Headed home for the holidays? Chances are that you’ll be leaving behind more than just your honey; Boulder’s beer brewing standards make this town as much of a mecca for great beer as it is for cute college girls in stretch pants, or stubbly, ski-bum psych majors.
Colorado has one of America’s highest ratios of breweries per capita, and it’s likely that the number of high-quality brewpubs (and sexy dates) in this city outshines the selection in your hometown. So, before beginning your holiday travels, spend a little time basking in the company of your most recent romantic interest — and a malty amber or a super-hoppy IPA.
This date-centric rundown of a few of the brew and tasting rooms around town should make it easy to match your date and your drink:
Avery Brewing Company (5763 Arapahoe Ave., #E; open until 11 p.m.) This cozy tasting room on the east side of town has 22 beers on tap, sweet-potato tots (along with a full menu of hearty apps and sandwiches), and an exclusive feel that’ll bond you and your date at the front door. It’s perfect for a casual encounter with a friend who you’d like to be more than a friend. Most romantic brew: Try the tart, sour-cherry ale, Depuceleuse, that’s being tapped this Friday at 5 p.m.
Boulder Beer Company (2880 Wilderness Pl., open until 10 p.m. Fri., 8 p.m. Sat.) Started by two CU professors in 1979, Boulder Beer was Colorado’s first microbrewery, but the 50-barrel brew house is off the radar for most CU students, even though it’s just steps from the bike path. The atmosphere is just right for mature, brew-fueled getting-to-know-you conversation versus drunken panty prowling, so bring a date you’re excited to talk to. Go black and gold: order a half-pound bison meat Buff Burger and wash it down with the light ale named for your alma mater, Buffalo Gold.
Mountain Sun (1535 Pearl St.; open until 1 a.m.) and Southern Sun (627 South Broadway Ave.; open until 1 a.m.) If the apple of your eye is part of a friend group, or an acquaintance you’re trying to impress, invite her and her crowd to either of these raucous restaurants run by Mountain Sun. The noise dies down after 9 p.m. (usually) and if you can thin your own crowd, or outlast the other folks at the community table, it’ll be a good time to make a move on your love interest. Food for thought: pair the amber Colorado Kind Ale with the sweet and delicious Date-Night burger topped with fig jam and goat cheese.
Twisted Pine (3201 Walnut St., #A; open until 9 p.m.) This quiet tasting room is the perfect place for an impromptu post-workout sesh with the gal you’ve been eyeing at the Spot — it’s just a few steps south of the bouldering gym. The casual barroom doesn’t serve food — so you may not want to drink too many brews — but if you bring three canned food items for their annual drive you’ll earn you a free pint of your choosing. Healthy nut option: If you’re in training, or under 21, try the honey and cane-sugar-brewed non-alcoholic Root Beer.
Kristy Holland writes about date-night ideas once a week for the Colorado Daily. Tell her about your date ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.