We’re looking forward to another exciting year in the Colorado craft brewing scene, and we’re sure you are, too. Based on our recent experiences, we’re offering you our list of top breweries in the Denver area that you shouldn’t miss in 2016. If you haven’t visited any of these beer havens… you must. In addition to the many popular, long-time breweries in Denver such as Great Divide and Breckenridge Brewery, here are some lesser-known establishments that are quickly climbing the ranks, making great beer and being inventive all at the same time.
Station 26 Brewing Co. - This brewery has really taken off lately thanks to a variety of efforts. Their single-hop series allows them to showcase a selected hop in their IPA. They market this series well. This means you know the beer is fresh and it will keep you coming back for the next iteration, whether you find that on tap here, or someplace else in their distinctive-looking cans. They have a lively tap room with a good variety of events and releases.
Wit's End Brewing Co. - So it's not the most glamorous space, nor the most glamorous location. So what? This brewery continues to innovate, with a nod to the 1980's aesthetic (just check out the decor and some of the beer names, such as "Come On Ryeleen"). The people here are fun and down-to-earth. You get the feeling they like to concoct the beers that their instincts inspire.
Hogshead Brewery - A niche brewery that really knows how to fill its chosen niche. You might as well be in London, but you're in west Denver. If you like English-style beer, you can instantly tell that this is the place to go. If you aren't sure about this style, come here and find out: Try a beer from a naturally carbonated cask. To please more conventional American palates, Hogshead always has a few of their beers to serve via CO2 pressurized kegs.
Four Noses Brewing Co. - This place is really a happening place. But the beer happens to be great too. (Or maybe the latter caused the former?) There is often live music -- or a special tapping -- but even on a ho-hum day, the great beers here beckon you in.
Black Shirt Brewing Co. - They brew beer here with heart, passion, and a sense of story. Red Evelyn, a winter release, is a tribute to the brewers' late grandmother. You know a creation like that has got to be made with tender care. It's also part and parcel of everything going on at this thoughtful, unique brewery.
Declaration Brewing Co. - There's a certain sense of energy and ambition here that comes through on the tap list. You tend to see a wide range of beers on any given day here, encompassing a wide range of styles. They recently started canning, too, so now you can find there beer more and more all over town. Or leave the tap room with a six-pack purchase. Oh, and where else does the men's bathroom feature urinals fashioned out of old kegs?
We hope you enjoy our recommendations and that they enrich your craft beer experience in Colorado. If you have any comments or suggestions, please visit our Facebook and Twitter pages and share your thoughts with us.