Beer Man

Colorado's Ten Biggest Breweries — Now That Coors and New Belgium Are Gone

Courtesy Upslope Brewing

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Courtesy Ska Brewing

6. Ska Brewing

30,800 barrels

While a few of Colorado's other large breweries have struggled over the past few years, Ska — founded in 1995 — has managed to keep its head down and mostly stay out of trouble. As a result, it plans to expand in Boulder with a second brewery, pub and distillery by early next year.

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Courtesy Upslope Brewing

7. Upslope Brewing

29,000 barrels

Unassuming and sometimes quiet, Upslope has methodically plowed forward since it was founded eleven years ago, establishing two taprooms (with a third on the way) and building a huge following for its canned beers. And all of this without venturing outside Colorado's borders until about three years ago.

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Courtesy Crazy Mountain Brewery

8. Crazy Mountain Brewery

23,500 barrels

Crazy Mountain Brewery has led a somewhat tumultuous life since it opened in the Vail Valley in 2009. In the interim, it has grown quickly, shrunk back, been evicted from three locations and finally settled into a rhythm at the former Breckenridge Brewery location on Kalamath Street. Some of its annual production total is from contract brewing.

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Courtesy Dry Dock Brewing Co.

9. Dry Dock Brewing Co.

21,500 barrels

The first brewery in Colorado to open solely as a taproom (without packaging or food), Dry Dock has grown since 2005 to become a Colorado classic. The company doesn't distribute out of state, which speaks to its ability to soak into the Colorado market with a wide variety of well-loved offerings.

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Courtesy Denver Beer Co.

10. Denver Beer Co.

Denver and Arvada
15,700 barrels

Only eight years old, Denver Beer Co. has succeeded thanks to a mix of savvy marketing, shrewd tactics, gorgeous locations and some hit beers, including Graham Cracker Porter. Today, the brewery has two taprooms, in Denver and Arvada, and a large production facility where the beer is canned.
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes