Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2012 Pack: Top CO Beer Spots

I don’t spend as much time traversing the metro and the state as years past checking out new beer spots. Two kids and all that stuff gets in the way (most bars frown upon high chairs among the beer taps.)

But I still made it to a few to highlight for the year of 2012 that is nearly a distant memory, you know, being three whole weeks ago.

Local micro-breweries seemed to popping up all over, some small enough to be smaller than a micro. On Denver's far-Eastern fringe, Caution Brewing opened up amongst a non-descript industrial park., complete with a Space Invaders game and a tasty blonde ale. Further north in my hometown, Big Choice Brewing opened in another industrial area with more tasty beers, a small bar area and a TV room upstairs. Keep going up US36 and a turn into Louisville will find Gravity Brewing, with one of the longest bars I’ve seen in quite some while and food available through a small window from the American Legion lodge next door.

Staying in Louisville a trip to Lucky Pie is a must, with their great pizza and ever changing beer lineups. Spent a hot summer afternoon for former Slushy Gutter Winner Juck’s bday there, where the kiddos could play in their fenced in “front yard.” Fast forward a couple months and my own bday celebration there was somewhat muted with a freak early October cold front but fun nonetheless.

The mountains got theirs in 2012, staring with Eddyline Brewing in Buena Vista, where we stopped post NCAA tourney in Albuquerque for a craft brew and hearty grub. Further up the way in Carbondale is Carbondale Beer Works, in a former post office where me and Slushy Gutter Winner TDub stopped for a cold beer on a hot summer day. Winter Park might not be the top summer destination, but a stop at The Library for one of their beers is a must, as me and the beautiful Mrs Commish learned on a lazy WP Beer Festival weekend.

Colorado’s spots are getting wise and adding more outdoor areas to drink and one of the best Boulder County has to offer is Oskar Blues Homemade Liquid and Solids in Longmont. The mammoth backyard is a perfect spot for families and enjoying their huge beer list. Staying in BoCo, Centro on the west end of Boulder’s Pearl Street may be known for their mojitoes but I managed a Ska Mexican Loggers on their quaint outdoor bar. Fellow CU fans have to venture to LoDo for an early season game at Blake Street Tavern, where the outdoor area will occasionally feature a huge outdoor screen and are very Black and Gold friendly.

Meanwhile back in Denver’s Central Platte Valley is the Denver Beer Company and their beers and rotating food trucks, where I spent a scorching June afternoon watching the gentrification pass by. Over off Tennyson is Local 46, which was once a wayward dive bar but now features art on the walls and a live music. A skip away and across from Sloan’s Lake is GB Fish And Chips, where they’ll fry up anything and offer cheap PBRs (among other more traditional English brews) with soccer games on the telly.

While I certainly got in a fair share of LoDo’s, Old Chicagos, and other chains, I try to highlight the local spots, and one of those spots is Right Coast Pizza in old Wheat Ridge, locally flavored and laid back. Took the family there over the holidays, and while my youngest daughter goo-goo’ed and made faces at us, my oldest sang to her heart’s content and colored, with my wife enjoying a few seconds of peace and not wiping boogers or grabbing something from the diaper bag. I sipped on my cold one and watched other families in the Holiday spirit knowing there was no other place I’d rather be and no other people I’d rather be with. Enjoy these places not so much for greasy food, fancy chairs or the bartender with the tight shirt, but the memories and people you’re there with... Cheers.

Check the ID - past top beer spots:

2006 List, 2007 List, 2008 List, 2009 List, 2010 List, 2011 List

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Dont spend as much time at bars"
there's 14 bars listed here!
plus the "chains" youre avg 2 a month,

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