Ever hear the old tale that you learn a language faster while drinking? Test out the theory while tasting some of the best beers in the world! Okay, we’re not really condoning drinking as a strategy to learn English, but Colorado has more microbreweries per capita than other state in the US, and taking a tour or two is a must while studying English in Denver. The best news? Most tours are free and many include samples! Below are a few of our favorites to put to the taste test:
Wynkoop Brewing Company
1634 18th St., Denver
Founded in 1988, they city’s oldest brewpub has become a Denver monument. After the brewer-led tour, enjoy some great food, play pool with local Denverites and practice some English small talk.
When: 1-5 p.m. on Saturdays. Please call ahead (303-297-2700) to verify a brewer is available.
Great Divide Brewing Company
2201 Arapahoe St., Denver
One of America’s most decorated breweries, Great Divide beers have earned 17 Great American Beer Festival medals and 5 World Beer Cup awards. Test them for yourself with a few classmates and see if your English improves faster with a world-class beverage.
When: 3:00 pm and 4:00pm Monday thru Friday, and between the hours of 2:30 and 5:00 p.m., running regularly every 30 to 45 minutes, on Saturday and Sunday. They do not take reservations and spaces are limited.
471 Kalamath St., Denver
“Ski bum” Richard Squire had a dream: to ski all day and drink all night. In 1990 he made that dream come true and opened Breckenridge Brewery and Pub in the idyllic ski town of Breckenridge, Colorado. They’ve since expanded to three other locations, including a Brew & BBQ place in Denver, where you can savor some smoked ribs and view the bottling line in action. Ask your tour guide a few questions for extra credit English practice!
When: Open Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m. ’til at least 9 p.m. Call ahead for tour times.
New Belgium Brewing Company
500 Linden St., Fort Collins
One of the Colorado brew scene’s greatest success stories, New Belgium is now one of the world’s largest microbreweries, annually producing over 400,000 barrels of beer. But success has not gone to these beer-makers’ heads—they still donate $1 for each barrel of beer sold to local nonprofits and in 1998 they became the first wind-powered brewery in the US.
When: Reserve tour tickets online; tours fill up fast. Take a 90-minute stroll around the “Liquid Center” and enjoy plenty of beer sampling.
Boulder Beer Company
2880 Wilderness Pl., Boulder
Colorado’s first microbrewery was founded in 1979 by two professors from the University of Colorado. In 2009 they celebrated their staying power as the first craft brewery in the US to celebrate its 30th anniversary. Try their beer and spend a few hours in its namesake city, just 35 minutes from Denver.
When: Tours are given Monday through Friday at 2 p.m., or call to set up an appointment. The free tour lasts approximately one hour.
This is just a small sample of what the Colorado beer scene has to offer. For more, check out this list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_breweries.