Do I dare call Denver the Microbrewery capital of the USA? Why not? Colorado, and especially Denver takes this craft seriously. It's ranked in the top 5 for US beer production and for many good reasons. Apparently, more beer is brewed in Denver than in any other American city. Grab your glass and get ready to taste a sip of the Colorado Rockies.
Denver Beer Co.
Start with the basics; a beer with the name Denver in it and the official sounding “Denver Beer Co.” sounds like it must be good. This young brewery opened in 2011 and started from its owners brewing in their garage. Beer taps change frequently; as they believe every beer has its season. If I could be there right now, I'd have Admiral Ackbar's Apricot Ale; brewed with fresh apricot and Belgian Pale Ale. This sweet malt is almost lightly tropical in taste, but is great for a late winter/almost spring treat.
Great Divide Brewing Company
When a brewery gets so big that they need to expand, you know you've got to try their beer. The Great Divide Brewing Company was founded in 1994, and expanded in 2008 due to huge increases in sale. This is probably because it won awards at the Great American Beer Festival, World Beer Cup awards and is ranked 23/100 of the world's best beer on RateBeer.com. That's quite impressive for a company that thrives in brewing strong beers; with alcohol content greater than 7%. There is a great appreciation for these beers to enjoy the taste and flavor. I'd like to test my taste buds with Orabelle; a Belgian Style Tripel with tastes of orange peel and coriander.
When you've got something good, its best to share it with the world. This was the insight for Breckenridge Brewery founder Richard Squire. He called himself a ski bum who had the ability to brew extraordinary beer. What was just enjoyed only by close friends is now one of the best breweries in Denver. The Denver facility was the first Colorado brewery to package craft beer in 6-packs and 12-packs. My mouth is watering for a taste of the favorite Vanilla Porter. It is brewed with fresh vanilla beans from Papua New Guinea and Madagascar to create a rich chocolaty, and nutty flavored beer.
Jagged Mountain Brewery
Local breweries in Denver have owned their spot, but Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery especially. They encourage their beer drinkers to have a sense of adventure when it comes to beer tasting. This team of friends that have passion for the craft are a great example of why microbreweries are so big in Denver. I'd like to open I'm up for the adventure to try the First Descent Old Ale: a strong 13% beer that ironically brings you down to earth with its full bodied earthy tones and caramel goodness.
Photo credit: mezzoblue