Top Five Craft Breweries in Boulder, CO 2021

If you follow my blog, then you know I typically write about sustainable travel, hiking, rock climbing, and other types of outdoor adventures and activities. But I’m gonna take a break from that today to talk about something that holds a special place in my heart – craft beer.

I’ve been a craft beer fanatic for quite some time now, and I’d have to say it really culminated when I found myself as a part-time taproom attendant and marketing manager for a local craft brewery in Northwest Arkansas.

But after my partner and I decided to move to Boulder, CO and I said goodbye to the small, close-knit craft beer scene I’d come to know and love, it quickly dawned on me that we were walking into the motherland of craft breweries in the country.

We were going to be driving distance from big name breweries like Oskar Blues, New Belgium, and Denver Beer Company. And while I’ve since gotten to visit these famous breweries, I’ve also found just as many smaller breweries off the beaten path that I’ve come to adore.

2020 made it hard to explore breweries, but I’ve gotta tip my hat to the craft breweries who got super creative in terms of hosting their beer lovers in a fun, COVID-friendly, safe way.

With that, let’s jump into my favorite breweries in Boulder!

5 best craft breweries in boulder, colorado

1. Vision Quest

VisionQuest Brewery is a nano-brewery and taproom located in the heart of Boulder. Their taproom features a variety of beers, including saisons, sours, Belgian-style ales, IPAs, stouts, and lagers. They even have their own kombucha on tap if you’re not feeling an adult beverage that day! And I gotta say, I am the type of person who prefers a warehouse-style type of taproom to one with a carefully built ambience. There’s just something about sitting in basically a garage that makes beer taste better in my opinion.

2. beyond the mountain brewing company

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE me some Beyond the Mountain Brewing Company! They’ve got a solid selection of beers, but I’d say they lean more towards the pale ale and IPA side of the spectrum. When we visited I tried the Jive Juice pale ale (packed with jade hops and passion fruit puree) and Chad had the A Little Spruce in your Step IPA (brewed with Colorado blue spruce tips and a bit of rye malt for robust piney profile). Both were delicious, and enjoyed all the more thanks to Beyond the Mountain’s spacious patio that has an uninterrupted view of the neighboring mountains!

3. Upslope Brewing Company

When it comes to craft breweries in Boulder, Upslope Brewing Company has made a name for themselves, and boy have they earned it! They’ve got two killer taprooms – one in Flatiron Park and the other at Lee Hill – both of which host a delightful lineup of craft beers. I couldn’t help myself, I had to get a flight when we visited because I have commitment issues. I stocked up on a hazy IPA, their Kolsch, a yummy sour, and a wicked English barleywine (consume with caution!). Let’s not forget that they’ve got empanadas on site and their taproom is dog-friendly! #pupslope

4. Avery Brewing Company

It’s a safe bet that Avery Brewing Company is one of the most famous craft breweries in Boulder, if not Colorado. Their slogan is “Beer first. The rest will follow.” And dammit if that’s not some of the best advice I’ve ever heard. Their taproom boasts a very large and diverse range of adult beverages, including both beers and seltzers. Depending on when you drop in, you can find seasonals, collaborative specials, and taproom rarities that you can’t try anywhere else. And of course, they’ve got their year-round brews and year-round barrel-aged beers.

5. Sanitas Brewing Company

Sanitas Brewing Company has got some great beer, but then again, it’s hard to find a craft brewery in Boulder whose beer doesn’t slap. So what sets Sanitas Brewing apart? Easy. THEIR PATIO. I love this thing. I’m actually more tempted to call it a backyard than a patio. It’s got a massive, elevated deck that gives you topnotch views of the Flatirons. Beneath that deck though is a spacious yard that’s full of picnic tables, comfy lawn-style chairs, and stone fireplaces to keep warm during those winter months. Oh, and let us never forget that they’ve always got tacos onsite – brought to you by the wonderful folks at McDevitt Taco Supply. If there was ever a better combo than craft beers and tacos, I dare you to name one!

Want more craft beer content? Check out my road trip through Southern Colorado! We visit a couple breweries through there that you might like!

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