Survey Says: Best Colorado Beers and Breweries in 2021 and What’s Next in 2022

Colorado’s top breweries and breweries in this year’s Axios Best Beer survey epitomized both ends of the spectrum: hop-crazy misty IPAs and flavor-packed traditional lagers.

What we found: We interviewed 150 beer lovers and industry professionals and took a bite of Not exploited state data to compile a list of Colorado’s best brews, beers, and trends – and what to watch out for in the year ahead.

  • It’s the fifth consecutive year John led the investigation, dating back to his days at the Denver Post and his recent tenure at the Colorado sun.
  • In homage to the state’s diverse scene, nearly 200 different breweries have been nominated in the different categories.

Best brewery: Outdoor beach landed on the scene when it opened five years ago with the mellowest, hopping misty IPAs in the state. In 2021, it has become a beer destination with its full bar / restaurant / cafe in Frisco.

Lagerhaus in Bierstadt. Photo: John Frank / Axios

Best beer: by Bierstadt Slow Pour Pils et Helles (tie). This German lager maker has landed its pilsner at the top since opening, and this year its main competition has come from within. A tried and true cup of Helles gave impetus to the delicate Slow Pour Pils.

  • Top 3 from Untappd: WeldWerks’ Extra Extra Juicy Bits (4.5), WeldWerks / Casey Transmountain Diversion (4.4) and Knotted root Perpetually unimpressed (4.3)
  • John’s choice: Cerebral Crocodile Kilometer. A collaboration with famed New York City misty IPA master Other Half is the beer I still remember the most from the start of the year. I’m not the only one: Untappd users place it 5th this year in Colorado.
  • Honorable mentions: Our mutual friends IPA interior light, Outdoor beach Pillow stacks and 4 noses ‘Bout damn time
Cohesion Brewery
Cohesion brewery. Photo: Alayna Alvarez / Axios

Best New Brewery: Denver Cohesion just opened this summer, but has quickly become a favorite with beer lovers and industry professionals with its traditional Czech-style lagers served in three different styles.

Brewery to watch in 2022: Report and 4 noses (to attach). What these two breweries have in common is growth. The ratio opens another place Next year. 4 Noses acquired Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette; has been successful with its branch Wild Provisions in Boulder; and announced a new valve room and new production facility in Denver.

A lager from Wiley Roots Brewing
Helles by Wiley Roots Brewing. Photo: John Frank / Axios

Top beer trend for 2021: Lagers. From pilsners to various styles of lagers, independently-made beer-flavored beers dominated as an easy-to-drink alternative to seltzers. “I love to have a few beers with my friends, and these crispy woods allow me to do that,” says Devon Adams, an Advanced Cicerone.

  • John’s choice: The return of faucet rooms – especially those with outdoor patios like Sanitas, Cannonball Creek, and Telluride. Likewise, the beer sales platform Come declared the return of QR codes as its main trend.
  • Honorable mentions: Seltzer, misty and tangy IPA

Beer trend to watch in 2022: Non-alcoholic beers (and similar hop-infused beverages) are growing in popularity and popularity. “People are looking to take care of themselves… while continuing to engage in socially consuming situations,” says Sam Real of CSA Distributing.

  • John’s choice: The reimagined and more refined West Coast IPA, with less bitterness and a juicier hop flavor like the Crooked Stave edition, will rival the cloudy, belly-filling hazy IPA.
  • Honorable mentions: The endurance of IPA and lagers.

The bottom line: Jonathan Mueller echoed the sentiment of many who responded to the poll: “Comparing Colorado’s craft scene to other American breweries is like letting the gods participate in a contest of mortals: unfair at best, at best. worse a deadly defenestration ”.

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter and faster on the most important news taking place in their own backyards. Subscribe here.

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