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.
Ska Brewing Buster Nut Brown Ale
Nut Brown Ales are mellow, easy drinkers in the British tradition, but a glance at the zoot-suit-wearing, cigar-chomping, foot-stomping figure on the label of Ska Brewing's Buster Nut Brown Ale will clue you in that this one's different. The beer is light brown with a creamy head, and the nose is a dense mix of toasted malts, caramel nuttiness, and chocolate. It's rich and malty without sacrificing a bit of drinkability at 5.2 percent alcohol by volume. In all, the Buster Nut is representative of everything we love about the American brown Ale tradition – mingling old-world traditions with a willingness to turn up the volume and have fun.