We recently paid a visit to Colorado to sample the local beer scene, which plays host to the annual Great American Beer Festival and boasts a staggering 160-plus craft breweries of its own. We started our search at the favorite craft brewer hangout, the Falling Rock Taphouse – home of the famous "No crap on tap" lineup of 86 draft beer lines. "The beer in Colorado is great and it's brewed by great people," says Taphouse owner Chris Black, who gave us the lowdown on Colorado's biggest standard-bearing breweries. "What's really fun for me is getting to meet and hang out with these people that are my heroes." Between his advice and some pavement-pounding, liver-destroying investigative work of our own, we narrowed the field to 10 of the most exciting beers we've ever had in Colorado – or any other state.
Funkwerks' Dark Prophet, Belgian dark strong ale
Colorado has plenty of cold, snowy days – and strong, comforting ales to match. On the chilliest days in the Centennial State, we ducked into a bar called Freshcraft and ordered Dark Prophet, a Belgian-style dark strong ale from Funkwerks. This brewery earned its greatest acclaim and the title of Small Brewery of the Year at 2012's Great American Beer Festival for its "saison," a classic summer beer.
Funkwerks also happens to make one of the best winter sippers we've ever tasted. The dark strong style is all about strength and complexity, and Dark Prophet has both in spades. Raisin, plum, cloves, brown sugar, vanilla, and light hints of bourbon intermingle with the aroma and flavor profile. And despite all that, we swear we've never tasted a drier beer.