I have always enjoyed living in Colorado for the mountains and beautiful weather. However, I have recently added a new winning factor to the list: beer. There’s some sort of rumor floating around that Colorado has the most breweries per capita in the U.S. which may or may not be true, but it’s definitely true that Colorado is home to some quality brews.
One of my favorite Colorado beer stories occurred a few weeks ago, when my friends and I were skiing at Vail. We stopped at a hot dog stand at the bottom of Blue Sky Basin for a quick bite to eat and of course we ordered Dale’s Pale Ale to go along with the hot dogs. As we were eating and drinking we discussed how much we loved Dale’s Pale Ale. Then we decided to just go ahead and make a detour to Lyons after Vail for dinner at the Oskar Blues Brewery, home of Dale’s Pale Ale. Was it on the way back to Denver? Not at all. We probably spent an extra two hours going to Oskar Blues after Vail, but it was so delicious.
Continuing on my beer quest, last week I had the opportunity to go on a tour of the New Belgium factory in Fort Collins, purely for academic purposes of course. I mean it was Earth Week, and they do a lot of sustainable brewing practices! Anyway, New Belgium certainly makes some good brews, and 1554 and Mothership Wit are probably two of my favorite beers. After New Belgium we also hit up Odell Brewing Company since it was just a few blocks away.
Anyway, as a result of my beer adventures, I have compiled a nice list of my recent favorite Colorado brewskis.
Dale’s Pale Ale
It’s really hard to ever go wrong with a Dale’s Pale Ale. I do love hoppy beer, so if you’re not into hops, this may not be the pale ale for you. However if you love hops and outdoor activities, this is the perfect pale ale. Easily drinkable, not too heavy and definitely not boring. The can is especially handy for Wash Park BBQs, as no glass bottles are allowed!
During the winter, I am really into darker and richer beers. 1554 is a nicely balanced black ale with a delicious chocolately aftertaste. Beer and chocolate? Sold. Anyway, in say mid-February, there’s nothing I like better than grabbing a couple of 1554s and queso from The Pioneer. I could probably write an entire entry alone about how much I love queso at The Pio, so we’ll just save that one for a later date.
Colorado Kind Ale
Another hoppy beer, surprise, surprise. An amber bodied ale heavy on the hops. Beers made by Mountain Sun Pubs, a Boulder based brewery, get extra points in my book for having excellent food. I also happen to live dangerously close to the Mountain Sun pub location in Denver.
I am fairly sure that this company is owned by Coors and as much as I hate to support the man and not the little guy, I admit that I really like this beer. It’s a slightly fruity amber lager with a nice flavor. Plus who doesn’t love having the Colorado flag symbol on a bottle of beer?
Good things do come out of Greeley, Colorado! Ahem. Anyway, Ginger Bee is an American blonde ale brewed with ginger and honey flavors. It especially goes well with Indian takeout from Little India. I’m getting hungry just thinking about lamb biryani and naan.
This is just a small sampling of some of the awesome beers found in Colorado. The good news? There’s so many more out there!