The Quest for the Holy Grain - Best Brew Pubs





Ft. Collins

Idaho Springs









Golden Block Brewery
1227 Greene St
Silverton, CO 81433
(970) 387-5962

Silverton is another tiny former mining town in Colorado's San Juan Mountains, and the biggest (population = 630) community and county seat for San Juan County, that is now more prosperous from the tourism industry than it ever was when they were hauling out silver “by the ton” (the origin of its name.)

It is the northern terminus for the Silverton Durango Narrow Gauge Steam Railroad, a 140 year old continuously-operated coal fired steam railroad, offering breathtaking scenery and a chance to unwind a century of progress, and travel exactly as silver miners did right after the Civil War.

During the busy years of the mining era, the central block downtown was known as the “Golden Block,” presumably because the shopkeepers made out considerably better than did the miners.
The Golden Block Brewery, in the center of this lucrative piece of real estate, , offers a selection of nano-brewed beers as well as wood-fired pizza and other bar food, including sandwiches and burgers.
The beers are well regarded by Colorado beer drinkers, and besides, the elevation gives drinkers a little extra for their money.

Among the beers offered at Golden Block are Paydirt Pilsner, Whoop Arse Ale, and Amalgamation IPA.
And more.

The original pressed-tin ceilings and the informal ambience with chalkboards for wall coverings add to the casual feel and good humor of the patrons.






Ouray Brewery
607 Main Street
Ouray, Colorado
(970) 325-7388

One of three nanobreweries in the booming metropolis of Ouray, Colorado (population 1,033), and perhaps the largest,
Ouray Brewery has a spectacular location on Main Street, the only paved street in town.
There are three levels, each with its own set of taps, and each with spectacular views. Of course we wanted the best view from the rooftop level – see photo.
The food menu looked attractive but simple, but we were there for the beer.
The Summer Saison (served on the day before the first major snowstorm of the season in late September) was an excellent but lighter version of this classic Belgian brew.
The Red was decent, but the distinctive feature about the Colorado nanobreweries is that they fill the bill for their local customers without trying to win any awards.
The views, and the friendly people, make the visit worthwhile.






Station 26 Brewing Company
7045 E 38th Ave
Denver, CO 80207
(303) 333-1825

Station 26 is a microbrewery on the edge of a failing neighborhood near the road from the airport.
Corporate and industrial building are encroaching beyond the brewery.
The name refers to Fire Station 26, it's previous life.
The three rollup doors are open in temperate weather, one for the brewing operation, and two for the patrons.
A patio area has several picnic tables. Visitations from a food truck aid the hungry.
Station 26 has 12 beers on tap with a nice rotation of seasonals.
The beers are tasty and not expensive.



Ironworks Brewery & Pub
12354 W Alameda Pkwy  
Lakewood, CO 80228
(303) 985-5818

The Ironworks Brewery & Pub is a sportsbar in an otherwise abandoned strip mall in the far western suburbs of Denver.
Ironworks appears to be a typical sports bar with several pool tables, lots of TVs, and plenty of room. That's where the similarities end.
Rather than proffering only a selection of Macro lites, Ironworks has 9 of their own beers on tap as well as 3 guest beers - ironically, Bud, Bud Light, and Coors Lighter.
Relaxing after a days work, the brewer noticed our interest in beer and introduced himself. In exchange for a Quest For The Holy Grain card he gave us a glass of his experimental beer, a belgian IPA made with Mosaic hops which he said were not commercially available so he would not be able to make a large batch.
That, and the other beers, were quite Ironworks says, beer so fresh you have to slap it.



Wynkoop Brewing Company
1634 18th St  
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 297-2700

The Wynkoop Brewing Company is a brewpub located just down the street from Coors Field...home of the Colorado Rockies.
Wynkoop, housed in a building that dates from 1888, claims the distinction of being Colorado's first brewpub, and having the city's best pool hall.
A large restaurant is to the left of the entrance, a good sized bar to the right.
The brewery is straight ahead.
Wynkoop has 14 of their own beers on tap as well as several guest taps and a bottle list as well.
The food was good and not expensive.
It was just before Rockies game time and quite busy, which might account for the lack of attention by our server.
On a different day, we took the brewery tour. It is a much smaller- scale operation than one would expect. For instance - in the hallway they have one wooden cask of this, one of that, and one of a barleywine aging.



Tommyknocker Brewery
1401 Miner St  
Idaho Springs, CO 80452
(303) 567-2688

Tommyknocker is a brewpub in downdown Idaho Springs.
There is more here than just a brewpub. Tommyknocker's 20 bbl brewhouse produced 12,500 barrels of beer in 2012.
They have the capacity to bottle 1,000 cases of beer per day.
Tommyknocker beer is distributed to about half of the 50 states, including the east coast.
Upon entering, one is confronted by the hostess station and souvenier stand. To the left a fair-sized restaurant, to the right, the bar.
The bar is actually in the working brewery, with tables among the tanks and workers passing through.
Tommyknocker has 15 of their own beers on tap.
The food is good and not expensive
. The pub is open 7 days a week, from 11:00 AM until "business decline."




CooperSmith's Pub & Brewing
5 Old Town Square
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 498-0483

CooperSmith's Pub and Brewing
is a restaurant in the entertainment district of downtown Ft. Collins.
It's actually two adjacent restaurants, one open for lunch, both for dinner.
They are known as Pubside and Poolside, respectively.
CooperSmith's started out over 25 years ago in one building, but has spread to neighboring historical sites.
Being a real restaurant, they have a more extensive menu than some other brewpubs, but it's not expensive.
The main feature is their beer...they have 17 of their own on tap...something for everyone including several seasonals.
A pale ale, a bitter, and a stout are among their regular beers, and Coopersmith's single most popular beer is Punjabi, an IPA.
Aside from pints, one can purchase the beer in kegs or growlers.
The beers are good and they aren't expensive either.




C. B. & Potts
1441 East Horsetooth Road Fort Collins, CO 80525
Ph: 970-226-0148

C.B. & Potts is a small chain of brewpubs in the Ft. Collins area. Although they consider themselves brewpubs, they only brew at one of their locations and ship the beer to the others. (similar to DuClaw in central MD).
This Questor visited the one in Collindale.
This C.B. & Potts is located on a golf course, above the club house, with parking for several hundred cars.
The dining area is surprisingly cozy.
C.B. & Potts serves upscale pub grub at reasonable prices.
Best of all, they have six full- time beers, two seasonals, as well as several guests on tap. The beer was tasty...the pours large, and not expensive.



Black Bottle Brewery
1611 South College Ave
Suite 1609
Fort Collins Co 80525
Phone: 970-493-2337

Black Bottle Brewery is a small brewpub just outside of downtown Ft. Collins.
Diminutive in size, they have an adequate bar and perhaps 15 tables. Black Bottle offers 40 taps, with about 12-15 being their house beers.
The rest are guest taps.
Black Bottle also sports an extensive bottle and can list.
There is a small, glass enclosed room on the right side of the restaurant. There are steps inside leading down to the brewing operation. One can stand at the top and watch them make beer.
Aside from being able to drink Black Bottle beers at the brewpub, they are available in a number of establishments around Ft. Collins.
The food we ordered was very good and inexpensive. In fact, the lunch special was two sliders, two sides, and a 12 oz. pour for $8.00.


Steamworks Brewing Company
801 East Second Avenue
Durango, CO 81301
Phone: 970-259-9200

Steamworks Brewing, just off Main St. in Durango, is unusual in that the glassed-in brewing operation is in the center of the facility just past the foyer. The kitchen and dining area share the left side, and the entire right side is bar area; with the large bar seating about 40 itself, and about 25 tables and booths. They serve eight of their own beers and eight guest brews. They specialize in Pizza and cajun-style food, but the items on the menu seem pricey.


Carver Brewing Co.
1022 Main Avenue
Durango, CO 81301

The Carver Brewing Company is located in the historic district of Durango. When it opened in 1988, it became the first brewery in the Four Corners region since prohibition. The bar area is rather small, seating maybe 20 at the bar and at tables. The dining area is also small. When searching for the restrooms, one will discover the "brewpub" in the back of the building, in a small and cozy room, with the brewing operation visible behind. There is also a beer garden outdoors. Both bars have the same 10 beers and menu.

Ska Brewing Company
545 Turner Drive
Durango, CO 81303

The Ska Brewery, located just outside Durango, Co, is a microbrewery rather than a brewpub. It has a small tasting room and retail shop. They have about 10 of their own beers on tap and seating for about 20. They also sell growlers and bottled beer, paraphenalia, and home brewing supplies.