Maybe it's because there's nothing better than a chilled pint following an active day in the mountains or maybe it's because Adolph Coors established his brewery in the state, but beer is an undeniable part of Colorado culture. Breweries are as popular as dogs, campers and fleece. Each town, village or city claims at least one brewery, many of which perpetuate a European-like pub culture where families pop in for a pint, a bite to eat and conversation.
Estes Park is no different. Its brewery specializes in handcrafted brews-no Coors or Budweiser here! And there's something for every palate: lagers, stouts, red ales, porters, pale ales, wheats-even root beer for youngsters. There's typically a seasonal on tap as well. Estes Park beer is also bottled, so you can take some home as a souvenir, or back to your lodging to enjoy by the fire. The atmosphere remains light and casual, with pool tables, foosball and the occasional live music adding to the fun. The food menu includes tavern fare-think burgers, pizza, and sandwiches-all of which is a nice complement, but at the end of the day, it's the beer that matters most.
If beer is an expected icon of Colorado, wine is not. Yet, the climate near Grand Junction, Colorado, supports viticulture-an advantage to winemakers in Estes Park who ferment Colorado-grown grapes into tasty toasts for guests. They share the award-winning fruits of their labor in tasting rooms and in bottles that can be taken home. Winery tours may be available by appointment. The how-to and technique are important to the winemaker, but so are the results. Thus, winery owners ensure patrons enjoy their wines in beautiful settings-comfortable rooms boasting oversized windows with views of the surrounding mountains.
Wine styles run the gamut from sweet to dry and red to white; often more than 20 different varieties are available. Because growers in Grand Junction are able to successfully raise European grapes, Estes Park winemakers experiment with Rieslings, Cabernets, Merlots, Syrahs, Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and Viogniers. In addition, they offer some rare wines, such as Mourvedre, an exotic red grape akin to a Pinot Noir. Such unexpected surprises delight wine lovers and make wineries here as memorable as the craft beers.
If spirits are more of your pleasure, our local distilleries quench the thirst of even the most picky liquor connoisseur. Artisan whiskey, rum, bourbon, and specialty liqueurs are handcrafted right here in Colorado, served to you fresh from the distilling process. These small batch spirits are carefully made from the finest ingredients and each step is thoughtfully passed from the brewer to the distiller, and finally onto the blender.