Having to pick between the many great brewery tours in Colorado is almost like asking me to choose the best live bar in New Orleans or which one of my two kids is my favorite. How about I give you three? Like it or not, I’m giving you three.
Best Brew Tours: Avery
Concocting the hoppy nectar of the gods since 1993, Avery Brewing Company on Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder boasts a deep cult following on the Front Range thanks to the likes of Out of Bounds Stout, which has won several local and national awards. The tour, open daily, leads you outdoors to view the small production facilities through garage doors and only takes 30 minutes or so in total, but it ends in the tap room where you can wash down a burger or sandwich with a New World Porter or one of the company's other amazing offerings. No reservations needed.
Best Brew Tours: New Belgium
What started in 1989 as a small, seat-of-the-pants operation in Fort Collins has since gone corporate, but the quality of New Belgium’s craft beers, like Fat Tire, has never wavered. You can probably credit its owners, including every employee who has worked there for more than a year. The 90-minute tour through its expansive facilities, called the Liquid Center, is well worth taking for the generous samplings alone, even though you need to reserve free tickets a couple of weeks in advance.
Best Brew Tours: Great Divide
A fixture in the Denver craft brew scene for the past 20 years, Great Divide still attracts crowds to its tasting room and brewery tour because of its tasty, internationally-recognized creations like Yeti Imperial Stout. The free afternoon tours of the red brick facilities near Coors Field are open daily, and they take about half an hour to complete. There are 16 beers offered on tap in the tasting room, and Great Divide usually allows different food trucks to park outside in case you get hungry.