Beer Tour: Denver 3-Day Itinerary

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Advisor - Maggie Pecorino
Curated By

Maggie Pecorino

  • Denver

  • Food & Wine

  • Birthdays

  • City Travel

  • Foodie

  • Local Food

  • Sightseeing

Discover different kinds of beer on a tour in Denver.
Curator’s statement

“The Napa Valley of Beer.” “The Munich of the West.” Comparisons are tricky, but there’s no denying that the Denver craft beer scene is legendary. It has been around longer than most, dating back to the Gold Rush when beer did not store well and had to be made on-site, on demand. Home to the major Great American Beer Festival, the Mile High City has no shortage of brews to try — classic or experimental. You can easily plan an entire trip around breweries alone… but here’s one weekend to help get you started.

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Day 1: Rino & Union Station

Beer tasting at Ratio Beerworks

Breakfast: Crema House Coffee is the perfect place to kick off a long day of drinking. Quiet and cozy. Fresh coffee and hearty, healthy food.

Rino Breweries

The River North Arts District is one of the coolest neighborhoods in town. Think street murals, pedestrian-only avenues, small-business shopping, and of course… breweries on breweries. It’s the place to start.

- Ratio Beerworks: Start with one of my personal favorites. The best nitro coffee stout I’ve ever had. They brew up some really interesting stuff here, like a popular carrot/elderflower saison. Also, comedy nights!
- Bierstadt Lagerhaus: Home of the award-winning Slow Pour Pils. Classics-only here. Vibes: large industrial space with oversized yard games. German-inspired bar fare. Music on Thursdays & Saturdays.
- Stem Ciders: Cider lovers, I see you. Inventive small-batch flavors like pineapple, lavender, chile, etc.. Unique food menu. Sometimes, yoga classes!

Break: Shop at Empire Collective, a women-owned, multi-vendor shop in a giant warehouse space showcasing locally-made furniture, jewelry, and home goods.

Union Station Breweries

- Great Divide Brewing Co.: A Denver institution. In addition to the original taproom, they have a beautiful Barrel Bar & Cellar dedicated to seasonal/limited-released beers. ($10 tours @ 3 PM, Wed-Sun.)
- Wynkoop Brewing: Colorado’s first brewpub dates back to 1988 and comes complete with a giant billiard/gaming hall and views of iconic Union Station. Great for hanging out with a group.
- Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery: Come by for a large, varied tap and grab a snack at one of their rotating food trucks. Stay for fun events like trivia, bingo, etc..

Night: Denver sports culture is small, but mighty. Catch a game at Ball Arena or Coors Field. (Go Nuggets.) For a late night bite, find the Gyros Town Food Truck on Larimer. Some of the best gyro I’ve had in the states. Well-priced and so fresh.

Day 2: Berkeley & Edgewater

FlyteCo Brewing is an airplane-themed brewery.

These two neighborhoods outside the city center are great for getting a more lowkey, residential feel for the city. And the breweries lining Tennyson Street are not to be skipped.

- Breakfast at FlyteCo Brewing: AIRPLANE THEMED! 10% of profits go towards aviation sustainability. And yes, they double as a cafe with coffee and food, as well as pouring brews earlier than any other spot. Breakfast beer-mosa, anyone? Love everything about this place.
- The Empourium Brewing Company: unique variety. Think: coffee blonde ales and cucumber basil sours in addition to your more standard lagers. Great patio and rotating food trucks for summer.
- The Grateful Gnome Sandwich Shoppe & Brewery: casual NJ/NY Italian deli & brewpub concept. IPA-focused. Fun, unique, and perfect for lunch.

Break: Get some air (or take a nap) in nearby Berkeley Lake Park. Browse the boutiques on Tennyson. Or, head South towards Sloan Lake/Edgewater.

- Joyride Brewing Company: Aesthetic spot with an A+ tap variety right on Sloan Lake. Highlight: dog-friendly, rooftop patio with beautiful lake views.
- Barquentine Brewing Company: small-batch, Belgian-focus. Traditional styles adapted for the 21st-century beer drinker. Rustic vibes.

Dinner: stumble out of Barquentine into the adjoining Edgewater Public Market for tons of quick and delicious dinner options.

Day 3: Congress/City Parks & Capitol Hill

Cerebral Brewing serves craft beers in a light & airy, science-inspired setting.

Breakfast: line that stomach at the ever-cozy Denver Biscuit Company. (Tip: try The Lola with housemade jam.)

- Cerebral Brewing: a personal favorite. Award-winning spot centered on science and sustainability; 100% of spent grain is donated to a local ranch. (Their mango chili blonde is one of my favorite beers ever. Please have one for me if it’s on.)
- Reverence Brewing: Comfy and community-centric. They give a percentage of yearly profit to a local nonprofit. Great people. Delicious beer.
- Alpine Dog Brewing: designed-focused space with great couches. Their 16 draft lines include a hard seltzer, for that weird non-beer friend. Cool event alert: beer & cheese pairing class!

Break: Denver’s sprawling City Park (free) and the Botanic Gardens ($15) are a lovely respite for some non-alcoholic rest and relaxation in the middle of the city. If you’re feeling energetic, take a walk to Tattered Covered Book Store and Twist & Shout Records for some thrifting action.

Capitol Hill Breweries

- TRVE Brewing: small and beloved heavy metal-themed brew house lined with local art. No WiFi. No flights. No sports. Come for their spicy chicken and laidback metal vibes.
- Banded Oak Brewing: founded by a Colorado native with a focus on unique barrel-aged beers made for all palates. Lovely patio. Food trucks. Good vibes.

You made it! Rest up. Drink some water. And make sure to take a hike and enjoy the natural beauty that Denver and its surrounding areas have to offer.

Need to Know

Note: Always check brewery opening hours in advance. Pick and choose the spots that speak to you — you won’t be able to hit them all! Drink water! Have fun! And reach out to me for my complete Denver Brewery Map. (This list is only a fraction.)

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Beer Tour: Brussels.

Advisor - Maggie Pecorino

Travel Advisor

Maggie Pecorino

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Denver.