Updated: Nov 15, 2022
Craft beer lovers have been flocking to Denver, Colorado, for decades—and it’s no wonder why! Residents of the Mile High City can’t throw a rock without hitting a craft brewery here. Seriously.
With over 148 breweries in town to choose from, there is always a great new brew to try and an outdoor beer festival to attend. Here are eight of the best breweries to try while you’re living in Denver, including:
Tivoli Brewing Company
New Belgium Brewing
Great Divide Brewing
4 Noses Brewing
Novel Strand Brewing Company
Let’s get started!
1. Tivoli Brewing Company
Craft breweries have been popping up all across the Centennial State over the past couple of decades, but there’s one brewery that has been around long before anyone else. Tivoli Brewing Company, founded in 1859, is Colorado’s oldest—and most haunted!—brewery.
Colorado’s oldest brewery is tucked inside the Tivoli Union Station, which is the main stomping grounds for UCD, CCD, and MSU students. As you make your way to the taphouse, you’ll see homages to Tivoli’s many beer labels, trays, and bottle caps they have used over the past 163 years. Much of the taproom still houses original items from when the brewery first opened, such as the old copper kettle bursting from the ceiling, the exposed brick walls, and, of course, the recipes for their Hefeweizen and their first flagship beer, the Helles Lager.
The Hefeweizen beer borrows from the traditional German recipe but is lighter and drier than most others. Meanwhile, the Helles Lager offers a maltier, more bitter flavor that is dangerously easy to toss back. In addition to these classics, Tivoli is always brewing something new, then bottling it up and serving it right on location.
Enjoy a pint while you admire the OG surroundings, and keep your eyes out for old-timey ghosts!
2. New Belgium Brewing
Simply put, New Belgium Brewing is one of the best breweries in Colorado. This established, well-known company has been crafting award-winning brews for over 30 years. Best of all, their mission is about so much more than creating great beer (though they do that, too!). The certified B Corporation is a human-powered business that aims to do right by their coworkers and the community, be stewards of environmental change, and have fun.
The most recognizable beer from New Belgium is its flagship amber ale, Fat Tire. This easy-drinking favorite is full of Belgian flavor (thanks to the yeast), along with plenty of herby, hoppy, and fruity flavors. Its Voodoo Ranger series is always cranking out new, awesome IPAs for those who want more hoppy, hazy brews. And, for those who love a good hard seltzer that’s not too sweet, New Belgium’s new Fruit Smash seltzers are a must-try.
Located in Fort Collins, Colorado, their headquarters is like heaven for beer drinkers. With 140,000 square feet to roam and drink, it’s no wonder this place is always packed. There is plenty of indoor and outdoor space for games, food, beer tastings, and live music, and their 90-minute brewery tour is consistently ranked as one of the best tours in the entire company. So, bring your friends, kids, and dogs, and plan to stay for a few hours!
To enjoy a fresh taste of New Belgium beer in Denver, visit New Belgium Brewing at the Source Hotel in the RiNo district. The pilot brewery allows brewers the chance to experiment, create, and innovate with new beer, while giving guests of the hotel a room-with-a-brew experience.
3. Raíces Brewery
Situated at the tail end of the downtown area is Raíces Brewery, which opened back in 2019 by Puerto Rican and Costa Rican founders to create a little piece of home for the Latino community in Denver. Beyond just their beer, this brewery celebrates Latin American culture with Latino food trucks, art, music, and Independence Day festivals for Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, and many more Latin American countries.
Their award-winning beers (cervezas) include Raíz, Furia (Fury), and Valle del Sol (Sun Valley).
Raíz, a tribute to Mexican immigrants’ struggle and success stories outside their native lands, is an easy-to-drink Mexican lager, similar to a Czech-style bohemian pilsner. Furia (Fury) is Raíces’ imperial red ale that is malty, hoppy, and full of complexity. Valle del Sol (Sun Valley) is a bright, crisp ale that represents the Sun Valley community with its light, refreshing taste.
In addition to their craft beer awards, Raíces has won several awards for their emphasis on community and culture, including 2020 Governor’s Minority Business of the Year, 2020 Downtown Denver Impact Award, and 2021 Westword Best Brewery/Taproom Atmosphere.
4. Great Divide Brewing
Great Divide Brewing is a Denver staple that has been brewing classic beer and creating fresh, innovative brews since 1994. You’ll probably recognize their logo, since their beer is available in 23 states (and counting!).
This Denver brewery features 10 of their favorite beers all year-round, all of which still use the same recipes that founder Ryan Dunn developed when Great Divide first opened. These beers—like the Yet imperial stout and the Denver Pale Ale—are so good that they don’t need any tweaking, but that doesn’t stop this brewery from innovating.
Great Divide’s pilot brewery program allows their knowledgeable brewers to craft new concoctions throughout the year. These beers, which are made onsite in small batches, are often only available on a limited-time basis. If the beer is a huge success with the staff and the public—like the Strawberry Rhubarb sour ale and the Wild Raspberry ale—it might just make the year-round cut!
Throughout the year (and especially around the holidays), the Yeti series comes to life. In addition to the Yeti’s imperial stout, Great Divide also offers a Pumpkin Spice Yeti, a Peppermint Bark Yeti, and many other delicious variations with the perfect balance of innovation and quality.
As they say, “Great minds drink alike,” so come enjoy a pint with other Denverites and beer lovers!
5. Blue Moon
Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Blue Moon!
Started in Golden, Colorado, back in 1995, Blue Moon Brewing has quickly become one of the best craft beers in the U.S. Some even give Blue Moon the credit for propelling the country’s craft movement and helping to shape today’s American beer scene.
The Belgian White is their most iconic beer, recognized for its classic orange slice garnish that accompanies its bright, citrusy flavor. But did you know that Blue Moon is brewing up so much more? Their pilot brewery, which opened in Denver’s RiNo district back in 2016, has been constantly brewing new, innovative beers that are often only available at this location.
With a staggering 24 beers on tap, it’s nearly impossible to choose which beer to grab a pint of, like their Iced Coffee Blonde, their Mexican Chocolate brown ale, or their Lemon Wit, just to name a few.
Their gorgeous taproom is complete with a full kitchen, room for private events, tours of the facility, a photobooth, and so much more. Enjoy the gorgeous moon-themed decor as you sip on a “once in a blue moon” creation.
6. Cervecería Colorado
At Cervecería Colorado, a small brewery cranking out Mexican-inspired cervezas, their ethos is to build bridges, not walls.
The sister brewery branched off from Denver Beer Co. back in 2018 when their director of innovation began building relationships with breweries in Mexico. Bringing their ingredients and brewing techniques back to Colorado, the team began creating all sorts of Mexican craft beer. From the Mexican Lager to the Prickly Pear Sour to the Poblano Pilsner, Denverites are loving Cervecería Colorado’s creations.
Every year, Cervecería Colorado invites their friends from multiple Mexican breweries up to Denver so they can create brand-new beers together. The creations always honor the Latino heritage by infusing traditional Mexican ingredients—like churros, pineapple, lime, and chocolate—into the beer.
There’s always something new on tap at this colorful, welcoming brewery on Platte Street. Keep your eye on their social media feeds for upcoming events like drag shows, all sorts of fiestas, and the monthly “Cervezas for Profit,” a night when 20% of taproom sales go to a nonprofit aligned with the Latinx community.
7. 4 Noses Brewing
4 Noses Brewing was started back in 2014 by four family members who all have the passion and creativity it takes to open a brewery near Denver, Colorado. The 25-minute scenic drive from Denver to 4 Noses is almost as good as sipping on one of their pints. The surrounding mountains and bright-blue sky make the drive to this award-winning brewery that much better.
The family-owned brewery creates all sorts of unique beers, from light, crisp lagers to 15.7% barrel-aged porters. Luckily, they don’t mess around when it comes to their flights—at 4 Noses, you can sample up to seven different beers in your flight, with each one served in a 6 oz pour, as opposed to the traditional 4 oz pour.
I highly recommend trying their new Tally-Ho Vermont style hazy IPA. The Citra and Mosaic Cryo hops give this beer its incredible juicy, fruity flavor that gives the New England state a run for its money (and that’s coming from a New Hampshire native!). If you’re ready to kick off fall, try their Pump Action imperial pumpkin ale. This award-winning beer is like a perfect slice of pumpkin pie in a glass.
Bring your friends, kids, and fur babies to this cozy taproom that’s got plenty of covered, outdoor seating.
8. Cerebral Brewing
Cerebral Brewing opened along Denver’s famous Colfax Avenue back in 2015 and quickly became “the neighborhood brewery” for Denverites. Visitors to this brewery can enjoy a variety of expertly crafted beer in this safe and welcoming space.
Brewers here take the scientific approach to crafting the best-quality beer (hence the beaker glasses used for their flights). Using their in-house QA/QC lab, they’re able to innovate and experiment all they want until they create the perfect pint. Most of the time, Cerebral is brewing Foeder lagers, IPAs, and barrel-aged beer, with new innovations popping up in their Continued Learning and Scam Likely series all year round. They’ve also got plenty of core beers that will always be on tap, like Inhabited Form, Muscle Memory, Rare Trait, and Neon Lite.
Folks from all walks of life can enjoy a beer here, especially knowing that Cerebral gives so much back to their community. From hosting Drag Bingo every other Friday and Queer Beers the second Friday of every month to partnering with organizations like Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and The Blue Bench, Cerebral is proud to donate a certain percentage of its profits every year to causes that are important to them and their close-knit neighborhood.
Enjoy a beer at Cerebral’s Denver taproom, and make sure to check out their brand-new brewery in Aurora when it opens next year!
Novel Strand Brewing Company
Nestled amongst the houses in Denver's Baker neighborhood is a little brewery called Novel Strand. This local hangout is the perfect place to drink unique beer surrounded by the taproom's ever-growing plant collection.
Novel Strand is an independently owned brewery and taproom that was opened by three friends in 2018. Their unfiltered hoppy beers bring a refreshing, new flavor to the brewery game. Rather than making the same old lager or IPA, Novel Strand is constantly changing out the ten taps in their brewery with beers like the Falafel Pop (made with Mosaic and Nelson Sauvin hops) and the Vicious Delicious: Manguayaba Sour (made with 100% Brettanomyces fermented and all Colorado malt along with mango and guava).
One of their newest concoctions is the Funk Shwai. This light brew is made with Iron Goddess black tea from Spirit Tea, then mixed with leechee, water, sugar, and yeast. The result is a fruity, semisweet, delicious drink that clocks in at just 2% alcohol.
Come visit this local gem for trivia nights, book club meetings, local food trucks, and a fresh-brewed pint.
Explore Denver’s brewery scene by living with Landing
Well, that’s eight breweries down. Only 140 more to go!
If you’re thinking about spending a few months in Denver, I highly recommend living with Landing. They offer the best way to travel for digital nomads like myself. With fully furnished apartments in Denver and hundreds of other U.S. cities, Landing makes it easy to hop from one city to the next as you please. Once you’ve finished all the beer in Denver, you can head to San Diego, Portland, Chicago, and beyond! Learn more about what a Landing membership can do for you today. Looking for other great drinks in Denver? Check out these 9 cocktail bars and these craft distilleries. Or if you need a caffeine kick, visit any of these great coffee shops!