There are many reasons to visit the Denver. Not only our Capital city, but we have become a top destination for food tourism. This includes gourmet cuisine from our many award-winning chefs to the hidden gems locals know and love, culinary marijuana, and craft beer. With over 340 craft breweries in Colorado and 100 brewpubs, breweries and taprooms in the Metro Denver area, we attract beer enthusiasts from near and far. But have you ever wondered what the difference is between craft beer and your average store-bought beer?
What Is Craft Beer?
Craft beer refers to specialty brews made by independent breweries. Every region of the world sets its own standards for criteria, which often includes being brewed in smaller batches, with specialty ingredients, and brewed in a traditional and non-mechanical method. In Colorado, this means no more than 6 million kegs annually. This is up from 2 million as the popularity of craft brewing is on the rise. Microbreweries are a form of craft beer but brew much smaller batches annually.
The Range Is Diverse
If you have only ever tried store-bought beer brands then you don’t know what you are missing. Think of craft beer a bit more like you would wine—in that it comes in an endless variety of options. Light, dark, hoppy, fruity, bitter, aromatic, and even in blends that are thicker or richer than others.
Tasting Is The Way To Go
With over 100 brewpubs, breweries and taprooms in the Metro Denver area you have access to hundreds of different craft brews. If you don’t yet know your way around specialty brews it is best to start with a tasting. Almost every brewpub hosts tasting events or serves flights of beer for you to sample a mix of their favorites. There is no shortage of food and drink events in Denver—including food and drink tours where you can sample both craft brews and local wine and spirits, which are paired with complimentary food pairings.
What If You Don’t Like Beer?
Beer isn’t for everyone, but if you have never tried a craft brew or have only tried one or two then it may be worth doing a tasting. You may walk away no more impressed with beer than you were to begin with, but you may also find that there are one or two styles you in fact enjoy. This goes well beyond fruity or seasonal ales to Lagers, India Pale Ales, Wheat Beer, Bocks, and more.
If you will only be in town for a few days a food tour may be the easiest way to sample both craft beer and food from some of the best chefs in Denver. Craft beer is part of our Boozy Bites Food Tour or for a more food-focused or all ages tour our Downtown Denver Food Tour. You can also schedule a private tour that can be customized to meet your needs.