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The numbers are a bit hazy, but rough estimates suggest the city of Denver houses more than 90 breweries, with the metro area coming in at just over 145. That’s a lot of craft brew! If you’re spending some extra time at 5,280 feet and want to learn more about the beer scene, we suggest you check out “The 5280 Guide To Colorado Craft Beer.” But if you’re just in town to catch the game and want to reallytaste the Rockies, we recommend checking out one of the following near-the-ballpark suds-slingers.
Open since November 2013, Jagged Mountain has garnered a following of beer lovers who crave adventure in their lives but also in their brews. To wit: The brewery has an entire section on its menu for “more adventurous and creative” beers, including a Lemon Meringue Pie Sour ale brewed with lemon and vanilla, and the She Said, He Said hazy DDH Double IPA that has notes of fresh guava, passionfruit, and mango. The brewery hosts Geeks Who Drink trivia nights on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., including on July 8.
Order: the Bee Cool Honey Bunny, an orange honey wit with subtle Belgian spice
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Located just four blocks from Coors Field, Great Divide’s Ballpark neighborhood tasting room is a little tight, but that doesn’t affect your ability to enjoy quaffing at one of the city’s oldest breweries. If the bar area is a little too cozy, the sidewalk patio—which often features a food truck—usually has plenty of elbow room to lift whichever pint you requested from one of the 16 taps. Mental note: Great Divide also has a location in RiNo, in case you happen to amble north from the stadium.
Order: the Titan IPA, a boldly hopped seven-percenter
If you’re very thirsty, the eight-block walk from Coors to one of the more handsome tap rooms in the city might feel long—but it’s worth it. Four-year-old Woods Boss has a beer on tap for every palate and crowlers to-go. On July 9, the Mad Dog Blues Trio will take the tap room’s stage starting at 6 p.m.
Order: the Start’n Early lager, a perfectly sessionable summer sipper
If you favor bier over beer, then this German-style craft brewery with a picnic-table-strewn biergarten is your happy place. It’s a 20-minute walk from where the Blake Street Bombers play, but that makes it just far away enough that you might not have to wait in line to get crisp lagers with names that often employ the umlaut.
Order: the Pilsner, a full-flavored but low ABV porch-pounder
Born in Lyons, Colorado, in 1997, Oskar Blues Grill & Brew became famous for canning its craft beer and distributing it near and far in 2002. Since then, craft beer businesses the world over have emulated OB owner Dale Katechis, making it just as easy to get a SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale in Denver as it is in its hometown of Atlanta. The LoDo iteration of Oskar Blues has a long bar, several TVs, above-average bar food, and dozens of OB brews—and other craft suds—on tap.
Order: the eponymous Dale’s Pale Ale, a highly drinkable American pale ale
You’ll probably want to grab a Lyft or pedicab to make the 1.6-mile journey from the Rock Pile to Black Shirt Brewing. Out-of-towners will want to have their drivers pull over a half-dozen times as they pass by other intriguing watering holes in the RiNo neighborhood, but Black Shirt isn’t just about the beer—so keep going. Opened in 2012, the brewery also cooks up spent-grain pizza dough into 10- and 16-inch pies that pair well with the lineup of roughly a dozen vegan and lactose-free pours.
Order: the Colorado Public Red, a very hoppy amber
When it comes to vibe, there are few other breweries in Denver that can compare to Denver Beer Co. With the garage doors flung open, the music pumping, and the expansive patio full of happy (read: tipsy) patrons, the beers go down real easy. As an added bonus, the owners of Denver Beer Co. gave Denverites a reason to rally around its business when, in early April, they decided it was time that someone did something about the lackluster baseball product in this town. Although it was a total stunt (so we think, anyway), Denver Beer Co. owners set up a GoFundMe account with a goal of raising $1 billion so the denizens of the city could make the Monforts—owners of the Colorado Rockies—an offer they couldn’t refuse. The $6,215 the account accrued ultimately was donated to charity, but for a fleeting moment it made us hopeful that good baseball might one day accompany all the good beer in Colorado.
Order: the Juicy Freak Juicy IPA, an explosion of citrus flavor
There’s nothing particularly special about the rustic-industrial tap room or the sunny patio at this Larimer Street brewery, so we’ve decided the magic must be brewed right into the beer. Without fail, we always find a good time—playing with doggos on the patio, chatting with the cheery bartenders, sharing a high-top with randos who grew up in our hometowns—and good beers at Ratio.
Order: the Domestica, an easy-drinking American standard ale
This is the OG of Denver brewpubs. Founded by now U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper and three friends when Hick was an out-of-work geologist in 1988, Wynkoop is a restaurant, a bar, a pool hall, and a Denver icon. Although we wouldn’t say it delivers the finest craft beer lineup in the city, Wynkoop is worth a stop to drink in a bit of mile-high history. Also: It’s only a seven-minute walk from home plate.
Order: the flagship Rail Yard Ale, a smooth amber
Do you like strong beer? Do you like sunny patios? How about drinking strong beer on sunny patios? If so, Epic Brewing, born in Utah in 2010 but smart enough to come to Colorado where high-point beer is celebrated, has what you’re looking for. Quick tip: Plan to rideshare home or bring a designated driver.
Order:the Feel The Beat From The Tangerine India Pale Ale, a seven-percenter slated to be released this month
One of the granddaddys of Colorado craft beer, Fort Collins–born Odell is most famous for its 90 Shilling. The medium-bodied amber is named after the Scottish method of taxing beer in which only the finest suds were hit with a levy of 90 shillings. Recently, though, the brewery’s three-year-old Denver taphouse at 2945 Larimer Street made local headlines when it changed its name to better reflect its geographic location: the historic Five Points neighborhood. We dig both the respectful name change, the two bars, the dog-friendly patio, the rooftop space, and the four-ounce samples of brewed-on-site exclusives.
Order: the 5pt Lupulin, an extra pale ale you’ll only find at this location
For those who haven’t ventured out in a while—or for out-of-towners who are just in for some baseball—there’s a craft beer kegger going on between 28th and 30th streets on Larimer Street in RiNo. OK, it’s not really a Solo cup shindig, but with several nearby blocks shut down to allow more outdoor seating and with several breweries, including Our Mutual Friend Brewing, in the immediate vicinity, it kinda feels like keg stands could break out at any moment. Founded in 2012, Our Mutual Friend has set up several tents around its otherwise small taproom—and it seems that everyone is interested in finding out if they have mutual friends. Even if they don’t, OMF’s beer, which is frequently made with Colorado-grown hops and barley, is a great social lubricator.
Order: the Mojave Phone Booth, a citrusy hazy IPA
Sitting on what has to be one of the most expansive craft brewery patios in Denver, we overheard a young woman, with beer in hand, exclaim, “Why isn’t this place packed?” Why indeed? Located on a quieter section of Blake Street, but just three blocks from the hoopla on Larimer, the five-year-old brewery took over the airy, attractive space in summer 2018. Since then, it’s been slinging pints to beer lovers who don’t mind stumbling one extra block for its “uniquely crushable” brews.
Order: the Session Saison, a fruity farmhouse ale