Top Tips to Drinking Your Way Around Denver

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If you look at a map of Denver you will see more than 20 breweries, countless bars and plenty of landmarks that it will make your head spin.

Picking a starting point is hard but finding where to go next is even more of a daunting task.

jimi sarah

The start of our day in Denver was pretty much sheer dumb luck.

After starting the trip with a two-hour drive to Philly at 3:30 am, along with a subsequent flight delay, we finally touched down in The Centennial State at about 10 a.m.

We had one goal in mind — get to Great Divide Brewing Company. The problem was that we had to kill a few hours before it opened.

As I said, Denver is full of bars, and I think we found one of the best. Right across the street was the most unassuming place that turned out to be a favorite of the trip.

It’s called The Lobby.

First, they serve brunch all day. ALL DAY. We got there before noon so naturally that’s what we ordered. Life would be much simpler if every bar served brunch all day.

Second, it was the first time I looked at a draught list that was full of beers that I have never heard of, let alone tried. I checked, and they offered flights. Perfect.

The line up included FATE Brewing’s Watermelon Koslch, one of the most refreshing beers I had ever had. Colorado doesn’t have the humidity that we have grown so fond of, but it was still hot so this hit the spot after a long trip.

LOBBY BEER

When it came to food it was a hard choice. Chicken and gravy, Irish Car Bomb French Toast both would hit the spot but then I saw a combination of food that just called to me.

CUBANO

A Cubano Benedict. English muffin topped with ham, pulled pork, pickles, hollandaise sauce with a poached egg perched on top for good measure.

My trip-mates and I tip our hats to the crew at The Lobby, they made a damn good first impression that would be hard to top.

But Denver still had plenty in store.

We took our bags to make the one-minute walk to Great Divide. It’s rated the best brewery in Denver, and there’s no question why. From their staples like Yeti, an imperial stout to Titan IPA they keep churning out the good stuff.

GREAT DIVIDE ROOM

The atmosphere is fun and open. Bartenders shouting and having a good time but who also know their shit when it comes to beer.

When we went they had 15 beers on tap. I stuck to samples for most of the trip to try to take in as much of Colorado as I could. I had Oak Aged Yeti, Hercules DIPA, Showdown Rye and their Claymore Scottish Ale.

GREAT DIVIDE TANKS

So we had a good buzz going with at least five more hours to kill. Luckily right behind GDBC sits the new location for Mile High Spirits.

Damn convenient.

MILE HIGH ROOM

Mile High makes their own vodka, whiskey, gin and tequila. They don’t just stop there. No way, that would be too “inside the box.”

They infuse their spirits with local produce and ingredients. Watermelon tequila, pepperocini and pickle vodka and cinnamon whiskey are a few.

mile high spirits

Cocktails are catered towards the house spirits including a watermelon tequila Moscow mule, of which “refreshing” is an understatement. After that I had to try their whiskey — I’m a sucker for a good whiskey, and Mile High’s Firewalker was a treat.

At this point we didn’t know what was next, so we did what everyone should do when drinking in a new city, we asked the locals.

The bartender at the distillery mentioned the neighborhood bar call Star Barr. We had a few New Belgium Slow Rides and a little bit of a rest. It was a great dive bar with an amazing beer list including some Victory beers on tap.

STAR BARR

Denver has a plethora of taprooms, but there is one that every beer drinking should experience, and that’s Falling Rock Taproom. It’s the place where GABF participants go after claiming their medals, and there’s no question why.

They have more than 100 taps, and the ceiling is lined with tap handles of ghosts of beers past. I had one of my favorite beers, Avery’s Maharaja (if you haven’t had it, what are you doing?).

This is just a small sample of what the Mile High City has to offer. It has unique bars at every turn.

I just have some advice for a place like this: Don’t plan it.

James Werner
Author: James Werner

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