Denver's five best tap rooms
Denver will be swimming in beer for the rest of the month.This weekend kicks off the week-long Denver Beer Fest -- which happens to overlap with the four-day-long Great American Beer Festival next weekend.
We plan to drink our share of pale ales, lagers, pilsners and stouts over the coming days, but we think the ideal way to kick off a week of beer events is by taking in a little tap-room culture. Here are the five best places in Denver to start:
Tucked into a warehouse space on the east side of Boulder, Avery's tap room may be off the beaten path, but it's one of our favorite places to drink in the Peoples' Republic. The spot features rotating Avery selections -- including some really hard-to-find brews -- as well as a long list of food that's great for damming up the effects of alcohol so that you can keep drinking.
Okay, this isn't so much a tap room as a beer garden at the base of the foothills. People from all over the metro area come here to spend long afternoons sitting at picnic tables, drinking flights from the second largest brewery in Golden. You can supplement those brews with pretzels and mustard from the tap room, or you can order food from a nearby restaurant.
Denver's newest tap room is nestled between I-25 and the South Platte. It's a large space filled with tables and boardgames, and there's a big, picnic table-filled outdoor beer garden in front, where street-food vendors peddle barbecue, sausage or pizza, depending on the night. and the beer on tap, which changes frequently, is pretty damn good, too.
Dry Dock's tap room attracts a regular clientele from Aurora as well as a steady stream of beer pilgrims who make the journey from the city to the suburbs. In fact, the brewery, tap room and attached home-brew shop are so popular that Dry Dock doubled its size in 2010 (to 170 seats), blowing out walls and adding space in the strip mall. Its efforts earned Dry Dock our Best Tap House award in the Best of Denver 2011.
Great Divide is always packed, and with good reason. Not only does it feature a long, rotating line of its own delicious brews -- including year-round, one-off and seasonal selections -- but it's also in a cool space in the Ballpark neighborhood that attracts a friendly group of regulars who are happy to welcome newcomers to the party. And that's why we gave Great Divide our Best Tap Room Culture award in Best of Denver 2011.
Know of other good tap rooms in town? Tell us about them in the comments section below.
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