Best of Boulder 2021 – Drink

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Susan France

CIDERY
Acreage Ciderhouse & Eatery

1380 Horizon Ave., Unit A, Lafayette, 720-443-3007
Silver: St. Vrain Cidery
Bronze: BOCO Cider

You know what they say — an apple a day keeps the doctor away, which begs the question, how many apples go into making one pint of cider? We’re not sure, but what our readers are sure of is how much they enjoy the cider from Acreage Ciderhouse & Eatery. Along with a large tap room and views for days, the ciders here (from Stem) are packed full of apples, along with plenty of other flavors. If you haven’t jumped on the cider bandwagon yet, now’s the time.

COCKTAILS
The Bitter Bar

835 Walnut St.
Silver: License No. 1
Bronze: St Julien Hotel & Spa
Write-in: Dagabi Tapas Bar

The Bitter Bar is Boulder’s favorite cocktail bar, with a list of expertly crafted drinks, from the classic to the creative. Want a staple like a gin and tonic, daiquiri or negroni? Bitter Bar’s got it. Something unique like the Birds and Bees (gin, hibiscus liqueur, lemon juice, honey and bitters)? There’s plenty more like it. There are on-tap cocktails and those made in front of your eyes; just ask the friendly, skilled bartenders to help you out.

DISTILLERY
Spirit Hound Distillers

4196 Ute Highway, Lyons, 303-823-5696
Silver: Boulder Spirits by Vapor Distillery
Bronze: DEKI (formerly On Point Distillery)
Write-in: Copper Sky Distillery

Spirit Hound Distillers’ liquors are made from scratch with ingredients from Colorado, no outsourced ingredients. Spirit Hound does it all: brewing, fermenting, distilling, aging and bottling using custom copper stills built by hand following traditional shapes and dimensions used in Scottish whisky production. Using fresh local ingredients for handcrafted whisky, gin and sambuca, Spirit Hound has been a reader favorite since it released its first barrel of whisky in 2015.

HAPPY HOUR
Mountain Sun Pubs & Breweries

Multiple Locations
Silver: Boulder Cork
Bronze: Hapa Sushi Grill & Sake Bar
Write-in: Sanitas Brewing Company

Any hour at Mountain Sun Pubs and Breweries is happy. But those sweet afternoon hours — post-lunch and pre-dinner — are perhaps the happiest of all. Enjoy deals on pints of beer, other beverages, tacos and more. Enjoy the sunshine on any of the patios and the cheer from tables across the way. Enjoy being alive. With smiles on their faces, our readers say happy hours at Mountain Sun Pubs and Breweries are the best in the county.

JUICE/SMOOTHIE BAR
Wonder Press

946 Pearl St., 720-484-4927
Silver: Jamba Juice
Bronze: Inta Juice
Write-in: Vitality Bowls

Our readers say that when you’re looking for a juice or smoothie fix, Wonder Press is the place to go. This 100% organic, cold-pressed juice and nut milk shop uses raw juice from vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and herbs to make its delicious concoctions. Each bottle consists of several pounds of produce and is packed with live enzymes, vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients. Greens, fruits, roots and lemonades… what more could you ask of a juice bar?

COFFEE ROASTER
OZO Coffee Company

Multiple Locations
Silver: Boxcar Coffee
Bronze: Brewing Market Coffee
Write-in: Bona Coffee

We here at Boulder Weekly have written about Ozo Coffee Company so many times over the years, it’s hard to know where to start. Over and over again, Boulder picks this local coffee company as its favorite roaster in the area. With its mission of service, quality, sustainability and community, Ozo’s single-origin varietals and coffee blends, sourced from all over the world, are hard to beat. You can find the perfect bag at any of the several Ozo shops around the county or sign up for a subscription service to get freshly roasted coffee delivered right to your door.

TEAHOUSE
Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

1770 13th St., 303-442-4993
Silver: Ku Cha House of Tea
Bronze: Celestial Seasonings

Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is a local gem. First, it’s got loads of teas, as you might expect: black, green, oolong, white, herbal, pu-erh, chai… you name it, they’ve got it. But second, the teahouse itself is a marvel, donated as part of Boulder’s Sister City program by the restaurant’s eponymous Tajik sibling city. Go for the tea, go for the architecture, our readers say just go.

MARGARITA
Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant

1101 Walnut St., 303-444-3690
Silver: Efrain’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina
Bronze: T/ACO
Write-in: Santo

We’ve said it once, we’ll say it again: the margs at Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant are legendary. Don’t believe us? Just ask our readers, who have voted for these margs year after year in Best of Boulder. The regional chain claims it whips up about 1 million margs a year — that’s a whole lot of José Cuervo. They really pack a punch, requiring the restaurant to infamously put a limit on how many each diner can consume in one sitting. But watch out: It can be hard to stop once you start.

BAR
Rayback Collective

2775 Valmont Road, 303-214-2127
Silver: Avery Brewing Co.
Bronze: The Bitter Bar
Write-in: Sanitas Brewing Company

The Rayback Collective isn’t your typical bar — in fact, that’s probably what makes it our readers’ choice for the best of such establishments in Boulder. It’s got a rotating tap list with beers from various breweries around the region, plus a dedicated kombucha tap. Sure there’s a physical bar, but you’ll probably spend most of your time meeting friends or doing work at one of the tables, couches, fire pits or outdoor picnic tables. Food comes in from a roster of food trucks that switches every day. It’s a great place to grab a few drinks and relax; in other words, it’s a great bar.

Latte/Mocha
OZO Coffee Company

Multiple Locations
Silver: The Laughing Goat Coffee House
Bronze: Boxcar Coffee
Write-in: Bona Coffee

When our readers are looking for the creamiest lattes and mochas, they go to Ozo Coffee Company, where baristas will top a drink off with a foamy work of art. Behind each latte is ethically and sustainably grown coffee from around the world. Ozo then roasts small batches with meticulous care. Roast profiles are perfected for each coffee to develop and highlight the best characteristics from every region. You can taste the attention to detail.

COFFEE HOUSE
OZO Coffee Company

Multiple Locations
Silver: Boxcar Coffee
Bronze: The Laughing Goat Coffee House
Write-in: Bona Coffee

Whether it’s the original location on Arapahoe, the flagship shop on West Pearl, the intimate space at the Roastery Cafe or the newest spot on East Pearl, our readers say Ozo Coffee Company is their favorite coffee house. With full brew bars and expertly crafted espresso drinks, in-house baked pastries and kombucha on tap, Ozo knows how to do refreshments. Combined with a warm and inviting atmosphere, it’s no wonder people love to study, relax and meet friends at Ozo.

WINE SELECTION
Frasca Food & Wine

1738 Pearl St., 303-442-6966
Silver: Flagstaff House
Bronze: /por/ wine house
Write-in: Fringe Pizza

Frasca Food and Wine was built around the food tradition of the neighborhoods of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northeast Italy: a friendly, informal place to share a meal and a bottle of wine. When it comes to wine, Frasca’s selection is second to none, offering a wide array of styles organized by flavor profile, varietal and theme. If you’re feeling lost, Frasca’s sommeliers can lead you to a wine you’ll love. 

CRAFT BREWERY
Avery Brewing Co.

4910 Nautilus Court, 303-440-4324
Silver: Mountain Sun Pubs & Breweries
Bronze: Left Hand Brewing Co.
Write-in: Outworld Brewing

Founded in 1993, Avery Brewing practically came out of the gate winning awards for its beer (a Great American Beer Festival gold for Out of Bounds Stout in 1994). Surely you’ve been to the “new” brewery and taproom in Gunbarrel, but if you haven’t, go and get the full Avery experience. There you can taste special one-offs, classics like Ellie’s Brown Ale and White Rascal, and experimental brews. It’s a beer lover’s paradise.

BEER SELECTION AT A RESTAURANT
Mountain Sun Pubs & Breweries

Multiple Locations
Silver: Backcountry Pizza & Tap House
Bronze: Bohemian Biergarten
Write-in: Fringe Pizza

Again and again our readers say that Mountain Sun Pubs and Breweries have the best selection of beer in Boulder. With a stable of classics like Colorado Kind, Annapurna Amber and Java Porter, plus rotating small-batch beers and guest taps, there’s a beer for every preference. And these are award-winning beers: Mountain Sun’s beers have won medals across the globe, including six at the Great American Beer Festival.