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.
Brewing beer used to be just a hobby for Biff Morehead. After coming home from his day job at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, he'd set to work homebrewing. But in 2013, he decided to make his hobby into a full-time vocation: he purchased a commercial brewing setup from a friend, and Smiling Toad Brewery was born. Inside the East Bijou Street brewery, Morehead uses locally sourced hops and grains to craft balanced, drinkable session beers such as the Irish ale, the aromatic Bella Lavender, and the Electric Espresso Stout. With its cozy, comfortable atmosphere, the brewery is a welcoming place to meet old friends or make new ones.
Hop to It! outfits DIY drinkers of every skill level with all the tools and ingredients they need to craft original alcohol in their own home, be it beer, wine, or mead. Although kits come with all the equipment needed to distill your own draught, ingredients are sold separately. On the day you redeem your Groupon, though, you will receive 10% off your first beer recipe. The shop's massive selection of specialty grains, yeasts, herbs, spices, sugars, hops, and malt extracts make it easy to recreate your favorite local brews, such as Boulder Street Wheat ($36.99) and Northern Lights IPA ($44.99). Mad suds scientists, meanwhile, can blend concoctions with coriander seeds ($1.99), sweet orange peel ($2.49), cardamom seed ($2.99), and banana flavoring ($6.49) to discover what a Christmas ale might taste like in Kenya, or with ferment licorice sticks ($1.59) and strawberry flavoring ($7.69) to make Twizzlerbrau.