Ultimate Boulder Craft Brewery Guide

Boulder’s 21 craft breweries organized by type + location

By Paul Hagey Aug 6 2019

Editor’s Note: Enjoy the ultimate Boulder craft brewery guide, that provides an overview of the different craft breweries in Boulder with onsite beer production. We’ll update this throughout the year, so consider bookmarking it to pull up when you’re ready for the next craft brewery adventure.

Updated Aug. 1, 2019

Boulder is blessed with an abundance of craft beer riches. It has 21 craft breweries within bike-riding distance, ranging in size from major regional distributors to hand-crafted nanobreweries, all of which serve up their particular vibe and flavor in on-site taprooms. The diversity and volume Boulderites have access to is staggering.

Boulder has plenty of great bars, but this guide focuses squarely on the local establishments who brew their own beer — from those that mainly distribute it far and wide to those who realize most of their revenue from in-house sales.

As defined by the Brewer’s Association, craft breweries produce less than 6 million barrels each year and an owner meeting this production threshold who has at least a 75 percent stake in the business. Six million barrels is a lot of beer — one barrel equals roughly 331 cans of beer — but Boulder doesn’t have a brewery anywhere near that size.

Gunbarrel-based Avery Brewing Co., who BLDRfly still considers a craft brewer despite international brewing company Mahou San Miguel becoming a controlling owner in April 2019, when it upped its stake in the brewery from 30 to 70 percent. It’s Boulder born and bred, and has great beer.

As a regional brewer (considering it a separate unit of Mahou), Avery produces over 60,000 barrels each year. Some Boulder Nanobreweries produce less than 100 barrels each year.

See the interactive map of Boulder craft breweries at the bottom of this article.

[Read BLDRfly’s Avery Brewing Co. Profile]

The four flavors of craft breweries

Note: these represent BLDRfly’s adaptations of Brewers Association definitions with the exception of nanobrewery — that is BLDRfly’s own.

Boulder has three regional breweries, five microbreweries, seven nanobreweries and six brewpubs. In some ways, Boulder is the epicenter of the craft beer industry. Charlie Papazian founded the precursor to the industry’s preeminent trade association in Boulder in 1979. It still operates on 1327 Spruce Street today.

We present an overview of all 20 of Boulder’s craft breweries below, segmented by type. The guide’s footprint stretches as far as Niwot — bikeable distance. They are clustered in six locations: Central Boulder (area around Foothills Blvd. and 28th Street), East Boulder (near 55th Street and Arapahoe), Downtown Boulder (near the Pearl Street Mall), North Boulder (near the intersection of Broadway and Highway 36), South Boulder (Table Mesa Shopping Center) and Gunbarrel.

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The smallest of the lot carry a hand-crafted, boutique vibe. Small-batch dominated and often experimental, these brewers are either just cracking into the market or creating their own small niche.

BreweryYear Founded, LocationVibeWebsite
Stein2018, Central BoulderThe former J Wells Brewery has a new owner and name in Stein Brewing Company. It has a small taproom in central Boulder and brews in a four-barrel system. Opening a bigger brewpub in Empire, Colorado.stein-brewing.com
Vision Quest2015, Central BoulderA far-out, space-invaders vibe overrides at Vision Quest's taproom, which abuts sister company Boulder Fermentation Supply. Play pinball and enjoy its staples, including Coconut IPA and dark sour Space Jam.visionquestbrewing.com
Kettle and Spoke2016, Central BoulderNanobrewery within Boulder's Green Guru Gear officepark headquarters. Head there for a low-key, chill, up-and-coming vibe, and small-batch brews.kettleandspoke.com
Wild Woods 2012, East BoulderNature-inspired beer by Jake and Erin Evans. The company has a seven-barrel brewhouse and taproom. A visit here feels like a walk through a high country forest on a bluebird fall day. wildwoodsbrewery.com
Asher2010, GunbarrelBoulder's all-organic brewery features an easy-drinking Greenade Double IPA and a taproom with a Funbarrel room with corn hole, darts and foosball.asherbrewing.com
New Planet Brewery2009, North BoulderNew Planet's new tap room offers gluten-free and gluten-reduced beers in six different rotating draft styles.newplanetbeer.com
Adamant Brewing and Blending2019, North BoulderFrom the co-founder of VisionQuest, comes this new nanobrewery in North Boulder (in Cellar West's old location) focusing on wild and sour beers.adamantbrewing.com
Upslope’s North Boulder taproom.


These breweries often have a boutique vibe, do a bit of regional distribution and, some, have bigger growth plans.

BreweryYear Founded, LocationVibeWebsite
Sanitas2013, Central BoulderClean taproom with cozy outdoor area in central Boulder with Boulder's a taco stand from Boulder standout McDevitt Taco Supply in residency.sanitasbrewing.com
Finkel & Garf2014, GunbarrelFun-loving brewery with a whimsical tapproom featuring legos, board games, classic toys, and its popular Oatmeal Stout beer, among others.finkelandgarf.com
Beyond the Mountain2017, GunbarrelImprovisation is the rule for the the beer and music at this part live-recording studio, part brewery. Catch live performances, vinyl listenings and one-off brews in a warm, modern setting.btmbrewing.com
Gunbarrel Brewing2017, GunbarrelDiscover modern brews with ancient styling at this new brewery, run by couple Jaime and Marie Fox. Try their Bogan, a rare Australian-style sparkling ale, or the Rosemerry, a pale ale finished with rosemary.gunbarrelbrewing.com
Bootstrap2012, Niwot, LongmontRock 'n' roll-inspired brewery from husband and wife Steve and Leslie Kaczeus is growing fast. It opened a new brew operation in Longmont in 2017, secured distribution from Coors Distributing Company in 2016 and produces its flagship beer Insane Rush IPA.bootstrapbrewing.com
Avery’s fairytale brewery and taproom

Regional Breweries

These are the big boys of the Boulder craft scene. These large, efficient operations feature taprooms with a more refined feel. Streamlined production is king.

BreweryYear Founded, LocationVibeWebsite
Boulder Beer1979, Central Boulder, DowntownColorado's oldest craft brewery is going strong at its old-style brewery, featuring floor-to-high-ceiling windows showcasing its coppery kettles to visitors as they arrive. Brewer of well-balanced beers such as Buffalo Gold and Mojo IPA, the brewery also has an experimental seven-barrel operation on Walnut Street in Downtown Boulder. boulderbeer.com
Upslope2008, East Boulder, North BoulderUpslope's headquarters in Flatiron Business Park offers a cozy ambience, Flatiron views and its quintessential Craft Lager on tap. Its original location in far North Boulder serves as R&D spot, primarily for its barrel-aging program, and small taproom.upslopebrewing.com
Avery1993, GunbarrelThe largest craft brewer in Boulder, Avery produces a crisp, tasty IPA and many other flavors it serves at its pristine Gunbarrel headquarters. averybrewing.com
Mountain Sun Brewer Davis Brown shows some barley at Southern Sun.


Brewpubs are restaurants that  serve beer they brew. Their onsite customers consume much of the beer they produce. It’s an internal brew-to-table model.

BreweryYear Founded, LocationVibeWebsite
Mountain Sun1993, Downtown Boulder, South BoulderA Boulder staple serving up warm, hippy vibes, comfort food and a mix of Belgian-style tripels, IPAs and Kölsch in a living room aesthetic. mountainsunpub.com
Post Brewing2017, Downtown BoulderA part of the Big Red F Restaurant Group, The Post Brewing Co. brought its hot chicken and cold beer concept to downtown Boulder in late 2017. Patrons will recognize Post beers at other Big Red F establishments, including Jax Fish House, Zolo Grill, Centro, Lola and West End Tavern.postbrewing.com
West Flanders2012, Downtown BoulderThe only craft brewpub on the Pearl Street Mall, West Flanders is a Belgian-inspired pub serving up pizza, wings and burgers with its Belgian-style Trippel Lutz and wibier Holy Wit among others.wfbrew.com
Twisted Pine1995, Central BoulderCozy, down-home brewpub vibe serving up comfort food and solid beers at its central Boulder location.twistedpinebrewing.com
BJ's Restaurant1997, Central BoulderA southern Californian brewpub chain offering a familar atmosphere and all-american eats. Moving from Pearl street to the 29th St. Mall in 2012, the Boulder location serves as the chain's R&D brew facility.bjsrestaurants.com
BRU Handbuilt Ales and Eats2013, East Boulder"Beer chef" and founder, Ian Clark, created this gastrobrewery to combine his passion for food and beer. Find beer-inspired eats and food-inspired brews in an American upscale brewpub.bruboulder.com

Map of Boulder’s locally-owned craft breweries

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Paul Hagey

Paul Hagey is BLDRfly’s founder and editor. When not wrangling video, audio and words in the name of story, he’s riding his mountain bike, trail running and hanging with his awesome wife Jen and their young daughter. paul@bldrfly.com