There are a ton of amazing craft breweries all over Colorado. But, some of them are so well-known, and so successful, for such good reasons, that they deserve a special spot in the warmth of the Colorado sun. In today’s blog from the craft beer experts at Northstar Liquor Superstore in Johnstown, we will take a look at the five largest producers of beer in Colorado.
To find your favorite brews from these iconic breweries, stop by Northstar Liquor Superstore today.
New Belgium Brewing
Location: Fort Collins, CO/Asheville, NC (2016)
Barrel Production (2018): 596,128
Brief History: After a bike tour (on a fat-tired bicycle) through Belgium, co-founder Jeff Lebesch bought and installed a small brewing system in his basement. One of the first beers brewed by Jeff was golden wheat for a friend’s wedding. It was called “Wedding Wheat” at the time, but would become known as the ever-popular and now retired Sunshine. Jeff and his wife, Kim Jordan, grew their brewery business into one of the most successful early craft breweries during the re-emergence of craft beer in the US. Today, New Belgium Brewing is famous for its sour ales and national distribution, as well as its legacy of promoting and supporting other local breweries in Fort Collins.
- Sunshine (Ret.)
- Fat Tire Amber Ale
- Voodoo Ranger
- La Folie
Odell Brewing Co.
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Barrel Production (2018): 125,815
Brief History: The founder of Odell Brewing, Doug Odell, was early to the craft beer scene, and got his first gig as a job in a brewery at Anchor Steam Brewing in the late 70s. After being inspired by the success of small breweries in the UK while on his honeymoon, Doug decided to move to Fort Collins, where he had family, and launch Odell Brewing Co. Their first beer was Odell’s Golden Ale, but was quickly followed by the iconic, and still top-selling 90 Schilling. Odell Brewing has remained committed to a slow-growth, regional approach to growing the business, and now distributes to 19 states.
- 90 Schilling
- Odell IPA
- Mountain Standard
- Colorado Lager
Oskar Blues Brewery
Location: Longmont, CO/Brevard, NC/Austin, TX
Barrel Production (2018): 122,000
Brief History: Blues is most famous for helping to launch the canned-beer revolution in 2002 and distributes all of their beer exclusively in cans and re-sealable aluminum cans to this day. Not surprisingly, they are the single largest (by volume) brewery in the United States that does not bottle their beer. They continue to craft new trends and claim to be the first brewery in the US to launch a hard seltzer line with the Wild Basin Boozy Sparkling Waterline.
- Dale’s Pale Ale
- Mama’s Little Yella Pilsner
- Tend FIDY Imperial Stout
- Old Chub Scotch Ale
Great Divide Brewing Co.
Location: Denver, CO
Barrel Production (2018): 31,507
Brief History: Founder Brian Dunn established the Great Divide Brewing Company in the Ball Park District of Denver in 1994. In 2013, the Brewery moved to a new, larger location in the RiNo neighborhood, just down the road. Great Divide Brewing Co. is a staple of Denver’s beer scene, and as the owners of 18 GABF medals and 5 WBC awards, is one of the most decorated breweries in the United States.
- Yeti Imperial Stout
- Titan IPA
- Colette Farmhouse Ale
- Hibernation Winter Ale
Upslope Brewing Co.
Location: Boulder, CO
Barrel Production (2018): 29,064
Brief History: Matt Cutter launched Upslope Brewing Co. in 2008. Their philosophy (business and beer) revolves around the outdoor and mountain cultures of the people of the Front Range. With pop-up “backwoods taprooms,” and a swath of light, but delicious beers meant to enjoy without limiting your ability to be active, Upslope has quickly developed into a Colorado brewing powerhouse. Recently, they have become an innovation leader with their line of Spiked Snowmelt Hard Seltzer.
- Craft Lager
- Citra Pale Ale
- Blood Orange Saison
- Spiked Snowmelt Hard Seltzer