As explained by my previous post about Denver’s Craft Breweries and the reason behind our mini-break to the American mid-west, we were in Colorado for a few days at the end of October largely to visit some craft breweries. A desire to see the Flat Irons mountains and to experience the hippie vibes I’d heard about, we decided to hop on a bus for a day trip into Boulder, about 45 minutes from downtown Denver by bus. We began the day walking around the Chautauqua Park and the gorgeous leaf-lined streets filled with beautiful houses, and then made our way to try a few different breweries and tap houses. Again, we couldn’t possibly visit all of them, so here’s where we checked out and my corresponding reviews.
Boulder Beer Company
When I was looking at Boulder Breweries, none of them really seemed to be near the downtown area – they were all far out in more industrial areas and required a good 20 minute bus plus 12 minute walk to get to. Boulder Beer, which claims to be the first craft brewery in Colorado, is one such brewery in the middle of nowhere. When you arrive into the brewpub, there’s an immediate smell of yeast and barley in the air, a lot stronger than the other breweries we visited, especially for in the pub area. We decided to order their sampler tray, which has small sizes of all of their current beers. Cleverly, it came on a placemat with each glass placed on top of what it was so you could remember – unfortunately, the special/limited edition brews weren’t spelled out on the placemat, which instead had a placeholder for “limited edition” brews. So, even though the server told us, we couldn’t remember everything. Hence why, even though you see 13 beers on that placemat, I’ve only listed 8 below, because I couldn’t remember! My favourite was definitely the Barleywine, though I also really liked their Oktoberfest and Chocolate Porter. I also ordered a pretzel, which came out as two gigantic pretzels, so at least I was eating to combat the alcohol!
-Sweaty Betty Hefeweizen (3.5/5)
-Singletrack Copper Ale (3.75/5)
-Hazed Hoppy Session Ale (3.75/5)
-Shake Chocolate Porter (4.35/5)
-Mojo India Pale Ale (3.75/5)
-Buffalo Gold (4/5)
-Killer Penguin Barleywine (5/5)
-Dragonhosten Imperial Oktoberfest (4.75/5)
Sanitas Brewing Company
This place was so lovely, and with a cute logo too! It wasn’t too far of a walk from Boulder Beer Company, so they’d be good to visit in tandem. To help differentiate the beers they gave us a little pinwheel with the names next to the glasses – which was very helpful, even though we were trying fewer types! They didn’t have any food at the time we visited, though usually there is a taco food truck outside. I learned on this trip that I like beers that are flavoured with rye or whisky, and theirs was no exception. The Special Cargo Red Ale was something pretty special too.
-Autumn Quad Belgian Strong Dark Ale (2/5)
-Special Cargo Red Ale (5/5)
-Rye Whisky Barrel Abbey (4.5/5)
-Saison Ale (4/5)
Walnut Brewery and Tap House
We made our way back to the downtown area after the two brewery visits so we’d be close to our departing bus back to Denver. I found the Walnut Brewery on Google when I searched “Downtown brewpubs in Boulder”, so we decided on a whim to go. Their food was pretty good, we shared a margherita pizza that was quite delicious, but the beer was just a standard red ale, nothing too special especially after coming from Sanitas!
-Walnut Brewery Sled Dog Red Ale (3.75/5)
We were supposed to go check out Avery Brewing while we were in Boulder, but it was so far out and we didn’t really have the energy! We saw their name everywhere at tap houses in Denver, but alas, didn’t make it to the brewery.
Have you been to Boulder? What breweries and tap houses are good to check out, for next time?