Avanti Winery handcrafts its own signature wine blends alongside more than 25 local Colorado wines, furnishing oenophiles with myriad grownup grape-juice choices. A bottle of chardonnay ($16.95) transports hints of vanilla, lemon, almonds, and hazelnuts to taste buds, and the popular white table wine ($16.95) melds five varietals potent enough to charm palates and steal guests’ girlfriends at dinner parties. Swill sips of Avanti's table red wine ($17.95) or uncork the signature cabernet sauvignon ($22.95), bursting with maroon-tinged fruits. The merlot ($22.95) introduces cherries and a dry finish to palates, and the port III’s dashes of caramel, cherry, and chocolate ($24.95) form a trio of dessert flavors in tipsifying liquid form. Avanti Winery also offers free wine tastings Thursday–Sunday from a different Colorado winery each month.
Breckenridge Bikebus's eponymous vehicle is, according to owner Curt Cavnar, the "Porsche" of its unique kind of transportation. Consisting of two rows of bar stools equipped with bike pedals, the custom-built craft combines the fun of a party bus with the easygoing workout of a tandem bicycle. Some partiers can sit back and enjoy the ride as 10 others sit at the bar and provide pedal power, with a staff driver manning the wheel to steer clear of oncoming paper boys. A canopy keeps passengers shaded while they sip beverages and listen to tunes on an iPod-ready Alpine sound system. Should the sun go down during trips, the bikebus's lighting system kicks on, making it easy to continue through black holes unencumbered.
Breckenridge Distillery sits at 9,600 feet above sea level, where brew masters mix mineral-rich Rocky Mountain snow-melt water into bourbon, vodka, and other stiff libations. A 500-gallon Vendone copper pot whips up spirits in tandem with an open-top, Scottish-style fermenter—the two forming a better booze-promoting team than Al Capone and a basement. As guests meander through the storefront, they might sample the distillery's namesake bourbon, which boasts aromas of banana and brown sugar, or the namesake vodka, which yields notes of lemon cream and meadow flowers. With their $20 retail credit, tour-takers can bring products including mugs ($6), playing cards ($8), and flasks ($15) to the homes and recreational submarines of friends.
Kevin and Marisa Selvy made the decision to leave San Francisco to start a Colorado brewery while kicking back with (of course) a couple of beers. The move might have seemed a little, well, crazy at the time, but it’s more than paid off. These days, Crazy Mountain Brewing Company distributes its beers to more than 10 states, plus international markets such as Hong Kong.
Said libations—including eight year-round varieties, plus seasonal and Brewers’ Reserve releases—also flow from 10 taps inside Crazy Mountain’s dog-friendly tasting room. Here, pints, pitchers, and tasting flights hold everything from the five-malted Horseshoes & Hand Grenades ESB to the wheaty Old Soul Strong Belgian Golden Ale. To complement pours, an outdoor food truck dubbed the Crazy Wagon serves a weekly rotating menu of global comfort food, including Korean-style short-rib tacos and gourmet grilled cheese. The brewery also hosts events such as live music and free yoga classes that allow students to sweat out all the hops they just drank.
While studying at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Duncan Clauss found himself immersed in craft beer culture. Inspired by trips to nearby pubs and breweries, he and his college roommates soon began making their own small-batch microbrews. In 2008, a few years after graduating, Duncan transformed his hobby into a career with the launch of Aspen Brewing Company.
Here, Duncan and his crew craft five year-round pours and a handful of rotating seasonal brews, including a saison that earned the Great American Beer Festival's silver medal. These selections flow inside the establishment's taproom, where patrons can likewise take home libations in environmentally conscious cans, bottles, or growlers. Besides brewing drinks, the taproom staff welcomes visitors to tour the facilities during Friday and Saturday afternoons before they host free live music later in the night.
With only a few 5-gallon buckets and some extracts, Bonfire Brewing began in a garage. Nowadays, the microbrewery team makes enough batches of brew to fill up to 15 of the taps at an on-premise taproom in Eagle. Here, bartenders decant hoppy IPAs, smooth brown ales, and lighter wheat beers into 16- and 23-ounce glasses, as well as to-go growlers, kegs for delivery, and time capsules for future thirsty people. The taproom opens around 5:30 p.m. every day, when the Bonfire crew invites patrons to tour the brewery; play rounds of darts, foosball, and shuffleboard; or groove to live music on weekends.