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.
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.
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.
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.