Friend: “Did you know Denver brews more beer per capita than any other city in the US?!”
Sonja: “Awesome! That would come in handy, if I liked beer.”
Friend: “Wait, what? That’s like saying you don’t like to snowboard”
Sonja: “I don’t like to snowboard”
Friend: “You, Sonja, are in the wrong state ”
This is a conversation I often have. Yes, I am very much a fish out of water living in the Rocky Mountain State. I am not a fan of winter sports. Why? Well, I am a huge klutz, my legs are constantly covered in bruises and the idea of strapping myself onto a board/skis and gliding down a mountain sounds like an accident waiting to happen. Now don’t worry, I won’t knock something til I’ve tried it… I’ve tried it and it’s not for me.
The same goes for beer. If I am handed a beer, I will take a few sips put it down, only to return to it 1 hour later when it is warm and flat… and who wants a warm, flat beer? Every time I inform someone that I don’t like beer they seem to take it as a challenge. As if no one has ever tried to convert me. It’s all well intentioned and who would I be to turn down a free drink? Crazy, that’s who.
Why is this so strange? So I don’t like beer, so what? Well I live in Denver, Colorado and went to college in Boulder. To say these two cities love their beer is an understatement. There are so many local breweries and microbreweries in the state that it really is odd that I have not found ONE beer that makes me crave it on a hot summer day.
I’ve decided that in 2012 I will expand my horizons, make a conscious effort to try new things, so I’ve decided that I will do my best to develop at least an appreciation for beer. You may never catch me purchasing a Growler but who knows I may surprise you and invite you out for a “cold one”.
So where to start?
1) Check out this list of Top 10 Denver Area Breweries and Brew Pubs. Favorites include: Wynkoop Brewing Company – the oldest brew-pub in Denver, Great Divide Brewing, Del Norte Brewing, and of course Coors with their famous brewery tours.
2) Boulder Beer Company: Colorado’s first microbrewery. Stop in to grab some grub and sample a few beers direct from the source.
3) Avery Brewing Co: I actually used to attend deaf events here when I was an undergrad; it was a great way to practice my ASL. American Sign Language Night is on the 1st Tuesday of every month and is open to everyone. Don’t know ASL? That is ok; this is a great way to learn! ASL Night is on hold till August so you have time to at least get the alphabet down!
4) Mountain Sun Pub and Brewery: There are 3 locations and they all offer great food, great brews, which equals a great time.
Even better, plan your visit around one of Denver’s famous festivals!
1) Summer Brew Fest - July 27, 2012 – Held at Denver’s Mile High Station, this festival features 125+ brews from 45+ craft breweries as well as live music, food and more. If that doesn’t win you over, this is a great way to give back while getting your “swerve on”. Summer Brew Fest benefits the Swallow Hill Music Association which promotes the art of music in our community. Check them out!
2) Oktoberfest - September 21-23 & 28-30, 2012 – Held in Denver’s Ballpark Neighborhood, come celebrate German heritage through music, dance and of course beer! If you have kids, don’t worry, Denver’s Oktoberfest is an event with fun activities for the whole family!
3) Denver Beer Fest – October 5-13, 2012 – Held at various locations throughout Denver, this is a great way to experience the “Suds City”. Get a taste of what each eclectic Denver neighborhood has to offer.
4) The Great American Beer Festival - October 11-13, 2012 – Held at the Denver Convention Center, this isn’t a mere tasting, this is the mother of all beer festivals! Last year 466 breweries were in attendance. They poured over 2,000 types of beer to a crowd of 50,000 “tasters” packed into the Denver Convention Center, a space roughly the size of 5 football fields! If you don’t like beer after this event, well, there really is no hope!
Don’t live in Denver? Now you have a reason to visit! Come during any of the times listed above to attend a festival or come out and make your own! Just remember to be safe, be courteous and have fun! While you’re at it, why not take a break from drinking to get to know our city by taking a quick tour. Whether to get the lay of the land or to head up into the beautiful Rocky Mountains, you can find tours in and out of the city at grayline.com/denver.
What are your favorite breweries in the Denver/Boulder area? (Click here if you can’t see the Facebook comments field below: “Of all my favorite things to do, the utmost is to have a brew”)