This is the first installment of a monthly series about traveling to the Centennial State’s best breweries.
The Destination: Elevation Beer Company  in Poncha Springs
The Odometer: 282 miles from Denver
Why it's Worth the Gas Money: Before Elevation started in 2012, there was little reason that we would have stopped in Poncha Springs. Usually, we were en route to Salida or flying by on our way to the southwest corner of the state. That’s a shame because this quiet town—it has less than 800 residents—is a jumping off point for all-things outdoors from hiking to rafting to road biking. Now, Elevation’s taproom is a favorite pit stop, too. The dusty, warehouse façade hides a bright watering hole with stools made from upcycled tractor seats and tables crafted from beetle-kill wood. There are usually four to five beer styles on tap with a wide range of ABV options, meaning that it is perfect for a road-trip.
Who’s Sitting Next to You: A Denverite who spent the weekend rafting the Arkansas River.
What You’re Drinking: Don't let this brewery's small list of offerings fool you into thinking it is a novice. Sip on the almost-always-available and reliable First Cast IPA  (6.5 percent ABV). If the brewery has released a new Apis (a Belgian-style brew), make sure to bring home a bottle .
The Details: 115 Pahlone Parkway, Poncha Springs, 719-539-5258
As with any brewery visit, we recommend that you sip, savor, and stash a growler in the trunk so that you can enjoy the brews responsibly at home.
Next month's stop: Ska Brewing Company in Durango.