Cliff Grassmick / Colorado Daily
Jeremy Papasso / Colorado Daily
There is no shortage of good beer in Colorado and that is especially true for Boulder’s 25 square miles.
Here’s a quick-hit breakdown of the 20 breweries in the People’s Republic.
5763 Arapahoe Ave., Suite E, (moving to 4910 N. Nautilus Court in February)
Last year, Avery Brewing got old enough to drink in this fine state when it turned 21. The brewery is known for its big and bold beers, including beasts such as the 15-17 percent Mephistopheles, and easy-drinkers such as White Rascal, but its taproom also has a rotating list of a wide variety of brews you can’t find in stores.
What to try: Dry-hopped iterations of Avery’s flagship IPA, seasonal rarities such as Gored! pumpkin beer and Lilikoi Kepolo passion fruit-infused Belgian wit.
1690 28th St.
BJ’s may be a corporate brewery, but the suit brews its beer on site and churns out several house crafts. The brewpub/restaurant is family friendly and approachable for out-of-town guests, but the bar area is a good spot to kick back and watch the game.
What to try: BJ’s has branched out into more hoppy beers, but the Jeremiah Red is worth a shot.
2880 Wilderness Place
We got your beer history right here. Boulder Beer is the oldest craft brewery in Colorado and one of the oldest in the nation. The brewpub and brewery isn’t stodgy, though. Boulder Beer still likes to experiment with new brews, so ask about the brewer’s special.
What to try: Mojo IPA – “consumable and aggressive, like the 303,” says local barber Sarah Rose, of Boulder’s Lone Rose Barbering Co.
5290 Arapahoe Ave.
This chef/brewer-founded brewpub is tucked away near The Video Station in east Boulder. And while it’s certainly a little more on the fancy side, its daily happy hour is a good opportunity to get a pint for $3 and a taste of the handcrafted, seasonal fare for a few bucks.
What to try: Obitus American Brown Ale.
1600 38th St.
One of the newer kids on the block is this higher-end, spacious brewpub. In addition to its slate of beers, Fate offers a healthy dose of great craft beer from around the nation.
What to try: Any of Fate’s Kolsch-style beers, especially the Watermelon Kolsch on a hot day or the Coffee Kolsch, anytime.
2516 49th St.
Tucked in a warehouse suite along east Pearl is a gem of a brewery ran by homebrewer Jamie Wells. The nanobrewery’s small-batch approach lends to a feeling of having a pint with your good-natured neighbor who is skillful and passionate about making beer.
What to try: If Hop Haze is too aggressive for you, try the hoppy Lisa Red Ale or the Chocolate Milk Stout
1535 Pearl St./Southern Sun Pub and Brewery, 627 S. Broadway
It seems like the places that make up “old Boulder” keep closing every day, but Mountain Sun and its sister brewpub Southern Sun are staying strong. The brewpubs have a variety of beer that can suit any taste and a food menu that remains reasonably priced and friendly to carnivores, vegetarians and vegans alike. The downtown brewery has the history and the south Boulder brewpub has a bit more space.
What to try: Ask for “the dank.” Also February is Stout Month at the Sun.
3550 Frontier Ave.
Construction on Pearl is easing, making it all the more perfect to swing out to this expansive, industrial-modern brewery that includes a three-season outdoor beer garden and a taco cart.
What to try: If the Bird of Prey Double IPA is on tap, get it. If not, go for the Black IPA
at Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place, 2027 13th St.
Speaking of “old Boulder,” the trio of sisters behind Boulder’s old Trilogy have created a brewpub, restaurant and event space in downtown that is geared toward celebrating and building community. What would community be without beer?
What to try: Down Dog Imperial Red to give your soul some good vibes and inner peace.
3201 Walnut St.
One of Boulder’s oldest breweries expanded its tap room a couple years back and recently gave a slick overhaul to its beer lineup and labels. The brewery has a good rotation of taproom-only selections and the brewers sure like to get “wacky” with some of their beers.
What to try: Come fall, the Mr. Brown’s Pumpkin Ale with whipped cream. Come anytime, the Hop Zealot, the Razzy Xpress and the Big Shot Espresso Stout
Flatiron Park brewery, 1898 S. Flatiron Court/ Lee Hill brewery, 1501 Lee Hill Drive, Unit 20
Following in the footsteps of Oskar Blues, Upslope started out in 2008 as a canned beer-only operation. Upslope’s success in cans have helped it expand to two breweries in Boulder that feature limited-release and single-batch beers crafted to reach “optimum flavor.” Upslope’s original brewery off Lee Hill features some small-batch and experimental offerings, while the roomier Flatiron Park taproom has a wide variety of Upslope beers on tap.
What to try: The Belgian Style Pale Ale is a good, every-weather beer.
1123 Walnut St.
The Walnut Brewery may be part of CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries Inc., but it does have history here. It was Boulder’s original brewpub and it, along with the original Old Chicago, helped build the foundation for Rock Bottom Restaurants, now CraftWorks. The Walnut features a lineup of consistent beer of traditional styles such as a red, pale ale and brown.
What to try: Join the Mug Club and receive rewards for visiting and drinking beer at the brewery
1125 Pearl St.
Local restaurateurs teamed up with a longtime local brewer to create this downtown brewpub that features Belgian-style beers and pays respect to the style of Colorado-crafted beers. The brews incorporate a variety of yeast strains that help to impart different aromas and levels of complexity.
What to try: The reborn Angry Monk, a musty and lightly hopped unfiltered ale with a unique history that involved a cease-and-desist letter from the Trappist Monks
5460 Conestoga Court
This cozy brewery’s beers and tap room are inspired by nature. Campers, hikers and nature enthusiasts should delight in beers that include ingredients such as juniper berries, jasmine flowers and fresh berries — and are inspired by activities such as roasting marshmallows on the campfire.
What to try: The Smores Stout is popular, the Ponderosa Porter, with hints of vanilla, is a well-crafted approach to the style. Combine both for tasty awesomeness
GUNBARREL: French for: still technically Boulder, but it’s all industrial and you’ll need to take a quick jaunt north to get there
Asher Brewing Co.
4699 Nautilus Court South, Suite 104
In the natural and organic products haven of Boulder, where Celestial Seasonings, Horizon Organic, Silk and Justin’s nut butter (chuckle freely) were founded, of course there’s sure to be a representing member in the craft beer industry. When Asher opened five years ago, it was Colorado’s first organic brewery. Gunbarrel’s first brewery has a laid-bad tap room and cornhole in the back.
What to try: Green Monstah Organic Strong Ale and the seasonal Superfly Organic Oatmeal Stout
Finkel & Garf Brewing
5455 Spine Road
Boulder’s newest brewery boasts a wall full of toys and a variety of old-school games. The offerings are meant to remind its patrons that they’re all still kids at heart, and to not take life so seriously.
What to try: Ask for the house flight that features each of the six beers paired with a snack (Note: Although it’s advised to dunk the Twinkie in the Milk Stout, be quick about it – the structural integrity of the treat is compromised by the action).
New Planet Brewing Co.
6560 Odell Place, Suite D
This is one of the few breweries that feature gluten-free offerings. The tap room includes New Planet’s gluten-free beers in addition to some barley seasonals and beers crafted to remove gluten.
What to try: Gluten-Free Raspberry Ale
6880 Winchester Circle, Unit F
The brewery formerly known as Kettle and CENSORED was founded on the principles of beer-making through precision, quality and all-natural ingredients. A bright spot in a Gunbarrel office park, Vindication produces flavorful beers, thanks in part to its “hop back” system that allows for a variety of ingredients at different times in the brewing process.
What to try: Freedom Stout, Winchester Wheat, which is brewed with honey from Ft. Lupton, and the non-alcoholic ginger ale.