Hot! Brew Tour 1 – Golden, CO

Denver is a drinking town. The liquor stores on every block were my first clue. The brewpubs in LoDo another. But once I realized all the local beers the bars were serving up had to be made somewhere, I added brewery tours to my list of things to do.

It’s embarrassing to admit that friends had to remind me the Coors Brewery was in Colorado. The little town of Golden was an easy day trip from my home base in Fort Collins, and the slow drive gave me my first real sense of the state. It was dark by the time Ingrid and I left downtown Denver. I still hadn’t seen the Rockies, so I took the side roads down to Golden getting my first views of the mountains on the west.

The ambling road led me through Boulder and Denver’s exburbs, then cleared to open fields before arriving in the small town famous for its Banquet Beer. On this warm summer day, local kids were tubing and swimming in the creek and visitors were wandering the Main Street shops. I stopped for some lunch before walking down to the brewery.

The self-guided tour is free, and entertaining for anyone who has enjoyed an icy cold Silver Bullet. Audio guide in hand, I listened to the “tour guide” explain how Adolph Coors started the brewery in 1873 and built it into the third largest U.S. brewery. The next stop was the brewing rooms where the famous copper kettles started the fermentation process turning malt into beer.

We passed by the Quality Control Room (a lab), and the packaging lines, to our own Quality Control Room – the bar. Everyone could have three glasses of any of Coors beers. Chalk it up to elevation, but after two I was ready to stop.

Back in the Golden sunlight, I wandered up to Main Street for some refreshing Rocky Mountain water before making my way back to Fort Collins.

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