In 2013, the Denver-based Brewers Association reported a 17.2 percent rise nationally in craft beer sales. At that time, Colorado ranked fourth in the nation for number of craft breweries, at 4.7 per 100,000 of-age adults.
Locally, the scene has expanded in step. And we’ve gotten not only a number of new nano outfits in the last few years, but also a respectable boom in distillery activity (goo.gl/zb1E0N).
Since we aren’t located directly inside an American Viticultural Area (geographically designated for ideal grape growing), it’s no surprise we count only a couple wineries. But many Colorado labels from the Western Slope region are easily found in local liquor stores and on many restaurant menus. And on the whole, the Pikes Peak area fares well when it comes to artisan and awesome in drink.
Here’s our latest roundup.
1. Bristol Brewing Company
1604 S. Cascade Ave., #100, 633-2555, bristolbrewing.com
A community-minded cornerstone, with a solid lineup of popular flagship labels.
121 E. Midland Ave., Woodland Park, 686-8100, bierwerks.com
German-styled; check out the novel Manitou Spring Water Pale Ale.
3. Colorado Mountain Brewery
1110 Interquest Pkwy., 434-5750; 600 S. 21st St., 466-8240, cmbrew.com
Phantom Canyon’s former longtime brewer runs the show; we recommend the Panther IPA.
4. Fieldhouse Brewing Company
521 S. Tejon St., 354-4143
Going gluten-free in style, with regular brews too, and a solid Test Tap Wednesday.
5. Fossil Brewing Company
2845 Ore Mill Road, #1, 375-8298, fossilbrewing.com
We recently drank a unique imperial chocolate blonde called Achocalypse here (and liked it).
6. Gold Camp Brewing Company
1007 S. Tejon St., 695-0344
From a guy who co-opened Brewer’s Republic; try the rotating experimental firkin.
7. Great Storm Brewing Company
204 Mount View Lane, #3, 266-4200, greatstormbrewing.com
Continued expansion reflects success from a playful team. Also: rum raisin stout.
8. Iron Bird Brewing Company
402 S. Nevada Ave., 424-7002, ironbirdbrewing.com
The sole local spot to feature true English-style cask ales. Session brews abound.
9. JAKs Brewing Company
7645 McLaughlin Road, Peyton, jaksbrewing.com
Barely a month old, from former Air Force pals; we’re excited to try the BlackJak Chocolate Porter.
10. Manitou Brewing Company
725 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 282-7709, manitou-brewing.com
Recent brews: a honey-orange rye saison, and oatmeal milk stout. ‘Nuff said.
11. Nano 108 Brewing Company
2402 Waynoka Road, 596-2337, nano108brewing.com
A prolific, ever-changing lineup of creative brews; 108 different styles annually, in fact.
12. The Occasional Brew
Private address off North Gate Boulevard, 310-3787 (call for an appointment), theoccasionalbrew.com
No taproom — create your own beers and labels for parties, gifts or yourself.
13. Paradox Beer Company
106 E. Village Terrace, Woodland Park (but moving to Divide soon), 686-8081, paradoxbeercompany.com
Specializing in barrel-aged blends, bottle-conditioned, Brettanomyces-inoculated. Fun stuff.
14. Phantom Canyon Brewing Company
2 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 635-2800, phantomcanyon.com
A city staple with an always-entertaining array, from high-ABV to easy session suds.
15. Pikes Peak Brewing
1756 Lake Woodmoor Drive, Monument, 208-4098, pikespeakbrewing.com
Look for local can distribution and great seasonals, like a SwitchBack coffee porter.
16. Red Leg Brewing
4630 Forge Road, Suite B, 598-3776, redlegbrewing.com
Also in cans around town; veteran-run, military-themed and awesome all-round.
17. Rock Bottom Restaurant & Bar
3316 Cinema Point, 550-3586, rockbottom.com
Yes, it’s a chain, but we have a local brewer at it, and the beers aren’t bad at all.
18. Rocky Mountain Brewery
625 Paonia St., 528-1651, therockymountainbrewery.com
Field beers (a cherry and peach in particular) here are stupid good. Very creative staff.
19. Smiling Toad Brewing Co.
1757 S. Eighth St., #100, 418-2936, smilingtoadbrewery.com
Home of the Bella Lavender beer and everything from big IPAs to Belgian sours.
20. Storybook Brewing
3121A N. El Paso St., 633-6266, storybookbrewing.com
A newbie nano, always hosting one nitro tap and Hop-Infusion Wednesdays.
21. Trinity Brewing Company
1466 Garden of the Gods Road, 634-0029, trinitybrew.com
Saison-centric, GABF-awarded … and supposedly moving to Denver soon.
22. Ute Pass Brewing Company
209 E. Midland Ave., Woodland Park, 686-8722, utepassbrewingcompany.com
Still ramping up production; try the Irish Red and Live the Dream Pale Ale.
23. 3 Hundred Days of Shine
279 Beacon Lite Road, Unit G, Monument, 488-2858, 3hundreddays.com
Six fun flavors of moonshine; we love the apple pie, Colorado Honey and Firebomb.
24. Axe and the Oak
4665 Town Center Drive, #140, 651-2737, axeandtheoak.com
Bourbon-styled whiskey from local grains; enjoy the butterscotch aroma, rye spice and smooth finish.
25. Black Bear Distillery
10375 Ute Pass Ave., Green Mountain Falls, 964-2990, blackbeardistillery.net
Coming soon: Irish-style moonshine and whiskey, house-malted and -milled, Old-World style.
26. Distillery 291
1647 S. Tejon St., 323-8010, distillery291.com
Tremendous whiskies, from a white dog to Colorado Bourbon and aspen-stave-enhanced Colorado Whiskey.
27. Lee Spirits Co.
Location not yet announced; leespirits.com
Coming soon: Look for a downtown tasting room, and dry gin and bourbon-barrel-aged gin.
28. Catriona Cellars
243 Washington St., Monument, 481-3477, catrionacellars.com
Wines are young and sweet, but pleasing and pairable. We like the 243 Red best.
29. Black Forest Meadery
6420 Burrows Road, Suite A, Black Forest, blackforestmeadery.com
Sweet honey wine, either oaked or dry. Fun spinoffs like a chokecherry mead.