Blue Moon Brewing Company
Ice-cold brews and baseball — a match made in heaven. Just behind right field at LoDo's Coors Field (home of the Colorado Rockies) sits the Blue Moon Brewing Company at the Sandlot. A bit of a contradiction in terms, this is a microbrewery that's run by a mega-brewery: MillerCoors. But the beer served is mainly of the craft variety, centered on Blue Moon beers, which were first brewed right here in Denver. Their Belgian White Ale was their first claim to fame when it took top prize at the World Beer Championships. It's an unfiltered Belgian-style wheat ale with deep flavor and a uniquely cloudy appearance. The brewers suggest you try it with a slice of orange to bring out the natural spices and subtle fruit flavor. Blue Moon's newest location is in the River North Art District (RiNo).
Tip: Every summer, Blue Moon makes a handful of special brews that are exclusive to Coors Field. Ask the brewers what's on tap, and enjoy a cold one while the Rockies play.
Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill
If you haven't yet visited the revived Union Station neighborhood, Thirsty Lion should be your first stop. In addition to offering a worldly menu with local and seasonal ingredients, their taps have over 50 brews flowing — roughly half of which are from Colorado.
Tip: After dinner and drinks, take a stroll through the restored Union Station and stop into another neighborhood hot spot, like Terminal Bar, located inside the train station's former ticketing office, for a nightcap.
Good beer is best enjoyed with friends, fresh air and a bit of adventurous spirit to sharpen the palate. Located in the Riverfront neighborhood just west of downtown, Denver Beer Co. is thought to be one of the best breweries in Denver and specializes in artisan and seasonal varieties of premium ales and lagers made from the best ingredients around. The tap list is constantly changing — you may get the fan-favorite Graham Cracker Porter, the delectable Peach Saison or the hoppier-than-thou Fresh Hop IPA. They're all fantastic examples of great Denver beer. The patio is always a happening place to enjoy great beer and some Mile High City sunshine.
Tip: Keep an eye on Denver Beer's website for future Beer Dinners, when the brewery teams up with a local foodcart, providing them with four hand-crafted brews to use as ingredients, as well as partners for the dishes.
Ale House at Amato's
The first thing you'll notice is the view. Located in the Lower Highlands neighborhood west of downtown, Amato's rooftop patio boasts a stunning panorama of Denver's skyline. Next, of course, you'll notice the beer. A collaborative effort by Breckenridge Brewery and Wynkoop Brewing Company, Amato's is a tribute to Colorado craft brewing, with 42 Centennial State beers on tap. The beer lineup changes daily, so stop in often to try the Colorado craft industry's latest and greatest.
Tip: Beer is just the beginning. Amato's boasts a handcrafted cocktail list, with drinks that are built with small-batch, Colorado-made liquors and other local ingredients.
Maybe Denver's Art District on Santa Fe should change its name to the Art (and Beer) District on Santa Fe. Renegade Brewing is that good. Founded by Brian and Khara O'Connell in the summer of 2011, the brewery's "offensively delicious" brews were homebrewed initially. But friends and family encouraged the O'Connells to take their beers to the people! One sip of their flagship brew, Redacted Rye IPA, and you'll be a believer, too — the citrusy hops and spicy rye are irresistible.
Tip: Renegade brews up laughs on Saturday nights with their weekly Open Mic Comedy Night. Grab a beer at the bar and then stake out your spot for the 7 p.m. show.
Housed in a beautifully restored historic building just across from Coors Field, the Denver ChopHouse & Brewery offers outdoor decks, live music and fine dining. The beers the ChopHouse brews are fantastic, too. There are twelve craft beers on tap, including German favorites like a Dopplebock, a Dortmunder Lager and a Dark Munich Lager. Cuisine ranges from burgers to filet mignon — meaning anyone's tastes will be satisfied here.
Tip: The ChopHouse also has a location at Denver International Airport, in case you're in need of a great craft brew before (or after) a flight.
Black Shirt Brewing Co.
This family-run brewery was founded with one maxim in mind: "Do one thing and do it better than anyone else." In Black Shirt's case, that one thing is the red ale. But if you think that means this brewery's lineup lacks variety, think again. This RiNo staple has a red ale for every palette, from red saisons and kolshes to red porters and IPAs. Every beer is handcrafted in small batches. Raise your glass in the taproom, on the patio or in the beer garden.
Tip: This "music-driven" brewery doubles as a concert venue, with a one-of-a-kind stage made from wooden pallets and barrels. Check the calendar for upcoming shows.