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.
Founded by local brew maestro Jason Yester, Trinity Brewing serves fresh food and beer amid a people- and environment-friendly atmosphere. Drawing on his years of experience as former brew master at Bristol Brewing Company, Yester personally crafts a variety of staple and seasonal brews, such as the Sunna Belgian Wit or the 12.5% ABV Farmhouse Nocturnum Saison. With a thundering beerfall of more than 30 taps, Trinity Brewing surrounds 6 to 10 original creations with about 27 offerings from signature breweries such as Avery, Dogfish Head, and New Belgium. The kitchen keeps the brew munchies at bay with a full menu that appeals to vegetarians, meatitarians, gluten-free gourmets, and ascetic Antarctic ice temple monks. Juxtapose a well-aged Stop Making Sense eisbock with appetizers such as the authentic belgian fries ($5) and Awaken bison jerky ($5). For heartier hungers, try a mediterranean wrap ($6) or sink your moistened molars into the holy mole enchilada ($9) or the falafel with house-made tzatziki sauce ($9).
Thanks to its impressive selection of varietals from more than 95 local wineries, The Wines of Colorado has been lauded as "one of the most unique wine shops in the country" by Wine Trail Traveler and featured in the Wall Street Journal. Inside, a mural of larger-than-life bottles lines one wall, and an adjacent room houses an expansive tasting counter that stocks a lineup of bottles filled with Colorado reds and whites, which are often compared to Californian vinos. Their food has received it’s fair share of recognition as well, earning numerous awards, including Best Creekside Dining from the Gazette in 2010 and 2011. The chefs sizzle up signature buffalo wine burgers and creamy dill mahi-mahi, which guests can enjoy on the pine-tree-lined outdoor patio as they sip wine mere steps away from the burbling Fountain Creek.
Sovereignty Wines is a locally owned, family-run business, featuring a diverse selection of wine, spirits, and beer from around the world. Whether you're a grapephile seeking a specific low-production vintage or a vino virgin looking for professional wine-pairing guidance or a thoughtful gift, the shop's knowledgeable staff will help you locate some special sips. Sovereignty stocks nearly every varietal, including favorites such as Bordeaux, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, chenin blanc, grenache, merlot, pinot noir, Riesling, sauvignon blanc, Shiraz, and sparkling wines, as well as fine spirits including cognac, brandy, scotch, whiskey, and bourbon. Peruse the shop's impressive inventory to discover reasonably priced staff recommendations, including the 2008 Lucky Star Pinot Noir (under $10), the French oaked 2007 Angeline Chardonnay ($10–$20), or a tasty liquid treasure such as the 2005 Etude Cabernet (over $20), rated 96 points by Wine Enthusiast magazine.