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.
Odell Brewing Company - India Pale Ale
Not every brewery in Colorado offers an India Pale Ale as part of its year-round lineup, but most do. There are English-style IPAs, American interpretations, double IPAs, and Belgian IPAs everywhere. It's clear that brewers throughout the state are looking for a way to showcase the big hop flavors that have made IPAs such a hit.
The best of the bunch was Odell Brewing Company's, which emphasized all of our favorite hallmarks of an American brand of IPA: Big, citrusy, and piney hop flavors and aromas, and a malt backbone that is just pronounced enough to stand up to the prominent, but not overwhelming, hop bitterness. Best of all, Odell emphasizes the sessionable drinkability to go along with the big assertive flavors that make the beer so popular.