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By Becky Creighton

A flight of beer from Aspen Brewing Company.

Raise your hand if you want a beer. (Who is sitting at their desk with their hand raised? I know I am.) 

As an unseasonably warm spring is upon us with a very hot summer that is sure to follow, the go to beverage is typically a frosty, cold beer. Not just any kind of beer. Sure, we can get Coor’s in about any establishment here but for those in Colorado, that is not good enough.  Not only do we want a cold beer, we want a plethora of choices and in Colorado we have 136 craft breweries from which to choose.

Matter of fact, the front range is the largest craft brewing market in the United States with 74 breweries. Wow! And let’s not forget our brothers and sisters to the west in Durango and Aspen. Durango tops city breweries per capita with four breweries, that’s one brewery per 3,480 people and small town Aspen has Aspen Brewing Company and we haven’t even mentioned Boulder.   That is a lot of beer in this Centennial state.

And where does one go to taste these small batch beers? The brewery is the obvious choice, but, that could take a long time, visiting 136 breweries and if each one has four beers that’s 544 beers! Ok then, my fellow Ohio State alumni would have a hard time putting that down, even if it did come in a five gallon bucket. So, the next logical choice?

A tap room of course and there are many in Denver.  Start with the Star Bar showing off 14 handles, across the street Ignite! has 12 beers on tap (and about another 30 in cans or bottles), the famed Falling Rock, 75+ beers and the newest tap room in town Lucky Pie Pizza boasts 20. With so many great breweries around, Wynkoop, Breckenridge, Denver Beer Company, Great Divide, etc. there certainly isn’t a lack of fermented barley and hops to consume, the big question is what.  If you’re like me, it depends on your mood. Today, I think I’ll enjoy an IPA, now, I just have to figure out from which craft brewer.

Want to get your fill of craft beer, check out Colorado Craft Beer radio or American Craft Beer radio. (And starting May 2nd, Culinary Connectors will offer Craft Beer Tours on Wednesday’s.)

What are some of your favorite tap rooms?