5 New-To-Colorado Breweries We’re Happy To See Distributing To Our State

Everybody loves Colorado. With our beautiful scenery, countless sunny days, snow-capped mountains and vast plains, what’s not to love? It seems like everyone wants to be in Colorado, including some big names in craft beer. The second half of 2018 brought several well-knewn breweries to Colorado, or at more accurately, to our liquor store coolers…

Everybody loves Colorado. With our beautiful scenery, countless sunny days, snow-capped mountains and vast plains, what’s not to love? It seems like everyone wants to be in Colorado, including some big names in craft beer. The second half of 2018 brought several well-knewn breweries to Colorado, or at more accurately, to our liquor store coolers.

What caused the increased desire to distribute Colorado given we already have a pretty diverse and competitive beer market? Heck, maybe it was the crisp air and the mountain streams. Perhaps it was our insatiable desire for new craft beers. We do seem to have a thirst for new & exciting craft beer that can never quite be quenched, after all. Or maybe, just maybe, it was the change in our 3.2% beer laws that now allow full-strength beer to be sold at grocery stores, increasing the marketplace appeal for regional breweries near and far. I guess we’ll never really know.

Whatever made these breweries decide to bring their beer to Colorado, as beer lovers and locals, we want to extend them a warm welcome. In fact today we are officially welcoming a few of the brands that started distributing in Colorado over the past several months, by highlighting the 5 out-of-state breweries that we’re most excited to see in our Colorado beer coolers. So let’s get to it already…

5 Craft Breweries We’re Excited to See Distributing to Colorado

#1 – Bell’s Brewery

Home: Kalamazoo, Michigan

Available in Colorado since: September 2018

Best known for: Two Hearted IPA, which was voted the number 1 beer in America two years running by the American Homebrew Association.

Their story: Bell’s Brewery has been around since 1985, when they brewed their first batch of beer in 15-gallon soup kettle. From those humble beginnings, Bell’s emerged to be one of the largest independent craft breweries in the country. All the while they’ve remained 100% family owned. Learn more about Bell’s Brewery at bellsbeer.com.

Beers available in Colorado: Bell’s is distributing their entire portfolio of inspired ales and lagers to Colorado. This lineup of 20 or so brews includes their year-round flagships and many seasonal favorites.

Welcome to Colorado to Bell's Brewery. We're thrilled we can now find Two Hearted close to home |  BottleMakesThree.com
Credit: Bell’s Brewery

Our favorite Bell’s beer: Two Hearted IPA is great, obviously. Whether or not it’s the best beer in America is subjective, but it’s a well-balanced and totally delicious IPA. But if you really like hops be on the lookout for Bell’s Hopslam. This double IPA is released just once a year and should be hitting shelves in Colorado this week. Hopslam is exactly what the name suggests: a big, aggressive, smack-in-the-face of hop flavor and aroma. If you love hops like we love hops, you’ll love Hopslam!

Why is Hopslam only available once a year?

Where to find them: Find Bell’s beer near you by visiting their Bell’s Beer Finder at bellsbeer.com/beer-finder.

#2 – 21st Amendment Brewery

Home: San Francisco, California

Available in Colorado since: December 2018

Best known for: 21st Amendment’s artistic packaging, witty names and delicious brews, which include some great year-round IPAs and several creative seasonal offerings.

21st Amendment Brewery begins Colorado distribution. | BottleMakesThree.com

Their story: In 2000, Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan founded the 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco’s historic South Park neighborhood. The popular brewpub is now at the heart of the new city center, just south of the financial district and only two blocks from the San Francisco Giants baseball park. Over the years 21st Amendment has regularly won GABF and World Beer Cup awards for their beer, plus plenty of local accolades for their brewpub. The brewery’s name comes from the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which was passed and ratified in 1933 to end prohibition. (But you fellow beer geeks already knew that, right?) Learn more about 21st Amendment Brewery and how they want you to “Celebrate the right to be original” at 21st-amendment.com/.

Beers available in Colorado: All of 21st Amendment’s year-round, seasonal and Insurrection Series limited release beers will be available on draft, and in 6-pack, 15-pack, Variety Pack or 19.2oz cans.

Our favorites: To the surprise of nobody we’re big fans of the IPAs. Brew Free! or Die IPA is absolutely wonderful, and the artwork featuring Honest Abe crushing hops by the handful is pretty kickass, too. The Blah Blah Blah Double IPA is pretty awesome too. For something less hoppy, watch for the summer release of Hell or High Watermelon, 21st Amendment’s summer seasonal wheat beer, brewed with real watermelon. It is sooo good, and taste like summer!

Where to find them: Find yourself some 21st Amendment Brewery beers by visiting 21st-Amendment.com/Find-Some.

#3 Founders Brewing Company

Home: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Available in Colorado since: September 2018

Best known for: Breakfast Stout, and their boozy, barrel-aged version, KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

Their story: Founders Brewing Company was founded more than two decades ago when friends Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers decided to chase their dreams and start a brewery. From the beginning, they wanted to focus on complex, in-your-face ales, with huge aromatics, big body and tons of flavor. Over the years those dreams became reality, and now Founders and their delicious beers can be found in 47 states! Learn more about Founders Brewing Company and watch videos that tell more of their history at foundersbrewing.com.

Founders Brewing is now available in Colorado. At last, we can stop smuggling Breakfast Stout back in our suitcase! |  BottleMakesThree.com
Credit: Founders Brewing Co

Beers available in Colorado: Founders is distributing their full portfolo to Colorado, including their year-round beers and their seasonal, limited and barrel-aged offerings. Starting this year, they’ll be contract brewing All Day IPA at Avery Brewing in Boulder, so expect All Day IPA to be fresh and readily available for your drinking pleasure.

Our favorites: For years, Breakfast Stout was our “smuggle home in the suitcase” beer, because we’d seek it out and bring bottles home whenever we traveled somewhere it was available. So yeah, it’s a favorite. Breakfast Stout is a double chocolate coffee oatmeal stout and it’s as rich and delicious as it sounds, and still one of my (Chris’) all time favorite beers. Another Founders favorite is All Day IPA. This beer has become a regular in our BMT beer fridge for delivering huge hop aroma and flavor, all with a modest 4.7% ABV. It’s a great session IPA.

Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki tells the selfish story behind Founders All Day IPA

Where to find them: Find your favorite Founders Brewing beers near you by visiting foundersbrewing.com/beer/find-our-beer.

#4 – Brooklyn Brewery

Home: Brooklyn, New York (duh)

Available in Colorado Since: October 2018

Best known for: Delicious flagship beers, great seasonal releases, and their brewmaster, Garrett Oliver, who is cooler than anyone you know. (He’s also super nice and a true beer expert, btw. Did you see him showing off his beer knowledge on Epicurious’s YouTube video recently? If not, you should totally check it out.)

Credit: Brooklyn Brewery

Their story: Brooklyn Brewery’s story is incredible and far too detailed to summarize in a blurb here. It starts with Steve Hindy, who in 1984, ended a five and a half year tour as a the Middle East Correspondent for the Associated Press, covering wars and dodging mortars. (We told you it was a good story!) Read the full history of Brooklyn Brewery to see how Hindy went from the battlefield to the brewery, with help from partner Tom Potter and eventually, Garrett Oliver, at on the Brooklyn Brewery website at brooklynbrewery.com/about/history#welcome-link.

Beers available in Colorado: Look for Brooklyn’s flagship Brooklyn Lager, Bel Air Sour, Defender IPA, seasonal releases, the Brooklyn Mix can variety 12 pack, and various draft-only Brooklyn Limited creations now that Brooklyn Brewery is in Colorado.

Brooklyn Lager, and all the other Brooklyn Brewery beers, are now available in Colorado |  BottleMakesThree.com

Our favorites: While we’re normally all about the IPAs, we really love the crisp and clean Brooklyn Lager. The nice thing about this lager, as compared to some of the (ahem) more popular lagers on the market, is that you can taste hops in this beer! There is a pleasant but not overwhelming bitterness that even your “not into craft beer” friends will enjoy. We also love the Brooklyn Brown Ale for being rich and roasty and so dang good. Perhaps our favorite Brooklyn beer is Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. This Russian imperial stout is full of coffee and chocolate and tastes like heaven in a bottle. Its only available October to March, so stock up.

Where to find it: No MetroCard is needed to find Brooklyn Brewery beers near you. Just visit their beer finder at brooklynbrewery.com/brooklyn-beers/beer-finder

#5 – Payette Brewing Co

Home: Boise, Idaho

Available in Colorado since: July 2018

Best known for: Being voted the “Best Brewery in Boise” for 5 years running.

Their story: Mike Francis left corporate life as an industrial engineer for Boeing in Seattle to engineer something a little different… beer. He received an associates degree in Brewing Technology from Chicago’s Siebel Institute, after which he earned his brewing stripes at Schooner Exact Brewing in Seattle. With that brewing knowledge and experience, Francis went home to Boise in 2010 and established Payette Brewing Company. The inspiration for the name came from Francois Payette, a French Canadian trapper whose name and memory is enshrined among numerous Idaho landmarks. The name Payette has since become synonymous with an adventurous spirit that pervades Idaho’s year-round outdoor lifestyle. Learn more about Payette Brewing Co at payettebrewing.com.

Credit: Payette Brewing Co

Beers available in Colorado: To the best of our knowledge Payette Brewing Co is now distributing four of their year-round offerings – North Fork Lager, Recoil India Pale Ale, Rodeo Citra Pale Ale and Aura Guava & Hibiscus Sour Ale. However since they’ve been in Colorado a few months now, there may be other beers added to their distribution.

Our favorites: We received a sampling of Payette Brewing Co’s beers late last summer, and they were all delicious brews. We especially loved the Rodeo Citra Pale Ale for its fruit-filled aroma and Citra hop kick. The North Fork Lager was another favorite for being clean, crisp and refreshing. It’s a the perfect beer to enjoy after a day on the river, or during a day on the patio.

Look for Payette Brewing Co beers in Colorado, now that Idaho's best has begun distribution to the state. |  BottleMakesThree.com
Credit: Payette Brewing Co

Where to find it: We can’t locate a snazzy “beer finder” for Payette Brewing Co, so you just need to check your local craft beer store. We’ve seen it on shelves at Molly’s Spirits and other spots, so keep an eye out for them. Better yet, ask your local beer shop for Payette Brewing beer.

What’s your favorite new Colorado “import” beer?

Have you tried any of the new breweries distributing to Colorado? If so, what’s your favorite new non-Colorado beer? We’d love to hear your picks in the comments below or on our Bottle Makes Three Facebook page!


The last half of 2018 saw some big names come to Colorado beer coolers, thanks to new distribution deals for Bell's Brewery, Founders Brewing, 21st Amendment Brewing, Brooklyn Brewery and Payette Brewing Co. |  BottleMakesThree.com