Denver Brewery Guide: Highlands
Every town has its trendy neighborhoods overflowing with urban hipsters and posh hot spots. Denver’s is called Highlands — and it’s also packed with good, small breweries. Check out three must-visit spots below, plus a killer bonus pub.
Denver Beer Co.: This is probably the most well-known Highlands brewery — as of now, anyway. The kind of place that welcomes people wearing “Oxford shorts or dirty shorts,” the brewery is only a few years old and features several year-round selections as well as some seasonal brews. Brewers here don’t stick to standard ale and lager flavors. A quick peek at the list on an early January eve featured Smoked Lager, Graham Cracker Porter, Hey Pumpkin’, Peach Saison, Colorado Common, Big Money Maple Nut Brown and Fresh Hop IPA. Brewery tours begin at 4 PM daily (1695 Platte St.; 303-433-2739).
Hogshead Brewery: You won’t get a better beer made in a converted service station than the suds brewed up here. Seriously, Hogshead is perfect for people who prefer proper English pints. That means a few beers will be cask-conditioned ales and offerings stick to tried and true British styles. Selections include Boys Bitter, Barges’ Mild, Chin Wag, Gilpin Black Gold and Lake Lightening. One of the owners actually hails from the British Isles. He’s called English Steve — a proper nickname if there ever was one (4460 W. 29th Ave.; 303-495-3105).
Prost Brewery: This brewpub serves up a welcome change of pace from face-blistering IPAs and lead-balloon stouts found in many craft breweries by focusing on German styles, which tend to be lighter, milder, sessionable lagers. Prost employs cool-looking German-made copper kettles in its brewing process, which makes the place seems a bit like a throwback to old Bavaria. With live music and food trucks on some nights, as well as a large outdoor seating area, quaffers can spend many sessions here. Beers include Marzen-Oktoberfest, Altfränkisches Dunkel Bier, Weißbier, Prost Pils and seasonals including Alt and Bock. Prost also purchased the rights to Tivoli Beer — Denver’s historic brewing company that closed in 1969 — and reintroduced the brand to the marketplace (2540 19th St.; 303-729-1175).
Taster’s Note: If the scent of boiling barley at these brewpubs becomes overwhelming, head over to the Ale House at Amato’s. A outlet of Breckenridge Brewing’s Rocky Mountain empire of beers, restaurants and brewpubs, the place features more than 40 brews on tap. Sample of some of Breckenridge’s and Colorado’s best or expose your taste buds to an out-of-stater, along with one of the best views of downtown Denver anywhere (2501 16th St.; 303-433-9734).
Photos by Danya Henninger