I’ll admit it. I’m the last person you’ll ever call when you want a gourmet meal. It took me until I was in my thirties to be able to properly cook rice. Even now, I screw it up about half of the time. Thankfully, more and more cooking classes are available for me and other culinarily-challenged folks like me. In fact, Boulder has quite a few cooking schools designed for people who just want to up their cooking game, but don’t necessarily want to become chefs.
Foodies rejoice! In addition to having one of the best farmer's markets in the country and a local culinary school, Boulder hosts a vibrant restaurant scene of over 115 establishments. How good are these dining choices? Well, Bon Appétit named Boulder the Foodiest Town of 2010.
Boulder restaurants feature cuisine choices that run the gamut, while emphasizing organic selections, locally-grown produce, and native Colorado beef and bison. Add to that charming outdoor cafes, rooftop dining, and local breweries, and you've got an amazing way to indulge after your day of outdoor fun.
Check out our reviews of Boulder restaurants, and features of local dining and imbibing hot spots. You may burn a lot of calories in Boulder, but you won't go hungry (or thirsty).
Boulder County craft breweries don’t just make up a large part of the area’s identity and culture. They are also huge proponents of their local communities, from supporting local musicians and artists through countless live music events to contracting with local food trucks, often using local ingredients in their food menus, and partnering with local small businesses on events.
These same craft breweries also give back to their communities and neighbors in need by working with local non-profit and charity organizations to do good works with their brews. Some of Boulder County’s “original” craft breweries, including Avery Brewing Company and Left Hand Brewing Company, played a large part early on in the craft beer scene by establishing a tradition of being extremely involved in the community. It’s a tradition that has continued to grow into today, as a huge number of Boulder County breweries consistently and creatively work with non-profits to support the community and those in need within it.
“We believe that non-profits benefit the local community in very significant ways,” says Jean Ditslear, owner of 300 Suns Brewing Company in Longmont. “Whatever we can do to keep them able to do their jobs more easily benefits all of us here in Boulder County. Our philosophy is to give as much as we can to the community that gives us our home.”
From recurring taproom events to festivals, fundraisers, and more, here are just a few of the unique ways that Boulder County craft breweries support the community.
Boulder and beer are synonymous for a reason – we make great craft beer just as much as we love drinking it. Whether you’re looking to learn more about the brewing process or just get a deeper look into how a brewery works, taking a tour is a great option. To make things even sweeter, these Boulder breweries offer a tour of their facilities for free.
There are over 40 craft breweries in Boulder County, each with their own unique backstory, identity, and personality. Local craft beer enthusiasts here in and around Boulder will have yet another exciting brewery to frequent in just a few months when Gunbarrel Brewing Company, which will feature a broad range of intriguing and audacious ales, opens this year.
Gunbarrel Brewing Company’s opening will be the culmination of years of planning by husband and wife team Jamie and Marie Fox. According to Jamie and Marie, owning and operating a brewery is something that they always aspired to do during their eventual retirement. With Jamie’s long background in homebrewing and Marie’s experience in marketing and hospitality, it was a long simmering idea always at the back of their minds. After Jamie graduated from the University of Vermont with his Ph.D in neuroscience and completed his Post-Doctoral work at the University of Colorado Boulder, the duo found themselves in a transitional period and asked themselves why they should wait to make the idea a reality. Why shouldn’t they pursue it in the immediate future. Thus, tangible steps towards making Gunbarrel Brewing Company a reality began.
So you’re a vegetarian or vegan. I get it, you have your reasons, and I respect that. You also have to deal with us annoying omnivores insisting on eating at places that serve meat. It has to be a pain to grit your teeth and bear it whenever one of your friends suggests “getting wings” and you get to be the person that eats the celery and carrots that come on the side while all your friends indulge in all that glorious wing sauce.
Enter seitan. The vegan wonder food for those craving a meaty dish without all that meat. This one is for you, my meatless buddies, because here’s where you can enjoy some seitan goodness in Boulder. And if you’re an omnivore, don’t be afraid to dive in. Odds are, you’ll be hard pressed to know the difference between meat and no meat with these delicious dishes.
Chocolate is the obvious star of Valentine’s Day with more than 58 million pounds of it being sold during the week of the holiday. While I love to eat a good piece of chocolate, as a beer lover, there’s nothing better than drinking it instead. These Boulder County breweries are serving chocolate the best way there is — in a tasty craft beer.
Living in one of the best beer cities in the country, it’s a good bet that you have at least one craft beer-obsessed friend, relative, or co-worker on your holiday shopping list this year. Of course beer is always a welcomed present, but maybe you’d like to opt for something that’s going to last a little longer. This list of local breweries selling swag is sure to help you find the perfect gift for all of the beer enthusiasts in your life.
It’s a statement that becomes more and more true to me with each and every new tapping I attend or seasonal beer release I taste. Craft beer is an art form. On the surface, the craft beer industry is one of the production and consumption of a product. However, at its heart, it’s an industry of creative expression, that of the talented and enthusiastic brewers who’ve made the craft beer business what it is today. What better way to zoom in on that spirit and culture of creativity here in Colorado, then, than by means of another equally expressive and limitless art form, photography?
Four years ago when Dustin Hall moved to Denver, he truthfully wasn’t even that big of a fan of craft beer. Through the rock-climbing network he began building, Hall was introduced to employees of Hogshead Brewery in Denver who insisted that he stop by their taproom and give craft beer a chance. Upon visiting, Hall’s creative instincts were immediately piqued. An avid photographer for over fourteen years at that time, Hall was intrigued by the aesthetics of the taproom and brewing facilities, the juxtaposition and creative clashing of the industrial metal brewing equipment to the more rustic wood feel of the building and taproom itself. Not to mention he was a fan of the Hogshead beers. What started as an exploratory trip turned into an opportunity for Hall to exercise his own art form and view the brewery through his own unique lens, and, as he began snapping away, The Brewtography Project was born.
Sure, there were houses, but any businesses that existed were remnants of a bygone era and the Boulder Community Hospital wasn’t even a glimmer in the city planner’s eye.
It’s those sorts of memories that make me really happy to see East Boulder turning into a really interesting community of its own. Sure, it’s more residential than other areas of Boulder, but now there are great places for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and drinks all within relatively close proximity.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels excited about this community’s expansion. In fact, I know I’m not, because there are several businesses in East Boulder so invested in the growth of the community, they’ve formed what they call the Eastern Bloc.
The Eastern Bloc consists of three businesses share an alley as well as a likeminded belief in quality, community, and collaboration. Thus, they decided to create a coalition of craft.
Dining out as a vegan certainly has its unique set of challenges, especially when you’re looking for a more “fine dining” experience. Fortunately, there are a decent amount of restaurants with vegan options along the Front Range, and Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant is one of the best. Leaf offers a seasonal brunch, lunch, dinner, happy hour, and dessert menu served in a modern, serene, earthy setting.
The extensive menu is clearly marked with a “v” next to anything that is vegan. The vegan crab cake sandwich, Jamaican jerk tempeh, and Hungarian stuffed cabbage are all hearty options for lunch or dinner. For brunch, try the biscuits and gravy with house-made vegan “sausage”, French toast, or a vegan benedict made with spaghetti squash noodles, black beans, and an avocado “hollandaise” sauce.