One of the best signs that winter is upon us here in Northern Colorado is the unveiling of new, seasonal beers at your favorite local breweries. With flavors ranging from roasted malts and chocolate to pepper spice and caramel, winter is the time to hit more than slopes, and head out to imbibe in a few wintery brews.
While there is clearly no shortage of breweries to choose from, here is a short list of our five favorite picks for the Northern Colorado breweries this winter season:
Nobody does sour beers like Funkwerks in Ft. Collins, CO. Although sour beers which have fruity notes seem like they’re only meant for the summer season, Funkwerks’ Rhuberry Provincial will remind you of the days in spring with ripe strawberry and tart rhubarb flavors. The tart and fruity flavors of Rhuberry Provincial and the small but characteristic Funkwerks tasting room will be sure to warm you up.
Gilded Goat Brewing Co., located in Ft. Collins, CO off S. College Ave. and Horsetooth Rd., recently won “Best Micro Brew Pub” in 2019 by NoCo Style – and for good reason. The Guten Bock is a very traditional German lager which offers a warm, bready aroma with notes of dark fruit and raisin. The sweet malts pair well with aroma which seems to warm you from within, but doesn’t overwhelm you if you’re apprehensive of darker beers. The two-story taproom offers a wide availability of seating with plenty of restaurants nearby to bring food while sipping on their wide selection of taps.
Located in Longmont, Colorado, Left Hand Brewery has three winter brews to choose from: Fade to Black, Good Juju and The Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout. Fade to Black is brewed with different ingredients each year, but it’s been noted that the latest in the series has rich notes of licorice and espresso. Good Juju is a bit lighter, but still has the seasonal spiciness that arises from brewing with ginger, and The Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout has flavors of raisin, black licorice, coffee and dark chocolate. If you’re in the mood to pair your brew with delicious food, make sure to check out the rotation of tasting room food trucks that alternate at the brewery on a daily basis.
Avery Brewing in Boulder has ‘Fimbulvvinter,’ a Belgian-style strong ale named after the harsh, three-year winter that precedes the end of days in Norse mythology. To live up to the name, Fimbulvvinter is aged in rum barrels, which provides a warming spice, and contains a hearty 17 percent ABV. If you’re looking for something a bit lighter, you’re sure to find it in Avery’s tap room where they have 30 year-round beers and tap room rarities. While you’re there, grab a bite from their menu of seasonally selected and locally sourced dishes for lunch or dinner.
No trip to Ft. Collins is complete without stopping by Odell Brewing Co. Now the 23rd largest craft brewery in the nation and a top favorite brewery for most Northern Colorado locals, Odell’s second taproom has become a huge success in the Riverside North (RiNo) Art District in Denver. Known for their impressive selections of IPAs and sours, it is Odell’s Oktoberfest which dominates the taps in the cooler season. The Marzen-style, Bavarian lager’s sweet malts and spicy hops offer a delicious break from winter’s chill.