There is no shortage of places in the Centennial State to get a locally crafted adult beverage. Decades of growth in the beer, wine, spirits and cider sectors has created a rich tapestry of craft production houses of various sizes, from the plains to the Western Slope, the high country to the Front Range.
In the past, it might’ve been easy to keep track of such places; there’s the brewpub you stopped at on your way to the slopes, the distillery with the good cocktails to sip during down time in Telluride, the row of winery taprooms in Boulder at which you can spend afternoons. Now, everywhere, it seems, has multiple options for imbibing, and they all seem worth a try.
Recognizing the state of craft beverages in Colorado, a consortium of local trade groups has put together a program to help navigate and taste what’s around. Colorado Liquid Arts — a partnership between the Colorado Association for Viticulture and Enology, the Colorado Brewers Guild, the Colorado Cider Guild and the Colorado Distillers Guild — announced on April 13 the launch of digital passports that guide people through the state’s craft production houses, while offering discounted tastings, merchandise and other offerings.
Folks can choose from passports ranging from five to 90 days in four regions: Denver and Cities of the Rockies, Mountains and Mesas, Pikes Peak Wonders and Rockies Playground. Proceeds from the sale of the passports (which range from $10-$60) will benefit the groups in Colorado Liquid Arts.
The $30, five-day Mountains and Mesas pass includes discounts totaling $150 available at 20 different breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries west of the Continental Divide. For instance, you can use the passport for buy-one-get-one-free tastings at Avant Vineyards in Palisade; a half-price cider flight at Big B’s Delicious Orchards in Hotchkiss; a free 10-ounce pour at Ramblebine Brewing Company in Grand Junction; and much more (with an emphasis on the wine, given the location).
Meanwhile, closer to home, you can get the Denver and Cities of the Rockies 90-day pass ($60) for similar discounts at 60 participating craft beverage establishments. Among a lot else, you can use the passport to get 20% off cider cases at Acreage by Stem Ciders; $10 off a bottle of whiskey at Boulder Spirits; BOGO beer at the excellent Jessup Farm Barrel House in Fort Collins; and a complimentary tasting for two at Vinnie Fera winery in Boulder. Spirit Hound, DV8, Upslope, BOCO Cider, 300 Suns and other Boulder County producers are included in the passport, and total discounts top $300.
Peruse options and purchase passports at taste.coliquidarts.org. Passes are delivered via text or email.