For many people 2021 is a year that we hope to soon forget. While in many ways it was a challenging year, in other ways we’ve seen life begin to settle down or fall into a new groove. Fortunately, we’ve seen many great breweries open this year despite the current challenges. 32 Colorado breweries opened in 2021, (including one opening on NYE) and while this is far from the boom year of 2014 where we had 68 openings, it is still impressive to see so many new businesses enter the industry with great beer. As for closures, there were only nine which are Gone but Not Forgotten in 2021.
The following list summarizes the openings of 2021. We’ve collected brief descriptions of each location below, but for more information you can click the link to find out more… or better yet, plan your next visit.
Presenting the Colorado brewery class of 2021:
Red Swing Brewhouse (Colorado Springs) 05 March
Red Swing Brewhouse is about family, community, inspiration and innovation. Red Swing started from their own Red Swing, hung from a 50-year-old Maple Tree. A belief that community relies on deep relationships and deep relationships create a strong bond. A desire to be a part of the community of Colorado Springs, with beer, culture, and history. They’ve always been inspired by the brewery community and hope to create that same thing with their brewhouse. So come and grow your own deep roots!!
Red Swing Brewhouse is Open Today! by Focus on the Beer
World’s End Brewpub (Grand Lake) 05 March
A small town brewpub in beautiful Grand Lake run by a super friendly family with multiple craft beer taps including some of their own brewed in house.
Brown’s Canyon Brewing Co (Buena Vista) 06 March
Nano Brewery and food truck on the banks of the Arkansas River. A gathering place for beer loving adventurers to share epic tales, plan future endeavors, or simply revel in a community of outdoor-minded individuals. Beer pairs with adventure at the Browns Canyon Brewing Company!
Mash Mechanix Brewing (Colorado Springs) 13 March
Downtown brewery in Colorado Springs with expansive outdoor seating and an even better selection of craft beers. Their philosophy is that they have a beer for everyone and even something for those that normally don’t drink beer.
Mash Mechanix Gears Up For Opening by Focus on the Beer
Denver Beer Co (Downing St) (Denver) 17 March
The idea behind Denver Beer Co is simple. Good beer is best enjoyed with friends, fresh air, and a bit of adventurous spirit to sharpen the palate. This craft brewery specializes in artisan and seasonal varieties of premium ales and lagers made from the best ingredients around. Brewed with traditional methods and innovative spirit, the beer is always fresh and flavorful. Their beer is serious fun.
This new spot near the University of Denver has a huge patio and “elevated bar food” by DBC Eats.
Denver Beer Co. Opens Its South Downing Street Location by Jessica Engen of 303 Magazine
Six Capital Brewing & BBQ (Aurora) 18 March
Colorado craft beer with Texas inspired small batch BBQ. Multiple Award Winning Homebrew, looking to scale up to commercial brewing operation. They also make some pretty darn good Texas inspired BBQ! Six Capital Brewing got its name to honor the six temporary capitals of the Republic of Texas (1836-1839) from Independence until settling in Austin where the current State Capital resides.
Six Capital Brewing Replace Peak to Peak with Beer and Texas BBQ by Jonathan Shikes
Odell Sloan’s Lake Brewhouse (Denver) 05 April
Odell Brewing Company, following the success of their first Denver brewhouse in the RiNo Art District, has opened a second Denver location in the Sloan’s Lake neighborhood. “As a Colorado-focused and employee owned brewery, growing in our home market is first and foremost,” explains CEO, Wynne Odell. “Investing in our own backyard creates more opportunities for our co-owners and aligns with our goals of pragmatic innovation.”
Odell Brewing Sloan’s Lake Serves Up Incredible Beer, Food & Views by Zoe Laterman of PorchDrinking.com
Jade Mountain Brewery & Teahouse (Aurora) 30 April
Jade Mountain Brewing began its existence inside a small tea house in the south of China, brewing beer. Surrounded by history, culture and wonderful ingredients, their owners found their calling. The blending of beer and culture is something that drives them in the atmosphere of the brewery and in the beers they brew.
They take some of the familiar flavors from China, such as tea and tropical fruits, and incorporates them into their beers. In addition to unique beers, they also offer full hot tea service and a large selection of Chinese specialty ramen bowls and snacks.
Brewery Showcase | Jade Mountain Brewery & Teahouse by Scott Grossman of PorchDrinking.com
MainStage Brewing (Lyons) 05 June
MainStage Brewing Company, located in Lyons, CO focuses on community, music, and of course, great beer.
MainStage Brewing is the creation of Sam Scruby and Eric Kean. With a passion for great beer, MainStage’s focus is on experience, music, and building community all while making sure a world-class beer is close at hand. Located on Main Street in Lyons, MainStage is bringing new life to the west end of Main Street through beer, community and music. With help from an expansive outdoor patio, MainStage will offer the best that Colorado has to offer, a great beer in hand, 300+ days of sunshine, and live music!
Note: MainStage is currently brewing their own recipes at another brewery while working on installing their own brewing equipment.
MainStage Brewing Finds Hallowed Beer Ground in Lyons by Jonathan Shikes
Wah Gwaan Brewing (Denver) 19 June
They are Harsha & Jesse, also known as Wah Gwaan Brewing Company. These two decided to start their brewery because of a passion for beer and a desire to share the Jamaican culture with the community. Harsha is a first generation Jamaican-American who moved to the Front Range of Colorado from NYC. For them, it’s been difficult to connect with and find other Jamaican-Americans and Caribbean immigrants. In order to bridge this gap, they wanted to create a piece of home here in the Rockies. Jesse is a Denver native and has always had aspirations of owning his own business while giving back to the local community. In addition to creating Jamaican-inspired brews, they’re passionate about creating inclusivity and diversifying the brewing industry.
Wah Gwaan Brewing Will Look to Jamaica for Influence and Inspiration by Jonathan Shikes of Westword – 26 Mar 21
Anarchy Brewing (Durango) 25 June
Anarchy Brewing Company is a neighborhood nano-brewery featuring small batch, frequently rotating beers. The brewery is a “homegrown” taproom built, decorated and run by the founder and friends. They are brewing both traditional and unique beers, as well as collaborating with other local brewers. Anarchy Brewing Company’s mission is to provide a welcoming space for individuals, friends, families, and dogs, whilst embodying their love of punk rock, mountain bikes and the outdoors.
Rule 105 Brewing (Greeley) 25 June
Hand-crafted ales and lagers made with exceptional quality with you in mind.
Rule105 Brewing adds new name and vibe with same Broken Plow service and dedication to quality beer by Tamara Markard of Greeley Tribune – 29 June 2021
Howlin Wind Brewing & Blending (Rollinsville) 26 June
A Rollinsville neighborhood brewery where classical, innovative and funky beers are brought to life in a community gathering space.
Expect periodic live music and great views. A consignment shop also shares the building.
Reverence Brewing (Denver) 09 July
Nate and Lindsey McAlpine opened a neighborhood brewery on Denver’s 17th Avenue for all ages, races, genders and lovers.
For Lindsey & Nate McAlpine, opening their own brewery has been in the works for over a decade. While most of that work was through learned experiences and conversations over other people’s craft beer, these two left their home state of Minnesota in 2012 and gathered the tools needed to follow their path. Reverence Brewing Company came into fruition in the summer of 2021, opening its doors in Denver’s City Park West neighborhood on July 9th.
Nate‘s love of brewing craft beer began in the basement of his college house in the early 2000’s and continued to expand while he worked for large companies such as Founders, Deschutes and Avery as well as start-ups in Oregon, California, North Carolina and British Columbia. Although his love of learning his craft brought him along on this journey, his love of adventure, community and family brought him to Colorado.
Lindsey shares Nate’s love of community and is so grateful for the opportunity to create a brewery that is inviting and safe for all humans. To supplement her love of low-paying gigs in the nonprofit sector & yoga world, she has also worked in various brewpubs and brewery taprooms, unintentionally triggering an interest in opening one of her own.
James Begerow arrived in May 2021 to help Nate & Lindsey make their dream a reality. He was such an integral part of getting Reverence Brewing Company off the ground. Linds and n8 will forever #havereverence.
Reverence Brewing Will Take Over Vacant Thirsty Monk in City Park West by Jonathan Shikes of Westword – 27 May 21
Smash Face Brew (Denver) 10 July
Located in Lodo, Denver, Smash Face serves house brewed beers on tap and some Dog E. Style grub to meet your ballpark needs.
Not just any canine owned brewery – Phil, the Boston Terrier takes his job very seriously and as a bonus he’s pretty darn handsome. This is a brewery that gives back. Say what now? A portion of every beer Phil sells will be earmarked (see what we did there?) for various local animal charities. Pretty cool, right? Phil hopes you will come and hang out with him and his pals and get your bark and bite on. Let’s raise a glass and wag a tail.
Note: Smash Face beers are still contract brewed offsite. However, location was built to house a brewery.
So Many Roads Brewery (Denver) 14 July
A venue, museum and brewery all wrapped into one. So Many Roads proudly displays one of the largest public displays of Grateful Dead art and curiosities. Boasting a large patio and 30 foot bar, it provides the perfect opportunity to soak up the tunes.
Jay Bianchi Sells Sancho’s and Helps Launch New Venue at The Yard by Kyle Harris of Westword – 5 Aug 2020
Fritz Family Brewers (Niwot) 23 July
Fritz Family Brewers took over the original Bootstrap location in Niwot, Colorado, transforming it into an open pub-style space serving a wide variety of carefully crafted ales and lagers. Fritz Family is named after founders Cory and Kelly’s son, Fritz, and is built upon Cory’s 20+ years as a professional brewer. They are family-friendly, but still offer a cozy spot for adults to bond over a beer (or two).
Fritz Family Beer takes over Bootstrap Brewing location by Deborah Cameron of Left Hand Valley Courier – 18 Dec 20
Comet Brews (Littleton) 24 July
Nelse and Joyce Hendricks bought Comet Press in downtown Littleton armed with elbow grease and real printing grease. A thriving print shop up through the millennium, Nelse and Joyce began thinking about retirement. Brian Wilke met Lisa Hendricks, their daughter, at a now-gone brewery near DU. They hatched a plan – get hitched and keep the press in the family by turning “The Shop” into a brewery and taproom. Armed with elbow grease and no other grease because that would be gross in beer, Comet Brews keeps the Comet Press traditions alive.
Brian and Lisa were both born and bred in CO. Lisa grew up at The Shop in Littleton, while Brian hails from that island surrounded by reality, Boulder. Moving away briefly taught them how much they love everything about CO, and they hope to bring that love to Comet Brews and everything that they do. The beers are named after their people, their family. They know firsthand that families come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life.
Cohesion Brewing (Denver) 06 August
Cohesion Brewing Company is a brewery dedicated to the exploration of the Czech Republic’s unique beer culture. As the country consuming the most beer per capita in the world, they’ve been inspired by the Czech beer styles, methods of service, and ingredients that make the Czech beer culture stand apart. In addition to highlighting both the classics like pilsner-style beer and less seen styles, they hope to find ways to infuse local ingredients, as well as other learned brewing techniques to bring their own flair to these storied beers.
They plan to showcase a variety of lagers brewed in the Czech tradition. To them, that means locally grown malt that will be malted to their specifications, Czech hops, decoction mashing, open fermentation, natural carbonation, and serving through Lukr taps. To begin, they will serve beers that draw inspiration from their favorite beers enjoyed in the Czech Republic.
Cohesion has built a neighborhood taproom that is welcoming to all. Driven by empathy with an understanding of the impact a business can have, CBC strives to find meaningful ways to support local causes and organizations that are working towards a more just community.
Brewery Showcase | Cohesion Brewing by Britt Antley of PorchDrinking.com – 23 July 21
Cohesion Brewing Opens, Offering a Special Kind of Foam on the Range by Jonathan Shikes of Westword – 02 Aug 21
Smoking River Brewery (Meeker) 02 August
In 2013, on a late summer day after fishing in the Flattops Wilderness near Meeker, Colorado, brothers Kevin and Kristofer Borchard stumbled into a large wild hop plant growing along the bank of the White River. This first sparked his interest in determining whether hops could be grown on a larger scale in the valley. When Kevin’s career took him to Boston, Massachusetts in 2014 he met and worked with Dan Ward, a native of Longmont, Colorado who was also familiar with Meeker. Together they developed a dream for growing hops in the White River Valley. In December 2016, they purchased land adjacent to the White River (also known as the Smoking River as named by Native Americans), selected a site for a hop yard, and the rest is history. Kevin, Kristofer and Dan have a passion for producing the highest quality hops Colorado has to offer.
In 2021 the Smoking River hop farm added a brewery taproom at which it showcases beers made with their fresh hops.
Holidaily Brewing (Greenwood Village) 27 August
We are Colorado’s 100% dedicated gluten-free craft brewery.
The concept behind Holidaily Brewing Company is driven by a personal understanding and a passion to provide those with celiac diagnosis, gluten sensitivity or any interest in trying a tasty gluten free craft beer, a guaranteed safe, delicious beer to enjoy.
The main Holidaily Brewing Company location is in Golden. This new second location is in the Denver Tech Center.
Holidaily Brewing Company Announces Second Taproom by Brewbound – 7 July 21
Gemini Beer Co (Grand Junction) 27 August
Gemini Beer Company is owned and operated by husband and wife Chris and Beth Dutton. It’s a labor of love. Love of good beer and love of friends to share it with.
Yes, they are both Geminis. They are also, like many Coloradans, originally from somewhere else. Gemini is the manifestation of that duality many of us share in our hearts and spirits. Craft beer has always been an allure for Chris dating back to college when found money meant splurging on Saranac and an extra Taco Bell bean burrito.
Chris has been brewing passionately both professionally and at home since 2009. He’s won professional awards ranging from smaller competitions like the Los Angeles International Beer Competition to the Colorado State Fair and a World Beer Cup.
Chris’s approach to craft beer is foremost a devotion to quality and creativity. Fruit forward IPA’s, malty browns and roasty stouts pave the way for passion projects such as barrel aged Belgian beers, deconstructed desserts (Mississippi Mud Pie Brown Ale, anyone?) and pushing boundaries on beer styles. Look for that creative drive to fuel constant innovation and new beers.
OCC Brewing (Colorado Springs) 02 September
OCC Brewing’s mission is to serve the highest quality, handcrafted beers and food to Colorado Springs. But it only starts with the beer, because craft beer is all about people. OCC Brewing’s vision is to become a communal gathering place. A place whose service provides an inviting experience for our guests to sip, discuss, and enjoy their beer, food, and company. A place in the community where they’ll see their neighbors and friends. A place they’ll want to come back to again and again because they call it “Home”.
Owners Dan and Claire Ramos met 20 years ago as wildlife biologists. For many years they traveled, sometimes together, sometime apart, until finally settling in Colorado Springs when Claire landed a faculty job at Colorado State University – Pueblo. A long time homebrewer, Dan translated his science background and his love of beer into a job at the Brewing Science Institute in Woodland Park. For many years he has assisted brewers all over the country and the world in making better beer through proper yeast care and management. Throughout this time, Dan dreamed of making and selling his own beer and so OCC Brewing was born.
Little Dry Creek Brewery (Greenwood Village) 23 September
The Chef-made home of exemplary food, drink, and community.
Grand American tradition meets innovative new food and drink at Grange Hall. Based on historic community centers of the past, Grange Hall is a modern-day spot to gather, eat and play. Under this roof, you’ll discover Denver’s most brilliant minds in food, beer and booze.
Little Dry Creek Brewery is a full-service craft brewery inside Grange Hall featuring a wide lineup of styles including an altbier, pilsner, wheat beer, brown ale and several India pale ales.
Troy Guard Building New Brewery-Food Hall in the Denver Tech Center by Westword – 26 Sep 19
A Bit Twisted Brewpub (Aurora) 24 September
Bringing Central Texas BBQ to Colorado! We also love to brew at our Brew and BBQ joint.
On to the meats! We focus on the Big 3: Brisket, Pulled Pork, and Ribs! Charcoal and oak wood. None of this pellet nonsense. We make our own rubs and sauce and get our oak from the hills and mountains in Westin, Colorado.
A Bit Twisted Brewpub Is the Fourth Brewery to Open in Aurora This Year by Jonathan Shikes of Westword – 09/24/21
Black Forest Brewing East (Falcon) 02 October
Second location for Black Forest Brewing Company
Prost Brewing & Biergarten (Highlands Ranch) 11 October
Drink like a German! Enjoy delicious German style beers at one of Colorado’s best biergartens.
This is a taproom. All of the brewing operations are done at their original Denver or Fort Collins locations. (As there is no intention to bring any brewery to this location, they weren’t included in the overall count, but shown here to encourage folks to check out this great biergarten).
Prost Brewing Adding Chef-Driven Menu, Cocktails and a Big Third Location by Jonathan Shikes of Westword – 14 June 2021
Foam & Folly Brewing (Grand Junction) 21 October
The roots of Foam & Folly brewing were started in 2018 by Jeff Reid and his wife Joy as a lifestyle transition out of the corporate world and into a shared environment of creativity and passion. After a 30 year career working in Manufacturing Information Technology, Jeff’s dream of owning his own brewery has finally been transformed into reality. Joy’s vision of a relaxed, whimsical place where good beer and good vibes abound serves as a backdrop to spend time with folks who have a shared passion. Stop in, pull up a comfortable chair, check out the creative artwork, and indulge in one of life’s simple pleasures!
Peculier Ales (Fort Collins) 23 November
A Peculier is an ecclesiastical district, parish, chapel or church outside the jurisdiction of the bishop of the diocese in which it is situated.
This is a second brewery and taproom for the main Peculier Ales locatoin in Windsor which took over the C.B. & Potts brewery location.
Peculier Ales, Run by Former WeldWerks Brewer,Takes Over Fort Collins C.B. & Potts by Jonathan Shikes of Westword – 10 May 21
Windfall Brewing (Winchester) 10 December
Brewery, restaurant, and arcade took over the Rock Bottom spot at the Orchard Town Center in Westminster. Proudly female owned and run.
Windfall Brewing Fills Former Westminster Rock Bottom With Beer, Food and Pinball by Jonathan Shikes of Westword – 13 Dec 21
SweetWater Brewing (Fort Collins) 18 December
SweetWater Brewing Company, based in Atlanta, is now in Colorado!
SweetWater brewery has been makin’ tasty brews in the heart of the south since 1997. What started as a pipe dream of two college buddies has turned into a dream job full of great adventures and lip-smackin’ beers. What would you expect from a couple of boys with more of a hankering for beers than for books.
Remember, don’t float the mainstream as we all find our path in life, and drink ‘em if you got ‘em.
Pot-Themed SweetWater Brewing Opening Spots in Fort Collins, DIA by Jonathan Shikes of Westword – 12 July 21
Westbound & Down Mill (Lafayette) 20 December
Westbound Acquires Former Endo Brewing Facility & Adds Dream Team of Brewers by Tristan Chan of PorchDrinking.com – 4 Sep 2020
Bell Brothers Brewing (Colorado Springs) 31 December
Step into our steampunk-inspired brewery and treat yourself to an expertly engineered beer. From light lagers to IPAs to stouts, we carefully design and execute each batch on our 3-barrel system so we can bring you the best beers science has to offer.
Here again is the Colorado Brewery Class of 2021: