There’s something for everyone in the mile-high city, from Pressers and outdoor aficionados to craft beer lovers, you’re bound to find something you love in Denver—especially if you’re a craft beer lover. Throw a rock in any direction and you’re bound to hit a craft brewery or two. So while you’re out throwing stones in between talks at WordCamp Denver (Note: Please do not throw stones in between talks at WordCamp Denver), walk a couple blocks and check out these 10 great places to eat (but mostly drink) in Denver.
One look at Asbury Provisions’ menu and you know you’re in a bar unlike any other. This establishment is looking to take bar culture back to its roots with professional bartenders, 25 different craft beer options, craft cocktails, and wines, not to mention the plethora of accouterments, pickled and canned by hand. If you’re looking for a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else, you’ll find it at Asbury Provisions.
There’s one word to describe Bear Creek Distillery: life. The smell of fermentation wafts into your nose. The wood floors, countertops, and barrels emit a sweet scent that only time can bring into existence. And then there’s the people: the laughing and chatting crowds standing around the bar, families and friends sitting at the tables talking about last night’s game. It’s the kind of place that can only exist when a group of good friends get together to create something special. Oh, did we mention they make their own whiskey?
I know what you’re thinking: “If only there was a bar that could mash together my love of poodles and heavy metal music.” Well your search is over. The Brutal Poodle is only a short walk away from the University of Denver, and there are plenty of classic bar foods there to energize you for the walk back to Camp. Fill up on the Skankin’ Panko Pickles (because you can never go wrong with fried pickles) while swigin’ back some great local brews like Odell, Ska, and New Belgium.
4) Craft Alley
Craft Alley is more than a bar: it’s a business idea that we wish would start taking off around the country. While you can stop in and help yourself to one of their awesome Colorado-only craft brews, you can also sign up for their subscription service, Beer Drop. With Beer Drop, you take a quiz to see what styles of beer you would enjoy, then once a month you’ll receive four crowlers (can growler) curated specially for you in the mail. Pretty cool, huh? And most of the beer they ship is brewery-exclusive beer, so you won’t be able to get it anywhere outside of Colorado or Craft Alley.
Black Project focuses on spontaneous fermentation, which is a magical thing. For the uninitiated, that’s when brewers leave wort, or unfermented beer, out overnight to attract wild yeasts and bacteria (don’t worry, these are good bacteria). These organisms give the beer a unique taste and mouthfeel that’s hard to replicate under controlled conditions. The best part is that these organisms are unique to single locations, so the beer you’ll taste at Black Project is unique to their specific time and place.
6) Dos Luces
Beer doesn’t always have to be made with wheat. In fact, Native Americans have been brewing beer for thousands of years using corn, which creates a unique flavor and feel—plus, it’s gluten free! Dos Luces offers unique beverages, as well as a great place for passers-by to wind down and enjoy the mile-high city.
7) Alternation Brewing
Alt is the perfect way to describe Alternation Brewing. Not a fan of traditional beers? How about an ale brewed with freshly foraged oyster mushrooms? Or are Thin Mint (yes, those Thin Mints) stouts more your thing? Whatever it is, from A to Z, you’ll find it at Alternation. If you’re worried about eats, too, fear not! There are always fresh food trucks swinging by offering tasty vegetarian and vegan options sure to please even the pickiest eater.
8) Post Brewing
Pass by Post Brewing and the thing that will draw you immediately in the door is the aroma of fried chicken that floats on the breeze outside the restaurant. But step inside and you’ll be transported into a beer lover’s paradise. With more than 20 handmade beer options to choose from, you’re bound to find something to go with the crispy breaded bird, ‘…just like your grammy used to make.’
Speaking of your grammy, Grandma’s House will bring you back to your younger days. But you won’t have to go over the river and through the woods to get to this Grandma’s House. Take a trip to this cozy one-of-a-kind establishment and get transported back in time—not just with their retro glassware, but with their retro, no-frills brews like their hefeweizen, Scottish red, and German rye ale.
If retro, no-frills brews aren’t your thing and you’re more into the experimental side of beer, then Platt Park is definitely up your alley. Founded in 2013, Platt Park lives off the mantra ‘Enjoy the simple pleasures that can be found in Colorado living.’ But their beer is anything but simple. From a nitro vanilla-cream ale with strawberries to the Dread Stripe island lager, you might leave Platt Park with an empty bank account before you leave with an empty stomach.
While we may not condone drinking while attending WordCamp Denver, we definitely condone drinking after. This list only scratches the surface of craft breweries and bars around the camp, so put on a pair of walking shoes and start looking. You’re bound to find something you’ll love.
And who knows? Maybe you’ll even run into our craft beer aficionados Roger* and Claudia** while you’re there. Hit them up on Twitter and see where they’ll be drinking. You might even get something out of it.