Estes Park may be a quaint mountain town, but it holds its own when it comes to housing high quality craft breweries. Whether you’re an avid beer fan that enjoys tasting the intricacies of different craft brews or you simply enjoy a cold one with your dinner on occasion, Estes Park’s breweries offer something for everyone. Spend the day conquering a challenging trail, taking a scenic road trip down Trail Ridge Road, or enjoying water activities on the beautiful Lake Estes, and then end the day with a locally brewed beer in Estes Park. Be sure to swing by these top five local only Estes Park breweries during your stay!
Avant Garde Aleworks
This small, lesser-known brewery may bring in fewer crowds, but it delivers big in taste. Avant Garde Aleworks usually has around 11 beers on tap which vary with the seasons. All of their beers are crafted onsite using Rocky Mountain water. While the interior is quaint, you’ll also find a large beer garden strung with white twinkling lights and a fountain feature that offers a pleasant spot to enjoy your brew. A food truck is often available in their lot for those who want to add a bite to eat. Avant Garde’s options range from the light Irish Red to a unique Farmhouse Saison, with notes of black pepper, lemon peel, and hay.
While The Barrel is not a brewery, its an expansive offering of 84 rotating taps are well worth a mention. On tap here you’ll find an assortment of craft beer, whiskey, cider, mead, cocktails, and wine, making it a great option for groups with a variety of taste preferences. As with many crafter brew destinations in Estes Park, you won’t find a food menu here, but food trucks are often onsite. They offer an excellent outdoor seating option, with a large assortment of picnic tables overlooking scenic mountain views. Ample indoor seating is also available. With a beer menu that rotates daily, there’s always something new to try at The Barrel! Here you’ll find a large assortment of Colorado-made brews, as well as a handful of others from around the country.
Rock Cut Brewing Company
This craft Estes Park brewery is tucked away just outside the main thoroughfare of downtown, giving it a more intimate feel. It is situated in a Tudor-style building and offers both indoor and outdoor seating. What began as a home-brewing setup between two friends has turned into the craft beerhouse it is today. Snag an indoor table to watch the magic happen through a large viewing window in the taproom or take a seat on the outdoor patio where you can relax to the sounds of the passing Big Thompson River. Though Rock Cut does not offer its own dining menu, there is often a food truck on site. Patrons are also welcome to bring their own food when enjoying a Rock Cut brew. The flight is a good option at Rock Cut, which offers five 4 oz tasters of their craft brews. Their Galactic Portal is also a favorite, a hazy IPA with a generous dose of Australian Galaxy hops.
Estes Park Brewery
A dozen handcrafted beers on tap await at Estes Park Brewery, in addition to a hand-crafted root beer great for the whole family. Estes Park Brewery is located in downtown Estes Park, making it a convenient stop whether you’re finishing up a day of adventuring at Rocky Mountain National Park or browsing the town’s shops and galleries. Enjoy pleasant views from the brewery’s scenic overlook or challenge your friends to a game of pool. A favorite here is the Longs Peak Raspberry Wheat, as well as the Stinger Wild Honey Wheat, made with Colorado Clover Honey. Come just for drinks or stay for a meal, of which you can choose from a full menu of appetizers, pizzas, salads, burgers, and sandwiches.
Lumpy Ridge Brewing Co.
This brewery tucked away in a renovated gas station is a true hidden gem. Its humble size keeps the atmosphere intimate, while at the same time offering top-notch brews. Deck seating offers scenic views over Estes, and the outdoor seating area welcomes pets, making this a great dog-friendly brewery in Estes Park. While Lumpy Ridge doesn’t offer its own food menu, there are often food trucks onsite. Enjoy the feel of the sun on your face as you take in scenic mountain views from the sun deck with a cold one in hand. Choose from about ten beers on tap, all with unique tastes and flavors and with some options changing with the seasons. Seasonal favorites include the summertime Rancho Deluxe Western American Lager and the Winter Breeze Coconut Dark Lager.