Self Guided Craft Beer Tour
Are you looking for a cool way to spend a day with friends and enjoy the best beer and beer culture that Denver has to offer?
Here are two ideas for walking tours of beer bars in Denver that will provide hours of adventuresome craft beer drinking and incredible sightseeing of some of Denver’s most historic neighborhoods. These tours can be enjoyed individually or together for an entire day of beer bar touring and can easily be done on foot.
1. The Colfax Craft Beer Bar walking tour will enjoy visits to the Irish Snug, Kingas Lounge, Argonaut Liquor store, Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Bar and Uptown Brothers Brewery. In addition to planned stops, there are endless possibilities for timeouts at some of Denver’s coolest dive bars enroute to the next stop. The local neighborhood is full of history both recent and past with some real cool architecture along Colfax Avenue.
Estimated time needed for the tour? 3 – 4 hours.
Start the Colfax Beer Bar tour at the Irish Snug for a great European beer selections, some traditional Irish pub fare and European soccer on most TV’s. The Irish Snug is located at 1201 East Colfax Avenue just one block east of Downing.
Next, head west across Marion Street to Kingas Lounge for some Polish beers, snacks and house infused vodka shots before moving on west into the heart of Colfax’s craft beer scene.
Stop by Argonaut Liquor store at 760 East Colfax to pa-ruse the coolers and shelves for some hard to find beers and to grab a few for your cellar before a visit to Denver’s Belgian beer bar, Cheeky Monk, located at 534 East Colfax Avenue.
Enjoy a fantastic selection of Belgian and American beer poured in proper glassware and delicious house mussels at Cheeky Monk. The atmosphere is amazing paired with their food and incredible beer selection, this stop might take a while to truly enjoy all it has to offer.
Finally, its off to enjoy a final beer and some lunch at Uptown Brothers Brewery for an extra laid back beer and service experience. Though the service may leave you wanting, the beer selection certainly will not. Choose from over 30 craft beer taps and over 40 choices in the bottle to enjoy with a quick bite to eat on this last stop of the self guided Colfax beer bar tour.
Or take it to the next level and link up with…
2. The Downtown Denver Craft Beer Bar tour visits the Denver Yardhouse, Euclid Hall Bar and Kitchen, Fresh Craft, Colt and Gray, Falling Rock Taproom, StarBar and Great Divide Brewery.
Estimated time need for the tour? 5 – 6 hours.
Start out the tour at the top of 16th street mall at the Yard House for a mind numbing selection of over 120 beers on tap and some delicious food and eye candy.
Take the free mall ride west to Larimer Street , get off and walk south to 14th street to enjoy some incredible food and a fantastic selection of local and worldly beers at Euclid Hall Bar and Kitchen located at 1317 14th street. For an incredible food pairing try either the Foie Gras Poutine with the Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour or the Oyster Po’boy Sandwich with an Avery Reverend Belgian Quadruple.
Next, head west and north to 15th and Blake to enjoy beers at a small, off the beaten path beer bar that boasts great Fresh Food and Craft Beer at FreshCraft. Between the selection on tap and in bottles, you will have a new place to come to check some hard to find beers off your bucket list. They keep the tap handles rotating fast enough that even with a weekly visit, you are sure to miss some real cool offerings.
Once you’ve checked out some of Lodo’s newest, hippest beer bars in Euclid Hall and Fresh Craft, head west to 15th and Platte for a visit to Colt and Gray. This upscale restaurant and bar offers great service and atmosphere paired with incredible food and beverage menus. The bar at Colt and Gray is sophisticated yet enjoys a laid back bar atmosphere with some incredibly eclectic and hard to find beers on tap as well as some well crafted classic cocktails.
After indulging your swankier side, it is now time to hit the old classic, Falling Rock Tap House, for an endless selection of impossible to find beers on tap and in bottle. Though this will be a major change of pace from Colt and Gray, give the servers a chance, they will eventually warm up and share some secrets about the beer menu if you ask nicely.
Just two more stops on this incredible walking tour, stand tall, two of my favorites are yet to come.
Now head east and north to 22nd and Larimer to duck into StarBar, an old classic dive bar that has recently seen a change in ownership, a face lift and a lot of attention to craft beer, both on tap and in cans. While you are at StarBar, challenge the bartender to create a new beer cocktail, it is sure to be something that you have never seen before. Though StarBar does not have a kitchen, they do encourage you to order in from a handful of local restaurant menus or bring some snacks or a picnic.
The last stop on the tour is a visit to my favorite brewery in Denver, Great Divide. Say hi to Collin or Jennie and if you time it right, you might just be able to join a tour of the brewery that goes off at 3pm and 4 pm daily and hourly until 8 pm on the weekends. Don’t be surprised if the tiny taproom is elbow to elbow because they open the doors every day at 2pm to waiting thirsty fans . The crowded nature of Great Divide is part of the ambience, enjoy the random conversations and meetings as you are sure to bump into someone unique. Ask to try some of their more rare beers before selecting a pint, as they offer a few free samples to their guests. This is a perfect last stop on the tour. Enjoy some incredible beers, chat with random locals or taproom bartenders and pick up some bombers or fill your growler to share with friends that missed out on the afternoon’s adventures.
Try out the Downtown Denver Craft Beer bar walking tour before an afternoon Rockies game for the ultimate in Denver experiences. The tour can be adjusted to visit Coors Field between Falling Rock and StarBar for an intermission to the beer tour, or finish at StarBar or Falling Rock and head to the ballpark which is just blocks away.
If you try either self guided tour or both of these tours, let me know what stops were most fun and what great beers you tried. If you have any ridiculously awesome stories from the hours of craft beer touring, please share those as well.