Colorado Essential Beer Experiences

Here are just a few suggestions for beer-related things to do if you’re visiting Colorado, one of the great American beer states.

* Drink a Fat Tire at New Belgium Brewing Company (500 Linden, Fort Collins, Colorado 80524): Before IPA was everywhere and every brewery’s flagship beer, everyone had to have an Amber, the kind of beer that called “Come over here” to the lager drinkers and eased them into this new thing called craft beer. Fat Tire is one of the most successful and best examples of American Amber and, while you’ll also want to try the brewery’s excellent IPAs and sensational sour beers, you should begin with a Fat Tire.

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* Have an IPA at Odell Brewing Co. (800 E Lincoln Avenue, Fort Collins, Colorado 80524): The brewery is a few blocks from New Belgium and only a fool wouldn’t go to both breweries (my blog a tour at each place, too). Odell IPA is an American classic.

* Avery Brewing in Boulder (4910 Nautilus Ct N, Boulder, Colorado 80301): This is a place where you’ll definitely get drunk because you’ll want to drink a dozen different beers, they’ll all be great, and then you’ll want to order a dozen more.

* Go to Oskar Blues Brewery and drink Ten Fidy (1800 Pike Road, Unit B, Longmont, Colorado 80501): Just drink whatever versions of it they have. Then grab some cans of any of their beers and drink them After going on a long hike or mountain bike ride or something suitably outdoorsy. That’s the Colorado thing to do.

A well-stocked Colorado bar with Left Hand, Odell, Avery, and plenty more local breweries on tap.

* Have a Helles or Kellerpils at Prost Brewing Company (254019th Street, Denver, Colorado 80211): Enjoy a steinful of South Bavarian lager with skyline views over downtown Denver. Try and take a look at their beautiful copper brewing kettles. Lager lovers also have to get to Bierstadt Lagerhaus for their Slow Pour Pils (2875 Blake Street, Denver, Colorado 80205).

* Go to Falling Rock Tap House (1919 Blake Street, Denver, Colorado 80202): A cult and classic craft beer bar with no crap on tap.

There’s an eyes-popping-out-of-your-head 100 taps (I’ve seen the cellar and it’s ridiculous)—and you’ll want to drink most of them. Bar food is enormous and there’s loads of it, but I always just have chicken tenders, fries, and a Pliny. It’s one of my personal Cult Beer Bar must-dos.

* Have one of Crooked Stave’s exceptional brettanomyces-fermented beers (3350 Brighton Boulevard, Denver, Colorado 80216); drink Le Hand Brewing Company’s Nitro Milk Stout, one of America’s great dark beers (1265 Boston Avenue, Longmont, Colorado 80501); and find a Yeti Imperial Stout at the Great Divide Brewing Company (there are two great locations in Denver, so check out the website at www.greatdivide.com).

* Want to see the largest brewery in the world?: Go to

Golden and have a free tour of the vast MillerCoors facility there. Times vary, so check the website first (www.millercoors.com).

* Head up, way up, 10,152ft (3,100m) up, to Leadville: And drink at Periodic Brewing (115 E 7th Street, Leadville, Colorado 80461). This is the highest brewery in America (and almost the highest-elevated brewery in the world).

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