While it’s no secret that Coloradans love their craft beers, wines, and spirits, almost everyone’s liver could use a break after all the hedonism of the holidays. Whether you’re participating in Dry January (a full month of sobriety to kick off the new year) or are just looking to lessen your booze consumption, kombucha offers a nice alternative. Here are four Front Range destinations for sipping the fizzy fermented tea in a variety of splashy flavors.
If you want to taste a variety of local kombuchas all in one place, American Cultures Taproom in LoHi has you covered. With 14 rotating taps (all from Colorado makers), you can build a tasting flight from well-known brewers like Upstart, as well as harder to find options from small-batch companies like Symbiotik, Turtle Mountain, and Injoycha. If it’s warm out, opt for a celebratory kombucha float, made with scoops of Denver’s own Sweet Action ice cream. Also keep an eye out for more food to be added to American Cultures’ menu in 2019, including a shareable charcuterie board. 3233 Tejon St. #107
Frequenters of local farmers’ markets may already be familiar with Happy Leaf’s sweet, tart elixirs. At Happy Leaf’s Edgewater tasting room, you can throw back a flight of all five rotating flavors for just $9. In addition to the ever-present cranberry-lavender, you’ll find four other seasonal flavors, each refreshing no matter the weather. Be sure to stop by during happy hour (weekdays from 3 to 5 p.m.) to get two dollars off any growler refill or bottle of ‘booch. Taproom manager Haley Burkhall hints of a second Happy Leaf location in the works that would also hopefully include a reopening of its fermented foods-focused kitchen. In the meantime, however, the Edgewater outpost offers some pre-made snacks and visitors are welcome to bring in food of their own. 5700 W. 25th Ave., Edgewater
Nestled in Boulder’s funky Rayback Collective (an all-in-one food truck park, beer garden, and live music venue), Rowdy Mermaid’s tasting room provides a tasty alternative to the Collective’s 30 rotating beer taps. Made with Colorado snowmelt, you can taste a variety of rotating options such as alpine lavender, savory peach, mate periwinkle, and if you’re lucky, tasting-room-only desert rose. If you start feeling peckish, a rotating lineup of food trucks awaits you in the dog- and family-friendly courtyard. 2775 Valmont Rd., Boulder
Open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Upstart’s 5,000-square-foot brewery and taproom is a great option for a midday work break. There, you can enjoy their four bottled flavors straight from the source (mint green, rose bud, lemon ginger, and berry black) as well as seasonal limited releases, like chai spice. For those who can’t get enough of the bubbly, Upstart offers a taproom membership that includes unlimited free ‘booch by the glass, two free growler refills per week, and even merchandise discounts. 3095 Sterling Circle Unit 1, Boulder