The Best Breweries in Boulder, Colorado

By Lydia Schrandt Aug. 14, 2020
(Credit: Master1305/Shutterstock)

With the Flatirons in the backyard and Eldora Ski Resort only a few miles away, the People’s Republic of Boulder, as it’s fondly called, pairs outdoor adventure with a youthful vibe, plenty of arts and culture, and a lively drinking scene. Beer lovers will find nearly two dozen breweries here (along with several distilleries, wineries and cideries), making it one of Colorado’s top spots for enjoying a pint after a day on the mountain. If you’re feeling thirsty for a crisp IPA, tart sour or warming stout, here are eight of the best breweries in Boulder, Colorado.

Avery Brewing Company

3pm-9pm Wednesday & Thursday; 12pm-10pm Friday & Saturday; 12pm-9pm Sunday; closed Monday & Tuesday

Avery, in the Gunbarrel neighborhood of northeast Boulder, was one of the early arrivals to the craft beer scene in Colorado when it began brewing in 1993. Make the short trek to the taproom in Gunbarrel for a selection of 30 beers on tap, including year-round favorites like Avery IPA and White Rascal Belgian-style white ale, alongside exclusive, taproom-only releases.

Upslope Brewing Company

Lee Hill & Flatiron Park
2pm-8pm daily

Upslope handcrafts their lagers and ales in small batches using only four ingredients: snowmelt, malts, hops and brewer’s yeast. Beer lovers have two taprooms to choose from: the main production facility at Flatiron Park and the original brewery in the Lee Hill neighborhood of North Boulder. Both are pet-friendly and offer live music, food trucks and tasting events.

Twisted Pine Brewing Company

4pm-8pm Monday-Thursday; 3pm-9pm Friday; 12pm-9pm Saturday; 12pm-6pm Sunday

Since its founding in 1995, Twisted Pine has grown into a popular 30-tap gathering place in Ara (just east of downtown) with indoor and outdoor seating and spectacular views of the Flatirons. Popular with locals, Twisted Pine pours playfully named brews like Ghost Face Killah, Patio Pounder and Recreational Wheat, alongside a menu of pub fare.

Discover the best breweries in Boulder, Colorado (Credit: Jeremy Janus/Shutterstock)

Mountain Sun

11am-1am daily

Mountain Sun on Pearl Street in the heart of downtown Boulder offers a more intimate setting to grab a pint. Adorned with Grateful Dead-inspired décor, the brewpub serves award-winning beer (four gold medals from the Great American Beer Festival) and a well-rounded food menu with ample vegetarian options. The company also operates brewpubs in South Boulder and Longmont, Colorado.

VisionQuest Brewing Company

East Boulder
Open Monday-Sunday; hours vary

The brewers at VisionQuest Brewing Company cut their teeth operating the Boulder Fermentation Supply homebrew store, now attached to the industrial taproom. Beer aficionados will find more creative offerings, with sours well represented. Think Purple Panna Cotta Sour made with passionfruit, blackberry, black currant and vanilla, or The Magical Liopleurodon, a porter with notes of cinnamon, coffee and chili peppers.

Oskar Blues

Downtown & Longmont
3pm-9pm Monday-Friday; 12pm-9pm Saturday; 12pm-6pm Sunday

Oskar Blues got its start in the tiny town of Lyons, Colorado, back in 2002. Today, the brewery operates taprooms in downtown Boulder and Longmont. The downtown location has one of the best on-tap selections in town, pouring brews from Oskar Blues, as well as Cigar City Brewing, Wasatch Brewery, Perrin Brewing and Squatters Craft Beers. Pair your pint with barbecue and live music.

BRU handbuilt ales & eats

Arapahoe Ridge
11:30am-10pm Monday-Saturday; 11:30am-9pm Sunday

BRU, a relative newcomer to the Boulder beer scene, is quickly making a name for itself with its unfiltered, naturally carbonated ales and popular happy hour deals (3pm-6pm daily and all day Tuesday). Ian Clark, the owner, likes experimenting, so there’s always something new and interesting on the tap menu. Enjoy your pint with a wood-fired sourdough pizza.

Enjoy homemade beers and flavorful food at one of the many great breweries in Boulder, Colorado (Credit:

Sanitas Brewing Co.

11:30am-10pm Monday-Saturday; 11:30am-9pm Sunday

Named after nearby Mt. Sanitas, this Boulder brewery is perhaps best known for its spacious outdoor patio, complete with lawn games, mountain views and a taco cart from McDevitt Taco Supply. You’ll also find a range of offerings on tap, including a strong selection of IPAs, Saisons and wild ales, made from locally sourced ingredients.

Other great breweries in Boulder, Colorado

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