TGIF, for real. If you’re like us, you probably have weekend plans that involve sipping locally-made craft brews on a sunny patio somewhere — or better yet — hobnobbing with the brewers themselves at one of the many beer fests taking place in Colorado this summer. But instead of filling up that tiny taster glass with your regular go-to brews, seek out these 10 tasty Colorado beers currently making the rounds on the festival circuit. We were fortunate enough to sip on these brews at the 2017 Vail Craft Beer Classic last month, and if you apply yourself, and seek out the good stuff, you’ll feel pretty fortunate, too.
Thai Style White IPA | Upslope Brewing Company
One of Upslope’s most beloved limited release beers is back, and just as refreshing as ever. This IPA brewed with Asian-inspired spices boasts a balanced blend of citrusy and spicy notes. Since this gem is only available while supplies last, be sure to snag a taste at your next beer fest, or better yet, pick up a six-pack at any Upslope taproom or various liquor stores along the Front Range.
Roadie Grapefruit Radler | Great Divide Brewing Company
Hear us out on this one. The light, low-ABV, typically fruity craft beer/refreshing non-alcoholic beverage concoction known as the Radler is making a comeback, and it’s once again totally socially acceptable to enjoy one of these thirst-quenching beers in public. Great Divide’s Roadie Grapefruit Radler is an easy-drinking (4.2 percent ABV) beer and a great way to responsibly pace yourself at beer festivals.
Pinot Noir Uror | Fate Brewing Company
Fate’s Pinot Noir Uror might be hard to say after you’ve had a couple, but this delicious gose-style Sour German Wheat Ale brewed with coriander and sea salt is a drinkable, entry-level sour beer that’s become a crowd pleaser at summer beer festivals, and not just with the diehard fans of sour beer.
Fire it Up! | 7 Hermits Brewing Co.
Be sure to preserve your palate, and save this brew for last, but don’t miss out on a taste of 7 Hermit’s Green Chili Lager. Chile beers can be scary, but this one has just the right amount of subtle heat from the green chili that delivers a unique and robust flavor without a side of the spicy sweats.
Travelin’ Light | Left Hand Brewing Co.
When you need need a break from the hopped up IPAs and the boozy barrel-aged beers, head to the Left Hand booth and get yourself a taster of the brewery’s Travelin’ Light Kolsch-style ale. This new addition to the longtime brewery’s line-up is made with Mount Hood and Willamette hops, which give this already light-bodied, refreshing beer a beautiful herbal finish.
Local Pale Ale | Sanitas Brewing Co.
Boulder-based Sanitas Brewing Company recently went uber-local with their hop-forward Local Pale Ale made with ingredients sourced entirely within the state of Colorado. Visit the Sanitas booth for a taste of this smooth pale ale, and to taste what it’s like to drink local.
Russell Kelly Pale Ale | Telluride Brewing Co.
This summer, in addition to a great line-up of delicious beer offerings, Telluride is also pouring the Russel Kelly Pale Ale — an American-style Strong Pale Ale that is as bold and adventurous as the local Telluride legend it’s named after. Floral and fruity, and not shy on the ABV percentage, be sure to swing by Telluride’s booth for a try.
Pink-I Raspberry IPA | Bonfire Brewing
Raspberries are one of the “it” ingredients in summer seasonals this year, and Bonfire Brewing’s take on this popular fruit is as delightful as it sounds. Made with a boatload of raspberries, this unfiltered American IPA should be at the top of your list of brews to seek out at your next beer festival.
Rubus Deliciosus Raspberry Wheat | New Terrain Brewing Co.
Relatively new to the Colorado craft beer scene, New Terrain Brewing Co. is making clean, crisp beers that are perfect for enjoying on a hot summer day. The Golden-based brewery’s Rubus Deliciosus is excellent beer to help beat the heat, and boasts a little hint of tartness that takes this Raspberry Wheat to the next level.
Hope Pass IPA | Periodic Brewing
Next time you see Leadville’s Periodic Brewing serving up libations at a beer festival, pay them a visit, even if only to boast bragging rights that you’ve had a beer from the highest elevation brewery in the U.S. Get your IPA fix with Periodic’s Hope Pass IPA — an American IPA that weighs in a hopped-up ABV of 7.8 percent.
Still looking for a beer festival to get your Colorado craft beer fix at this weekend? Don’t miss out on the 21st Annual Brewers’ Rendezvous that is set to take place in Salida on Saturday, July 8. More than 75 Colorado breweries will be pouring the good stuff starting at 1 pm. Tickets are still available at: twoparts.com/event/colorado-brewers-rendezvous/.