As soon as you touch down in Colorado, you know you’re in the craft beer state. As you cruise down the highway you’re flanked by dozens of craft breweries, bedecked with in-your-face murals, colourful signs and heaving beer gardens. It’s not hard to miss.
There is over 300 craft breweries in Colorado – thats 10% of craft breweries in America. Not bad considering Colorado only covers 2% of the country’s population. But what the stats don’t cover is the fact that craft beer culture is built into the bedrock of the state.
Our tour guide in Denver, Jayne explained to us that, “it’s not so much about drinking as it is about craft”. And while profits in the craft beer market in the US slow down, the hundreds of smaller breweries have to be driven by something more than just the big bucks.
Something that became apparent during our time in Colorado, as we wondered the streets swaying between bars and restaurants, was the sheer amount of students in the bigger cities. Certainly a factor that keeps the taps wet every day of the week. Indeed the love of craft beer is so strong in the state that Metropolitan State University of Denver now runs a degree course in brewing. Certainly helping to infuse the city with a deep passion for the art of brewing and beer. We recommend Avanti F&B in Denver for student watching and brilliant Latin American food with your pint.
Craft beer isn’t in the title of any bars, shops or restaurants – popped on as an upselling after thought, as it so often is in the UK. It’s just there in abundance. I think the crucial point to make is they just have an appreciation for ‘good’ beer embedded into the culture – when a taxi driver names you his favourite sour, you kind of realise this. This accessibility makes craft competitive – you have a huge choice so why would you choose the bland and mass produced?
We travelled all across the state on our adventure and we were amazed just how much craft beer pervades the society. Breweries on the side of the highway with booming beer gardens, mothers with prams, dogs playing in between their feet. A trip to the local brewery tap is like a family activity, its truly special and that community spirit is the essence of craft beer.
Its exactly reasons like the above the Colorado truly wears it’s crown as the craft beer state with pride. We loved our road trip around the state with help from our friends at Colorado Tourism UK and Ireland and don’t forget we are sharing it all with you all throughout this month.
Thanks for reading!