The Official Guide to Denver Neighborhood Breweries

by Katie Bassett

The craft beer industry has taken Denver by storm and Denver residents happily welcomed them in. Beer is an important part of the community and the desire to live near a brewery is common for locals and transplants. To help, we collaborated with Denver Microbrew Tour leveraging their expertise of local breweries and created a list of Denver’s brew-friendliest neighborhoods.

Beer-Loving Neighborhoods Worth Exploring

River North Art District

The River North Art District (RiNo) is home to Denver’s artisanal industries with a range of housing options including townhomes, lofts and condominiums. With over 200 working studios, visitors and residents enjoy diverse art galleries, colorful exhibitions, an eclectic vibe, and of course – stellar breweries.

  1. Ratio Beerworks. Three local former 90s punk rockers reunited to open Ratio Beerworks in 2015, a brewery ranked as one of the best outdoor drinking spots in Denver. A shared passion for brewing and marketing, Zach, Jason and Scott envisioned a place for beer enthusiasts to admire art and listen to music. Here, their large patio welcomes anyone in the Denver community (including your dog) to come hang out and play yard games.
  2. Bierstadt Lagerhaus. If you are looking for the best German lager in town, Bierstadt Lagerhaus is the place you need to visit. Owners Bill and Ashleigh do everything to make their beer authentic including their brewing techniques, German ingredients, German yeast strain, and the brewing system.
  3. Mockery Brewing. This is the spot to live by if you’re looking for creative flavors and crisp brew. Known for its bold, unforgiving flavors that guests adore, Mockery provides an open, carefree environment and treat their patrons as friends. Zach Rabun, the mastermind behind the brewery, has a true passion for brewing which emerges in the beer. Eric Rabun, Zach’s brother and taproom manager, encourages the convivial atmosphere.


Highlands is Denver’s largest neighborhood. With 250 explorable acres, it offers a diversity of housing from new lofts to renovated bungalows. Forged by Italian and Mexican immigrants, influences of that past are still present throughout the neighborhood. The lush greenery and ample parks combined with the many independently owned shops; art galleries; and restaurants are part of its allure.
If you are considering setting up residence in Highlands Denver, two breweries might make the difference.

  1. Diebolt Brewing. Community and quality craft beer merge in a fun, exciting and relaxing setting. Owners Dan and Jack Diebolt’s French ancestry influences many of their beers. If you are looking for something light and refreshing check out their Wiggy Wiggy, a honey hibiscus Saison.
  2. Hogshead, a few miles southwest of Diebolt, focuses on traditional English ales in a family friendly environment. If you’re looking for recommendations, try their Braggarts Brown, a creamy beer with notes of coffee, cocoa, and subtle smoke that is complimented by a sweet and carbonated finish.

Historic Baker

Located in Denver’s urban core, Baker is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. It has an assorted mix of housing options with old Victorian homes interspersed with updated duplexes and newer condominiums. Baker’s diverse population enjoys a vibrant nightlife, engaging coffee houses, and hip shopping.

TRVE Brewery is one of Historic Baker’s popular breweries, and for good reason. This death metal brewery has an amazing cult following- people are THAT dedicated to their beer and their breweries. The brewery prides themselves on not following particular guidelines and embracing the chaos. If you are looking for a unique vibe, Historic Baker and TRVE Brewery are a must.

Congress Park

Congress Park, perfectly situated between downtown and Cherry Creek. The neighborhood offers a few shopping areas and restaurants but is mostly residential. Congress Park’s quiet streets and great places to play are some of its most inviting features.

Tucked into this residential hub, Cerebral focuses on beers that expand far past the traditional methods and offer a broad spectrum of beers that will quench anyone’s parched taste buds. Their scientific precision creates a unique vibe definitely making Congress Park a more tempting place to call home.

Other Notable Breweries

  1. Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales. Every beer at Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales in Overland is fermented with unique microbes from the local environment that actually evolve batch-to-batch, creating interesting variations from different releases of the same beer. What began as a former future brewery, the owner James Howat found a passion in spontaneous fermented sours and wilds; they serve up some funky stuff worth exploring.
  2. Station 26. Light, dark or hoppy? Station 26 brews them all! Located in Northeast Park Hill, the brewery is known throughout the city for its five signatures brews. In addition, the brewery partners with several food trucks that park along their perimeter to provide a variety of cuisine, that pairs nicely with beer. Are you ready for another intriguing perk? The brewery is actually in an Old Denver fire station, creating a distinctive ambiance, unlike any other brewery in Denver.
  3. Fermaentra. A notable brewery that creates consistent buzz in Denver is Fermaentra in University. Branded by the terms Ferment, Imbibe, and Rejoice, Fermaentra produces bold, artful beers that all guests love. They believe in creating the perfect balance of art and science to create a harmonious, delicious beer. Imbibe!
  4. Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project. Open as of May 20, 2017, Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project is a great addition to the Santa Fe Arts District’s sensual experience. An international journey awaits your palette as symbolized by the suitcases on the wall. Inspired to take your taste buds around the world, Co-Founders Andrew Moore, Ben Gettinger and Nick Fredman serve a nice mix of adjunct beers like Basil IPA, Turkish Coffee Stout, Pear Saison, or Chamomile Hefe-Wit as well as many traditional styles.

Finding the Perfect Home Next To the Perfect Brewery

Each neighborhood has a diverse selection of breweries that you should consider when deciding where to live in Denver. You can use a mortgage calculator along with your knowledge of neighborhood breweries to assess the neighborhood for you. Then contact a local Realtor like Rhianon Schuman of My New Era realty, 505-870-5716 or

Accounting for Breweries – What you need to know moving forward

The following post is from Forrest Rose, owner of Grey CPAs in Windsor, CO – Forrest helps growing breweries keep their accounting in order so they can concentrate on what they are good at – pumping out delicious beer!

Denver and Colorado microbrewer opening rates have surged in recent years, and for good reason. Talented brewers have taken advantage of the growing thirst of Colorado beer loving patrons who want to taste different varieties of beer concoctions. As an accountant who spends a lot of time in breweries helping owners sift through the accounting changes taking place every single year, I’m very lucky to live in this great state of Colorado, where the breweries are plentiful!

Because we spend a lot of time in breweries, we hear stories about hopeful brewers flaming out before they got a shot to successfully distribute their beer. Some don’t make it to where they want to be because of lack of funding, some because of not properly tracking or preparing for operational costs.

For the breweries that have achieved fiscal sustainability, the tax and financial code is an important thing to understand, or have your accountant understand. The below explains more of this in detail, but if you have questions, of course reach out to a certified public accountant.

New FASB update for revenue recognition (how companies make money) and the 5-step approach a company should utilize to ensure revenue is appropriately recognized:

  • Identify the contract(s)
    • What this means is that companies must identify all contract types (pricing arrangements, terms of payment, shipping terms, etc.) and revenue streams.
  • Identify the separate performance obligations
    • What this means is that an entity must identify what goods or services are being sold in the contract and ensure that those performance obligations are segregated appropriately
  • Determine the transaction price
    • Is the price fixed or determinable? Is there a variable component? An entity must determine this.
  • Allocate the transaction price to the separate performance obligations
    • Each performance obligation above must be linked to a determinable price.
  • Recognize revenue when the entity satisfies a performance obligation.
    • An entity can only recognize revenue when the goods or services have been provided.

A lot of brewery owners may look at the above, and be a bit confused, which is where an accountant can help. Whether breweries have a CPA on staff, or bring one in to help them, it’s important to make sure the financial and tax codes are understood, as they change regularly.

We hope this was helpful to all the Colorado breweries that are already booming or just getting started!

denver breweries

New Denver Brewery For Social Good: The Brewability Lab

Among the new Denver breweries popping up, we can now expect a new one in the Lakewood district that not only aims to provide great beers, but also a commitment to jobs for an underserved population: developmentally disabled adults. Not only with this new brewery bring us great beer, but it will also help out some members of our community in a great way.

The Brewability Lab is a startup brewery by Tiffany Fixter that will be taking over Caution Brewing’s original location, complete with Caution’s original 5-barrel brewing system, grain mill, canning line, tap system, bar and glassware. Once Caution Brewery moves out later this year (and will keep its second location in Lakewood open while it finds larger brewing facilities), The Brewability Lab will expand the hours, and redecorate the site to take on a 1930s and 1940s chemistry lab design.

The concept behind the Brewability Lab is great and has already received lots of community support through Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. Though these adults with developmental disabilities have a difficult time finding a job, a brewery is a perfect place for them: many of the tasks associated with brewing–from measuring grain to cleaning tanks and glasses, sanitizing equipment and pouring beer– are repetitive, and many of these adults can do this type of work consistently with ease. Some of the new crew has already started training for various beer brewing duties at Grandma’s House, and will help name some of the beers produced in the space.

The brewery will start off with an IPA, a cream ale, a Belgian dark strong ale, a saison, and an oatmeal stout for drinkers to enjoy. The head brewer who will be supervising the new team is Toby Gerhard, a longtime homebrewer, and Grandma’s House will continue to support training for the new employees.

Overall, it’s great to see a unique brewery in Denver that’s doing something different beyond the tap. For a great guide to breweries to visit in the Denver area, contact us.

falling rock tap house

Falling Rock Tap House’s Plans Give Denver’s Beer Drinkers Reason to Smile


The Falling Rock Tap House has long been a tour guide and craft beer connoisseur favorite. Accordingly, it has been a part of our Denver Microbrew Tours for ages. What’s our favorite part of the stop besides the beer? For one, the hospitality is outstanding. And the ambiance is great too but it’s about to get better. How so? Pick up your glass, take a sip and listen while we share the details:

The brewery’s relocating to another wonderful part of Denver. Do you want to guess where the new tap house is being built? Okay, our tour guides will tell you. It’s Washington Street. Why Washington Street? Well, why not? It’s a burgeoning community that is close to a light-rail station and Interstate-25. So beer drinkers will have no problems finding it.

And the Washington Park area in general is perfect for walking tours. The community was originally laid out by a famous, German architect back in the 1800s. As such, many of the community’s old buildings and public spaces have great, architectural details as well as a fabulous feel to them. Plus, there are modern shops, restaurants and other contemporary amenities available near the tap house’s new location too.

The new location hasn’t opened yet and when it does, we’ll be sure to let everyone know. In the meantime, our DenverMicrobrew Tours will continue as normal. As always, they’ll include a number of area favorites and we’ll factor in the Falling Rock Tap House’s new digs when the time comes. Beer connoisseurs may want to check out the Washington Park area on their own too. The community’s park is exceptionally fetching in the spring thanks to walking trails, outdoor sculptures and flower gardens.

To learn more about where we’ll be going in the weeks ahead, please contact us for the latest tour itinerary.


craft beer

Craft Beer Drinkers May Expect Plenty of Eye-Openings Sips Before Spring


Several breweries are planning to tempt craft beer connoisseurs with some very special offerings before spring. And many of those offerings have something in common. Can you guess which ingredient they’re hoping to focus on? We’ll give you an eye-opening hint. It’s something people tend to drink the moment they open their eyes. That’s right, it’s coffee.

Adding coffee to craft beer isn’t new. Creative brew masters have been doing for decades. However, this latest crop of coffee-loving, craft brew masters has come up with ways to elevate the classic pairing to whole, new, incredible levels. For example, have you ever heard of cascara sagrada? If not, you will in the next few weeks when brewers start releasing their finest.

Normally considered a holistic health essential, it is a natural ingredient found in shrub bark. One would think that adding bark to beer would make it bitter or negatively alter its texture. Surprisingly, it doesn’t do either of those two things. Instead, it tends to deepen the craft brew’s existing, coffee profile without adding unwanted aftereffects. And as we promised, cascara isn’t the only natural additive being used by 2016’s brewers.

Many are experimenting with the beer’s aging process to bring more to their coffee and cascara brews. For example, the young brews may be placed into wine or whiskey-soaked barrels to help give them a remarkable edge. Other craft beer manufacturers may skip the barrels and try adding a blend of exotic coffee beans or flavored syrups instead.

By now, you might be wondered where to get your coffee craft beer fix. One place slated to feature beanie beers in the months ahead is Copper Kettle Brewing Company. To learn more about them and other places to find excellent coffee beers in Denver, please contact us today for a tour.


history of denver, as it relates to drinking

The Interesting History of Denver, as it Relates to Drinking


The history of Denver, as it relates to drinking, extends to the city’s first permanent drinking establishment. The city’s first saloon opened its doors when Denver was still considered a frontier town. At that time, the location had already gone through the gold boom and had developed into a goods and supply hub for miners who had money to spare. Within its first 50 years as a city, Denver welcomed more than 400 saloons. Drinking has been a large part of Denver’s unique culture ever since.

A handful of Denver’s original historical drinking establishments still stand. For instance, the Buckhorn Exchange, founded in 1893, holds the distinction of being issued the state’s first liquor license. The bar was erected to serve migrant railroad workers, but exists today as an iconic Denver landmark that is a National Historic Landmark. A total of five American Presidents have dined at the Buckhorn Exchange, where they were given the distinct pleasure of being seated among the bar’s 575-piece taxidermy exhibit.

Gone are the days in Denver when one could only legally consume alcohol via a doctor’s prescription. Today, the city ranks fifth in the United States among the number of craft breweries per capita. There are currently approximately 15 craft breweries per 500,000 Denver residents. The numbers increase significantly each year. However, the older historical establishments retain the allure of their history.

If you are interested in finding out more about the drinking history of Denver, along with more recent and delightful microbrewery discoveries, please contact us to schedule a Denver Microbrew Tour, where our seasoned professional tour guides will entice you with interesting beer trivia as you sample local offerings.


downtown denver rock bottom brewery

A far cry from rock bottom in downtown Denver.

The flavor enthusiast who likes their drinks with an edge will be in for a treat at Rock Bottom Brewery in downtown Denver, one of the breweries on our LoDo (lower downtown) tour. They started brewing beer in 1991 and after 25 years they have accumulated over 125 major medals and awards. There is a hop range designed to please every palate with IBU’s ranging from 8 to 85. The selection is not limited to the ever popular standbys but even these offer a distinctive mark. On tap presently at Rock Bottom Brewery per their web page are some of these pours:

  • Liquid Sun Saison, authentic French farmhouse style ale, with ABV of 8.1% lends itself to sipping slowly.
  • El Chupacabra, a Mexican style ale that boasts the sweetness of corn.
  • Chili Kolsch awakens the senses with jalapeno, serrano and poblano peppers.
  • The taps also serve up various IPA’s, black india ale, hefeweizen and barley wine.

Every Friday night there is live music that starts at 7pm. There are also special events monthly which are advertised on their website.

Not only are there great sips but great eats as well. The menu has a large selection of staple brew house appetizers such as pretzels and wings but also apps with a twist such as cotija cheese and chorizo sausage stuffed pretzel bites. The comprehensive menu has entrees, salads, desserts and a full bar menu.

Happy hour is Monday to Friday 3-6:30.

For more info on this or other stops on our brew tour, please contact us. Tours run Friday through Sunday, starting at varying hours.

history of denver, as it relates to drinking

History of Drinking in Denver: Traveling Back in Time Never Tasted So Good

The next time you drink a cold one in Denver, know that you are swallowing some hard-fought history. Legalized marijuana wasn’t the first time this Wild West city fought for its right to party. The similarities between both the liquor and marijuana battles lend to the cliché; history repeats itself.

In his book Moonshine and Murder: Prohibition in Denver, author James E. Hansen II describes the decades long battle between temperance groups, the city of Denver, and the state of Colorado. According to Hansen’s account, the battle began in the 1860’s, with Denver rejecting every attempt by the state and local temperance groups to “go dry” until well into the 20th century.

And if you consider all the interesting historical details about Denver’s loving relationship with beer to begin with, the sixty year battle makes a lot of sense. Or suds.

Traveling back in time never tasted so good.

Here are 6 interesting facts about Denver’s longstanding relationship with beer.

  1. Miners and pioneers brewed and sold beer right out of their tents and the back of their wagons since the city’s founding in 1859.
  2. Denver’s first city government was formed in a saloon called Apollo Hall located at 1425 Larimer Street; the building still stands today.
  3. After stowing away aboard a ship from Hamburg to New York City, Adolph Coors made it to the Wild West and founded the Coors Brewing Company in Golden, Colorado (roughly thirty driving minutes west of Denver) in 1873. The brewery still uses the same original 44 natural Rocky Mountain springs to this day.
  4. In 1907, state legislature enacted a local option bill which permitted Colorado cities to decide whether or not to go dry. Denver resisted, and voted to keep their spirits.
  5. In 1914, Colorado decided that “no person or group could manufacture or import, except for medicinal or sacramental purposes, any intoxicating liquors”. Though the measure was successful throughout most of the state, Denver rejected prohibition once again with a local vote landslide. Note that liquor was legal if it was for medicinal purposes. Sound familiar?
  6. After 1916, Denver was forced into prohibition just like the rest of the country. Like many cities during Prohibition, the rules only applied to the people, never the officials who imposed them. Gahan’s Saloon, located at 1401 Larimer Street was known as the “Soft Drink Parlor” which was code for a liquor-flowing speakeasy that was frequented by cops, politicians, and reporters.


That same independent and entrepreneurial spirit that fought for the right to enjoy a beer or some liquor, still lives on in Colorado’s capital city. These days, Denver is known as the “Napa Valley of Beer”; and brews more suds on any given day than any other city in the United States.

Thirsty yet?

The Denver Microbrew Tour is a history-packed guided walking tour of historic lower downtown Denver and its world-famous microbreweries. Contact us today to learn more about how we can share even more cool history about the Mile High City – and buy you a pint.


The Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project: The Sour Beer Entrant Among Denver Breweries

Fans of Belgian-style sour beers will want to take note of the Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project and its taproom at the Source, which is at 3550 Brighton. Crooked Stave distinguishes itself among Denver breweries with its barrel-aged, limited release craft beers. These are not Belgian lambics, which are brewed in specific regions, but are instead a whole new approach to the burgeoning sour beer trend.

Crooked Stave’s brews begin with special yeast strains that impart the desired tartness, followed by aging in first-use red wine, bourbon, and other barrels, depending on the characteristics the brewmaster wants to impart to his beer. Barrels add both color and flavor to the brew, including vanilla, caramel and burnt wood tasting notes. Barrel aging extends the time required to produce a batch of beer. Some barrel-aged sour beers can remain in barrel for up to two years before their release. Sour beers in general are more challenging to produce, but for many people the resulting product is worth the challenge.

Crooked Stave’s beers are made in small, limited run batches. When a batch runs out, a new batch with different taste characteristics will take its place. Crooked Stave reserves some of its more limited release batch’s for members of its cellar reserve club. In 2013, the brewery gave purchasing priority to its cellar reserve club members for its golden, burgundy, and dark sour beers. Many of those beers remain available for sampling in Crooked Stave’s taproom.

Belgian-style sour beers will not appeal to everyone’s tastes, nor will they be an everyday staple beer for most people. The tastes are typically complex and full-bodied, almost demanding that they be relished slowly when a drinker can focus on the craftsmanship that went into brewing them. A recent tasting of Crooked Stave’s IPA-style sour beer, for example, revealed a unique blend of typical IPA hoppiness balanced against its sour overtones.

The Denver Microbrew Tour offers two-hour guided walking tours of breweries in and around downtown Denver. We support and encourage the growing microbrew trend that has made Denver the “Napa Valley of Beer”. Please contact us for information about our walking tours or other aspects of Denver’s beer heritage.

Wynkoop Brewing Company

Wynkoop Brewing Company, Historically Crafted

Wynkoop Brewing Company is so much more than Denver’s first brewpub; it’s housed in a building that is steeped in the city’s mining and railroad history. Though the J.S. Brown Mercantile Building was not built until 1899, the area it is built on and the owner, John Sidney Brown, had been doing business with miners, brewers and grocers since 1861.

It’s almost like history set the stage for Wynkoop‘s successful destiny: world-renowned craft beer and New American pub grub.

And, it’s as if the building itself was meant to be tied to historical events forever.

In 1868, J.S. Brown was among the men who broke ground for the railroad in Denver. A strong advocate and key player (alongside other historical names like George Morrison and Governor John Evans) in bringing the railroad to Denver, Brown lobbied and raised money until the completion of Union Station, 13 years later.

With his business located directly across the street from Union Station, the building was meant for success.

In 1902, the Mercantile building made the news again, and was named “a magnificent structure, fitted up in a perfectly modern style, having railroad switches in its front and rear, and every convenience necessary for the prompt transacting of business” by the Denver Times (Denver Post).

Fast forward 80 plus years, and the building is still making history.

In 1988, a relatively unknown and laid-off geologist by the name of John Hickenlooper started the Wynkoop Brewing Company inside the old Mercantile building.

Mr. Hickenlooper went on to become the Mayor of Denver from 2003 to 2011. He was then elected as Governor of Colorado and assumed office on January 11, 2011.

But the political fame for the famous brewpub doesn’t stop there.

On a normal Tuesday in July of 2014, President Obama made a surprise visit to the unsuspecting brewpub. It was widely reported that Mr. Obama enjoyed a Rail Yard, the pub’s best-selling ale; and played a friendly game of pool with GovernorHickenlooper.

Wynkoop Brewing Company has and always will be connected to and making history. The experience of the historic atmosphere and the quality, crafted beer make this destination a Denver institution.

Want to experience the magic of Wynkoop Brewing Company in person and learn more? Check out these brewing tours today!

river north brewery

River North Brewery Moving with Funk The Man Celebration

When it comes to some of the best craft beer in Denver, River North Brewery has been a highlight staple in the RiNo district. But by the end of October, you won’t be able to visit the brewery in its famed 24th and Blake location of the neighborhood.

The building River North has called home for over three years will be bulldozed in order to rebuild on the lot some apartment dwellings. River North is now preparing to move, but they’re going out with a big celebration and a big beer. Called the Funk the Man series, these special beer releases are variation of the brewery’s brett saisons from their archived barrels. Funk the Man challenges what River North Brewery calls “insatiable redevelopment, growth for the sake of growth and cash over community.” In contrast to the new development, the Funk the Man wants to celebrate how breweries like River North help to revitalize the community through engagement, collaboration, and fun in the district. The neighborhood will miss this location, and we’ll miss the 24th and Blake stop on our craft beer tour.

But we don’t have to worry for too long about River North’s disappearance. Their new location will be at 6021 Washington Street, slated to reopen before the end of the year. The new location will expand production and provide more space in thetap room, giving more space for drinkers to enjoy the local brew. In addition, the Brewery plans to make a comeback in the neighborhood with a new pilot brewery and taproom.

So good luck to River North, and make sure you stock up before the move! To learn more about some of the best RiNobreweries like River North, contact us.

craft beer

5 Winter Craft Beers to Try This Year


The craft beer industry runs far and wide across our country. Sometimes, the popular beers on the East Coast aren’t even available on the West Coast. This has a lot to do with distribution and money — many smaller breweries don’t have the capital or the resources for wide distribution.

However, for those who can try all the winter beers (no matter their area), this post is for you.

From porters to stouts to IPAs, please join us as we profile five great winter beers that you should try this winter.

1. Stone Smoked Porter: Very few breweries have an ego like Stone, but very few can actually back it up like they can. Try their Smoked Porter and find out why they brag.

2. Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter: Deschutes has branched out to the East Coast as of late, but they are still making great tasting beers. Their Black Butte is delightful, creamy, refreshing and… well, you should just try it.

3. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale: Worried that Sierra Nevada has gotten too big for their britches? Don’t be. Try their Celebration Ale and discover why Sierra Nevada is an American original.

4. Lagunitas Brown Shugga‘ American Strong Ale: Lagunitas has made quite the name for themselves lately. But their beer is worth the hype. Test out their “ethos in a bottle” known as Brown Shugga‘ American Strong Ale and see why they are a popular choice this winter.

5. New Belgium Accumulation White IPA: IPA fans, we didn’t forget about you. White IPAs have long been associated with the winter season, and this IPA is a testament to why. New Belgium has done a great job creating a winter warmer without the knockout effect often associated with IPAs.

For more information on how we can help you, please contact us today.


A Much-Abridged History of Denver, as it Relates to Drinking

In 1919, the states ratified the Eighteenth Amendment and Congress adopted the Volstead Act, which made Prohibition the law of the land. An historian charged with writing a history of Denver as it relates to drinking would be excused from thinking that the city’s residents were a sickly lot back then. Taking advantage of a loophole in the Volstead Act, Denver issued over 16,000 prescription forms that allowed physicians to prescribe up to four ounces of alcohol to any patient that had a “medicinal need” for the same.

Denver’s religious congregations jumped through another loophole and routinely claimed “sacramental” exemptions from the Volstead Act, which that allowed them to continue to use altar wine and other spirits, perhaps doing wonders for church attendance at the time. In anticipation of the broader effects of prohibition, in 1917 Denver had the foresight to issue permits to almost 60,000 of its citizens who claimed a personal consumption exemption from laws that were then in effect, allowing each of them to consume two pints of wine and the equivalent of a 24-pack of beer every month.

Colorado’s agricultural heritage contributed to the efforts to keep a steady flow of alcohol into Denver and throughout Colorado during Prohibition. Moonshiners and other illicit Colorado producers used the state’s sugar beet crop to distill grain alcohols under monikers such as “Sugar Moon” and “Leadville Moon”. By 1932, when Prohibition was repealed, enterprising citizens could find alcohol for sale in Denver on almost every street corner. The city’s denizens no doubt raised a hearty cheer on April 7, 1933, when Coors restarted beer shipments from its Golden, Colorado brewery.

Fast forward to the modern era. By last count, Colorado has more than 200 microbreweries and brewpubs that produce their own craft beers and ales. Many of those breweries produce fewer than 50,000 cases of beer per year (which is likely far less than the amount of beer spilled in a single week at any national brewery). Do Denver’s and Colorado’s attitudes toward Prohibition teach us anything about current drinking practices?

Residents of other cities and states certainly took advantage of the Volstead Act’s exemptions, but little data can be found that allows a comparison of Denver’s and other cities’ reliance on those exemptions. Denver had slightly more than 250,000 residents in 1920. As noted, in 1917, 60,0000 of those residents (i.e. almost one-fourth of the city) claimed a personal consumption exemption, allowing them to consume generous quantities of wine and beer every month. The city’s and state’s enterprising citizens also used locally-grown sugar beets to make their own potent potables. If nothing else, Denver’s Prohibition-era history reveals a creative mindset that will search out and find creative ways to quench a thirst. The city’s new microbreweries and brewpubs are just continuing this tradition with new formulas, flavors and tasting rooms that cater to an ever more selective clientele.

The Denver Microbrew Tour will give you a new perspective on the city’s thriving beer and brewing culture and history. Feel free to contact us if you’d like more information or if you want to schedule your own tour with us. Eighty years has passed since the repeal of Prohibition, and you can enjoy the city’s microbrew offerings without looking for a Volstead Act exemption to keep you above the law.

Do You Crave Craft Beer with Sprinkles, Whipped Cream and a Cherry on Top?

craft beer

Crave something sweet with your beer? New Belgium’s new brew may be just the ticket.

We’ve all at least seen or heard of floats made with soda but what about combining ice cream and craft beer? Sounds like an interesting prospect doesn’t it? Well before you grab some bags filled with hops and ice cream scoops en route to the U.S. Patent Office, know this. Someone has thought of the idea before:

As a matter of fact, several brew masters, including a few in Colorado, have actually made it a reality. So residents may often drink as well as eat delights like chocolate milk stout. The latest to hit pubs and shelves in Denver is Salted Caramel Brownie Ale. It’s manufactured in Fort Collins by Colorado’s own, New Belgium Brewing Company. The craft beer has 6.3% ABV and as expected, a distinctive essence not unlike its namesake.

It may be partially attributed to the two varieties of hops, pure vanilla, premium cocoa, ale yeast and a trio of malts. The nugget hops, in particular, help give the craft beer a mild, herbaceous aroma and average acidity. The Golding tosses in a hint of bitterness and deepens the craft beer’s aroma to include a touch of warm spices. The malts undeniably add to drink’s flavor too, not to mention its lovely, brownie-like coloring.

If you’re not into the taste of ooey gooey brownies, don’t worry. Other breweries in Denver have the opposite ends of the flavor spectrum covered with offerings like vanilla porter, coffee stout and raspberry limbic. One place that traditionally has vanilla porter on the menu year round is the Breckenridge Ball Park Pub. In addition to the regular vanilla porter, there are barrel-aged singles available from time to time too. They tend to contain hints of premium rum.

To learn more about ice cream flavored beers, beer flavored ice creams and other fabulously adult treats, please contact us for a weekend tour.

Avoid Black Friday… Taste Beer with us instead


Have a beer or two with us, and avoid this. Image courtesy of this video

Does the thought of overwhelming masses flocking to malls and big box stores make you cringe? Wouldn’t you rather be tasting beer with your friends and family?

We get it, and we’re here for you. This Black Friday (November 27th, 2015), we’ll be offering an extra Denver Microbrew Tour starting at 12:00 noon, in addition to our normal 3:15 tour. Here’s the details on the extra tour:

  • Friday, November 27th, starting at 12:00 noon – Get your tickets here

    We’ll meet at Breckenridge Colorado Craft at 22nd and Blake Streets (2201 Blake Street, Denver, CO 80205)

If you have any questions, give us a call at 303-578-9548 or email at Looking forward to seeing you!

denver breweries

Denver Breweries: Great Hang Outs For Novices and Cicerones Alike


People often wonder, “Do you have to be a cicerone in order to enjoy walking tours of Denver breweries?” In short, “No, cicerone status is not necessary when it comes to making the most of the Mile High City’s sudsiest of spots. Our guides have more than enough knowledge of beers, breweries and Denver’s finest venues to cover everyone who signs up for one of our specialty tours.

However, there are actions craft beer drinkers may take to help improve their knowledge of the brewing industry after the tours. For example, picking up magazines, DVDs and books about the topic may help. There are a number of them already in print and countless others scheduled to come out in the future. A few well-received ones that are already in print are listed below:

  • Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink by Randy Mosher
  • Beer Companion by Michael Jackson
  • The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks by Joshua Bernstein

And no, libraries, bookstores and online sites are not the only locations where such reading materials may be found.

Sometimes Denver’s breweries host book signings wherein authors bring their respective manuscripts. It happened throughout this year’s Great American Beer Festival and it’s likely to happen again. The list of authors known to have these types of events in Denver includes, but isn’t confined to Jeff Alworth, Christian DeBenedetti, Mirella Amato and BryanJansing.

And don’t worry, if one of them does decide to return to Denver breweries for another book signing, our tour guides will make a note of it. Depending on the pace of the tour, it may also be possible to speak with area brewers and get their perspectives on cicerone related topics too. To learn more about tours that cicerones would be proud to call their own, please contact us today.


craft beer

Don’t Let Craft Beer ABV Concerns Keep You from Sampling Denver’s Finest


Have you heard the latest froth blowing off the tops of pints across the nation? Law enforcement and various public health experts have been teaming up to discuss one element of craft beer, it’s ABV. As this FOX video proves, stories about the two groups’ concerted efforts to educate America’s hops faithful have been cropping up on major news networks since early October.

We suspect the timing of the push has a lot to do with four of the biggest, concurrent drinking holidays, starting with Halloween. All across Denver, craft beer manufacturers and thirsty residents’ favorite hang out spots have been gearing up for it as well as the other top three. You guessed it. We’re talking about Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

People worry the characteristically high alcohol content coupled with amazing flavors will cause some people to drink and drive. We’re hoping that they drink and walk responsibly instead. At Denver Microbrew Tour, we don’t believe in drinking and driving. So, all of our brewery tours involve walking throughout scenic Denver. As a consequence, participants may drink in the autumn beauty too. And we’re not simply signaling out the leaves.

RiNo and other craft beer laden areas of Denver are blessed with more than fall colors. Many businesses choose to add autumn art work to the idyllic picture, including murals and outdoor sculptures. Some of the bar and brew pub interiors happen to be well decorated too. Thus, our autumn walking tours are truly a feast for craft beer lovers’ senses.

Scheduling a safe tour that allows everyone to drink and walk responsibly is easy. Merely reach out to our craft beer tourguides online or by phone, the sooner, the better. And we’ll set aside tickets to one of our most-loved, craft beer tours, which generally occur on the weekends. Hope to see all the holiday beer lovers at our starting locations this week!


craft beer

How This Denver Brewery Is Planning To Take Over The Craft Beer World


When people think of Denver, they now think of delicious and innovative craft beer. This great beer reputation is in large part due to the efforts of incredible breweries like Great Divide. Great Divide was started in 1994 by brewer Brian Dunn, and Great Divide’s first batch of beer won an award at the Great American Beer Festival. The brewery went on to earn accolades and admiration worldwide, and was even named the 7th best brewery in the world by

With beers like Titan, Yeti and Colette, it’s not surprising to hear about Great Divide’s success. For years, Great Divide ran its brewing operations out of a small building located at 2201 Arapahoe St. in Denver, but has now completed the first phase of its major expansion effort in Denver’s River North district. The new facility has an awesome new tap room called Barrel Bar that boasts 16 taps and an awesome patio.

Their second location is also home to a new state-of-the-art packaging facility, canning line, barrel aged and sour beer storage(yum). Great divide is also rumored to be collaborating with Denver sour beer brewery Crooked Stave on a new beer soon. We can’t wait.

Want to check out awesome breweries like Great Divide? The Denver Microbrew Tour is a guided walking tour through downtown Denver, Colorado’s historic LODO (lower downtown) and Ballpark Neighborhood districts. The tour includes beer samplings at several microbreweries and a local tap room, info on everything you’d ever want to know about beer, a coupon for a pint of your favorite beer on the tour, and local Denver history. For more info on The Denver Microbrew tour,contact us today!


Coming to Denver: A New Belgium Pilot Brewery

When it comes to Denver breweries, the city already has a lot to offer: on top of its amazing beer history, there is currently a strong network of microbreweries to fuel the beer-loving city. And with a great atmosphere of brews, experimentation, and creativity, who could blame non-native breweries who want to become neighbors?

As recently announced, New Belgium will be moving a new pilot 10-barrel brewery to Denver’s Riverside District, sharing space with The Source Hotel. While new Belgium is anything but “micro,” the new brewery will also bring new small-batched brews and barrel-aged on site, as part of the company’s experimental vision the brewery will take part in. In addition, it will all be housed as part of The Source Hotel, a new renovation project in the RiNo district that’s bringing life to an old brick foundry. On the roof top, New Belgium will share the space with The Source’s culinary complex (and pool) by serving its brews with small plates in their beer garden. On the 8th floor, New Belgium will age its beers in barrels. Overall, it will blend in well with the artsy, industrial look of the charming district.

Still, don’t go flocking to just the New Belgium tap room once it opens. Downtown Denver is teeming with great localmicrobreweries, all of which you could visit in Denver’s RiNo and LoDo districts on one of our beer tours. To learn more about how you can explore and taste local brews in downtown Denver, contact us.

Gluten-Free? No Problem At This New Denver Brewery


When it comes to Denver breweries, you’ll find many traditional ales, from strong stouts to crisp pale ales or hoppy IPAs. But there’s one thing most of these beers have in common: a heavy dose of gluten. One brewer is hoping to change Denver’s beer landscape with a new brewery: a gluten-free one.

Great Frontier’s founder and head brewer, Mike Plungis, was inspired to create gluten-free beers after his wife, Anne, was diagnosed with Celiac’s disease. Their son, and other family members and friends, were also found to have a gluten intolerance or Celiac’s. Mike’s first gluten-free beer recipe was therefore the Blonde Annie, named after his wife. His gluten-free lemon pale won a gold medal at the 2001 Great American Beer Festival.

Great Frontier Brewing Company is opening its 15-barrel brew house and tap room in the Lakewood area on August 21st, in what was once a Meineke garage. The brewery will pump many types of beers, with 20 percent of the brewed volume serving its gluten-free menu.

The beers are defined according to strict FDA- guidelines on what constitutes gluten-free or gluten-reduced products. As explained on their website, Great Frontier’s gluten-free beers are made without wheat, barley, or rye and therefore contains less that 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. Their gluten-reduced beers are made with malted barley, but processed to remove the gluten to below 20 ppm. In addition, Great Frontier also makes traditional (full gluten) beers besides their famous GF brews.

Having a brewery that specializes in gluten-free beers can help expand the horizons of all beer drinkers, gluten-tolerant or not. Overall, Great Frontier is joining a great team of local breweries that also brew a few gluten-free options, some whichcan be found on our microbrewery tour. If you want to experience more beer in the Denver area, contact us and join our walking beer tour of some of this city’s best brews!


Downtown Denver Rock Bottom

Downtown Denver Rock Bottom – Harbinger of Denver’s Growth?


The early ’90’s may have brought us grunge music and a tech bubble, but they also brought us the beginning of the craft beer and microbrewery explosion. Since 1991, no tour of Denver breweries could be complete without a visit to Downtown Denver’s Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery. Back before brewpubs were a thing, the folks behind Rock Bottom had the good sense to combine two of the things people love most in the world – great food paired with craft beer. Is it a coincidence that Denver exploded with growth and culture immediately after Rock Bottom opened its doors? Is it possible that Colorado’s T-REX project was necessary because of all of the traffic Rock Bottom was creating?

Maybe that’s a bit much, but the fact remains that Rock Bottom started brewing, and Denver began a renaissance period that they’re still enjoying today. You can draw your own conclusions.

The key to Rock Bottom’s greatness, at all of their locations, is their focus on the locals. Local brewers and chefs work together to create a unique combination of flavors in their menus. An IPA made with Belgian yeast? A Kolsch made with three kinds of spicy chilies? Yes, and yes, and so many more. It’s an atmosphere of quiet revolution, without the well-earned attitude of being the guys who were there when the revolution started. They’d rather just blow you away with their great beers.

As they like to say, “life begins when ‘You’ve Hit Rock Bottom‘,” so it’s not an accident that we start our tours there. Before the Rockies and the Avalanche came to town, along with the other million people who moved in during the ’90’s, there was the Rock Bottom Brewery. Please contact us if you want to experience Rock Bottom and some of the other great breweries in Denver.


Pumpkin Beer

It’s Pumpkin Time Again in the World of Craft Beer


Pumpkin beer! Nothing divides the ranks of beer lovers so deeply as the fastest growing seasonal specialty in the craft beer universe.

When the first settlers clambered off their ships and looked around the Atlantic shore, they needed something to ferment. Grain was hard to come by, but native pumpkins provided an obvious starch and sugar source. The same early creativity that led to our traditions of holiday pies had pioneers growing pumpkins for both food and beverage purposes.

The early brews (and the pies, for that matter) lacked the sumptuous qualities granted by “pumpkin pie spices” such as cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.

By the time Bill Owens dug up a recipe for pumpkin ale from the papers of George Washington and made a batch for his Buffalo Bill’s brewpub in Hayward, California in 1986, the association with spices had become baked in to the American palate. He had to add a can of blended holiday pie spices to the brew to give it the familiar “pumpkin flavor.”

Love it or hate it, almost all modern pumpkin beer is now spiced beer. Sometimes there is no actual pumpkin killed in the making of your pint. The style appears on the shelf as early as late summer and can usually be found through Halloween and Thanksgiving, perhaps into the Christmas beer season.

Some local brewers embrace the style, others eschew it. If you do like a mug of “liquid pie,” you may enjoy comparing the offerings each year, since brewers often adjust their spice and sweetness levels over time. Some interesting variations include bourbon barrel aged pumpkin ales and darker roast variations such as pumpkin porters.

For a delightful guided tour including access to all seasonal beers and special releases found en route, please contact us. We’ll make sure you can drink the beers you love (and laugh at the ones you hate) as you adventure into Denver’s world-class beer community.


You’ll Need a Beer or Two After You Hear This Lost Piece of Denver History


More people than ever are choosing to move to Denver because of its amazing beer, weather and access to recreation. One of Denver’s can’t miss spots is Cheesman Park. It’s a beautiful and seemingly serene place where Denver residents can play sports, enjoy picnics or just take in the beautiful views of downtown Denver. But if most people knew Cheesman Park’s dark history, they might not see it as such a relaxing place.

In the late 19th century, Cheesman Park was a huge cemetery called Mt. Prospect Cemetery. Many Chinese immigrants as well as members of the Society of Masons were buried there. In 1890, congress authorized the city to vacate Mt. Prospect Cemetery and for the land to be converted into a park. Families were given 90 days to remove the bodies of their loved ones to other locations. Many fringe type people buried in the cemetery weren’t moved because they had no families to speak of, so in 1893 Denver contracted undertaker E.P. McGovern to remove the remains. McGovern was to provide a new coffins for each body and then transfer it to the Riverside Cemetery at a cost of $1.90 each.

To make more of a profit, McGovern dismembered many bodies and crammed as many as 3 bodies at a time into child sized coffins. Body parts and bones were literally strewn everywhere in a disorganized mess. Onlookers helped themselves to items from the caskets. Many Denver residents believe that Cheesman Park is haunted, and some have complained of experiencing erie pockets of cool air when walking through the park in the middle of summer.

Ready for a few beers now? The Denver Microbrew Tour is a guided walking tour through downtown Denver, Colorado’s historic LODO (lower downtown) and Ballpark Neighborhood districts. The tour includes beer samplings at severalmicrobreweries and a localtap room, everything you could want to know about beer, a coupon for a pint of your favorite beer on the tour, and local Denver history. For more info on The Denver Microbrew tour, contact us today!


An ethnic history of Denver, as it relates to drinking


Ethnicity is a key to the history of Denver, and at the center of ethnicity are the saloons each group established, clustered around Larimer St.

There’s no better way to get a feeling for the origins of this town than via a history of Denver, as it relates to drinking. Early residents of Denver, no matter their ethnic origins, enjoyed a good beer. While all groups enjoyed beer, they enjoyed it most in the company of their own ethnic group, where they could relax and enjoy the comfort of their native languages and cultures.

Originally part of the Territory of Kansas, what became the Denver area was sparsely settled until 1858, when three different groups established settlements in the area. General William Larimer, a land speculator from eastern Kansas, jumped the St. Charles claim and staked his own one-mile square claim, renaming it “Denver” after the governor of the Territory of Kansas, James Denver.

Although Denver didn’t “pan out” as a mining community despite an initial flurry of activity, it grew rapidly as a supply hub once the Gold Rush began. General Larimer’s claim, and the saloons around Larimer St., were at the center of activity as immigrant communities found themselves at home in them. Various ethnic groups “relished their taverns as ethnic clubs and community centers for a wide range of social, political, and economic activities.”

By 1880, more than 1/3 of Denver saloons were German-owned. Inside these establishments, “customers could speak and sing German, enjoy German music and dance, read German newspapers and magazines, procure strudel and sauerkraut, and quaff German beer and wine.” The best-known of these German establishments was Turn Hall, established in 1889.

Germans were wealthy and politically powerful in Denver and enjoyed great influence until first, Prohibition in 1916, then World War II, diminished their influence. Because of their wealth and prominence in the saloon business of Denver, Prohibitionists targeted them, and many Germans lost their jobs in the liquor industry. Irrational hatreds related to the War made life even more difficult for Denver’s German population.

Nonetheless, Denver benefited from German music and culture — and enjoyed Bock Beer Day. In 1874, “Otto Heinrich ‘s saloon at Sixteenth and Larimer set the record for Bock Beer Day, serving some 3,000 glasses of beer, 50 loaves of bread, and 125 pounds of meat.”

Many Irish arrived as part of the railroad crews and settled in working class neighborhoods near the tracks. Also well-received, Irishmen soon established bars strategically placed between their homes near the tracks and their jobs. Irish saloons promoted Irish clubs and organizations, Gaelic literature, lectures and band music and distributed the Rocky Mountain Celt, the “only” Irish-American newspaper in the West.

By 1900, the Irish were less than 3% of Denver’s population, but they owned 10% of the bars. Irish political clout came from a triangular partnership between saloon owners, politicians and policemen. “Saloon-keeping Irish councilmen included James Doyle, John Conlon, Andrew Horan and William Gahan. Of these bartending aldermen, one of the most successful and long-lived was Eugene Madden. Madden served nine consecutive city council terms with strong support from his Larimer Street saloon and the nearby police department, where his brother was a captain.”

Like other ethnic groups, Jews found the liquor business relatively easy to enter. Albert Wongrowitz’s popular saloon and delicatessen, located next to a synagogue, was one of the first sources of kosher food. Despite anti-Semitism, Jewish immigrants, many originating from Germany, were successful in Denver. The fact that Denver elected a Jewish mayor in 1889 signified a relatively easier integration process. Blacks, Asians and Italians suffered from more violent and intensive discrimination.

Italians, recruited as cheap labor for the railroads and other industries, suffered from a more unwelcoming reception in Denver, but they, too, eased their entry by establishing saloons that served them as cultural centers.

Starting in tents and shacks in the bottomlands, and operating grocery carts and businesses, Italians, with the help of more well-established compatriots with whom they connected in the Italian saloons, eventually achieved success and moved into the tree-shaded neighborhoods of north Denver. Here they established popular restaurants and bars. Italians, who viewed consumption of alcohol as healthy, were largely unaffected by Prohibition, simply moving into their basements.

Finally, the Slavs (Czechs, Slovaks, Slovenians, Serbs, Croats, Poles, and Russians, including many Russian Jews and non-Slavic Germans from Russia) established a significant community in Denver. By 1920, the Russians became the single largest group immigrating to Colorado.

The Slavs settled in Globeville, the smelter factory town just north of Denver. As had other ethnic groups before them, the Slavs enjoyed their many saloons in Globeville, not only for the beverages but as community centers. Like the saloons in other poor areas, these also served as banks.

Among the many cultural institutions that immigrant groups brought to Denver, saloons were perhaps the most numerous and conspicuous. They played a key role in bringing their customers into American life and into the life of the city. Few immigrant taverns reappeared after Prohibition, but the effects of these influential business qua community centers remain.

In 1988, it became legal in Colorado to produce and sell beer to retail customers on the same premises. The WynkoopBrewing Company ran a close race against Carver Brewery to claim the title as the oldest micro-brewery in Denver.

John Hickenlooper, founder of the Wynkoop Brewing Company and now governor of the state, looks back on those anxious early days. He remembers the all-consuming effort required to open Wynkoop first, which it did on October 18, 1988, selling 6,000 cups of beer at 25 cents each.

Today Denver continues to enjoy its beer in its many micro-breweries. For more information or to schedule a micro-brewery tour, please contact us.


6 States Where Craft Beer is Catching Fire

Depending on the state that you live in, craft beer may or may not be ruling the roost. Here in beautiful Colorado, craft beer is an obvious institution that most (if not all) people are familiar with, and many enjoy.

For a long time, however, there were states of the union that featured little to no craft breweries nor micropubs; somehow, it never became part of the culture or was illegal.

According to a new study published by the Brewers Association craft beer industry group, new statistics show that craft beer is rising even in states where it was not a part of everyday culture. An inspiring thought and premise to those of us entrenched in the industry of craft beer.

Here, now, is a list of 6 of the featured 10 states where craft beer is finally, once and for all, becoming a prominent feature around town (a fact that we couldn’t be happier about), and some of the craft breweries that helped make it happen.

Michigan: Wither brewers like Founders, Bell’s and New Holland, our friends in MI are finally stepping up to the plate and hitting a craft beer grand slam.

Nevada: Brewpubs became legal in 1993 (if that doesn’t tell you something, and kind of make you wonder…). Regardless, over a three-year period, the city of Las Vegas has seen a 25% increase in craft breweries.

Minnesota: Don’t cha know! With the help of Surly and Stalwart, Minnesota now has 73 craft beers. A huge increase over last year.

S.C.: While South Carolinians might have always had nice weather, craft beer was never on the radar. Recently, however, they have experienced a 33% increase in craft breweries over just last year.

Ohio: Ohio has been the butt of sports jokes for a long time, but with a 23.5% over just a one year period, Ohio’s craft beer industry is thriving and golden.

Alabama: Yep, good ole‘ Alabama, with their terribly stringent beer laws. Specifically in Birmingham, at the number 1 spot, has seen a 63% increase over just one year’s time thanks to new brewers in the game and relaxed brewing laws, like Avondale, Cahaba, Good People, Beer Engineers and Trim Tab.

Brew on!

For more information on us and how we can help you, please contact us any time.

Wynkoop Brewing Company is a political hotspot

There’s a lot happening in Colorado’s capital city: Bills are signed, laws are passed, campaign stops are drawing crowds, and sometimes – if you’re lucky – you find a big time politician sitting at the bar next to you.

Last July, Wynkoop Brewing Company was taken by surprise when President Barack Obama decided to stoop in for a beer and a game of pool with Colorado’s Gov. John Hickenlooper after a fundraising event.

The brewery told the Denver Post they didn’t receive any notice that the POTUS would be in that night.

Hickenlooper is thought to be more of a regular around Wynkoop. He founded it in 1988 before getting into politics in 2003 when he was elected as the City of Denver’s mayor. He held that office until being elected governor in 2011. He’s now in his second term.

The brewery was really at the forefront of the microbrew culture when it opened in LoDo. Hickenlooper left the geology field to venture into microbrews. His brewery is still going strong. Wynkoop offers 40 different styles of beer each year.

The two were drinking Rail Yard. It’s an amber ale and the brewery’s most popular beer.

For locals, mixing beer and politics seems pretty normal now. Hickenlooper chimed in when the White House released the recipes of the home brews Obama most enjoys.

“It’s none of my business and I don’t want to criticize the White House chef, but I think maybe they could use a little less honey,” he told the Atlantic.

Hickenlooper isn’t shy about his experience in the beer world.

The Denver Post even keeps a running list of the governor’s beer references. He hasn’t failed to somehow work in drinking into each of his State of the State speeches.

Wynkoop Brewing Company is one of the stops on our microbrew tours. Contact us for more information on this stop and others.

Craft Beer Spotlight: Do You Dabble in Doppelbocks?


In today’s craft beer spotlight, curious drinkers want to know, “Do you dabble in doppelbocks?” It’s a brew style that was purportedly given to us centuries ago by Paulaner monks. They were active during the 1600s, when European brew masters were bound by the Bavarian Purity Requirement. Although originally consumed around the Easter holidays, it’s a style now enjoyed year round.

Craft beer drinkers who’ve previously imbibed a tulip glass full or two will likely recognize its sensuous, clear, copper color and toasted barley aroma. The malts used to make doppelbocks will generally vary depending on the brewer. However, they tend to be of German origin. The same may be said for the yeast and hops.

Consequently, the brews generally lack in carbonation and bitterness, which makes them perfect for pairing with desserts, meats or cheeses. As such, they tend to be very popular wherever food is also served. However, don’t let that little detail keep you from downing a glass without a plate of food at your side. They are full-bodied enough to stand up on their own.

Just keep in mind that drinkers who decide to dabble in doppelbocks may also expect their beverages of choice to have soft bodies, medium finishes and a hefty dose of alcohol. So having one too many on an empty stomach may knock teetotalers for a real loop. With that said, we generally suggest that microbrew tour patrons eat a little something before knocking back several dopplebocks.

Where can one find an excellent dopplebock in Denver for their money? Aah, now that’s a question that our dopplebock-loving tour guides can answer with ease. There are many great German bocks available in the Mile High City. To find out exactly where they are and how to get one’s curious hands on one, please contact us today.


Denver’s Craft Beer Masters Know How to Get What They Need, Do You?


Are you a craft beer fan that watches CBS News and reads the Denver Business Journal? Then perhaps you’ve taken notice of the recent stories about yeast and hops. It seems that there is a shortage of both but never fear. There are a number of brew fans turned entrepreneurs who are willing to lend a hand and help beef up the Mile High City’s caches. So we don’t expect to see Denver’s finest brew masters shutting off their taps any time soon (Whew!).

Apparently, there are also companies out there who will be giving our region’s craft beer masters their own private stash of ingredients. What’s that mean for all of us? We suspect a large number of incredible, one-of-a-kind brews will be the likely result. But until then, we’ll have to content ourselves with what’s already on the menus in LoDo and RiNo.

And we can tell you from our Denver Microbrew Tour experiences, there are still a lot of fantastic combinations to choose from. For instance, there’s the Chocolate Rye Scotch Ale and Repeater at Ratio Beerworks. With chocolate and Munich malts at the forefront, they’re a perfect segue into fall. Be warned though, the Chocolate Rye Scotch Ale has more of anABV kick than the other. So it’s definitely an adult treat.

The Rockbottom, Wynkoop and Falling Rock have a few tricks and treats of their own. A few to put on your early autumn sampling list are Weizen, Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabeza, B3K Black Lager and English Barley Wine. Try them with or without seasonal fare. If you decide to go for the fare, think about ordering new and old-school favorites like steak sliders or wings.

To learn more about what our region’s craft brewers are doing to get the best ingredients despite the shortages, please contact us. We’d be glad to help you meet the men and women behind the brew madness in person and hear their tales.


Law and thirst shaped Denver’s beer history


By the time the frontier settlement of Denver was just two years old, following an initial mad dash to scoop up gold at the Platte River, there were already 35 saloons built and pouring. Pioneer Denver figured out just about everything in a local bar. Because constructing churches, schools and other community meeting halls lagged behind, Denver had no choice but to invent itself over drinks. The first city government gavelled itself to order at a saloon called the Apollo Hall, in the original Larimer Square. That was just respectable enough to get things going. However, the city fathers appear to have had the sense that some restraint might be in order, so an early law stipulated that booze couldn’t be sold on the streets or out of wagons and tents.

In the 20th century, a chain reaction started that would propel Denver to a unique status in the American craft beer revolution. In 1976, President Jimmy Carter signed a bill to adjust the legislation that had ended prohibition. The earlier repeal allowed citizens to legally make wine at home again starting in 1933, but it failed to mention beer, so home brewers were still practicing their hobby underground, with limited access to ingredients, supplies and recipes. At the time of the legalization of home brewing, a Boulder, Colorado resident and experienced brewing enthusiast named Charlie Papazian launched a homebrew newsletter, followed by writing a beer recipe book and then by forming national associations for both amateur and professional brewers, both based in Colorado. These steps led eventually to the massive gathering known as the Great American Beer Festival, still held annually in Denver. By welcoming top beers and brewers from other regions to town for this elite brewing competition every year, Denver’s local brewers may have gained an advantage in understanding brewing quality and diversity without having to get on an airplane themselves. Taste local examples with us and see if you agree.

The free-flowing history of Denver, as it relates to drinking, is full of delightful tales that we love to tell on our beer walking tours. Whether you are a visitor or a proud resident, a seasoned beer appreciator or a craft brew novice, contact us to walk Denver for a taste of beer history, along with guided sample flights that will let you find the current local brew you love the best.


3 New Denver Breweries You Have To Check Out

denver breweries

Denver is now the second booziest state in the nation, thanks in large part to having 4.7 craft breweries per 100,000 people.

Colorado is known for its incredible beer scene. According to a new ranking, it can now add the honor of the second-most “booziest” state in the nation thanks in large part to having 4.7 craft breweries per 100,000 people.Weall know and love breweries like New Belgium, Great Divide and Oscar Blues, but Colorado is inspiring a ton of new and innovative breweries located right in Denver. We’ve narrowed it down to three amazing denver breweries you’ve got to check out:

  1. Our Mutual Friend- Founded by the drummer of Fear Before The March of Flames and some buddies, this tiny brewery is pumping out some amazing beer. Try their Gose.
  2. Jagged Mountain Brewery- This innovative brewery located in Denver’s ballpark neighborhood have a some awesome names for their delicious beers. Try their gotlandsdrika Men Who Drink From Goats. They describe it as “viking” beer.
  3. Former Fiction- This incredible brewery has been getting a ton of buzz because it revives beer recipes that are sometimes over a hundred years old to give their customers a taste of what their grandparents might have drank. Try any sour the have and you can’t go wrong.

The Denver Microbrew Tour is a guided walking tour through downtown Denver, Colorado’s historic LODO (lower downtown) and Ballpark Neighborhood districts. The tour includes beer samplings at several microbreweries and a localtap room, everything you could want to know about beer, a coupon for a pint of your favorite beer on the tour, and local Denver history. For more info on The Denver Microbrew tour, contact us today!

RiNo District Continues to Attract Interesting, Denver Breweries

denver breweries

As RiNo continues to grow, we expect to see more Denver breweries popping up.

More than ever, it is a really good feeling knowing that the RiNo Arts District is part of our Denver Microbrew Tour offerings. The area’s list of Denver breweries just increased to include First Draft and New Belgium Brewing. Why is that so exciting? Well for us, any new place to kick back and sample a freshly released brew is cause for celebration.

First Draft, in particular, really has us mesmerized. A true testament to the power of freedom and choice, it gives new meaning to the phrase, “beer tasting.” Customers who visit have a chance to pay for their drinks in the most unconventional way. As such, everyone can sample away without fear of having to force down something they hate for the sake of not wasting money. And by the way, it’s already open for walking tour related business.

New Belgium Brewing is different from First Draft. First, it isn’t open yet and you won’t find craft beers sold by the ounce. However, when the doors do fling wide open in the future, they’ll be lots of sour beers on tap to keep everyone smiling. In meantime, sour beers are available at several other places in RiNo. Plus, there are old standbys, like French saisons and American standard ales too.

As RiNo continues to grow, we expect to see more Denver breweries popping up in the area alongside of restaurants and other establishments of note. One thing is clear, we’ll be watching with one hand on a craft beer mug and the other on our Denver Microbrew Tour’s office keyboard. As soon as we hear of interesting places getting ready to open along our tour route, we’ll be sure to share the news. To learn more about the existing stops on both of our ongoing tours, pleasecontact us in Denver today.

Breckenridge Brewery Giving Away Golden Tickets For First Tours

“There’s plenty of money out there. They print more every day. But this ticket, there’s only five of them in the whole world, and that’s all there’s ever going to be.”

Grandpa George said in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Breckenridge Brewery

Fifty lucky winners got golden tickets to the opening of Breckenridge Brewery’s new place.

There were only five golden tickets offered to visit Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, but the good news for Denver area residents is that fifty lucky golden tickets were awarded for the first official Breckenridge Brewery public tour.

The lucky fifty, plus one guest each, will enjoy an exclusive VIP tour, partake in the first public tapping of beer in the brand new tasting room, and receive goodie bags packed with brewery-related gifts.

The winners will be the first members of the public to see the new, $36 million brewery, set on a farm-like setting. The new brewery, at 6775 South Santa Fe Drive, is expected to draw beer drinkers from all over the metro area as well as out-of-state “craft beer tourists” who will see Breckenridge as a destination.

The Brewery’s new 12 acre campus includes the Farm House restaurant (which opened in May), the brewery itself, a tasting room, and stages for live music. The brewery design is a unique hybrid of European brewery and Colorado ranch influences.

Breckenridge, after its founding 25 years ago, has operated its primary production facility out of its headquarters at 471Kalamath Street in Denver for most of that time. Two years ago, they announced the move. The big grand opening and exclusive day for the lucky fifty golden ticket holders will be June 20.

Todd Thibault, Breckenridge Brewery Culture Czar, says,

“Being first at anything is great. We hope our Golden Tickets gives fifty people something to brag about, but most importantly, we just want to treat some folks to a really, really special experience.”

Simply contact us if you would like to know more about local Denver beer or to join us on our Denver Microbrew Tour.

River North Brewery Brings a Taste of Belgium to Colorado

river north brewery

River North has quickly become a favorite with the city’s craft beer aficionados.

It’s no secret that Belgium produces some of the best beers in the world. The good news is, you do not have to travel 5,000 miles in order to partake in the flavors of Belgian beer. You just have to find your way to the River North Brewery, at 2401 Blake St., #1. The brewery is situated about two blocks north of Coors Field, very close to the North River Arts District (RiNO).

Matt and Jessica Hess opened their award-winning brewery in February 2012. Matt’s brewing style is influenced by Belgian-style ales and American ales with a Belgian twist, and he adds an emphasis on barrel-aging.

“Early in my homebrewing career, I fell in love with Belgian yeast. Not only does it offer the widest variety of flavor profiles, but it also creates drier beers, allowing us to craft balanced and refined brews that are both drinkable and delicious.” – Matt Hess

River North offers brews in bottles, cans, and barrel-aged styles. The bottles come in 22 oz. offerings which are producedfive times a year. The barrel-aged beers are special and rare.

Brewmaster Hess generally produces one barrel-aged brew a month, in a run of about 120 cases. Some are annual, and some are never again produced. They’ve brewed everything from a rum-aged Quadrupel to a tequila-aged farmhouse style.

River North has quickly become a favorite with the city’s craft beer aficionados. Wednesday through Sunday, the breweryis visited by some of the city’s best food trucks, too, so you’ll have great local eats to go along with the delicious, locally brewed beer.

Simply contact us if you would like to know more about the local Denver beer scene, or to join us on our DenverMicrobeer Tour.

History of Denver: Spotlight on the City’s Marvelous Marats

In honor of Larimer Square’s Quinguagenary, we wanted to highlight two of the unusual folks that once called the area home, Count Henri Murat and his wife, Countess Katrina. They were wealthy immigrants who made an impact on the history of Denver. The Count’s family roots started in France and the Countess was born in Heidelsheim, which is located in Baden, Germany. She married twice and Henry was her second husband.

history of Denver

We can show you where the El Dorado Hotel’s patrons likely drank in Larimer Square.

A small snippet about their lives was previously published in the Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine (Vol. 51, p. 83). It paints the Count as a flamboyant figure who went through his family’s money like most craft brew fans go through a pint. When he and the Countess traveled to Denver in the 1850s, they helped establish the El Dorado Hotel and a small barber shop. Historians say that they were the first businesses of their kind to become established in the area of Larimer Square.

According to the Palmer Lake Historical Society’s records, many famous figures from American History called on the Murats over the course of their business’ lifespan. Among them were former U.S. Vice-President Schuyler Colfax and Horace Greeley. The intriguing couple also reputedly had very good relations with the city’s common folk.

The Countess, by all historical accounts, was a resilient woman with a deep love for American patriotism. She outlived the Count and later worked with a Sioux Indian (Wapolah) to create the area’s first, patriotic flag. The DAR historians claim that it was made from a French petticoat belonging to Mrs. Murat and muslin purchased in Denver.

Over the years, others have claimed that the flag was made from the woman’s underwear. Nonetheless, the flag and the woman who helped make it remain a vital part of Downtown Denver’s history. As for the Countess, she passed away in 1910. Both she and her husband were eventually buried in Riverside Cemetery, where they obviously remain.

To learn more about the people who helped make the history of Denver so unforgettable, please contact us for a Denver Microbrew Tour. We’ll show you were the El Dorado Hotel’s patrons likely drank in Larimer Square before heading back to their rooms for the night.

History of Denver: Raise a Glass to Larimer Square’s Quinquagenary!

Have you ever heard of a quinquagenary? It means 50 and there is one place in the Mile High City that will be celebrating its quinquagenary anniversary this year. Can you guess where it is and how it fits into the beer history of Denver? Okay, pull up a bar stool and we’ll tell you:

history of denver

We’ll introduce you to a number of colorful characters who once worked the beer taps, and the system, in the heart of Larimer Square

It’s Larimer Square, the one place in Denver where beer history runs deeper than the world’s biggest keg, which holds 55,345-gallons of beer by the way. In 1971 it was named a historic district and that’s certainly worthy of a toast. Back in the 1800s, the area was the heart of Denver’s craft brew industry and it remains an important beer Mecca to this day.

During our weekend tours, you’ll get to learn more about the historic area and its once thriving, 19th century watering holes. Among them are Lincoln Hall, Gahan’s Soft Drink Parlor and the Double Eagle Bar. We’ll also introduce you to a number of colorful characters who once worked the beer taps, and the system, in the heart of Larimer Square. Examples include Soapy Smith, Countess Katrina Murat, Davis H. Waite and the lovely, albeit forlorn, Amelia.

Of course there will be plenty of craft beer drinking going on during the tours too. We’ll be warming the bar stools at a number of popular places, including the Rock Bottom Brewery, Breckenridge Colorado Craft, Falling Rock Tap House and the Wynkoop Brewing Company. And we promise, the conversation will be as compelling as the beers.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time for a quinguagenary anniversary celebration. Contact us now and reserve your tour of the historic district and its once suds-filled streets. All tickets include general admission and beer samples. Plus, we’ve got a special deal that includes a great pint glass to help you remember why Denver is the best place for craft beer drinkers.

Brew Dogs No. 1 Denver Craft Beer Bar

falling rock tap house

During Brew Dogs’ adventures in Denver, the dogs ranked Falling Rock Tap House as their number one choice among their Top 5 beer bars.

James Watt and Martin Dickie of BrewDog Scotland, and hosts of the Esquire network hit show Brew Dogs, are drinking and brewing their way around the US, Europe, and Canada looking for unique brewing styles, pairing local cuisines with local beer, and spreading the love of the craft brewing phenomenon. During their adventures in Denver, the dogs ranked Falling Rock Tap House as their number one choice amongst their Top 5 beer bars. The brew masters love deconstructing craft beers, understanding what local influences are impacting specific brewing styles, and where locals and visitors are drinking their favorite brews.

The dogs typically partner with their favorite brewery in the area, sample the brewery’s award-winning offerings, and work with their resident engineer, David Donley, to formulate a plan to make their own quintessential local beer. Their Denver beer was naturally a wild west inspiration, using black angus meat smoked malts, solar power panels to run the brewing operations and represent Colorado’s 300 days of sunshine, and a pale ale style foundation. Their meat smoked pale aleincorporated citrus notes from prickly pear cactus, a rich meaty flavor from Colorado black angus beef that fed on grass and spent malt, and a deep smokiness from the local applewood smoked malted barley. The breweries they visit, the brewers they brew with, and the brew pubs they drink in, all had one thing in common, amazing Colorado craft beer.

The craft brewing industry is less of a competitive market, and more like a supportive family of brothers and sisters, all eager to make excellent craft beer, support each other, share the beautiful nectar being bottled and canned out of their breweries, and encourage people to enjoy truly great beer again. So, please contact us today to take a guided tour of Denver’s finest brew pubs, tap rooms, microbreweries, and breweries to sample local offerings, earn about the city’s fascinating history, and visit the No.1 ranked craft beer bar in Denver the Falling Rock Tap House.

Denver Breweries: Come Celebrate with Strange Craft and Others

denver breweries

The much-beloved Strange Craft brewery turned five years old in May 2015.

If you’re a faithful follower of all things Denver brewed, you’ll know that it’s time to raise a pint of Strange Craft’s beer in celebration. The much beloved brewery turned five years old in May 2015. But don’t let their toddler status fool you in missing out on a pint. Although the brew masters have only been at their Zuni Street location for a half a decade, they possess the wisdom of brewers beyond their years.

Oh, and they’re pretty savvy marketers too. They know that nothing goes better with great, Denver craft beer than special events like One Barrel Wednesdays, Band Night, Strange Days, Gamers Group and Blues, Brews & BBQ. Plus, they make sure to open the taps early and stay late every time the Denver Broncos stop to throw the pigskin around at Sports Authority Field over on Bryant Street.

The Broncos, by the way, will be in town this August to take on the San Francisco 49ers. So be sure to stop by in the late afternoon. Hit up fantastic food trucks, like Burger Smith, Tony Guacamole and Wheels on Fire. Then position yourself at Strange Craft’s bar and down a glass of Watermelon Hefe or another seasonal beer before heading to the stadium.

And just so all the Denver brew fans out there don’t get the wrong impression; Strange Craft serves up more than just seasonal fare. As a matter of fact, they have a history of always inventing something new. Case in point, since they opened five years ago they’ve surprised craft brew fans with more than 100 different beers. So you just never know what Tim Myers and John Fletcher will have on tap when the Broncos roll into town.

To discover more about Strange Craft and other fantastic, Denver breweries, please contact DMbT today. We know the bottom of a Denver brewed pint glass like the backs of our hands and information rich tours are offered on the weekends.

“Blue Moon Isn’t Craft Beer,” Says Pending Class Action Lawsuit


craft beer

One of the criteria that craft beers must meet is that yearly production of the beer must be 6 million barrels or less.

While some classify craft beer as how a brew is crafted, or closely associated with a lifestyle they have chosen, the simple truth is, craft beer is an industry, with specific legal definitions, all in place for craft protection.

So because the Brewer’s Association defines American craft beer as an industry, it must fit into finite definitions that allow brewers and micro-brewers certain rights, benchmarks, and associated statistics broken into an applicable three categories:

1. Small: Yearly production of 6 million barrels of beer or less, with production attributed to the rules of alternatingproprietorships.

2. Independent: “Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.”

3. Traditional: Total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor is derived from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients as well as their fermentation.

What isn’t craft beer?

By definition, global beer conglomerate MillerCoors. More specifically, Blue Moon, their “craft style” beer. However, Blue Moon can not be a “craft beer” per the definition above, even though it is sometimes marketed as such.

For this reason, a man in California is taking a stand against MillerCoors.

On April 24, 2015, San Diego home brewer Evan Parent filed a class action lawsuit against MillerCoors (check out here), stating that they have been pulling the proverbial wool over the eyes of consumers who seek craft beer by overtly lying about what’s in the bottle and who makes it.

Mr. Parent is seeking an unspecified amount for damages for “misleading advertising and unfair competition.”

“What this case is really about,” he told his local news in this Huffington Post article, “is people think they’re buying craft beer and they’re actually buying crafty marketing.”

And that’s not all…

According to the lawsuit, Evan Parent claims that MillerCoors actively disassociates itself from Blue Moon in an attempt to mask their association. A scheme used as subterfuge, he implies, so those looking for craft beer at the grocery store won’t see through their elaborate ruse, and will buy Blue Moon instead of an actual craft beer.

Here is MillerCoorsresponse:

MillerCoors is tremendously proud of Blue Moon and has always embraced our ownership and support of this wonderful brand. The class action filed against MillerCoors in California is without merit and contradicted by Blue Moon Brewing Company’s 20-year history of brewing creative beers of the highest quality.

Unfortunately, “artfully crafted” isn’t part of the definition of craft beer… no matter how you spin it.

Then, of course, there is MillerCoors‘ production values: at 76 million barrels of beer produced annually, it’s difficult to consider Blue Moon, via MillerCoors, a “craft beer,” even if they designed it as such.

As for marketing, MillerCoors stands by the fact that they never actually said that Blue Moon was a craft beer, nor actively try to dictate otherwise.

It’s uncertain yet if a judge will throw this case out. Pending litigation hasn’t picked up speed, but the entire thing is very interesting.

What do you think about this case? Chime in below!

Feel free to contact us or more information or how we can help you.


Best Times to Visit the Falling Rock Tap House in June 2015

Now that Coors Field is open for the MLB season, we can’t resist visiting the Falling Rock Tap House. It has been on our Downtown Denver Microbrew Tour for some time now and we just can’t get enough of the place. They’ve got some of the best summer brews and bar food available and the service is typically speedy. So you’ll be able to get in and get out on game days without much of a hassle.

falling rock tap house

Falling Rock is the perfect place for a pre- or post-Rockies-game brew.

Speaking of game day, did you know that Coors Field’s promotional calendar is full of great stuff in June 2015? For example, they gave away beach towels on June 2nd and they’ll be giving out 2015 Rockies Team Posters on the 19th. But that’s not all. Dad’s Day Weekend MLB fans will have a chance to score keepsake drink tumblers and baseball caps. Of course there are other giveaways planned too. So why not plan on taking in a MLB game, DMbT tour and visit to the Falling Rock Tap House sometime during the month?

If you decide to come with, think about ordering the Falling Rock Tap House’s Upper Deck Club. Made from the freshest luncheon meats, cheeses and veggies, it’s a real belly buster. And it won’t cost you much all things considered. There are plenty of summery ales and ciders on sale too. Consequently, finding the right bottle or pint glass to wash it all down will be easier than catching a Colorado Rockies player’s autograph.

If you love fruity beers, try Funwerks Tropic King, Firestone Walker Double Jack, Stone Go to IPA or Port Wipeout. Feeling like a taste of British beers instead? Then perhaps Sam Smith’s collection of craft brews will do the trick. The list includes organic, summery flavors like raspberry and strawberry. To learn more and sample them all the next time the Colorado Rockies are set to play, please contact us at Denver Microbrew Tour.

4 Crazy Craft Beer Facts You Can Surprise Your Friends With

Remember taking your first sip of craft beer? There was no going back. You knew you found something amazing to appreciate and now you and your friends are regular craft beer enthusiasts. But here are a few facts you can introduce to your friends and impress them with, equipped with your craft beer knowledge.

Brewery Independence

craft beer

George Washington was one of the nation’s first craft brewers, and Barack Obama is one of the latest.

The beautiful thing about craft breweries across the United States is that each one is independent. Every brewery maintains a sense of traditionalism and hasn’t gone the corporate route by super-sizing their endeavors. This means that every craft beer creation is handled with meticulous care and attention, ensuring you get the freshest brew.

Where’s That Foam Coming From?

Want to know where that heaping amount of foam is coming from when you get a crisp craft beer? Foaming is created by a frosted, cold glass. So it’s really a win-win situation: your beer looks amazing and has the perfect chilled temperature so you can enjoy it on a scorching summer day.

Famous Home Brewers

If one of your hobbies is home brewing or simply enjoying home brewed beer, then you share a mutual interest with some Presidential types. That includes our first President George Washington and current President Barack Obama. Other Presidents who enjoyed brewing included James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.

Most Breweries

Curious to discover which states have the most breweries? Those would include California, Washington, Colorado, and Oregon. California takes the title with the most establishments with its 330 different breweries.

For more information, please contact us today.

Denver Breweries: Spotlight on One of Five Points’ Finest Additions

Denver breweries are not confined to a handful of streets. As a matter of fact, there are many sidewalk-lined areas in the Mile High City that sport a multitude of fantastic establishments where one can throw back a taste of liquid artistry. Five Points is one of them. It is where you’ll find the recently established, Spangalang Brewery. The brew masters there opened their doors to the public in April 2015.

denver breweries

Beer from Spangalang, one of Denver’s newest additions, is only available on tap at the brewery.

The brewery is located in a thriving strip mall but don’t let that deter you from stopping by after work for a drink. There is nothing “mass market” about their flavorful beers and you certainly won’t find them for sale in retail stores. Yes, we’re talking about pints drawn straight from the tap and nothing more.

Each one is well thought out and unique, right down to its intriguing moniker. At the moment, guests may choose from a fewIPAs, imperial stouts, a saison, Belgian table beer and a Belgian-style double. And they sport fun, roll off of your tongue names like Love Supreme, Hop Colossus, Night Walker Con Alma and Soul Sauce.

Prices at the Spangalang Brewery are easy on the pocket too. A sample will cost you a mere buck but you can expect to pay more for the 10 and 16 ounce servings. Not much more though. For now, all of their craft beer offerings are priced below $8 a glass. As for the ABVs, they range from a modest 4.5 to a hefty, 10.2 percent. The Belgian table beer is on the light end and the fermented, imperial stouts are on the other.

Of course a good, craft brew isn’t anything unless it’s served with a bit of hospitality and that’s exactly what you’ll find atSpangalang. The staff is friendly, the beer is cold and the taproom is clean as well as comfortable. To learn more about the place and other Denver Breweries in the Five Points area, please contact us.

Denver Breweries: The Best Places to Go When You Crave the Extraordinary

You are not likely to find run of the mill, Denver breweries in the city’s RiNo Arts District. Known for its happening vibe, the area is home to many creative individuals with an obvious disdain for the ordinary. And by the way, it shows. The “We won’t be defined attitude” is pervasive. You’ll find it displayed front and center, from the smallest gallery to the biggest brewery.

Which extraordinary Denver breweries are located in RiNo? We’re glad that you asked. The ones we’ve chosen to add to our tour’s roster are Our Mutual Friend Tenth Acre and Brewery, Ratio

Denver breweries

Great Divide is just one of the unique breweries you’ll find in Denver’s River North arts district.

Beerworks, Epic Brewing Company and Stem Cider. We’ve talked about all of them before. So if you’ve been following along, you already know what awesome places they are to visit on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Of course you’ll find other funky breweries tucked away in the RiNo Arts District too. The ever-growing list includes, but certainly doesn’t end with the following watering holes:

  • Black Shirt Brewing Company
  • Beryl’s Beer Company
  • River North Brewery
  • Mockery Brewing
  • Crooked Stave
  • Great Divide Brewing
  • Bierstadt Lagerhaus
  • Zephyr Brewing

Our DMbT RiNo Tours take place on Sunday afternoons and end well before the dinner hour. As such, there is ample time on the weekends to check out the artsy district’s other diversions. Places like the Fuel Café are open for brunch on Sundays. On Saturdays, you can generally catch them serving lunch and dinner. They serve everything from Dutch baby pancakes and green chile poutine to fried chicken biscuits. And by the way, there’s more than art, beer and biscuits on offer in the area. There happens to be the Forney Museum of Transportation, great shops and Control Group Productions taking place in Denver’s hottest neighborhood too. To learn more about the area and our walking tours, please contact us today.

How John Hickenlooper Made Denver History

Many residents in and around Colorado know the name John Hickenlooper to belong to their state’s governor. Especially in the Denver area, some may still recognize him as the former mayor of the Mile High City. But Hickenlooper means so much more to the state of Colorado and the history of Denver, and much of that has to do with his early professional journey.

history of denver, as it relates to drinkingMention the name “Wynkoop Brewing Company” to residents of Denver, and their eyes will light up. It’s the first brew pub to open its doors in the historic downtown of Denver after prohibition ended in the state of Colorado, serving its first beer to the public in 1988. In the 27 year since, the Wynkoop has turned into one of the largest microbreweries in the entire United States.

Today, the pub is located within convenient walking distance to Coors Field, and offers hearty pub fare along with live music and comedy and, of course, self-brewed beer. The facilities even include a BCA-sanctioned billiards parlor upstairs, completing the unique and comfortable feeling that keeps guests coming back to the Wynkoop.

But it’s how one of the two landmark microbreweries in downtown Denver got started that really deserves attention. Guess who was the person who brewed and served the first beer, all the way back in 1988? That would be beloved ex-mayor and current Colorado governor John Hickenlooper. Considering the Mile High City’s rich history and array of different brews, we hardly think so.

Of course, the Wynkoop Brewing Company is just one of the many beer-related locations worth exploring in and around Denver. For a tour of this and many other famous microbreweries, pubs and their stories, contact us.

River North’s Best Tap Rooms Receive Awards and Media Attention

river north brewery

Some of the ciders are aged in red wine or bourbon barrels.

Have you taken a look at Westword®’s latest list of award winners? If not, you may want to pour yourself a glass of hard cider and take a peek. One of the locations on our new River North Art District walking beer tour has been dubbed the besttap room party host in Denver for 2015 and we couldn’t be happier for them. Yes, we are talking about the ultra fabulous venue known as Stem Cider.

Founded by Eric Foster and Phil Kao, the Stem Cider team obviously knows more than just how to put on a heck of a party. They make amazing hard ciders too. Some of their ciders are aged in red wine or bourbon barrels and others spend time fermenting in stainless steel. As such, you can count on the tap room‘s offerings to have wide appeal.

And as for the parties, you already know that they’re legendary. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have won a nod from Westword®. But just in case there is any doubt, we’d suggest checking out some of their upcoming events for yourself. The team currently hosts regular events Tuesday through Friday evenings and special shindigs throughout the year. The themed vary too. So, one night you may enjoy live bluegrass music and the next could be a hard cider and cheese pairing.

Of course Stem Cider wasn’t the only River North Art District venue to receive kudos earlier this year. There were others that area foodies and wine lovers know well. Among them are the RiNo Yacht Club, Infinite Monkey Theorem, Acorn, Park Burger, Cart-Driver and Work & Class. To learn more about the River North Art District’s best places to grab craft brews, please contact us. We have a tour planned for this Sunday afternoon and would love to sip a cold one with you at Stem Cider.

Breckenridge Brewery – 1 of 5 Colorado Breweries on Top 50 List

breckenridge brewery

Breckenridge Brewery is riding the craft-beer wave and is soon to open another brewery, with a beer garden, in Littleton, CO.

The count is in and the results are awesome: Colorado is home to five of the fifty biggest craft breweries in the nation!

According to the Denver Post, Fort Collins’ New Belgium Brewing maintained its position as the state’s largest craft brewery and snagged itself 4th place in the nation-wide list. Coming in behind were Longmont’s Oskar Blues Brewery at 24th, Fort Collins’ Odell Brewing at 34th, Longmont’s Left Hand Brewing at 40th, and Denver’s own Breckenridge Brewery at 50th.

The craft brewery rules, defined by the Brewers Association, stipulate that a brewery must have relatively small production, be independently owned, and use traditional ingredients in its beer in order to qualify.

These rules don’t seem to be hindering the craft beer industry, however, as it is experiencing a huge boom in popularity and growth. Breckenridge is riding the wave and is soon to open another brewery, with beer garden, in Littleton. The project is valued at $36 million, but it should be paying for itself soon enough. According to spokeswoman Terry Usry, “Our (2014) growth was only 4 percent because we are so capacity constrained.” With the new location, production should jump from 64,000 barrels to 184,000 barrels. As such, Breckinridge will be doubling its sales and marketing staff this year. They’ll also be experimenting with some new malts and hops and increasing their barrel-aged program, meaning new and exciting beers are on the horizon!

If you want to keep up with all the Denver brewing happenings, contact us today and arrange a tour!

A new addition to Denver breweries, shows us the skills.

On July 5, 2014 there was a new addition to Denver breweries. Baere Brewery in the baker neighborhood at 320 Broadway, is that great new addition. The co-founder Ryan Skeels has used his mindset as a skateboarder to build on the simple foundation of brewing to create unique flavors and styles. In skateboarding simply landing a trick and riding away is not good enough. One must have style.

denver breweries

Mastering both craft-beer brewing and skating takes artistry and personality. Baere Brewery does both.

The foundations of brewing beer are simple. Barley, malt sugar, and hops get boiled together. Yeast is then added to the mixture and left to ferment. In street skateboarding, the foundation is the ollie, or jumping with the skateboard. These two things might sound easy. What’s so hard about mixing a bunch of ingredients together? What’s so hard about jumping with a board. In reality, these are both very hard to learn. Mastering them is another story, altogether.

When kids first learn to skate, they practice for hours, days, even weeks to learn the ollie. When they finally get the coordination down and jump without falling, chances are they are barely leaving the ground. It takes another few months to actually get any height. Similar to brewing, which also begins with practice at home. Anyone’s first brew is probably drinkable, but usually lacks any style or complexity.

Once the ollie is master, to add complexity, the skateboarder learns flip tricks. Skateboarders do flip tricks by flicking feet in various ways while doing an ollie. This makes the board rotate before they land back on it, and ride away. Each variety of trick takes hours of practice, repeated failure, and often pain. After learning a trick, landing and riding away isn’t enough. The skater has to make it his own, by adding style. This basically means, making it look effortless in a personally artistic way. When it comes to brewing, simply creating a beer with an alcohol content isn’t enough for the skateboarding brewmaster. Through years of practice, he has learned to make beer personal, by adding complexity, artistry, and style. The people atBaere brewery really have created something amazing.

After I had a drink at Baere Brewery, later that evening I couldn’t get it out of my head. The smooth delicious taste, the aroma, the overall feeling, became a memory. I was back the next night to relive that memory.

To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.

Denver Breweries: A Place for Those Who Are Sweet on Sours

Denver breweries may not always have a lock on original beer names but they do know how to create one-of-a-kind atmospheres for their patrons. Such is the case with the heavy death metal focused, Trve Brewing Company on Broadway. They opened in the early 2000s but expanded their portfolio by adding a new location in 2014. Presently dubbed, “The Acid Temple”, it’s a great place to go when you want to have a rousing, albeit sour, night of revelry.

denver breweries

Trve Brewery’s new location spotlights sour, barrel-aged beers.

That’s right. The new location spotlights sour beers. They’re traditionally made with wild yeasts or fruits and come in a variety of styles. Among the most popular are oud bruin, Berliner weisse, gose, American wild ale, limbic and Flanders red ale. Trve Brewing Company has been producing several of them for some time now and we can’t wait to see what sour beers they come up with next. Their current line of sour beers is made with the aid of Breckenridge Whiskey, California Chardonnay and California Cabernet soaked barrels. They give the company’s brews a taste that even today’s self-proclaimed, Norse Gods would be hard-pressed to ignore.

At this time, there is no food slated to be served at either location. So, fuel up before or after you swing by for a great tasting brew and a throbbing earful of death metal. There are plenty of restaurants along South Broadway and in the general area. Consequently, it shouldn’t be difficult to find everything from a good egg roll and wood-fired pizza to a traditional pad Thai. The next time you join us for a guided tour of Denver’s best places to down a wild beer, ask us and we’ll be sure to point out our favorite dining spots nearby. To learn more about the tour and places like the ones we mentioned above, please contact us today.

Walking Beer Tour to Open in RiNo Art District

Denver, Colorado – April 6, 2015 – Today, Denver Microbrew Tour (DMbT) announced the addition of a new tour route in the River North Art District (RiNo), just north of Downtown Denver. The inaugural tour will be on Sunday, April 12, and will start at 12:15pm at Ratio Beerworks (2920 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205). Tours will then be offered every Sunday, starting at the same time and same location.

Similar to DMbT’s long-standing LoDo route, the RiNo route will include:

  • visits to four local breweries, cideries, or tap rooms
  • beer samples at each stop
  • an in-depth lesson of how beer is made
  • info about each location’s founders and the inspirations that led them to brew
  • stories behind the street art and murals prevalent in RiNo
  • just enough scandalous Denver history to keep things interesting

The new route will feature some of the newest and most exciting breweries in the Denver area, and will also include a visit to a cidery. “We want to showcase the best brewers Denver has to offer, and there is no better place to do it than in RiNo,” said DMbT founder, Steve Schneiter. “The heavy concentration of breweries here creates a great atmosphere of collaboration and friendly competition. These companies work together to push each other to make the best beer in Colorado, and are succeeding in doing so.”

Schneiter continued, “But the tour won’t be all about the breweries – we’ll also focus on the RiNo neighborhood. In RiNo, there are motorcycle shops next to wineries, junkyards across from breweries, and run-down diners next to upscale restaurants; it is the perfect combination of dive and elegance. The stories behind these businesses, and the inevitable changes that they will face in the coming years, craft a great narrative for Denver locals and tourists alike.”

Arline Kellog, a self-proclaimed Cider Wench at Stem Ciders (one of the stops on DMbT’s RiNo route), added, “We are excited to have such a great company showcasing our growing artisan brew district; we can’t wait to show people what craft cider is all about!”

DMbT’s RiNo route will visit Ratio Beerworks, Stem Ciders, Our Mutual Friend Tenth Acre and Brewery, and Epic Brewing Company. The tour will be offered weekly, on Sunday afternoons starting at 12:15pm and lasting until roughly 2:30pm. The cost is $29 per person and includes the tour and at least 10 samples of beer (or cider). For more information, visit

About Denver Microbrew Tour

For over five years, Denver Microbrew Tour has been showcasing the best of downtown Denver, offering tourgoers ten beer samples and scandalous history of the city and its development. This highly-reviewed, well-respected walking tour has served over 20,000 clients, offering both public and private tours, as well as appearances at corporate events. For additional information or to book your tour, please call 303-578-9548 or visit

Steve Schneiter

A Self Serve Bar in Denver

The Denver brewery and bar scenes are both booming, but this summer something new is coming to town, according to Westword. Mark Slattery, the popular beer blogger also known as the Denver Beer Guy, is moving into the 2601 Larimer development in River North, and he’s bringing a dream with him.

denver brewery

The dream is a tap room that is completely self service. In lieu of a bartender, the room is managed by a program called iPourIt, which allows customers to open tabs and pour their own beers in amounts strictly tabulated by corresponding wristbands. It’s an excellent way to sample small amounts of a variety of beers.

And the beers are worth sampling. Slattery says he plans to carry beers that are one-third to one-half from Colorado breweries, with the rest being choicely selected from across the country. “We plan to showcase the best beers we can get our hands on,” he says. The beers, as well as ciders and wines totalling forty in all, will rotate regularly.

Slattery has only the highest respect for Denver’s breweries, but felt he wanted to take things in a different direction. “Denver already has a great craft brewery scene,” he says. But rather than add his voice to many, he has decided to bring “a unique drinking experience” to the city.

First Draft will feature small but quality plates of food that pair well with the beers on offer, as well as a 900 square foot patio with a fire pit. He hopes to be open in June.

If you want to learn more about the latest beer news in Denver, please contact us!

Style and Substance: Beer Collaborations Part 2

Collaboration Fest!

Collaboration Fest!

Too many chefs can spoil the pot… except when it comes to beer. Last time we mentioned what happens when brewers, bravely combating the evils of thirst and bad beer, decide to join forces for the greater (beer consuming) good. These concoctions give brewers a chance to create small batch wonders using new ingredients or an opportunity to use new techniques. In the case of Crooked Stave and Upslope, their teamwork resulted in the Ferus Fluxus series, a beverage created together but stored separately to create a unique ale that’s all heart. Collaborations offer a possibility for beer lovers to introduce themselves to the same beer twice.

Stone Brewing, out of Escondido California,  is also famous for their three-way collaborative creations. Released only once each year, each edition to the family is highly unique. Examples include Dayman IPA, an IPA brewed with coffee (of all things!) in conjunction with Aleman Brewing from Chicago and Two Brothers Brewing from Warrenville, IL. Also released in this series of Stone collaborations was 2011’s Japanese Green Tea IPA, a softly hopped IPA with plenty of green tea overtones, from the brilliant minds at Ishii Brewing and Baird Brewing, both in Japan.

Perhaps the most famous collaborative beer out there is Collaboration Not Litigation, a team-up between Avery Brewing in Boulder Colorado and River River Brewing, in California. The story behind this beer is almost better than the brew itself. Both breweries realized that they each brewed a beer named Salvation. Instead of suing the pants off each other, they decided to create a beer together, in the name of community. And keep their own Salvation brews.

Two Salvations equal A Collaboration

Two Salvations equal A Collaboration

If you want to take advantage of what this heady collection of brewers has concocted, they will be gathering today (March 22nd) at the Curtis Hotel, 1405 Curtis Street, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. to show off the results of their carbonated collaborations. The Colorado Brewers Guild and Imbibe Denver are presenting this inaugural event as part of Colorado Craft Beer Week. About forty different collaborative beers will be on hand varying in style, brewing technique and taste. Attendees will be able to explore a hoppy wonderland made of pure imagination (and yeast). A few high country brewers are engaging in a five-way team up while others include participation from national and even overseas brewers. Everything’s sure to be deliciously memorable so collaborate with your wallet and head down to the Curtis Hotel for the Collaboration Fest. Tickets are $50 for general admission and $80 for the VIP package (And yes, tickets are still available!). For more information about the event plus an extensive list of the collaborators dedicated to the conspiracy of good taste check out

Collaborations in Beer, Part 1

Collaboration is the secret to innovation and the brewing industry is no stranger to working together. Processes run faster, easier and usually result in better products. Breweries love team building exercises as much as corporations do, although they usually cut out the trust-falls and tedious powerpoint presentations. When two or more breweries team up, it usually creates a wonderful “collabeeration.”

An average brewers day starts with the head brewer making sure all recipe ingredients are ripe and ready to go, adjusting the hot liquor (aka hot water) to the correct temperature, and ensuring everything is clean. After that, the entire brewing team leaps into action to make the brew day a success. When breweries collaborate on a recipe, the streamlined process to transform an idea into a beverage becomes a little more complex.

First, breweries have to agree to work together before they hop into a mash-up. Sometimes, it’s as simple as friendly breweries wanting to get together more often. Occasionally, the team-up is for publicity, a particular festival or other one-off event. Before the breweries can barrel forward, the logistics need to be worked out: When will the brew-ha-ha go down? Who will host? And of course the big question: what to brew?

The usual collaborations consist of one brewery visiting another’s facility and producing a familiar recipe or the two breweries coming up with a recipe together and then brewing it independently so that there are two versions of the same ingredients. Breweries can also meet at a single facility to create a collective concoction everyone had a hand in designing, creating one cohesive beer.

But why go through all the hop haggling hassle? Attention, creativity, and fun are the obvious reasons. Most patrons of craft beer love to see new brews on the shelf and if that beverage happens to have the name of two or more breweries on the label, all the better. Also consider that in a world full of exciting, and often small craft breweries, making oneself noticed is necessary to keep the doors open and vats full. From an artistic standpoint, collaborations keep the creative juices flowing for recipe designers. Like any creative endeavour it’s easy to get stuck in the same old rut using the same old ingredients day after day. A brewer using Zeus hops again and again might never know about the possibilities of using Mosaic or Saaz or any other variety of hops without the creative shot in the arm collaborations provide. Finally, sometimes friendships ferment to the point where brewers just really like each other and enjoy hanging out. They’ll agree to cross-promote each other’s products boosting everyone’s brews.

Have you collaborated to create a buddy brew? If you haven’t experienced the fermentation fun or just want to check out the creative connections, check out the Collaboration Fest in Denver on March 22nd. Breweries from all across Colorado will be teaming up to bring you some scintillatingly special beers. Be sure to check back next month for examples and explorations of famous collaborations!


River North Brewery: A Rising Gem in RiNo

River North or RiNo

River North Art District

Situated north of Coors Field is an up and coming artists’ enclave called River North Art District, or RiNo for short. Amongst its Nuevo art sculptures, galleries, studios and eclectic shops is a rave worthy place that’s sure to satisfy one’s thirst for craft beers. It’s called the River North Brewery.

Since it opened in February 2012, the venue has produced so many fantastic brews that it’s already expanded its production area multiple times. The last one took place in November 2013. But you don’t have to take their ongoing expansions as sole proof of the onsite brew master Matt Hess’ brilliance. There are also the reviews on Yelp and The Denver Magazine 5280‘s shout outs to consider. They all add up to one simple truth. River North Brewery is quickly becoming one of the city’s beloved gems.

River North Beers in Distribution

Some of River North’s Beers

So which beers are creating all of the buzz and why? Some of them may be found in the brewery’s series of whiskey barrel aged delights. Belgian-style beers with notes of oak and rye, they are one of the pints down favorites of Denver. Word has it that the River North Brewery’s crew will be adding another brew to the popular series at the end of January 2014. This one is expected to be titled B-Side Avarice. Highly rated, Belgian-style, double IPA brews like the Hoppenberg Uncertainty Principle is another “must try” crowd favorite. It’s a high ABV, orange hued, hoppy brew that sports a beautiful off-white head with every pour.

River North doesn’t serve food, but there is usually a food truck nearby. One that tends to haunt the place from time to time is East Coast Joe’s Grey Ghost. She’s a solar powered truck that’s home to some of the best seafood, deviled eggs and East Coast fare in Denver.

To visit River North Brewery and other top watering holes in Denver, please contact us at (303) 578-9548. We offer the best microbrew tours in the Mile High City, year round, weather permitting. All of our guided brew tours include a pint, beer samples, educational tidbits and stops at four fabulous locations.

What’s the Right Craft Beer to Solve Your #ColoradoProblem?

Beer can solve any #ColoradoProblem

Beer can solve any #ColoradoProblem

Living in Colorado is really, really hard. From the winding roads of the high country to the lazy riverbanks of the eastern plains, the brave, hardy citizens of this state face challlenges you just don’t find anywhere else. Fortunately, for just about every #ColoradoProblem we face, there is a craft beer that can help us handle it.

“It’s a perfect day at my favorite ski area, but it’s also a perfect day at my favorite mountain bike trail!”

Dilemmas like this, which happen year round, make up some of the most serious #ColoradoProblems. Fortunately, Colorado’s breweries have designed several craft beers to help you mull these important decisions. Try a rich, dark beer like the Milk Stout produced by Longmont’s Left Hand Brewery. Designed to be sipped slowly while looking to the mountains, to the foothills, to the mountains, to the foothills again, this beer can help you handle recreational indecisiveness.

“My boss says we can’t move the office to Breckenridge!”

You don’t need to be in Colorado long before you realize that leaving the mountains is much harder than getting to the mountains. The scenery is beautiful, the skiing is wonderful, and in the little mountain towns it seems like there’s a different craft brewery around every corner. You might not be able to take the skiing or the fishing or the hiking back to work with you when you come down, but picking up a craft brew like Breckenridge Brewery’s Avalanche can help ease the transition back into low country life.

“The stock show’s in town, and it’s making me want to visit Greeley!”

Every winter, the National Western Stock Show brings the romance of the Old West to Denver–the rest of the year, the romance of the Old West hangs out in Greeley, with its friends the comedy of corn production and the documentary of the 20th century cattle industry. Greeley is used to being the butt of friendly jokes around here, and the craft beers produced there reflect its easygoing attitude. Choose a mellow brew like Crabtree Brewery’s Boxcar Brown, and experience that easygoing rural vibe without opening a single feedlot gate.

“I can’t tie a six pack of glass bottles to my inner tube in this stream!”

Summer is serious business in a state that gets 350 days of sunshine a year. When the going gets tough, the tough get an inner tube and head up into the foothills for a day of splashy fun (okay, so the tough go run 10k races and bike up mountains, but then I promise we all go inner tubing). For days like these, Colorado breweries like Upslope rise to the occasion with crisp, hoppy IPAs that capture everything wonderful about cooling off in a high mountain river. And yes, if you tie those cans to your inner tube, they can ride the St. Vrain with you all day long.

These are only a few of the many, many #ColoradoProblems that plague our state’s noble, long-suffering residents. One that we haven’t mentioned–having too many craft brews to select from–is especially serious. The Denver Microbrew Tour is here to help. If you or a loved one is suffering from excessive craft beer variety, join us on a tour and we’ll show you the way.

Style and Substance: Winter Warmers

Santa likes beer too.

Santa likes beer too.

Tis the season to be cold! Fa la la la la la… This is the time of year when people reach for bigger, darker beers that have a higher alcohol content to keep them in warmest, jolliest of spirits. But what should fill your glass this season? In this inaugural edition of Style and Substance, we’re going to take a look at some popular and some less common styles to keep your cheeks rosy and your belly full of cheer this season.

(Note: All links go to the BeerAdvocate page for that style. Use them to help you find some winter warmers near you!)


This general, catch-all style is what everyone thinks of when they think ‘winter beer.’ But what type of stout tickles your fancy? We’ve highlighted a few selections for your perusal:

Oatmeal Stout

These tend to be more balanced overall with a lower alcohol content (so you can have multiple pints) and a lovely soft mouth-feel from the added oats in the grain bill.

Milk Stout

If you like sweeter beers, check out one of these. Just like the name suggests, these beers have lactose sugar added during the brewing process which produces a much sweeter and smooth-bodied beer.

American Stout

If you are like us and want something traditional yet hefty, try one of these bad boys. This style tends to vary highly between different breweries, but generally will be more highly hopped (for balance rather than bitterness) and can have some pretty high alcohol contents. Expect coffee and chocolate notes as well.

Imperial Russian Stout

Okay, we’re cheating a little here as these could easily fit in the previous category. However these beasts deserve a little extra love. Brewed originally in England, this opaque, high alcohol style was often exported to Russia and was said to be a favorite of the Imperial court. Today, these beers are popular all over the world. With an alcohol content starting at 8% ABV and going up from there, they feature some of the most complex and layered flavor profiles in the beer world. Using flavors like dark fruit, bitter chocolate, toffee, exotic coffee, Imperial Russian stouts give you a beer you can really chew. These really lend themselves to sipping on a cold night watching the snow fall.

Belgian Dark Strong Ale

Beautiful color in this Quad!

Beautiful color in this Quad!

Often known as a ‘quadrupel’, or simply ‘quads,’ this is a style that originated in Belgium’s monastic breweries. Color wise, these are more of ruby-to-light brown than ‘dark’, per se. Quadrupels are seeing an upswing in popularity across America because they are very approachable for both novice beer drinkers and connoisseurs alike, specifically in the flavor profile. Expect lots of red fruit, such as raspberry or dark cherry and some notes of sweetness balanced with a strong malt character (toffee, biscuit) and spice from the yeast. Don’t forget about the booze content either! Quads start around 8% ABV and go up from there with most between 9 and 10% ABV. All of this results in a group of very interesting, and very crowd pleasing beers.


Not everyone agrees that porters are stout enough to keep people toasty warm, but we beg to differ. There is a style called Robust Porter, which is exactly as it sounds, porter’s cooler big brother that drives a convertible and everyone likes. These beers have slightly higher (between 5 and 7% ABV) alcohol content than standard porters (4 and 6% ABV) and they’re typically more highly hopped with a chocolate flavor as opposed to the coffee-bitter taste of other stouts. Really, go find one. They make excellent companions for those long, dark winter nights where anything could happen.

Scotch Ale

Sometimes nicknamed “wee heavy,” these beers are sort of all over the map style wise so it’s somewhat difficult to know what precisely you’re getting into when trying out new brands. So we’ll focus on generalities rather than absolutes. While lighter-color versions exist, most are going to be a hazy copper-brown, with low perceived bitterness and high alcohol content as many are between 7 and 10% ABV. These big belly warmers get their flavor and character from being highly malty (toffee, bread) and boozy. That spells a perfect evening in while the weather outside is frightful but the beer in your hand is delightful.

Hopefully this guide has given you some new ideas to expand your winter warmer selection or inspires you to revisit an old favorite and remember the ways to keep warm don’t end there! Take a magic malted mystery tour and try out many different styles to find what you really enjoy.

Now toss some deliciousness back (or tastefully sip) in front of a fire with friends and family. We hope that you have a pleasant and warm holiday season and a beer-y celebration!


Red, White, and Brews 2013

Red, White and Brews:
Extra tours added for 4th of July weekend

We’ve added some extra tours for this holiday weekend. In addition to our normal tours, we will also be offering:

  • Thursday, July 4th, starting at 12:00 noon – Buy Tickets Now

    We’ll meet at Rock Bottom at 16th and Curtis (1001 16th Street Mall, Denver, CO 80205), under the chalkboard.

  • Friday, July 5th, starting at 12:00 noon – Buy Tickets Now

    We’ll meet at Breckenridge Colorado Craft at 22nd and Blake Streets (2201 Blake Street, Denver, CO 80205)

If you have any questions about these extra tours, don’t hesitate to email us at Hope to see you this weekend!

Tours for March 9 and 10, 2013: Snowy, but still on

Do you think a little snow (or even a lot) will stop the Denver Microbrew Tour? No way! We will still be offering tours this weekend. All tours will be on the same schedule as normal.

If you have any questions, feel free to send us an email through at or give us a call at 303-578-9548.

Great American Beer Fest Tours

GABF Week Tours

We have a modified tour schedule for the Great American Beer Festival Week of October 8-14, 2012, so that you can get to the beer fest ON TIME!
Here is the modified schedule:

Thursday, October 11, 12:00pm – 2:15pm: Tour starts at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery at 1001 16th Street Mall, Denver, CO, 80202.
Friday, October 12, 12:00pm – 2:15pm: Tour starts at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery at 1001 16th Street Mall, Denver, CO, 80202.
Saturday, October 13, 12:00pm – 2:15 pm: Tour starts at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery at 1001 16th Street Mall, Denver, CO, 80202.
NO 3:00 tour on Saturday, Oct. 13
Sunday, October 14, 3:00pm – 5:15pm: Normal Tour, starts at River North Brewery.

Tickets for each tour are available here

Extra Tours Added for Labor Day Weekend

We’re adding a few extra tours this Labor Day weekend! We’ll add a tour starting at 12:00 noon on Sunday the 2nd of September, and another on Monday the 3rd at 3:00pm. Here are the start locations of each extra tour:

Sunday 12:00 noon tour will start at Rock Bottom at 16th and Curtis

Monday 3:00 tour will start at River North Brewery at 2401 Blake Street, Denver, CO 80205

You can buy tickets here for these extra tours through Brown Paper Tickets. Tickets are available now!

Living in Colorado

In case you haven’t heard, living in Colorado is awesome. So much so, our friends over at Love Living in Colorado have created an entire blog on all the great things to do in Colorado.

Check out what they have to say about the Denver Microbrew Tour at, then see what other great things are going on!

Beer and Baseball – 49% off Rockies Tickets with Purchase of Tour

In conjunction with the Colorado Rockies and the Dakota Ridge Athletic Foundation we are offering discount tickets to the April 13th Rockies game versus the Arizona Diamondbacks. The tickets are located in Section 147, Rows 23 and 24, and are $20 (normally $39).

Ticket Details:
April 13, 2012
6:40 start
Section 147 (See a seating chart here)
Rows 23 or 24
$20 added to Denver Microbrew Tour ticket price

We are selling these tickets as an add-on to our tour. Join us for the Denver Microbrew Tour, then head over to a Rockies game after. The Friday afternoon tours end at Breckenridge Ball Park Pub, across the street from Coors Field.

How To Buy

When you visit Brown Paper Tickets to purchase tickets for the Friday, April 13 Denver Microbrew Tour, there will be two extra ticket options:

  • General + Rockies Ticket: $45
    (includes 1 ticket to the Denver Microbrew Tour and 1 ticket to the Rockies game that night)
  • General, Pint, Rockies Tkt: $49
    (includes 1 ticket to the Denver Microbrew Tour, 1 souvenir pint glass, and 1 ticket to the Rockies game that night)

You tour guide will have your tickets for you at the end of the tour.

Questions? Email us at

Featured in Denver’s “5280 Magazine”

5280 Magazine spread for "It's a date" article in February 2012 articleThe Denver Microbrew Tour is featured in this month’s issue of 5280 as a great thing to do on your 4th or 5th date! Of course, we’re really good for any date….
Read the article here.

Tours for Feb. 3, 4, and 5: Snowy, but still on

Do you think a little snow (or even a lot) will stop the Denver Microbrew Tour? No way! We will still be offering tours this weekend. All tours will be on the same schedule as normal.

If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at 303-578-9548 or send us an email through our contact form.