Best Breweries in Boulder

The Edgy, Classy and Quirky Craft Beer Hot Spots of Boulder

Beer, mountains, and sunshine. These are the staples of Boulder, Colorado and the key ingredients to having a spectacular time in this foothills town during the summer. Brewery tours abound, bicycles can be rented for touring safely, and nearly all of the breweries on our list offer stellar food, much of which is locally grown, and exciting events throughout the year. 

Topping out our list, Avery Brewing Company offers some of the most bold and unique brews in the country. With their new location, just on the outskirts of town, along with a taproom and dining room serving Cajun-inspired fare, Avery isn't just a place to throw back a few; it's craft beer experience that beer snobs and beer enthusiasts can rally behind. 

For a smaller and more intimate venue, Upslope Brewing Company and Mountain Sun are the perfect spots. Mountain Sun is right in the thick of downtown Pearl Street and offers hardy pub-grub, while Upslope offers two locations and provides a relaxed hole-in-the-wall experience. 

If you fancy a drive to the mountain towns just above Boulder, Oskar Blues Brewery of Lyons and Very Nice Brewery of Nederland offer a getaway from the hustle and bustle of the Front Range.

With the all of the craft beer options in and near Boulder, you're sure to drink your fill and become a beer connoisseur in the process. 


The ambiance of Fate Brewing Company is that of laidback elegance and taste in more ways than one. Start your lunch off with their savory Caramelized Sweet Potatoes or the Country Fried Chicken Bites. For your main lunch course, be sure to indulge in either the Main Stay Burger or the FATE Cuban which are designed to pair perfectly with their craft beers. Speaking of beer, while there's something for everyone, be sure to at least sample the Fate Sudice which is an American style stout. Some other lunch and dinner favorites include the Chicken 'N' Biscuits Smoked brisket, red eye gravy, fresh buttermilk biscuits. FATE-a-RITO Scrambled eggs, potatoes, peppers, pork green chili, cheese, sour cream, fresh salsa, choice of brisket, pork shoulder, bacon or smoked sausage.

Recommended for Breweries because: Fate Brewing Company offers an alternative to the brew-pub setting by serving tasty beer in a calm and stylish bistro atmosphere.

Hope's expert tip: The fried-chicken bites are a wonderful indulgence.

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Very Nice Brewing Company is located in Nederland, Colorado just 30 minutes from Boulder and is one of the few dog-friendly bars in the area. If you're traveling with your fur-baby, they are more than welcome to sit, lay, and loaf in Very Nice's taproom, provided they are leashed and non-agressive. Another perks of this local favorite is their exceptional beer. Their Very Nice Pale Ale and Monk's Phunk are two of the most drinkable, refreshing brews. Both are light on the hops but packs tons of flavor. Though food is not currently served in the taproom, Backcountry Pizza is located just upstairs and will gladly walk your pie down. Located in Nederland's charming and quirky downtown area, there's no shortage of shopping and dining to be done after you've indulged in a brew or two.

Recommended for Breweries because: Very Nice Brewing Company is located in the mountains just above Boulder and churns out delicious craft beer in a relaxing and dog-friendly environment.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to sample many of the local treats that are sold at Very Nice ranging from cheese to chocolate.

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This local brewery offers some of the best refreshments in the area and is perfect to visit after a long hike at Chautauqua Park. One of their most popular beers, the Colorado Kind Ale, is dry hopped deliciousness and should be paired with one of Southern Sun's massive burgers or, our favorite, the grilled cheese. Hot wings and BBQ wings are a staple at this joint, as well as the delicious $1 tacos every Wednesday night. Choose from vegetarian or beef and eat late into the night since tacos service goes on well past pumpkin hour. Perfect place for a late-night snack.

Recommended for Breweries because: Southern Sun allows you to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown while still being able to enjoy excellent beer and great food.

Hope's expert tip: Don't miss out of the to-die-for delicious hot wings.

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Twisted Pine is a provides live music, beer festivals, and killer happy hours which make it one of Boulder's best spots to enjoy a happening night-life. Their pub-fair is fresh, filling, and reasonably priced. What's more, they offer and cookie sampler, you heard right, cookie platter is pair with your various beers. Seriously, what could be better than cookies and beer? The Pine's warehouse-like atmosphere seethes with a modern coziness and its tucked-away location, make you feel like you've discovered and unknown treasure of the Boulder beer world. Some of their most famous and loved brews include their Ghost Face Killah chili beer and the robust Big Shot Espresso Stout.

Recommended for Breweries because: Twisted Pine Brewing Company offers a laid-back atmosphere where the edgy beers and simple but tasty food allow you to relax and be with friends.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to order the cookies and beer platter when available.

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Boasting one of the most generous happy hour's on our list, BRU serves up $3 16oz and $5 22oz glasses of select beer. Not to mention Chicken Wings, Cheddar and Corn Fritters, and a variety of other nibbles for dirt cheap. Some not-to-be-missed ales include the Obitus American Brown Ale and the Rigley Red Rye. Located in East Boulder, BRU's atmosphere is warm, charming, and slightly hole-in-the-wall while still retaining it's elegance and class. A small patio invites drinkers to loaf and enjoy the Colorado sun during the spring and summer months. BRU also participates in several fun events throughout the year, including American Craft Beer Week during which BRU runs special pricing on most of their delicious beer and food.

Recommended for Breweries because: BRU is one of the newer Boulder beer spots and offers a killer happy hour along with flavorful beer which pairs perfectly with the food.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to ask about Bru's beer float. It's divine.

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Upslope offers two relaxed locations in Boulder. The taproom in East Boulder offers live music and has a hole-in-the-wall feel that is appealing after a long day in the mountains. The better known and frequented location on Lee Hill drive also offers live music and, at certain times of the day and night, provides a lively atmosphere created by a mix of locals and tourists alike. Current offerings include the Dragonfly Coffee Belgian Dubbel with a robust flavor that is sure to put some pep in your step, the light and refreshing Belgian Style Pale Ale, and, finally, the Blood Orange Saison which is perfect for a hot summer day and will make you think you've taken a trip to a tropical island.

Recommended for Breweries because: Upslope's hole-in-the-wall feel coupled with its unique and flavorful beers makes it a must-stop while brewery hoping in Boulder.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to try the delicious Dragonfly Coffee Belgian Dubbel.

Read more about Upslope Brewing Company →

This pub is Colorado's original microbrewery and produces the finest handcrafted brews using only natural ingredients. Sample the award-winning beers and witness the brewing process in action. The American menu features burgers, fries, fish and chips, and other pub favorites. Try a Boulder Porter milkshake for dessert. Free tours are offered Mondays to Fridays at 2pm and live music can be seen throughout the week. Moreover, in the spirit of giving back, Boulder Beer Company hosts several charity beer festivals per year. Some of their most notable beers include the Planet Porter, Mojo Risin', Singletrack, Buffalo Gold and the oak aged Oatmeal Stout, Obovoid.

Recommended for Breweries because: Boulder Beer Company is the oldest brewery in the area, serving up hardy grub and tasty brews, it's the perfect stop after playing outdoors.

Hope's expert tip: Want beer for dessert? Try Boulder Beer Company's Porter Milkshake.

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The Grateful Dead are alive and well, at least as a decorative motif, at this tie-dye styled brewpub that features some of the best beer in the region. For a kick, try the coffee-inspired Java Porter. Vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will appreciate the well rounded menu, affordable, food featuring high-quality pub fare. So, wanna know more about the beer? Mountain Suns beers have won 6 Gold Medals at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver and is consistently ranked among the best brewpubs by Boulder locals. For a blast of hops, just ask for "the dank", also known as Mountain Sun's Colorado Kind Ale.

Recommended for Breweries because: Mountain Sun offers pub-style food, refreshing ales, and an exciting atmosphere right in the heart of Boulder's thriving downtown.

Hope's expert tip: The patio is the place to be during the spring and summer months so you can enjoy the Pearl Street thoroughfare.

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With two locations just 20 minutes from Boulder in Lyons and Longmont, this local brew-pub favorite if one of the best places around to grab a delicious burger, beer, and dance the night away. The Tasty Weasel taproom boasts a large dance floor and stage on the second floor of the building so that you can eat down below and then enjoy the after-party up above. Local live bands as well as national known acts play every Saturday and Sunday at a minor cover charge. Don't be surprised if one of Oskar's local regulars asks you for a dance, since there are many people who come every week to kick up their heals are not shy when it comes to meeting strangers.

Recommended for Breweries because: Oskar Blues offers two convent locations in Lyons and Longmont, both just 20 minutes from Boulder. Delicious cajun food and bold brews abound.

Hope's expert tip: You'll be sure to have plenty of colorful and friendly local regulars to dance with at either of Oskar's fine locations.

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Avery Brewing Company

Hands down, one of the best breweries you'll ever visit; Avery Brewing Company offers an escape from the bars and pubs of downtown. The lively atmosphere immediately invites you to snuggle up with your honey, cheers with your friends, or just relax solo and sip in some solitude. Their Cajun-inspired appetizers include cured meats and pungent cheeses, Pork Green Chili, and Barbecue Nachos, to name a few. Some of their signature brews include the hoppy India Pale Ale, the light Belgian-style White Rascal, and the nutty, savory, Elle's Brown Ale. Avery's new brewhouse is located on the outskirts of Boulder and offers a taproom downstairs, brewery tours, and an elegant dining room for those who prefer to sip their brew in a more intimate and quiet setting. Watch for release parties and special tappings throughout the year.

Recommended for Breweries because: Avery's new location, complete with an upstairs dining room and downstairs taproom is perfect for throwing back some of the Colorado's most unique craft beer.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to grab a pint of the Karma, Avery's most drinkable and refreshingly crisp beer.

Read more about Avery Brewing Company →


Meet Hope Gately

Hope Gately should have a bumper sticker proclaiming "Not a Native...But I Got Here as Fast as I Could!" A transplant from the Midwest, Hope has fallen in love with Colorado's mountains playing...  More About Hope