Reply
Denver beer company is nice open space pet friendly supplying the water. Nice selection walking distance from wyncoup or union station. We had our first Denver beerpub walking tour hit the above plus fresh craft they have several from the area plus other states. Breckenridge has an awesome IPA. Worth the walk and all the bartenders will point you to the next stop. We are from NY and liked the selection.
4 Travel Destinations for Beer Lovers | The Good Pour2012-03-13 08:07:53Reply
[...] of a handful of beer-related tours, like the microbrewery walking tour, which visits several breweries in the downtown area and includes a guide who not only knows plenty about beer but also about the [...]
DanO2012-01-17 15:11:14Reply
If your talking Metro Denver, not much wrong with the list from my end. Thank you again for keeping Coors on the list, they tap into plenty of microbrewing to keep them respectable for those following our local market. Strange - 8 outa 10 overall... Pints Pub - 7 outa 10 overall... Dry Dock - Cool place, best Vanilla Porter & Pale Ale in town, 8 outa 10 overall... Great Divide - Started rough back in day, but man do they have some great beer these days, 8 outa 10 overall... Golden City - just hired a new Brewer and he has turned that place around. Beers lacked some body the first few times I went there but now it's very excellent. Brewed a Black IPA for the holidays that was a 10 outa 10 for me. A must visit! 7 outa 10 overall... Breckenridge - It's in our blood, what else can ya say... Don't forgot about Colorado Cider, visit the website and read up on the history. They have tasting room, you'll leave with a few bottles of the Grasshop-ah every time.
admin2012-01-17 19:50:45Reply
DanO - Awesome - thank you for the ratings too. I'll check out Colorado Cider.
Jason2010-09-07 06:17:45Reply
Brian - Thank you. Jake and I both think Coors is a cool place to visit, and I would be lying if I told you that I didn't try to drink my weight in Coors Light at one point in my life, so it was kind of a must for us. Thanks for commenting!
Brian2010-09-06 23:04:29Reply
Good for you for including Coors on this list! Even card carrying beer geeks and snobs can learn something from such a visit. And who knows, they may be surprised by trying one of their brands and--gasp--half enjoying it.
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