DESTINATIONS
EXPERIENCE
DESTINATIONS
EXPERIENCE
The growing number of craft breweries in Denver has made the Mile High City an essential destination for suds fanatics.

5 Essential Beer Experiences (and breweries) in Denver

BY SUZANNE DAVIS
Denver’s relationship to beer goes back generations. Even in the heyday of the Wild West, when the city was just two years old, it had a whopping 36 saloons. These days, there are even more watering holes, and the best breweries in Denver draw in both locals and visitors to sample countless craft concoctions. But Denver’s love of beer doesn’t stop at simply grabbing a flight at a brewery — you can take a brewery tour, venture out on the Denver Beer Trail, and soak in the suds at the first beer spa in Denver...and the world! 
Here are five essential beer experiences and breweries in Denver to raise a frosted glass to. Just take it one sip at a time.

1. DRINK ALFRESCO AT THE BEST BEER GARDEN IN DENVER

Of all the beer gardens in Denver — and they’re nearly as plentiful as sunny days in this town — our favorite might be
Recess Beer Garden
in the Highlands. For one thing, it’s within a quick stroll of
Sentral Union Station
. Plus, the food is arguably worthy of its own garden. Bavarian pretzels served with beer cheese? Hand-dipped corn dogs served with beer mustard? All washed down with a cold kolsch or pilsner? Sign. Us. Up.

2. GO SOAK AT THE BEER SPA IN DENVER

Love beer so much you want to bathe in it? Denver is your place. You can combine brews and wellness in a way you’ve probably never imagined at
The Beer Spa by Snug
in Five Points. Treatment offerings include soaking in a cedar hydrotherapy tub filled with barley, hops, and herbs and chillaxing in Zero Gravity massage chairs. Unwind even further in the tap room, where Colorado IPAs, pilsners, sours, and ambers — plus kombucha and cider — are on offer.

3. TRY ONE OF THE BEST BREWERIES IN DENVER 

Downtown’s
Great Divide Brewing Co.
stands Rocky Mountain high above all the breweries in Denver. It has won 18 Great American Beer Festival medals and even “Top Brewer in the World'' from ratebeer.com. But what we appreciate more than the accolades is the diversity of drinks, including a strawberry rhubarb sour ale and pumpkin ale (available September–November).

4. POUR YOUR OWN BEER 

If you’re as indecisive as we are, there’s no better place for a brewski than
First Draft Taproom and Kitchen
in RiNo, where the beer wall lets you pour yourself a full pint or just a taste. Hankering for a Lemon Limeade Slush from Wiley Roots Brewing Co.? Or a Freudian Sip from Locavore Beer Works? Try a sip of both and decide. (Bonus: wine, cider, kombucha, and cocktails await, too.)

5. DO THE DENVER MICROBREW TOUR — OR MAKE YOUR OWN BEER TRAIL

Looking for the Denver Brewery District? You won’t find it. There are so many breweries in Denver that corralling them into one handy locale just ain’t gonna happen. Instead, consult the
Denver Beer Trail
, which lists Denver’s 100+ breweries and taprooms, and imbibe your way through it. Alternatively, learn to navigate the
LoDo neighborhood
surrounding Sentral Union Station by foot and by beer on the
2.5-hour Denver Microbrew Tour
. A guide will bring you to four leading breweries through Downtown, where you can sample the wares while learning about Denver’s beer history and brewery scene.

WHEN STAYING OR LIVING AT SENTRAL UNION STATION, YOU'LL BE JUST STEPS AWAY FROM SOME OF THE BEST BREWERIES IN DENVER, AND MORE.
CHECK OUT SENTRAL UNION STATION

ABOUT THE WRITER 
After a decade as a magazine writer and editor in New York City, writing for everyone from Travel + Leisure to The New York Times, Suzanne Davis settled in sunny Denver. She's as obsessed with hiking 14ers (the region’s mountain peaks with at least 14,000 feet of elevation) as she is with seeking out Colorado's best local ciders, sourdough bakeries and dim sum spots.

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