In 1995, Twisted Pine Brewing Company began as something more of a grove than a forest, with brewer Gordon King crafting just a trio of beers in equipment purchased from New Belgium. Come 1996, the company fell into the hands of current owner Bob Baile, who merged the nascent brewery with his own project, Peak to Peak Brewing Company, and began bolstering the lineup with inventive stouts, ales, and porters. Since then, Twisted Pine has maintained a high standard of quality even in the face of its expanding scale, as evidenced by the gold medals garnered at the Great American Beer Festival for its American Amber Ale and Oak Whiskey Red. They credit their love for experimentation and strong community involvement as the driving force behind crafting beers that surprise and delight their loyal customers.
Today, locals and visitors mingle in the tap room, where the beer menu offers seasonal specials such as the Ghost Face Killah, infused with the 1.1 million Scovilles of the Bhut Jolokia pepper, and rated by Bon Appétit as one of the top ten weirdest beers in America. And to pair with the beer and drawers of otherwise useless silverware, the food menu features hearty pizzas, sandwiches, and salads.
Set in a wind-powered facility, Asher Brewing Company bowls over imbibers with a flurry of certified-organic beers. The company’s wide palette of fresh tastes resides in the organic five-beer tasting sampler, which furnishes fans of fancy barley pop with five five-ounce pours. Mouths happily cancel public-speaking arrangements to accommodate the company of the rotating and seasonal brews such as the Green Bullet IPA, Treehugger Organic Amber, Green Lantern Organic Kolsch, and Funbarrel Kriek. Guzzlers will also guzzle one full pint of their choice, poured into a take-home glass that, like leprechaun wrestlers, comes tattooed with an official Celtic-like logo.
When Santa Claus brought Left Hand Brewing Company’s cofounder Dick Doore his very first home-brewing kit, the jolly man unknowingly set Dick on a whole new life path. Home brewing became an obsession, and soon he had partnered with his college buddy Eric Wallace and started making their first batch of beer: the Sawtooth Ale. Just a few months later, Dick and Eric took home two medals at the Great American Beer Festival.
Nearly 20 years later, the brewery’s accomplishments have swelled: 16 medals in the Great American Beer Festival, 8 medals at the World Beer Cup, and 3 medals at the European Beer Star. The brewery was also the first craft-beer company to master bottling a nitrogenized craft beer without a widget, owing to the introduction of their popular milk stout. Its extensive offering of brews is now available in 25 markets. Favorites include the golden crisp Polestar Pilsner and a roasty black Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout, both of which are available in the Longmont tasting room.
Do Your Brew outfits DIY drinksmiths with an arsenal of in-house beer-brewing equipment and a cornucopia of aromatic ingredients. The expansive brewing base allows hopeful brewers to ferment their favorite concoctions in-store without having to buy expensive equipment or expose raw materials to grainaholic roommates. Breeze into the store during an available brew time and pick out a kit (included with brewing sessions) to craft a hoppy Apollo IPA, a refreshing Sundown Wheat, or an antimatter-infused Black Canyon Stout at one of the store's three brewing stations. Once lager lovers have malted and mashed beloved recipes with the help of a brewing veteran on staff, the concoction is left to transform into a more familiar flavor over a period of two weeks. Porter parents then return to transfer their five-gallon creations into more imbibable bottles ($13.25 for 24) to be capped ($4.30–$5.30/lb.) and carted home. Alternately, beer buffs with home space and brewing savvy can select a duo of brewing kits and concoct the bitter, amber, or brown of their choosing within the privacy of their home or pretzel factory.
The community-driven Big Beaver Brewing Co serves several handcrafted brews concocted on-site—though the racy titles of its drinks are appropriate for adults only. Thirsty patrons can sidle up to the bar to sip on eight different 2-ounce beer samples, including the Potent Peter IPA, a hoppy, aromatic ale, and the Wonder Wiener Wheat, boasting strong notes of clove and banana. Fermentation fans can then take take 64 ounces of their favored barley in a Big Beaver growler, which can be kept, refilled, or returned to the brewery for a $4 refund. Big Beaver’s brewing model relies on a community of beer lovers refilling their growlers with reusable containers to reduce their carbon footprint and give feedback as to what types of beer should be brewed next.
Beneath the rustic beams at Old Mill Brewery & Grill, patrons linger over frosty pints of in-house crafted microbrews while chatting near the exposed-brick fireplace. It's here, after all, where local brewers trailblazed the art of creating fine beers before the trend took shape. Today, they continue to produce six stellar beers in styles that range from pilsners to lagers and IPAs to stouts. Bartenders also tap pours of seasonal brews, such as a coconut porter, double IPA, or a fruit-infused raspberry red. Platefuls of home-cooked American fare complement each sip of suds, and include classic burgers and sandwiches along with a slew of succulent entrees—such as homemade fish ‘n’ chips. Nestled in historic downtown Littleton, Old Mill Brewery & Grill welcomes scores of friends and family who flock to its homey charms for a leisurely meal or to enjoy televised sporting events on its big-screen TVs.
Dad & Dude's Breweria's father-and-son duo pair small-batch craft beer with classic and inventive pizzas fashioned atop dough sweetened with spent beer grains and agave nectar. Acquaint taste buds with the menu's surrealist creations by sinking teeth into the Shroom pie ($11), a portobello-mushroom cap brimming with spinach, roasted garlic, and a reduction of Dali's daydreams. Dad & Dude's specialty pies crisscross the line between classic and creative with the italian-sausage-topped Tommy Gun ($13+) or Da Rasta Mon ($12+), speckled with jamaican jerk chicken and caramelized pineapple. Keep tables securely seated on the floor by topping them with a hefty selection of more than 10 sandwiches ($7+) or heaping bowls of pasta ($10 each) such as the pepper jack mac 'n' cheese suffused with spicy-white-cheddar-jack-ale-cheese sauce and pancetta ham.