We’ve made it to the final group stage of the Colorado Brewery Cup, and the competition is heating up.
Seven votes or less separates breweries like Echo Brewing Company (Frederick) and Broken Plow Brewery (Greeley), Tommyknocker Brewery (Idaho Springs) and Butcherknife Brewery (Steamboat Springs), Crazy Mountain Brewing Company (Edwards) and Dillon Dam Brewery (Dillon) from advancing in Sunday’s group stage.
When it comes to Saturday’s stage, Two22 Brew (Aurora) and Lone Tree Brewing Company (Lone Tree) are neck and neck, as are Vindication Brewing and Left Hand Brewing Company.
And in Friday’s round of voting, there are a whole host of Denver-area breweries that still have a chance at moving on to Tuesday’s knockout round.
Remember, two breweries from each group will advance to the knockout round.
You can still vote for all your favorite breweries in all those groups by clicking on the links above up until 10:30 p.m. this evening. But we’ve got one more group stage to get to Monday, so keep your voting fingers fresh.
Up today: the Peak, Campground, Falling Rock and Flag groups, which feature the burgeoning brewing scenes in Colorado Springs, Grand Junction and Durango, as well as some other great but lesser-known breweries in the southern and western portions of the state.
For those of you just finding the Colorado Brewery Cup, you’ll see a map above of all the state’s breweries broken down into 16 groups, based primarily on region. Each group’s name is based on the icon that was given them through Google Maps (some are admittedly more appropriate than others).
As mentioned earlier, the top two vote-getters from each group will advance to form a 32-brewery knockout round. From there, we’ll have a five-round tournament to crown a champion.
How do breweries advance? Based entirely on your votes!
So cast your votes below — you can vote once in each group. And at the bottom of the post, you’ll find a schedule of past group voting stages as well as a schedule for the knockout rounds.
The Skinny: Grand Junction has a tendency to lag behind the rest of the state’s big cities in terms of breweries, but thanks to Kannah Creek Brewing, which also owns Edgewater Brewery, the city does have one solid brewery to hang its hat on, though Palisade Brewing Company may ultimately end up owning the Peak Group.
Favorites: Kannah Creek Brewing, Palisade Brewing Company – Kannah’s rotating cask ales are always interesting, including an apricot bourbon variety. But Palisade’s mainstays, including the Dirty Hippie – a dark American wheat, aren’t lacking in creativity either.
Darkhorse: Colorado Boy Pub & Brewery – This appropriately named spot screams small-town Colorado. And their Colorado IPA, which features locally-grown hops, does the state’s name proud.
Newcomer: Copper Club Brewing Co. – What started as a home brew supply shop morphed into one of Fruita’s only tap rooms. And by all accounts after its first year, the expansion has been a hit.
The Skinny: As expected, Durango jumped into the brewery scene with both feet, offering innovative breweries like the solar-hot-water heated Carver Brewing Company and the wind-powered Ska Brewing Company. But even the small towns like Bayfield and Dolores have gotten in on the act. In fact, the the Dolores River Brewery beers provide solid competition to any of their rivals in Durango.
Favorites: Carver Brewing Company, Ska Brewing Company – Carver has more tradition in Durango and a great cask IPA, but Ska has plenty of pep, and a Ten Pin Porter that might as well be called Perfect 10.
Darkhorse: Ourayle House – You’ve got to love a brewery that discloses snow depths, river flows and puppy outings will often determine operating hours — and whose head brewer goes by the moniker Mr. Grumpy Pants.
Newcomer: Telluride Brewing. – Telluride is slowly coming into its own on the brewery circuit, and Telluride Brewing is helping lead the way with its Face Down Brown, a consistent award-winner.
The Skinny: The Falling Rock Group is interestingly led by breweries in the towns of Pagosa Springs, Salida and Woodland Park, all of which boast multiple breweries despite having populations of under 7,500. But don’t count out a pair of breweries in the bigger cities of Pueblo and Alamosa, as Shamrock Brewing Company and San Luis Valley Brewing both have plenty of support.
Favorites: Eddyline Brewery, Amicas Pizza & Microbrewery – The 25-mile stretch along the Arkansas River between Salida and Buena Vist has become one of the state’s brewery battlegrounds. Amicas has the edge in history, but Eddyline just hired Oskar Blues’ former head brewer.
Darkhorse: Pagosa Brewing Company – It’s hard not to call one of Pagosa’s breweries a favorite, especially considering how many awards they’ve won. The Kayaker Cream Ale at Pagosa Brewing is just one, having taken home gold at the World Beer Championships in 2012.
Newcomer: Paradox Beer Company – Though Paradox is relatively new, they have a lot of experience in both the Colorado and Woodland Park brewing scenes, having previously brewed in Trinidad and helped their neighbors at BierWerks Brewery get up and running. Their barrel-aged beers prove they know what they’re doing.
The Skinny: If Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins comprise the top three spots on Colorado’s brewery podium, Colorado Springs is a close fourth, and its breweries are the leaders in the Flag Group. But for as many great smaller breweries as Colorado Springs has, Phantom Canyon Brewing Company and Bristol Brewing Company appear to be the leaders.
Favorites: Phantom Canyon Brewing Company, Bristol Brewing Company – If it were to come down to food and atmosphere, Phantom Canyon would likely win hands down. But Bristol Brewing’s great beers like Laughing Lab Scottish Ale may give it the edge on the brewery side.
Darkhorse: Pikes Peak Brewing Company – Named best neighborhood bar a year ago by the Colorado Springs Independent, there are plenty of reasons to love this place, including its well-rounded tap offerings.
Newcomer: Manitou Brewing Company – This spot has been open for less than four months, but it’s already getting rave reviews for its ambiance and brews, including its Belgian Strong Dark Ale.
Past and on deck…
- Friday (June 27): Museums, Skyscraper, Rail, Landmark groups
- Saturday (June 28): Donut, Sunshine, Photogenic and Hiking groups
- Sunday: Agriculture, Horseback, Sheriff, Ski Lift groups
- Tuesday: Knockout round of 32
- Wednesday: Knockout round of 16
- Thursday: Quarterfinals
- Friday: Semifinals
- Saturday: Championship
NOTE: See a brewery we missed? Feel free to mention it in the comment section below or email it to email@example.com