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Summer in Colorado has arrived: Wildflowers are in full bloom, the snowpack has melted, and craft beer is aflowin’. With myriad choices on where to get a pint and a dizzying amount of new breweries popping up, it’s easy to stick to the usual stalwarts. With this list, we invite you to step outside your beer comfort zone. Are you a patio snob? Do you need to be steps from a trailhead? Craving an adventurous tap list? We have you covered. Add these six breweries to your summertime sipping bucket list.
Alternation Brewing Company
Go for: A fresh tap list that keeps you on your toes
Tucked between antique shops and tattoo parlors on South Broadway, this six-month-old brewery is quickly making a name for itself. In addition to noteworthy artwork, board games, and a rotation of visiting food trucks, this brewhouse invites visitors to enjoy its unique, inventive, and well-crafted beers. We suggest a flight of four-ounce tasters for a spin through the beer list, but don’t miss the bright pink Farmgirl, a 100 percent Brett farmhouse aged in dragonfruit tea; or the balanced, smooth dry saison, Quilt Stargown. Check out Alternation’s free movie nights on their back patio, happening on occasional Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. (the next is June 27). Check out the brewery’s Facebook page for other upcoming events. 1539 S. Broadway
New Terrain Brewing Company
Go for: The killer trail-to-beer commute
Perfectly situated within hiking/riding distance of North Table Mountain and the Golden Bike Park, New Terrain is a must-visit after you’re done recreating. Grab a Rubus Delicious raspberry wit off the “Light and Refreshing” section of the brewery’s extensive list, and snag a patio spot with stunning views of North Table Mountain. The tap list includes the usual suspects, American ambers and American browns, but delves into playful exploration with Against the Currant, a blackcurrant sour with tart, blackberry notes. If you need even more reasons to visit New Terrain, consider heading to Golden for one of their yoga nights (every Tuesday), or live music performances on Thursday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. 16401 Table Mountain Pkwy., Golden
New Image Brewing
Go for: An all-around solid brewhouse experience—with a delicious full menu of house-made items to soak up the suds
Neighborhood: Olde Town Arvada
Located just a block away from Olde Town Arvada’s main drag, New Image pours a variety of brews, while also offering a full tapas-style menu. If you can, grab a seat on their back patio, and let the enthusiastic staff walk you through the tap list: We took our server’s advice and went for Dyad, a sour Kombucha saison with just the right amount of tart and sweet, and Coriolis Effect, a New Zealand dry-hopped IPA. Speaking of which, New Image has teamed up with Molly’s Spirits to create a collaboration brew, Better Together, a New England style IPA using Coriolis Effect as the base beer, with added hops. $1 from each case sold at Molly’s will be donated to the Jefferson Center for Mental Health, and that total will be matched by New Image. 5622 Yukon St., Arvada
The Grateful Gnome Sandwich Shopppe & Brewery
Go for: Great beer with a side of humor and whim
This delightful establishment in the Tennyson neighborhood is brimming with gnome figurines (with that name, what do you expect?) and boasts an impressive amount of patio seating. With 12 rotating taps—including a mix of their own brews and other local beer makers—you’re sure to find something for everyone in your group. We tried the brewery’s Giggity IPA, a well-executed and balanced IPA with a nice hop profile. Not an IPA person? The Tangerine Wheat, at 4.6 percent ABV, is citrusy and refreshing. The subtle balance of sweet and tart notes makes it almost too drinkable. Get your miles in on Thursdays at 6:15 p.m. during the weekly run club, and don’t shy away from ordering some grub from their extensive sandwich menu (they even serve breakfast sammies). 4369 Stuart St.
Long Table Brewhouse
Go for: An intimate, neighborhood vibe
Neighborhood: North Park Hill
Located in the former Eis Gelato space, Long Table Brewhouse nails it as a casual neighborhood hangout. The beer list is carefully curated and offers an array of classic styles. Order the very drinkable Farmhouse saison and relax on the patio. A comprehensive food truck schedule, found on the brewery’s Facebook page, means you’ll never be drinking hungry. Plan your visit around Allegra Pizza’s appearance: The brick-and-mortar spot turned food truck serves up Neapolitan thin crust pies, and will be at Long Table every Tuesday in June. 2895 Fairfax St.