Best Beer Made With Mushrooms 2023 | Coda Brewing's Chanterelle de Garde | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
Coda Brewing

A beer made with mushrooms might sound strange at first, but the delicate, earthy, fruity flavors of chanterelle mushrooms pair perfectly with Coda Brewing owner/brewer Luke Smith's choice of the base style, Bière de Garde. The portion of the batch that was packaged sold out very quickly, thanks to popularity among the local foraging community, but there has been plenty of this unique beer available on draft. The beer changes over time, developing notes of plum, apricot, fig and, according to Smith, "Big League Chew bubble gum" as it ages like a fine wine. The mushrooms are either locally sourced or, during all-too-frequent dry spells in Colorado, purchased from the lush growing region of the Pacific Northwest.

Molly Martin

On the first Friday of the month in RiNo, grab a liter of excellent lager at Bierstadt Lagerhaus and take a ringside seat for Rocky Mountain Pro Wrestling. The acts aren't as dramatic as the entertainment wrestling of the '80s and '90s, but there are always laughs to go along with the evening's impressive physicality. And what better choice to accompany the fun than Bierstadt's helles, a very well-made beer that tastes great and goes down easy? Just keep an eye on your glass, as some of the wrestlers have been known to snag a sip or two from unsuspecting fans sitting in the front row — and no, you won't get a replacement, because you're now part of the show.

Novel Strand Brewing Company

Most taprooms sit empty during the early mornings, since few patrons are out drinking at that time. In a novel approach, Novel Strand's intimate and attractive space is occupied by Queen City Coffee Collective until mid-afternoon, when the beer starts flowing. Novel Strand specializes in excellent hop-focused and European beers, and Queen City's coffee has a top-notch reputation around town. The brewery's building, a corner unit with tall ceilings and windows that make you feel connected to the outside neighborhood, offers a lovely place to drink it all in, day or night.

Danielle Lirette

Wonderland Brewing has continued to grow its large array of games, recently adding another nine holes of mini golf, bringing the grand total to eighteen. With twenty pinball and arcade games along with table tennis, pickleball and cornhole setups, Wonderland is an ideal destination for anyone looking for some friendly competition. The eclectic beer menu includes some English and Belgian styles that are fast disappearing in the beer world, as well as more popular hoppy and dark American styles. There's something for every taste at the Broomfield-based brewery, perfect for pairing with a putter or paddle.

Sarah McGill

With cheap drinks, sticky floors and a decided lack of frills, Monkey Bar, the Santa Fe art district's premier dive, has been a constant in the rapidly changing neighborhood. Although the bar doesn't host any official leagues, patrons can partake in a plethora of games, most of which are free to play. Darts, billiards, ping-pong and foosball tend to attract a crowd near the entrance, while beer pong and giant Jenga spill out onto the back patio. There are also video games like N64 and four-person Pac-Man, all available on a first-come, first-served basis. Gather your friends — human or canine, as the bar is dog-friendly — and come monkey around, or start an informal league of your own. Loser buys a round of pickle shots.

Molly Martin

Although Stoney's has an Uptown outpost and a Mexican spinoff on Broadway, the original on Lincoln Street is our go-to on game days. It plays host to fans of more than ten professional and college sports teams, from the Denver Broncos to the Miami Hurricanes. Plenty of TVs showing all the sports are on at all times, and there's room for everyone in the large bar, including a patio for when the weather is nice enough to get you up off the couch. Stoney's serves up a solid selection of pub fare, too, such as nachos, wings, burgers and loaded fries. Along with its dedicated watch parties, the bar's atmosphere makes enjoying any sporting event here a winning experience.

Molly Martin

The Sportsbook Bar & Grill's Wash Park location feels like a hidden oasis, with a door opening to the alleyway and a descent down a flight of stairs, where a print of Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow greets those who enter. The bar may be best known by Bengals fans as the place to be on game day, but it's always a great bar for watching any game, thanks to some of the best food and drink deals in town and a waitstaff that is spot-on, even during the busiest times. With no shortage of TVs, seating or local brews on tap, as well as food for every mood, you're sure to have a good time, whether your team wins or loses.

Although it's difficult to imagine now, there once was a kinder, gentler era of air travel, complete with Sky Chef meals, roomy seats, "stewardesses" in fashionable uniforms and above-and-beyond service. Whether or not you remember that golden age, you can still get a taste of it over a cocktail at Sky Bar inside Stanley Marketplace. Created by partners Skye Barker Maa, Brandi Shigley and Patrick McMichael, it's a snazzy tribute to the building's roots in the aviation business. Dress up like folks once did to fly, then take the elevator to the third floor and enjoy the sunset view paired with a selection of classic cocktails and updated libations named for exotic travel destinations.

Molly Martin

Best friends Lauren Beno and Denise Day long dreamed of creating a safe space where women, BIPOC and queer communities in particular could gather for parties and events. So in 2022, they rolled up their sleeves to crowdfund, making their dreams come true by building Town Hall Collaborative in a warehouse in the Art District on Santa Fe. Outfitted with a bar and coffee shop, it works as a haven for performances, workshops, parties, expos, fundraisers and anything else you can think of, all with a built-in spirit of inclusiveness and respect.

Molly Martin

The iconic sign in front of this old-school steakhouse dating back to the 1930s boasts its signature item, the sugar steak, but for us, no trip to the Googie-style building would be complete without an ice-cold martini served in a metal cup, best enjoyed at Bastien's sunken bar. While the staff will mix up any style 'tini for you, it's the Colfax-worthy Filthy Martini — made with your choice of Beluga vodka or The Botanist gin along with Carpano Dry vermouth, olive and banana pepper brine, cracked pepper and an olive garnish — that keeps us coming back for another round.

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