Must-Visit Craft Brew Pubs and Taprooms in Denver

The Denver metro area has more than 100 breweries, 33 within the city limits–no wonder Denver has a growing reputation as the Napa Valley of Beer. Some 26 new breweries opened in 2013, and more are on the way. Brewers love Denver’s open and welcoming spirit and Coloradoans love their beer–it’s a match made in heaven. Many of the breweries have award-winning beer on tap, in growlers, in bottles and in the newly trendy can. But the real winners are the locals and visitors who can taste just about every variety of beer here, many within a few blocks of each other so that sampling and strolling is a favorite pastime in the Mile High City. In fact, Denver has its own Beer Trail, with 14 local breweries featured along the route including Denver Beer Company, Great Divide Brewing Co. and Prost Brewing. But the trail is just the start of a journey that includes not just beer but also an eclectic sampling of music through the decades, an intriguing variety of architectural and design styles and some of the best food to pair with a cold brew, whether from a pub menu, Denver’s popular food trucks or a local eatery down the block.  And if all that were not enough, Denver is also home to one of the premier beer festivals in the nation. The Great American Beer Festival, founded in 1982, takes place in October when beer lovers from across North America gather in Denver to offer and sample new brews. 

Ale House at Amato's
Photo courtesy of Ale House at Amato's

Located in Lower Highlands, this neighborhood come-as-you-are alehouse is not strictly speaking a brewery. But it belongs on this list because it's owned and operated by the Breckenridge-Wynkoop group, a collaboration of two of Colorado's oldest...  Read More

Golden Triangle
Pints Pub
Photo courtesy of Pints Pub

Pints Pub meets the needs of all kinds of customers. It satisfies traditionalists who love British pubs and pub fare, such as bangers and mash, but will not disappoint those wanting a menu with more elevated and healthy fare. Choices include...  Read More

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
Photo courtesy of Sarah Haughey

Crooked Stave's industrial-chic taproom is located in the trendy RiNo district inside The Source, a warehouse-turned-restaurant-and-retail emporium. The taproom opened in October 2013, though the first Crooked Stave beer was released in 2011....  Read More

Great Divide Brewing Co
Photo courtesy of Great Divide Brewing Co.

Among Great Divide's stellar brews is famously delicious Denver Pale Ale, which won four of the brewery's Great American Beer Festival medals and two of its World Beer Cup Awards. But Great Divide is always creating. The taproom is the only...  Read More

Dry Dock Brewing Co
Photo courtesy of Dry Dock Brewing Co.

Two home brewers founded warm, friendly Dry Dock Brewing Company in 2005. It grew organically by word of mouth and today is one of the stars on the Denver craft brew scene, producing beers that have won multiple awards. Located in Aurora,...  Read More

Renegade Brewing Company
Photo courtesy of Renegade Brewing Company

There's serious creativity here: Beetnik, a French saison fermented with beets; Black Gold, an imperial peanut-butter-cup milk stout; Bloody 'ell, a Belgian session ale infused with blood oranges; Sunday Morning, an American ale with coffee. The...  Read More

Prost Brewing
Photo courtesy of Prost Brewing

If you like German beer and want a craft-brew experience, Prost is your go-to. Located in the Highlands neighborhood, Prost produces only German-style beers using only German ingredients and brewing techniques. The ambience is decidedly German...  Read More

Copper Kettle Brewing Company
Photo courtesy of Copper Kettle Brewing Company

Copper Kettle is successfully recreating the mom-and-pop neighborhood establishments that once dominated the retail and restaurant scene in this country before big-box conglomerates took over. The husband-wife owners have long loved brewing beer...  Read More

Black Shirt Brewing
Photo courtesy of Black Shirt Brewing

Black Shirt's owners are single-minded. "We're following our father's advice," they say, "which is to do one thing and do it better than anyone else." What they do is small-batch red ales, meaning red in color and fermented with ale yeast. But...  Read More

Denver Beer Company
Photo courtesy of Art Heffrom

Denver Beer Company is one of several excellent breweries located in the Lower Highlands (LoHi) area. It's casual, friendly and, by design, a place where folks can meet to share a table, a pint and good conversation. The crowd might be made up...  Read More


Meet Christine Loomis

Christine has written about every aspect of travel, from romance and adventure to family and wellness. She is also lucky to have had three major home states through the years: New York,...  More About Christine

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