This year, Denver will undoubtedly welcome a slew of new Denver bars and breweries to an already burgeoning beer and cocktail landscape--but before we hail the next new thing, we should celebrate the newcomers that graced us in the last year. Here, in no particular order, are our favorite watering holes that opened in 2013.
See also: Denver's ten hippest bars
10) Ste. Ellie 1553 Platte Street The long-awaited underground speakeasy from the Colt & Gray team finally opened in November, unveiling a cozy cocktail bar complete with seasoned bartenders and house-made charcuterie offerings. From carefully-curated beers to cocktails that arrive aflame, Ste. Ellie has been abuzz with lingering patrons since they opened. 9) Old Major 3316 Tejon Street When Old Major opened up shop last February, it was touted for its seafood, swine, and wine. But the Lower Highland spot is also beloved for the lively, inventive cocktail and beer program. The rustic bar is outfitted with re-purposed wood and metal, and in the summer, turns open air -- perfect for an improvised cocktail from the knowledgeable staff. 8) CapRock Farm Bar 3350 Brighton Boulevard Showcased in the center of Brighton Boulevard's culinary Mecca, The Source, CapRock Farm Bar serves as Jack Rabbit Hills's first Denver foray, serving up spirits distilled on their Hotchkiss farm in an array of crafted cocktails that include everything from the cult-favorite gin to their new collaborative white whiskey. The wall-less, sixty-seat space is just the place to start an excursion through the shops and restaurants there. 7) Bread Bar at Dram Apothecary Silver Plume Dram bitters have become a staple in the Denver cocktail world and beyond -- but the true soul of the brand shines at the company's whimsical tasting room, tucked in the historic town of Silver Plume in a building that was once home to a mining supply shop and then a bakery. At Bread Bar, as it is called, the mountain-bound can sample Dram's signature bitters in a collection of classic cocktails an hand-crafted tea blends. 6) Session Kitchen 1518 South Pearl Street Session Kitchen goes far beyond the ordinary, architecturally and design-wise, and that same striking aesthetic translates to the bar and its offerings, too. On top of sixteen bottled beers and twelve draft lines, Michael Cerretani's curious cocktail list is divided into four seasons: tasters, sessions (a single drink), double sessions, and cocktails for four. The draw here is the abundance of funky ingredients used, from "spherified" orange, house creole bitters, and smoked applewood. 5) Illegal Pete's 270 South Broadway Illegal Pete's has quickly become a Baker favorite for pints of cheap beer and plates of tacos ever since the sprawling location -- the newest for the chain -- opened its doors on South Broadway. Much like its predecessors, the spot is a hip respite for the Denver cool, and this one comes complete with an outdoor patio for patrons to lounge at picnic tables or play lawn games. 4) The Monkey Barrel 1611 Platte Street The former Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop space was transformed this year, by way of Rock-a-Billies owner Jimmy Nigg. Now, the spot serves as a bar and music venue, with acts ranging from rock to punk and alternative sets. The bar seats forty and turns out pints of local craft beer, and patrons can admire all manners of wall art including a mural of former Sex Pistol Sid Vicious. 3) The Curtis Club 2100 Curtis Street Housed in the former Old Curtis Street Tavern, the Curtis Club is a rustic reinvention of the former dive. Glowing chandeliers light the warm bar area, where patrons can admire the combination of reclaimed woods and antique finds that define the space, all while drinking a Colorado draft or hand-crafted cocktail. 2) Historians Ale House 24 Broadway The long bar at Historians Ale House is reminiscent of something you would find in Boston or Chicago, with warm brick walls, sky-high ceilings, and a never-ending line of taps. Their Brewery of the Month program showcases one brewery (and a slew of its beers) from around the country, promoting beer education for all. Head upstairs, and the rooftop patio has some of the best views in the city. 1) Cold Crush 2700 Larimer Street Five Points newcomer Cold Crush is part self-proclaimed artist's haven, part shout-out to late-'70s hip-hop group the Cold Crush Brothers, and part funky dance lounge. Guest musicians and live DJs spin all manners of funk, soul and hip-hop five nights a week, showing off a killer sound system. The bar serves up "shots" of the wheatgrass and ginger variety, plus an extensive wine and beer list.
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