It’s been a long year-and-a-half of stocking the beer fridge at home, missing our favorite bartenders, ordering to-go cocktails and taking virtual mixology classes. As vaccines continue to roll out, it’s time to get back out into the world and visit (or revisit) some of Colorado’s best breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries.
Not sure where to get started? Consider letting the new Colorado Liquid Arts Passport help guide your re-emergence back into the world of in-real-life booze. Here’s what you need to know to take advantage and start planning a road trip around the state.
Colorado Liquid Arts Passport, Explained
First of all, you might be wondering: What is the Colorado Liquid Arts Passport? It’s an innovative new program that launched this spring to help support and promote breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries across the state. This statewide digital passport was created by the Colorado Brewers Guild, the Colorado Association for Viticulture and Enology (CAVE), the Colorado Cider Guild and the Colorado Distillers Guild.
The digital passport, which ranges in price from $10 to $60, offers users discounted tastings and deals from Colorado drinking establishments.
You can choose from a handful of different passports that are either five days or 90 days in length and cover a variety of the state’s regions. There’s a “Mountains & Mesas” pass that covers much of the southern Western Slope, including wine country and Durango. There’s also a “Pikes Peak Wonders” pass for the region that includes Salida, Colorado Springs and Pueblo, as well as a “Denver & Cities of the Rockies” pass and “Rockies Playground” pass.
Money raised through the passport program will benefit the four non-profit trade organizations, who advocate on behalf of and promote the state’s great beer, wine, cider and spirit industries.
“We are so excited to launch this first-ever collaborative craft beverage passport in Colorado,” says Cassidee Shull, executive director for the Colorado Association for Viticulture and Enology. “The Liquid Arts Passport Program offers the unique opportunity to support these small businesses all while supporting the nonprofits dedicated to their industries.”
The total discounts are valued at between $40 and $300, depending on the pass you choose and the region. You must use your pass within 90 days of buying it.
Planning a Roadtrip
The team behind the Colorado Liquid Arts Passport even put together some handy road trip itineraries inspired by the various passes and the participating breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries. Here are their suggested trips:
Mountains & Mesas
- Pay a visit to Colorado National Monument, home to one of the greatest landscapes of the American West. Afterward, head over to Monumental Beer Works or Ramblebine Brewing Company in downtown Grand Junction to look through your epic photos and talk about your adventure.
- Take a tour of the ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park, then head over to the award-winning Fenceline Cider for a beverage.
- Rent or pack your bike so you can take advantage of the Fruit & Wine Byway in Palisade, which offers three routes for taking in the region’s orchards, gardens, fruit stands and wineries. Plan to stop at Mesa Park Vineyards and Pitchfork Orchards & Vineyards before hopping back on your bike.
Denver & The Cities
- Sip a few gluten-free beers at Holidaily Brewing Company, a gluten-free brewery located in Golden, before catching a live concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater.
- Browse the funky and historic wares of Antique Row on South Broadway, then enjoy two-for-one cocktails at the award-winning Denver Distillery nearby.
- Spend the day strolling through the RiNo Arts District to check out local creft makers, creative businesses and murals. Then sip the offerings at nearby Epic Brewing and The Infinite Monkey Theorem.
- Head to Lafayette for farm-to-table comfort food at Acreage paired with Stem Cider libations while taking in some of the best views of Boulder County.
Pikes Peak Wonders
- Soak in the Mount Princeton Hot Springs and then visit Elevation Beer Co. for beer or Wood’s High Mountain Distillery for spirits.
- After checking out the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, mosey over to Goat Patch Brewing or C Squared Ciders for a few refreshing drinks.
- After hiking the abundant trails around Breckenridge, head for Breckenridge Distillery, the world’s highest distillery, which makes award-winning spirits. Afterward, hit up Broken Compass Brewing, which has a great barrel-aged and nitro beer series.