If you're a college student and over 21, finding the best bars in town is probably at the top of your to-do list.
After the panic of midterms and before the encroaching terror of finals, nothing quenches nerves (and thirst) like a tall, cold glass of beer. Fortunately, good brews and good bars are not hard to find in Boulder, which has plenty of options for whatever you're into.
Breweries, part I
If you're looking for unique decor and craft beer, you have a few choices.
First is Kettle and Spoke on 47th Street, a tiny nano-brewery that is located inside a company that designs bike and urban gear from recycled materials, #BecauseBoulder.
Cellar West Artisan Ales on Lee Hill Drive in north Boulder is now open on more than just the weekends. This mod brewery specializes in oak-aged beers.
If you like dark beers, check out the "black on black" at the Wild Woods Brewery on Conestoga Court.
Be sure to check out Colorado's first microbrewery, Boulder Beer, on Wilderness Place or further downtown on Walnut Street.
Breweries, part II
As you can expect, there are too many breweries in Boulder to contain in one group. The Post Brewing Co. has been open for nearly a year now on 13th Street, serving up the classic combo of fried chicken and beer.
There's also West Flanders Brewing Co. on Pearl Street, which has a full menu stuffed with delicacies like poutine and pot pie. It also offers happy hour pricing when the temperature falls below 20, which, I hate to break it to you, it will.
If you want places that serve a wide variety of different craft brews on tap, be sure to check out FATE Brewing Co., Backcountry Pizza or the Rayback Collective if you are feeling especially hipstery.
And of course, you can always get craft beer to go by mixing your own six-packs at Liquor Mart or Hazel's Beverage World.
Drinks with a view
Love the view of the mountains around Boulder but hate when buildings get in the way? Take it to the roof.
The Rio downtown has the perfect night-out combo of a rooftop and margaritas (just don't get too close to the edge — the drinks are pretty strong). The Lazy Dog on Pearl Street has apps and beer, and a rooftop to boot.
If you're looking for something more filling, the West End Tavern on Pearl Street has both a rooftop and a chicken wing challenge calling your name.
On the Hill
University Hill is not just for house parties. Head over to The Sink on 13th Street to grab some beer and food and add your name to the walls and ceilings. Some of the more famous names on the wall include a former president and a guy who makes something called "donkey sauce." You can also head over to Half Fast down the street, which might technically not be a bar but does serve sandwiches along with pitchers of Strong Island Iced Teas, so technically, it does the job.
Madeline St. Amour: twitter.com/madelinestamour