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Drink up. —Courtesy of the Denver Passport program

A First Look at the 2016 Winter Warmer

From the makers of the Denver Passport, this year's Winter Warmer offers drink deals at cozy destinations.

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Winter is hard. Drinking shouldn’t be. Fortunately, the Winter Warmer is here to guide you to the coziest spots for cold-weather drinking.

From the makers of the ever-popular Denver Passport, the Winter Warmer is a passport-sized book offering imbibers two-for-one drink deals at 20 local venues between January 1 and March 1. The 2016 Winter Warmer is available in three Colorado cities this year— Denver, Fort Collins, and Boulder.

Casey Berry, the program’s co-founder, said this year’s book includes a “cozy barometer,” which takes into account atmosphere, beer or bar program, and the type of drinks on the menu. “For the summer Passport, our rule is that it’s got to be a place you’d take a friend to,” Berry says. “Our rule for winter is that it’s got to be a place you’d take a friend and stay for awhile. It’s an excuse to go out with people.”

The Warmer’s venue selections include a few repeats from the summer deal book, such as Nocturne in RiNo, Colt & Gray in LoHi, and Max’s Wine Dive in Capitol Hill. But about half of the venues are new additions to the list, such as Black Eye Coffee, which just opened a Capitol Hill location in October, and Bar Fausto, which opened in RiNo in August.

But even though the book includes some Denver standbys, Berry hinted that these familiar locations might be mixing things up for Warmer-holders this season. “This time around, we encouraged the breweries to think about a specialty beer,” he says. “A few of them are brewing a special one-off or at least a seasonal that will only be available to Passport holders.”

Bonus: Compared to the 64 venues in the three-month summer Passport (I hit every one; read about it here), visiting the Warmer’s 20 venues in two months isn’t too ambitious—even if many of your weekends are lost to the ski slopes.

The Winter Warmer is available early this year to encourage Christmas gifting. The Passport program is also getting into the holiday spirit by donating $1 for every Warmer sold to the Food Bank of the Rockies. But make sure to mark December 8 on your calendar if you want one; last year’s Winter Warmer sold out in less than 48 hours.

Nab it: Sign up here and be the first to know when the Winter Warmer is available for purchase.

(Check out 75 ways to enjoy winter in the Mile High City)

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