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.
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).
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.
Autumn is my favorite season for many reasons. The weather is cool enough for long sleeve shirts and jeans, but still warm enough that you don’t have to “bundle up” just to go outside. The leaves put on one hell of a light show as they move from tree to ground and make our walk more colorful and crunchy.
Then there’s the collective scream felt around the country as women squeal with delight to find that, OH MY GOD, PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES ARE BACK AT STARBUCKS! I’ve never been a fan of the pumpkin spice craze; the only two sweet pumpkin food items I like are actual pumpkin pie and pumpkin-flavored Noosa.
While pumpkin spice may be the rage around the country, pumpkin beers are what start coming out of the woodwork in craft-beer-friendly Boulder. Of course, I’m over simplifying, there are several other fall seasonals, but pumpkin is definitely king.
Here is where you wan go to find your favorite fall seasonals at Boulder breweries (spoiler: they aren’t all pumpkin beers).
Asher Brewing Company
If you’re feeling like it’s time for a break from pumpkin beers, then Asher’s seasonal, Superfly Organic Oatmeal Stout, is just the ticket. It’s brewed with dark malted barley, organic oatmeal, and a perfect balance of hop bitterness to give the beer a nice, full body and that malty sweetness we love so much in our stouts.
This brewery has two—count ‘em two—pumpkin beers! Rumpkin, a massive beer at 18.0% ABV, is a rum barrel-aged pumpkin ale that combines the flavors of a pumpkin beer and takes it up a notch with notes of oak and candied molasses (their words, not mine, since I have no idea what candied molasses tastes like). Given the ABV, this is a beer best shared with friends, don’t try and session this on your own.
If you want something a little (not a lot) lighter, Pump[KY]n comes in at 15.% ABV. Again, another “sharing is caring” bottle of beer. This pumpkin porter is aged in a bourbon barrel, giving it a deep, rich flavor that people may not expect from a pumpkin beer
If I had to pick my favorite beer name ever, this one would be in the running: Dragonhosen. Besides having a killer name, it’s an imperial Oktoberfest lager. In Boulder Beer’s own words:
Late at night in the dark cellar or among the rows of towering vessels at Boulder Beer, if you listen carefully you can hear the eerie sound of the Dragonhosen. Brewed with generous amounts of Vienna and Munich malts for a rich, full-bodied malty flavor, Dragonhosen begins as a traditional Oktoberfest lager, then stealthily breathes fire with 9% alcohol by volume. Hallertau and Czech Saaz hops add balance with a mild earthy aroma and flavor with moderate bitterness. And if you find yourself at Boulder Beer, listen closely and beware…if you hear a scratching and scraping coming your way, the bite of the Dragonhosen is sure to follow.
Sanitas Brewing Company
Another alternative to pumpkinpalooza, the Autumn Quad is an abbey-style Belgian dark strong ale. A delicious way to warm up on the increasingly chilly nights.
Upslope Brewing Company
Pumpkin beer in a can! Upslope uses organic baby bear pumpkins (does that not sound like the cutest pumpkin ever?) and a custom blend of six spices to round out their highly anticipated fall beer.
I’m going to make a bold statement and say that the burger is the most perfect food in the world. It can be a quick and dirty, on-the-grill-game-day lunch. It can be a creative, even gourmet dinner experience. No matter what, it always goes great with a cold brew.
What happens, then, when the burger is the focal point of a craft-centric new restaurant on Pearl Street in our craft-centric city of Boulder? You get Eureka!, the newest addition to Pearl Street’s West End in Downtown Boulder and an all-American restaurant that specializes in putting an inventive craft spin on classic favorites.
In the world of beverages, there are certain pairing juggernauts that we’re all familiar with: wine and cheese; pop rocks and soda; tequila and regret; and, of course, beer and buffalo wings. Buffalo wing flavors are just as versatile and varied and beer varietals these days, so you can generally find a wing that suits your fancy.
Myself, I can’t stand having messy hands, so I tend to go with the dry rubs and avoid the wings slathered in spicy sauce. When I do eat coated wings, I can consume a restaurant’s entire inventory of wet naps with my incessant wiping and cleaning of my hands and mouth. It’s a fairly embarrassing display of neurotic behavior, so I save the sloppy stuff for takeout.
For those of you with a higher tolerance for food mess and a love of buffalo wings, here are several places in Boulder you should give a go to get your wing fix in your own backyard.
With the bipolar weather of spring in Boulder starting to subside, we’re in for straight heat in a manner of weeks and there is nothing I love more than ice cream on hot summer days.
I like to eat it while basking in the sun as if to say, “Go ahead, heat, do your worst. It doesn’t matter because I have ice cream, so bring it!”
I’d stare right at it as a sort of challenge if I didn’t know that staring directly at the sun would really hurt my chances of having perfect vision.
If you’d like to beat the heat with some ice cream (gelato, sorbet, or frozen yogurt), here are some great places in Boulder to get a scoop or two.
We’re always excited to partner with our friends over at The Passport Program to let our fellow Boulderites know that happy hour is about to get a whole lot happier. The Boulder Passport is BACK, starting this morning at 10AM. Like years prior, Boulderites can snag one of the limited supply of Passports and score 2-for-1 drink specials all around town, all summer long.
Consider the Boulder Passport the ultimate libations guide for the curious. For a mere $20, you’ll take your passport to 44 (that’s FORTY-FOUR) hand-curated establishments in and around Boulder and enjoy a 2-for-1 drink special on one of the establishment’s signature drinks. This means you can treat a friend (or treat yourself) to some serious patio time while exploring a new venue or three during the not-so-hazy days of what’s been a pretty long winter.
Grab yours here starting at 10AM MT. But wait — we’ve got more to tell you.
What do you envision when you hear the word “mead?” Do you think of castles and knights, medieval royalty sipping it out of goblets, ancient Greeks imbibing in it, perhaps reading about it being poured during a feast in Middle-earth, Vikings swigging it, or maybe the most appropriate beverage for your Game of Thrones binge-watch-a-thon?
It’s not surprising that your mind may linger on any of these things. Mead is considered an ancient drink and potentially the first ever fermented beverage, dating back prior to wine and beer according to archaeological discoveries. It’s also a drink steeped in lore, rumored to be the beverage of choice for Greek gods, one that makes appearances as a thirst quencher for literary heroes and in fictional, fantastical courts and halls.
In the present day, though, mead has grown in popularity as an incredibly diverse and unique beverage, and Boulder boasts an innovative, longstanding meadery that strives to both create delicious, creative products and educate people about why they should be imbibing in mead.