With scenic bike paths, whitewater rapids and countless peaks to summit, Colorado is known for adventure. It’s also known for its craft beer scene, and when you combine the two, magic happens.
We’re willing to bet that you’ve packed a post-14er six-pack to share with your hiking buddies, or lugged a cooler to the lake on a fishing trip. But isn’t it better when you can simply show up for an adventure and someone’s got the beer waiting?
Luckily, such dreams do exist. Here are five organized adventures in Colorado where craft brews — and plenty of fun — are included in the price of entry.
Ride the river on a beer-themed canoe trip
Ready to paddle for your pale ale? These three-day themed river adventures give you the chance to get acquainted with a spectacular river by day, later sampling a variety of Colorado-made craft beers with your canoeing comrades by the campfire. Centennial Canoe’s Canoe & Brew with Breckenridge Brewery is one of the outfitter’s most popular excursions, with one trip on the Yampa River and another on the Gunnison.
Participants will have the chance to learn from Breckenridge Brewery’s Yeager Sharpe about beer ingredients, the brewing process and why craft brews are the perfect compliment to a river adventure.
These trips are for adults 21 and older, and are scheduled for June 21-23 and July 19-21. More info: centennialcanoe.com
Seek out breweries along the San Juan Skyway
If you’re a seasoned bike and beer enthusiast looking for a week-long adventure, then this one’s for you. Colorado-based Beer and Bike Tours operates numerous cycling adventures every year at various difficulty levels. The San Juan Skyway Adventure offers a week-long road ride through Colorado’s southwest mountains, taking up to 10 participants to cities such as Telluride and Silverton, and stopping at seven of the region’s coolest craft breweries along the way.
With stunning mountain views, experienced guides, a support shuttle and expert training tips, the 230-mile adventure will be one you’ll talk about (over beers, of course) for years to come.
Available dates include July 29-Aug. 4 and Sept. 16-22. Contact organizer for information on booking private trips. More info: beerandbiketours.com
Hop aboard the brew train
If you’re keen to see the sights of southwest Colorado without all that exertion, then hop aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Back by popular demand, the Durango Brew Train will return in 2019 on Saturday, Aug. 31 and Sunday, Sept. 1, as well as Saturday, Sept. 28 and Sunday, Sept. 29. This adventure is an ale and lager-fueled journey on a historic steam locomotive, rambling along the scenic Animas River.
You’ll start the day in Durango and wind your way to Cascade Canyon, where live music and a picnic lunch awaits. The journey is 2 1/2 hours each way, immersed in fall colors with plentiful pours from local breweries such as Ska Brewing and Animas Brewing Co.
Book a spot on the open-air gondola car, or splurge on the 1882 Victorian Nomad car. More info: durangotrain.com
Hit the hiking trails at the Vail Beer Classic
Fancy a beer-fueled walk in nature? Then join the Vail Classic Hike & Hops Lunchinar on Saturday, June 22, or the Hair of the Dog Hike on Sunday, June 23. These three-hour guided hiking experiences are perfect for beginner or intermediate hikers, with outstanding views of the Gore Range in the distance and plenty of wildflowers along the way. During each hike, representatives of Mockery Brewing or Bonfire Brewing will be on hand to serve up craft brews paired with lunch from Vail Chophouse. Each hike is limited to 25-30 people. Be sure to check out the other Vail Beer Classic events, including an intimate Ales & Anglers fly-fishing seminar on the Eagle River with Chad Yakobsen of Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project. More info: vailcraftbeerclassic.com
Go off-trail with a mountain bike and brew getaway
When you’re ready to leave the paved city streets behind, book a stay at The Home Ranch in Clark for a Bikes and Brews adventure. This special three-night package includes all the amenities the luxury guest ranch has to offer (think horseback rides, fly-fishing and hiking), as well as off-ranch rides on provided Salsa or Devinci mountain bikes through the scenic Elk River Valley.
A five-year partnership with Odell Brewing Co. affords guests the opportunity to partake in beer tastings, workshops and a beer-and-food pairing with locally grown ingredients.
To participate, book your stay at The Home Ranch for Sept. 1-4. More info: homeranch.com
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