The beer is the thing at Colorado's 400 or so breweries, but if you like presentation as well — and most of us do — then you're going to appreciate the extra mile that some breweries go to make their suds look good.
From custom-built metal taster trays in the shape of their logos to whimsically themed flight carriers to beautifully hand-carved wooden masterpieces, there is some serious creativity on display across the state — which isn't surprising, considering the fact that creativity is one of the hallmarks of Colorado brewers. Take a look at the following pictures to truly appreciate the coolest brewery flight and sampler trays in Colorado.
Little Machine Beer Company
Little Machine built its theme on robots, and its logo features a mechanical-looking robot arm, which is how the brewery serves its tasters as well.
Fate Brewing also has custom taster trays that use the brewery's logo — four arrows pointing inward — as holes for the glasses. The whole thing looks like a pizza peel.
Grossen Bart Brewery
This brewery was originally conceived to celebrate beard and mustache culture — the beers have names like Chin Curtain, Stubble and Soul Patch — so it should be no surprise that the taster tray comes in the shape of a mustache.
Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery
Plenty of breweries in Colorado use curved barrel staves as taster trays, which is a great idea — and right on theme. Jagged Mountain has some particularly nice ones.
Black Shirt Brewing
When it comes to reclaimed wood, no one's got anything on Black Shirt, which used the flooring from railroad box cars for its bar, some of its tables and its flight trays.
Chain Reaction Brewing
Zack and Chad Christofferson, the cousins behind Chain Reaction Brewing, come from a hardworking family who own a sawmill operation in Tabernash. It's no surprise, then, that their tasting trays are beautiful handmade pieces reminiscent of toolboxes. They can also hold a lot of beer.
Living the Dream Brewing
For the flights at Living the Dream, customers can get these rustic and very cool slices of trees or tree branches, complete with bark, that hold up to seven tasters.
38 State Brewing
38 State Brewing also uses tree cross-sections for its tasting trays. In this case, however, they've been stained and finished to create gorgeous works of art.
There's nothing more emblematic of Colorado than the state's green and white license plates, and Mockery Brewing goes native with its taster trays, which are made from the plates.
Old Colorado Brewing
This northern Colorado brewery also uses Colorado license plates for its tasters — and even sells them — and takes things the extra mile by decorating the bar and walls with the plates, too.
The Brewability Lab, which provides employment for adults with developmental disabilities, dishes up its beers in this vintage Skil Craft Chemistry Lab set, which plays into the tasting room's laboratory theme.
Keeping on theme, Cerebral serves its tasters in beakers encased in a lab-looking tray with a dry-erase area where beertenders write the initials of the beer in a way that makes them look like chemical compounds.
Launch Pad Brewery
Shaped vaguely like the rocket ships that give Launch Pad its theme, these tasters come complete with hand- drawn, laminated cards identifying the beers and, or course, a launch code to help with blast off.
New Terrain Brewing
Like a candelabra or a cupcake holder, these elegant flight holders are all about looks. Luckily, the beers at New Terrain hold their own against the dramatic presentation.
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300 Suns Brewing
Sure, those old metal lunch boxes were good for holding a PB&J and an apple, but they're also the perfect container for a set of four or six beer tasters. It's recess for grownups.
There probably has never been a cooler, more Colorado taster tray than the ones at Avalanche Brewing, which consist of four tiny ski boots tucked into bindings and served on a miniature ski. It's worth the trip.