The booze scene in Denver is growing. The city has a collection of bars, old and new. Breweries are popping up left and right, creating every style of beer under the sun, and distilleries are quickly following suit.
If you have relatives coming out for the holidays, and are looking to show off the wild side of north Denver, this list can help you get started. It will also help if you’re looking to escape your in-laws - if only for an hour or two. With more than 500 liquor licenses listed in the state Department of Revenue for bars, breweries and other tap rooms in the city of Denver, people have plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of our favorites at Life on Capitol Hill:
This Uptown brewery is a recent edition to the Denver beer scene. Thirsty Monk took over the former Deep Draft Brewing Co. space on East 17th Avenue in March. The Asheville-based brewery brought in Brian Grace as the head brewer for all its locations. Grace was formerly the head brewer at Crooked Stave and is based in Denver.
Thirsty Monk has 16 beers on tap, ranging from IPAs to Gose and Blonde Ales. Some of the beers are unique to the Thirsty Monk’s Denver taproom.
The brewery also has a small kitchen, which offers food flights that are made to pair with specific beers on the Monk menu. People in the mood for Belgian, for example, will get an Abby Blonde beer, as well as garlic roasted chick peas, smoked gouda, cranberry walnut relish and toasted crackers for $13. The brewery now offers beer and burger pairings as well.
Where: 1604 E. 17th Ave.
Hours: Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m.-12 a.m.
Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m.-1 a.m.
Sunday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
For more information: https://monkpub.com/denver-co/
The newest location on this list, Liberati just opened at the end of last month in the Five Points neighborhood. Founder Alex Liberati moved from Rome, where he opened his first brewery at 22-years-old. Liberati decided to come to Denver to experiment with a new kind of beer made with grapes. He said that brewing this style of beer is unique because it uses methods from both wine making and beer making.
Though beer drinkers may think that working with a sweet fruit like grapes may restrict the kinds of beer that Liberati can offer, the truth is that grapes can be made into any kind of beer. The brewery will offer stouts, IPAs, and more.
Liberati brought his head chef and baker over from Italy as well. The brewery will feature a full Italian menu with breads, pasta, charcuterie, and gelato all made from scratch.
Liberati said he picked his location off of Champa Street because the area reminded him of his brewery in Rome – a quiet neighborhood that’s not quite downtown, but close enough to walk to it.
Where: 2403 Champa St.
For more information: https://www.liberatidenver.com/
River North neighborhood:
Just a hop skip and a jump away from the Capitol Hill area is the River North neighborhood. Once home to large industrial spaces, RiNo has now become a mecca for breweries, wineries and restaurants, as well as food and booze halls.
Several breweries call the neighborhood home. Are you exclusively a cider drinker? There’s a place for you. Don’t like beer at all? There’s a place for you. In addition to the diversity of beverages, there’s a wide range of restaurants. In the neighborhoods food halls, the Denver Central Market and Zeppelin Station, people can find multiple food options all in the same building.
The River North Art District helps run special art events in the neighborhood, including art walks on First Fridays and pop-up art installations. The art district also helps put on the Crush Walls art festival every year where large murals are painted on the buildings in the neighborhood.
For more information: https://rinoartdistrict.org/guide/places-to-eat-drink
Alpine Dog Brewery:
Alpine Dog Brewery will be celebrating its fourth anniversary this month. The brewery is known for Thunder Puppy, a tropical IPA. The Capitol Hill brewery sits around the corner from the Ogden Theatre, making it the perfect place to stop for a beer after a show.
In addition to its line up of regular beers, Alpine Dog offers seasonal options. The brewery makes special small batch brews in firkins, such as a chocolate raspberry stout, which it will announce on Facebook. The brewery is consistently putting community events together, such as movie screenings, a weekly running club as well as food and beer pairings. Owner and head brewer Gardiner Hammond said he wanted to create a neighborhood bar space when he opened the brewery in 2014.
Where: 1505 N. Ogden St.
Hours: Monday from 5-9 p.m.
Tuesday through Thursday from 3-10 p.m.
Friday from 3 p.m.-12 a.m.
Saturday from 12 p.m.-12 a.m.
Sunday from 12 p.m.-8 p.m.
For more information: http://alpinedogbrewery.com/
Stoney’s has two locations in north Denver, the original off of Lincoln Street in the Golden Triangle and the Uptown location which opened earlier this year. Will Trautman, the co-owner of Stoney’s, said that the Uptown location helps to fill a need for a neighborhood sports bar in the area.
Both locations host watch parties for select sports teams, such as the University of Kansas and the University of Kentucky. During games, Stoney’s will play local music from that area, and offer special menu items from there as well. The goal, is to make people feel like they’re at home, no matter where they're from, Trautman said. The restaurant’s tagline, he said, is “Stoney’s, a local kind of place.” With more and more transplants coming into the city, Trautman said that Stoney’s is meant to be a place where anyone can come in and feel comfortable.
“That’s really what we build both places on,” Trautman said.
In addition to sports games, Stoney’s offers community events such as trivia and a Halloween party with a costume competition. The Lincoln Street location also has space for live music. Stoney’s aims to be the local hangout, whether people are interested in catching the game or looking for a place to kick back and relax.
While the Lincoln location is large and hosts more community events, Trautman said the Uptown spot is a little more intimate. People can come and have a conversation over dinner.
Where: Stoney’s Bar and Grill 1111 Lincoln St.
Stoney’s Uptown Joint 1035 E. 17th Ave.
Hours: Both locations are open on Sundays from 10-12 a.m.
Monday through Wednesday from 11-1 a.m.
Thursday through Saturday from 11-2 a.m.
For more information: http://www.stoneysbarandgrill.com/
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