Beer is booming in Denver! The city is packed with brewpubs, each boasting its own handcrafted takes on ales, stouts, lagers and all other sorts of suds. Here are a few of Denver's best beers.
This refreshing ale is fittingly named - while sipping one at the Wynkoop Brewing Company, you can gaze out the window as trains roll in and out of LoDo's historic Union Station. This smooth, amber beer combines the malty goodness of an Oktoberfest lager with the slight fruitiness of an ale. The Wynkoop offers several more excellent brewed-on-site beers, all worth a try - in fact, not only was the Wynkoop Brewing Company Denver's first brewpub (founded in 1988), but it produced 4,330 barrels of fresh beer in 1997, making it one of the largest brewpubs in the world.
WHERE TO GET IT: Wynkoop Brewing Company, 1634 18th St.
DENVER PALE ALE
The Denver Pale Ale - DPA for short - is an appropriately great beer for the great city it is named after. A classic, English-style pale ale with a malty middle and an equally hearty complement of hop aroma, flavor and bitterness, it's the kind of lovingly handcrafted libation that the Great Divide Brewing Co. has made its reputation on. Head to their Downtown Denver Tap Room to try this and many other unique beers.
WHERE TO GET IT: Great Divide Brewing Co. Tap Room, 2201 Arapahoe St. (or your local liquor store)
16TH STREET WHEAT
Rock Bottom Brewery's downtown Denver location is smack dab on the 16th Street pedestrian mall, making its expansive patio a perfect spot for people watching and beer drinking. The brewery pays tribute to its home with the 16th Street Wheat, a crisp, clean beer with a sweet, honey malt flavor. Well-balanced and deep gold in color with a subtle, flowery, hop finish, this beer will make your happy hour even happier. Rock Bottom is all about fresh ingredients, expert brewers and good times - plan to stop in the next time you're downtown.
WHERE TO GET IT: Rock Bottom Brewery, 1001 16th St.
The brewers at Breckenridge Brewery call this delicious beer "vanilla kiss in a rich, dark sea," a description some might call grandiose - until they try it! An ale that has all the chocolate and roasted nut flavor of a classic Porter, plus real vanilla bean, it'll have you waxing poetic in no time. Though the brewery got started in its namesake mountain town of Breckenridge, there's a splendid location in Denver, right across the street from Coors Field. Pre- or post-game beers just got a lot tastier.
WHERE TO GET IT: Breckenridge Brewery, 471 Kalamath St. (or your local liquor store)
With a smooth, round taste, this stout is sure to satisfy. But there's a delightful twist! The Denver Chophouse & Brewery stores their Dry Stout in just-emptied whiskey barrels supplied by the Austin Nichol's distillery. The bourbon and oak add powerful flavors to an already strong beer - pair it with one of the Chophouse's renowned steaks, and you've got a genuine match made in heaven.
WHERE TO GET IT: Denver Chophouse & Brewery, 1735 19th St.
PICK AXE PALE ALE
You'll have to head a little out of Denver into the charming mountain town of Idaho Springs, but trust us - it's worth the drive. The Pick Axe from Tommyknocker Brewery is a classic American Pale Ale dominated by mildly hopped, sparkling flavors and pleasant aromas. The dry hops impart unique aromas and flavors, adding to the complexity of this ale, which has twice won the silver medal at Denver's annual Great American Beer Festival. Just 25 miles from Denver, Tommyknocker's is a must-visit during a daytrip to the mountains.
WHERE TO GET IT: Tommyknocker Brewery, 1401 Miner St., Idaho Springs (or your local liquor store)