A Beer For All Seasons

Our beer-y taste buds change with the weather—but Colorado’s craft brewers cater to our seasonal whimsies. Here, our top 24 beers: six each for summer, autumn, winter, and spring. 

August 2011


  • India Pale Ale
    Odell Brewing Company, Fort Collins
    Malt Meter: 5
    Hops Meter: 9
    ABV: 7.0 percent

    The first thing you’ll notice when you crack open a bottle of this IPA is the smell: Mary Jane, and lots of it. Regardless of whether that appeals to you, judging this brew by first smell would be unfair; it’s far more nuanced. The pour produces perfect, pillow foam. The color is a gorgeous amber. The taste is bold and hoppy. And it disappears way too quickly. odellbrewing.com


  • Mexican Logger
    Ska Brewing, Durango
    Malt Meter: 3
    Hops Meter: 2
    ABV: 5.2 percent

    Denverites suffer through more than 30 days a year with temperatures above 90 degrees. This is what we drink on those days—and nights. With more flavor than we’ve come to expect from a lager, this can is utterly sessionable. skabrewing.com


  • Sweaty Betty Blonde
    Boulder Beer Company, Boulder
    Malt Meter: 3
    Hops Meter: 3
    ABV: 5.2 percent

    Colorado’s take on Hoegaarden, this unfiltered wheat brew has all of the banana-y, clove-y, yeasty goodness of a traditional German style, but without the in-your-face sourness. That means your friend who doesn’t like girly wheats and your aunt who doesn’t like heavy beers will both be happy. And so will you. boulderbeer.com


  • Dale’s Pale Ale
    Oskar Blues Brewery, Lyons
    Malt Meter: 2
    Hops Meter: 9
    ABV: 6.5 percent

    Awesome. Period. oskarblues.com


  • Colorado Kölsch
    Steamworks Brewing Company, Durango
    Malt Meter: 3
    Hops Meter: 2
    ABV: 4.2 percent

    Kölsch-style beers were born in Cologne, Germany, and are often difficult to find in the States. But thanks to Steamworks, we’ve got an amazing Kölsch right here in our backyard. This light ale has low carbonation, low alcohol, and yet plenty of bright, fresh flavor—which makes it perfect on a hot summer night. steamworksbrewing.com


  • Joe’s Premium American Pilsner
    Avery Brewing Company, Boulder
    Malt Meter: 3
    Hops Meter: 5
    ABV: 4.7 percent

    We hate to admit it, but Colorado doesn’t have a great reputation for making stellar Pilsners, or, heck, beers with subtlety. That is, until Avery started canning Joe’s last year. Brewed with German hops and yeast, this beer has a bite to keep the hopheads happy, but a mellow malt aftertaste for the rest. averybrewing.com


  • BONUS BOMBER: The Maharaja Imperial INDIA Pale Ale
    Avery Brewing Company, Boulder
    Malt Meter: 7
    Hops Meter: 10
    ABV: 10.2 percent

    Imperial IPAs are often over-the-top affairs, but this brew, part of Avery’s Dictator series, manages to be indulgent yet well-mannered. Our only gripe is that this bomber has such a loyal following that it often sells out—fast. averybrewing.com