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.
Prost - Altfrankisches Dunkel Bier
Prost Brewing company has only had its doors open since August 2012, but it's already making German-style beers that taste as though they came from a Franconian brewhouse. And, in a sense, they do. Prost's gleaming 70-barrel copper kettles, and the byzantine pipes and controls that connect them, were ripped from a defunct German brewery in Franconia, then shipped to Denver. "There was no manual, so it took me six months to put it all back together, but I enjoyed it," says Prost brewmaster Bill Eye.
Eye spent the last 10 years as the brewmaster at Dry Dock Brewing, where he earned acclaim and an armful of Great American Beer Festival medals for his Hefeweizen. Prost makes a great Hefeweizen with the same yeast, but the beer that excited us most on our visit was the Altfrankisches Dunkel. The beer is an homage to the brewery that Prost bought its equipment from, and it's as toasty and delicious as any dunkel we've tasted.