Colorado is awash in ale, sodden with suds, heaped with hops. There's a craft brewery in nearly every Denver neighborhood and suburb, but where does a cider lover go for the tart, crisp taste of apple? While cider companies are a little more spread out on the Front Range, there are a surprising number to choose from, each offering a whole variety of flavors and sweetness levels. Here are nine places to sample, sip or swig cider in Denver and the surrounding area.
1380 Horizon Avenue, Unit A, Lafayette
Acreage opened in early 2018 as the culinary venture and farmhouse production facility from Stem, which began making ciders in downtown Denver in 2013. The bright, kid-friendly space in Lafayette has all of the bestsellers from Stem Ciders, plus a brunch and full dinner menu, much of which is cooked over a wood-fired grill. If you don't want a big meal, you can snack on cast-iron cornbread, frites, mixed Spanish olives and soft pretzels. There are also taps from Colorado Cider Co., St. Vrain, Snow Capped and Big B’s.
C Squared Ciders/The Rackhouse
2875 Blake Street
The Rackhouse is a restaurant and taproom for both C Squared Ciders and Bierstadt Lagerhaus. The bar, which pours all of the cider company's products, overlooks the production facility from an open mezzanine level. C Squared is known for its award-winning, small-batch seasonal and year-round ciders, including Ginger, a medium-dry version with fresh organic ginger root; the sweeter Alma, a juicy, balanced semi-sweet apple cider; and Lila, made with locally grown lavender, blue juniper and rose hips. While sipping cider, there’s plenty of fun to be had here, with a six-foot tall Connect Four wall, Super Nintendo on a huge screen and giant beer pong, not to mention a creative slate of cider-friendly food.
Colorado Cider Company
2650 West Secondnd Avenue
Colorado Cider Company is Denver’s original cidery, making award-winning fresh-pressed ciders since 2011. Find sixteen ciders on tap and to go at the warehouse tasting room in west Denver. Glider Cider is the flagship crisp cider, if you’re looking for a classic — or for something different, try Mel, part of a botanicals series, with notes of lavender and rosemary.
Colorado Plus Cidery and Pub
1100 Arapahoe Street, Golden
Like its sister brewery, Colorado Plus Brewpub and Taphouse, this cidery makes its own line of drinks, sports multiple guest taps, and cooks up some great grub to go with your beverages. Try a Cider House Mule, a cocktail made with vodka, ginger beer and house cider, while you tuck into seasonal dishes brightened with locally grown produce.
Haykin Family Cider
12001 East 33rd Avenue, Aurora
In February 2018, husband-and-wife cider fans Daniel and Talia Haykin launched this Aurora cidery, creating sparkling, wine-like ciders in a range of dry, semi-dry and semi-sweet styles. The Haykins purchase heritage apple varieties from around Colorado and press them in-house to make unique, single-apple ciders such as Opal, a semi-sweet cider with notes of banana and other tropical fruits. As at a winery, ciders here are only made from apples in season.
The Old Mine Cidery & Brewpub
500 Briggs Street, Erie
The Old Mine is both a cidery and a brewpub. Try Handlebar, the flagship brew that the Old Mine describes as a balanced, sweet and dry cider. For food, you'll find barbecue and artisan pizzas (with a gluten-free crust available), along with sliders, cheesy bread and rye pretzels served with Bavarian mustard sauce.
St. Vrain Cidery
350 Terry Street, Longmont
St. Vrain Cidery is the perfect spot for the cider newcomer. The downtown Longmont spot has 24 ciders taps, with both housemade and guest pours. Complex, barrel-aged varieties and sweet, refreshing ciders give a little something for every taste. The bar also offers yoga on Sundays, craft nights, live music and food trucks.
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Stem Ciders RiNo Tap Room
2811 Walnut Street
The original Stem cider house and tasting room offers draft versions of uncommon seasonal blends, such as cider infused with hibiscus tea, pear-apple cider and salted-vucumber cider. On the first Monday of every month, Stem releases a small batch of experimental cider. Other draws include live bluegrass bands every Thursday night and Geeks Who Drink on Tuesdays.
11455 County Road 17, Firestone
Wild Cider’s Cider Garden is a seasonal, outdoor-only space for enjoying ciders. Opt for a flight to try several, including the spiced apple pie cider, with hints of nutmeg and cinnamon; agave peach; pineapple; and lemon-basil, made with organic basil. The Garden is open Friday from 3 to 8 p.m., Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., with wood-fired pizza made with cider in the pizza dough.