It should come as no surprise that Denver is among the top cities in the nation with the most breweries per capita. The tradition of beer brewing in the Mile High City stretches back over 160 years, and the town has been an epicenter of the great American microbrewery boom of the 21st century, blessing Denverites with over 150 breweries and thousands of brews to enjoy.
Sampling seasonal releases and old favorites along the Denver Beer Trail is a favorite pastime among locals and visitors alike, so we made a short list of the ones we’ll be sure to scratch off our list this fall:
10 Barrel Brewing Co.: Pocket Change
A good reminder that a porter doesn’t have to pack the high ABV of an Imperial to be satisfying to sip, this seasonal beer from Oregon transplant 10 Barrel Brewing is richly malty with flavors of dark chocolate, coffee, and deeply caramelized sugar. You can get a pint on a regular CO2 or nitro tap, or include a sampler in a beer flight.
Cervecería Colorado: Poblano Pils
A sister brewery of Denver Beer Co., Cervecería Colorado serves up Mexican-inspired brews and regularly throws “Cervezas for Causes” happy hours, donating 20% of proceeds to non-profit organizations like The Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Group. If you haven’t yet, try the Poblano Pils, aged in smoked fresh poblanos that are hand-selected for their low-level spiciness and impart balanced bright-yet-smokey tasting notes even better than a fall campfire.
Denver Beer Co.: Peanut Butter Graham Cracker Porter
Head to any of their three locations (the Rosedale one is our personal favorite) for a six-pack of a peanut-buttery twist on their award-winning Graham Cracker Porter. Available November through February, it’s a richly nutty and savory dark beer that, as they put it, “is a bit like a s'more plus a peanut butter cup in beer form.”
Great Divide Brewing Company: Hibernation Ale
For the past 26 years, the start of ski season here in Denver is marked by the release of Great Divide’s Hibernation Ale, and we look forward to it every time it comes around. Available October through January, the malty, dry-hopped beer has 8.7% ABV, so sip it slowly in one of their local taprooms.
New Belgium Brewing: Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin Ale
This brew puts the spice in pumpkin spice, with notes of cinnamon and habanero chile layered over a hazy pumpkin IPA. While the only NBB-dedicated bar currently open to the public is in the airport, the beer is available at a wide variety of local bars, restaurants, and markets.
Wynkoop Brewing Company: Teddy Orangeblonder Blonde Ale
Stop into the brewery in LoDo to try their tribute to the Broncos’ new quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater. This 4.7% ABV red malted pale ale is brewed with orange peel and the zest from five fresh oranges in tribute to his jersey number, nicely balancing the rich flavors of the brewery’s pork sliders, wings, and cheesy fritters.
Zuni Street Brewing Co.: Way West Wit
The longtime dream of Brewer and Owner Willy Truettney, a Colorado-native, has transformed from a hobby to a collection of unique and delicious brews, including the award-winning Belgian wheat beer, Way West Wit. It's a favorite of those who frequent the taproom and pays homage to those who taught Willy the craft, both in Belgium and locally at New Belgium Brewing. This particular beer drinks light and springy with citrus in the finish and good carbonation throughout.