Colorado Eastern Slopes Brewery Reviews

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Just spent a week in the Colorado Springs, Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins area. It's one of New Mexico's neighbouring states.

I consider this area one of the beer capitals of the US. Maybe only out ranked by Portland Oregon and San Diego.

It's summer here, so long days. I was working during the day, mainly from the bars with my laptop, we were camping out most nights, hiking, biking and breweries in the evenings.

It's a great place to explore as an Aussie. We don't have anything like it in Oz - both beer and geography wise. That whole stretch is on the eastern slope of the front range of the rocky mountains. Denver is the mile high city, but it's pretty flat to the east, and the rocky mountains just seem to jump out of the plains. There is a fair amount of national forest around - you can camp where ever you like in NF.

We've been up in that area before, so skipped some of the bigger names and most of the downtown Denver stuff. Some breweries were just stops on the way to somewhere. I try the local IPA where ever I go and use that as the baseline for judging the place.

Chama River Brewery - Albuquerque NM.
One of our regulars. 2hrs from home in our nearest city. Kinda up-market for a brewery. Decent food. Beer seems to have gone down hill recently. Still a good IPA: A-. Can have a wait for a table sometimes.

Eskes Brewery - Taos NM.
Small town, a bit of a tourist trap, but a good vibe. Good food at the brewery, some OK beers. Green Chilli IPA was interesting but not something I would go for again. Normal IPA rates a B-.

Comanche Creek Brewing Company - Eagles Nest NM
A fair effort to get there. A few miles out of a town of 300 people. But were closed - out of beer. Very disappointed.

Phantom Canyon Brewery - Colorado Springs CO
First visit for dinner. Food was decent, beers were good. Located down town, looked like a restaurant more than brewery. Suspect they do small batches. IPA rated an A.

Trinity Brewery - Colorado Springs CO
One of our faves. Organic slow food, great atmosphere. Good beers, IPA on cask was A-.

Dry Dock brewing - Aurora CO
No food just beer. Co-located with LHBS. Decent beers. B+ on the IPA.

Boulder Beer Co, Boulder CO
Kelly got the sample tray - 13 4oz samplers. Wow. IPA was a B- for me.

Southern Sun Brewery - Boulder CO
Another restaurant / pub brewery. Had a good english and american syle IPA on. American one rated an A, english and A+.

Twisted Pine Brewery - Boulder CO
Small tap room / brewery. Some interesting beers on. Mexican chocolate stout. IPA was an B+ for me.

Coppersmith Brewery - Fort Collins CO
Brew pub style. Good range of beers. IPA was a B. Our mate had a watermelon beer, served with a big slice on the side of the glass. Was actually not too bad. Food was decent.

Funkwerks - Fort Collins CO
No IPAs :( Kelly got a Belgian sampler and was happy. Then got a sour which we didn't like.

Fort Collins Brewery - Fort Collins CO
We were told this place wasn't great. But is was. Food was great and so were the beers. IPA was an A-. Stout butter on fresh bread was the ducks nuts.
They also had a growler filling robot behind the bar!

Equinox Brewing - Fort Collins CO
Quirkly little place with a good vibe, co-located with LHBS. Lots of beer styles, but we seemed to prefer the basics. Got a grower of the Black IPA. A+

Odell - Fort Collins CO
Tasting room only. Lots of tours and people going on tours. We didn't bother (brewery gear gets boring after a while). Had had most of their beers before too. Liked the St Lupulus.

Wild Mountain Smokehouse and brewery - Nederland CO
Old western style saloon bar. Good hoppy IPA A-. Infected wheat beer (luckly only had a taster). Good smoked Tofu sanga for us hippies.

Left Hand - Fort Collins CO
Quite a big complex they have. Good sized bar and outside area. Had a few special beers on. A great 2.5% mild - great flavour. A ginger beer JuJu which Kelly really liked. Imperial stout that tasted like watermelon.

Oskar Blues - Lyons CO
No interesting beers, just the normal line up. Had Dale's but it wasn't as good as the canned version - maybe they need to clean their lines.

I think we ended up skipping about a dozen breweries because we had already been to them.

If you ever plan on a trip to the US, I recommend you put Colorado on your list.
The scenery is great, 14,000ft mountains, the people are nice - predominantly white and sporty/outdoorsy (one of the least red-neck and least fat populations in the USA), and there is a good beer culture. Lots of good breweries. Lots of pubs with a 3-5 barrel sized brewing setup and no distribution outside of their own restaurant - the only way to taste the beer is to go there.

The Rocky Mountain National Park is there.

Denver also hosts the Great American Beer Festival, so visit in September!

We like it so much up there that we are moving to Colorado in the new year (though not the Denver, FC, Boulder area though). The town we plan on moving to has 1,000 people and 2 breweries. The next town is smaller with dirt streets, 9 miles away and also has a brewery.

If any AHBers are in the area give me a yell and come visit, or I'll at least give you a list of must-visits.


firmitas, utilitas, venustas
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Love Colorado... could easily see myself living there. Great lifestyle. Skiing in the Winter/Spring, mountain biking via use of the ski lifts in the summer months, golf and hiking at altitude. Brother and his family used to live there before moving to Phoenix, but still get back there at least once a year. Been over there a few times and plan to go back in the future.

Only micro/nano i've been to is in Idaho Springs on the way up to Breckenridge/Copper Mountain from Denver. Tiny little one horse ex mining town, with i think 2 brewpubs. This was 10 years ago before i knew what beer was could be like, but i remember having a tasting tray and loving all of them.

Saw a little bit of Denver and Boulder first time i went, but most of the time was with family so not too many beers were had.

If i ever get up to those heights again i'll send you PM.

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