Colorado has more than 2,400 acres of peach orchards and ranks sixth in the country in peach production. The town of Palisade is synonymous with the juicy stone fruit, celebrating the first Peach Festival in 1909. Throughout the state, you’re likely to find the versatile fruit put to good use, in pies, salsa, wine, jam and — this is Colorado, after all — beer.
"Peaches are one of the most classic fruits used in beers, dating back to Belgian lambic producers,” says Call to Arms Brewing founder Chris Bell. “When used appropriately, it can bring a balance of subtle sweetness without overpowering a beer.”
In the spirit of peak peach season in the state, here are twelve Colorado beers that highlight the flavor of this seasonal favorite:
Peach Aggro Crag
Call to Arms Brewing
Located in the historic Berkley neighborhood, this brewery was founded by three industry veterans who met while working at Avery Brewing in Boulder. Its peach double hazy IPA, called Peach Aggro Crag, uses over thirteen pounds of peach purée per barrel. A new hop (HBC-630) that the team has been experimenting with lately is also incorporated into this brew. “We loved that this hop varietal really accentuates characteristics of stone fruit and tropical fruit,” Bell says, "so we felt it would pair well with peaches, as that fruit has become so iconic to our state during this time of year.”
Peach Stand Rambler
Founded in 1989 in Fort Collins, Odell Brewing has now expanded to include brewhouses in both Five Points and Sloan’s Lake; both Denver locations are home to a ten-barrel pilot system. The Peach Stand Rambler is Odell’s tribute to those hardworking individuals who make all of Colorado’s beautiful peaches possible. Fresh Palisade-grown peaches are used in this blonde ale, which was chosen to let that peach goodness shine through. It’s described by the brewery as refreshing and bright, “like a calm Colorado sunset."
With locations in Breckenridge and Littleton, Breckenridge Brewery has been churning out brews for more than three decades. Only locally grown Colorado peaches are used for the appropriately named Palisade Peach Wheat. Unlike many peach beers popping up this time of year, this one is available year-round. There’s so much love for this brew, Breckenridge Brewery recently released Palisade Peach Light, which comes in at 100 calories. The brewery is even partnering with Talbott Farms to welcome campers to stay in the Breck Peach Pod, a small trailer, and get a tour of the orchard for an inside look at where Palisade Peach Wheat comes from.
Peach Pale Ale
Lone Tree Brewing Company
The first brewery in Lone Tree, this family-friendly spot produces seasonal brews as well as a lineup of mainstays. Flagships include a Mexican lager, an IPA, a double IPA, Red Ale, Strawberry Kiwi Blonde and its Great American Beer Festival award-winning Peach Pale Ale. Described as “pale first, peach second,” it's made with ripened peaches and aromatic Northwest hops. The brewery recommends pairing this brew with spicy buffalo wings, teriyaki grilled shrimp, cheese fondue, or using it to make a mango habanero peach salsa. “I personally think the beer is a great blend between a pale ale and fruit beer. Most of the judges' responses to our Peach Pale Ale say 'pleasant fruit flavor and still tastes like beer,'” tasting room manager Michael Webster shares.
Hobart With Peach
Briar Common Brewery + Eatery
In addition to an eclectic beer selection, Briar Common Brewery has a lot going on, including a full food menu, signature cocktails, wine, a rooftop patio and a dog-friendly beer garden. Its peach beer, Hobart With Peach, has bright stone fruit, floral and spice hop notes. The base of the beer is a big Belgian golden strong, weighing in at 9 percent ABV. The addition of white peach to this ale complements the fruity esters and spicy phenols from the yeast.
Casey Brewing & Blending
This Glenwood Springs brewery embraces old-world brewing to specialize in vintage oak barrel-aged sour beers that are unfiltered and bottle-conditioned. Part of its foundation is opting for seasonal and local ingredients whenever possible, utilizing 99 percent Colorado ingredients. The same is true when it comes to brewing up its peach beer, Ghost Note, a spelt farmhouse ale that was made with two pounds of fresh, whole organic Palisade peaches per gallon. “The spelt used gives the beer a wonderful creamy and rich body,” says owner Troy Casey. “We love working with local peaches, and typically use over 10,000 pounds per summer."
Great Divide Brewing
Since 1994, Great Divide has been producing a variety of year-round and seasonal brews in Denver’s Ballpark neighborhood. Peach Milkshake IPA is part of its limited-release Tank Farm series: It was first introduced in 2020, and this will be the last year it is available. To celebrate Colorado’s annual peach harvest, the IPA is brewed with peaches as well as lactose to add creaminess and sweetness. Like peaches and cream in a can, it will be available October through December.
4 Noses Brewing
Located in Broomfield, 4 Noses Brewing is a family-owned brewery with over twenty creatively brewed beers on tap. This year is the eighth anniversary of its peach brew, Peachopotamus, and it has more peaches than ever — more than 1,650 pounds of Palisade peaches from Peachfork Orchards & Vineyard were used. The base of the beer is a crisp, sessionable American wheat, at 4.8 percent ABV. To celebrate the release of this highly anticipated beer, the brewery even created Peachopotamus shirts.
Palisade Peach Tart
Colorado Native’s beers are brewed with Colorado ingredients — barley grown in the San Luis Valley, locally grown hops, a yeast strain from Colorado and Rocky Mountain water. So when it came time to make a peach brew as part of its Explorer Series, the brewery opted for what it calls “best-you-ever-had peaches” from Palisade. It’s a tart and crisp ale coming in at 4.6 percent ABV and is available annually from July through September in 12-ounce cans.
Peach Mango Blonde Ale
Saint Patrick’s Brewing Company
This Centennial brewery offers a variety of seasonal beers as well as mainstays such as its Hazy IPA, Midnight Mocha and Dry Hop Lager. The easy-drinking Peach Mango Blonde Ale has won awards at the US Open Beer Championship, Asia International Beer Competition, New York International Beer Competition and more. It's available all year in 12-ounce cans and on draft. Suggested food pairings include seafood tacos, vinaigrette-dressed salads, Monterey jack cheese, grilled chicken and, of course, peach cobbler and grilled peaches.
Habitation Day Peach Kolsch
Horse & Dragon Brewing
This Fort Collins-based brewery typically has ten to twelve beers on tap in its tasting room. Habitation Day Peach Kolsch was released to celebrate the day the owners received the keys to the building as well as the beer community. It’s described as having a smooth finish along with fruit notes throughout and a medium body. It's available in the Horse & Dragon tasting room and in restaurants and liquor stores throughout Colorado.
Since 1993, Boulder's Avery Brewing has been producing a wide variety of beers, including an incredible barrel-aged series. Described as juicy, hazy and luscious, Pear of Peaches Imperial IPA is a mix of both pear and peach that comes in at a hearty 9 percent ABV and is available in six-packs of cans.
This circus-themed brewery located in Arvada serves up a variety of styles. That’s Just Peachy is a 7.2 percent ABV peach saison made with about 170 pounds of Colorado peaches from the Peach Haus. The brewery even got a helping hand from the community, as the peaches were peeled by taproom volunteers during the third annual Peach Peelin' Party. The peeling process ended with the brewery grilling some peaches with butter and cinnamon.