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Friday, August 08, 2008

Denver Breweries & Pubs

So in 16 days I'll be touching down in Denver to blog about the Democratic Convention. Since the days will be extremely well-produced and wholly without sponteneity, I assume that there will be moments when I might sneak out to sample some of Denver's finest pours. It is, you know, the Napa of Beer. However, I'm pretty ignorant about the scene. Doing a Google search reveals six or seven places that look pretty close to the Pepsi Center. Anyone out there have recommendations? I expect to be without a car, so keep that in mind.
  • Wynkoop Brewing Co, 1634 18th St
  • Breckenridge Brewery, 2220 Blake St
  • Great Divide Brewing Co, 2201 Arapahoe St
  • Flying Dog Brewery,2401 Blake St # 2
  • Sandlot Brewery,2161 Blake St
  • Northstar Restaurant & Brewpub, 3200 Tejon St
I don't know how well to trust the Beer Advocate ratings, but it looks like Great Divide gets the highest scores. (Northstar is off the radar--just 11 reviews.) Of these, I'm most familiar with Gread Divide, which has distribution to Oregon. But I'm also interested if these are actually places you can go. Anyone familiar with Denver? Any place a must?


  1. Flying Dog is a must! I have had a few of Breckenridge's beers and they where good I think it would be worth checking out. And I have heard Wynkoop is supposed to be good to. Now i must say I have never been to Denver this is just coming from what i have tried and heard when i was living in Wisconsin.

  2. I haven't visited Denver in a few years but here goes:
    -Great Divide is definitely worth a stop, fun tasting setup across from the bottling line.
    -Flying Dog has moved to Maryland, I believe. I didn't visit the brewery, but I've never been impressed with their beers.
    -Wynkoop was a decent brewpub, don't remember much good or bad.

    An outside suggestion is the Falling Rock Tap House. An impressive draft selection that seemed to rotate in seasonals and specialties. The best place to drink beer I found in downtown during my week long visit.


  3. Here's the link for The Beer Mapping Project's Denver/Boulder Beer Map:

    You can find reviews by clicking on each option from the map.

    Breck's beers are fab! Nothing better than Small Batch 471 IPA on tap!



  4. Jeff,

    I'm shocked! A pro beer blogger and beer information source like you has NEVER been to Denver....not even for the GABF??!!

    I think it's a requirement for all serious beer drinkers and bloggers to go to GABF at least once. We may have to de-blog you for such atrocities.


    There lots of nice pubs, Brew Pubs and Breweries... Democratic Convention?! Politicians are all crooks, screw that! Go for the beer!

    The GABF is coming up, that's more entertaining than politicians greasing each others palms with phony smiles and slick BS talks full of false promises. It's all so depressing and mind watching tele-evangelists on the TV! ;-}

    Anyway... Enough of that!

    Here's some great pub and brewery choices. You'll notice Denver pubs have a nice diversity of beer style.. No other comment from me! :-O

    **Avery Brewing Co gives Brewing Tours. I highly recommend it! Here's some info from their web site:

    "Tasting Room hours are: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 3:30 to 8:00 PM with tours at 3:00 PM sharp & Saturdays 12:30 - 5:00 PM with a tour at noon. First 5 tasters are free, customers can purchase additional tasters or pints if they so choose. We only have a couple of rules: Drink responsibly, arrive with your best beer attitude and bring someone new each time you revisit! contact "

    Avery Brewing Company
    5763 Arapahoe Avenue Unit E, Boulder

    Other fun stops:

    Breckenridge :

    Tommyknockers :

    Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Café
    534 E. Colfax, Denver

    Falling Rock Tap House
    1919 Blake St., Denver

    Southern Sun Pub and Brewery
    627 S. Broadway St., Boulder

    (more than one location)

    Great Divide is good, but I can buy their beers HERE, so what's the point?

    Flying Dog - Just par.

    Can't wait for the blog write ups! Don't miss Avery!!!



  5. OK, so here comes the snark...

    I think Breckenridge is hideous so skip that. Flying dog is OK, but they are now brewing in Maryland. Great Divide is not very good either - but easy to go to and worth checking out for comparison.

    You must go to the Wynkoop as it is an institution and the beer is not terrible and sometimes quite good.

    Go and see Dave at Boulder - he is one of the best anyway and the Falling Rock is worth a look-see.

    There is a Rock Bottom on the 16th Street mall, but I am not sure they are doing much more than the corporate beers (unlike Van in Portland). Not a very pleasant place to hang out.

    But you should skip all these and head straight for the Buckhorn Exchange to cure you of your vegetarianism...rattlesnake, yum!

  6. Avery, dude, Avery.... ;-}

  7. I'm in Denver right now visiting friends (I live in Portland). In fact, we visited Breckenridge and Wynkoop today. The double IPA at Breckenridge was very enjoyable. The stout at Wynkoop was boring. The IPA at Wynkoop was absolutely dreadful; my wife, who is a huge IPA fan, couldn't even drink it. That may be the first time she didn't finish a beer.

  8. Hmmm:

    Flying Dog is a must!


    Flying Dog - Just par.

    And then Breckenridge is hideous so skip that.


    The double IPA at Breckenridge was very enjoyable.

    And finally You must go to the Wynkoop as it is an institution and the beer is not terrible and sometimes quite good.


    The IPA at Wynkoop was absolutely dreadful; my wife, who is a huge IPA fan, couldn't even drink it.

    I think the lesson is that I should do what all great sons of Oregon do: explore on my own. But I will collate your opinions and take them as suggestions. Thanks!

  9. I think it comes down to personal preference, drinking palate and sense of adventure. I'm pretty adventurous...

    Plenty to choose from.... ;-}

  10. If you don't mind walking a bit, head east of downtown along 17th to Vine street (1700 Vine st) to the new Vine Street Pub. This is a beer pub with food that is an off-shoot of the Mountain Sun brewery in Boulder.