5 Places to Drink in Denver, Colorado

by  Kristine Hansen | Feb 26, 2016
Denver / knowlesgallery/iStock

While Colorado has long been celebrated for its craft beers, other imbibing options in Denver are now inching their way into the spotlight. From brews and vino to mimosas and craft cocktails, here’s where to grab a drink in the Mile-High City.

Infinite Monkey Theorem
One of our favorite urban wineries, Infinite Monkey Theorem has been making wines from mostly Colorado grapes (including surprising varietals like Semillon and Malbec) since it debuted in 2008. Located in the city’s RiNo Art District, it recently opened a tasting room next to the winery -- where art hangs on the walls, the lights are low, and a food truck parks out back on weekend nights. Try the winery’s custom bottles and cans at the bar, including a red-wine blend called the Blind Watchmaker, or sign up for a 60-minute tour that includes five tastes ($25). Good to know: Guests of the SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown will find that the hotel’s lobby bar and 24-hour market are stocked with canned wines from the winery, thanks to a new partnership. Room rates include free WiFi and a hot breakfast buffet (as well as yogurts and fresh fruit) -- the perfect way to fuel up after a night of drinking. Bonus: Many of Denver's bars in Lower Downtown (or LoDo) are a 10-minute walk away and RiNo is just 2.5 miles from the hotel.

Eat + Drink Denver
This light-filled, three-year-old spot in Lower Highland serves up 50 types of wine by the glass and more than 100 kinds of cheeses (featuring fun names like “Singing the Blues”), alongside sandwiches, soups, salads, and shareable bites like olives. We recommend the Xarel-lo: muse ($7) -- a Cava from Penedes, Spain, developed with the winery by owner and sommelier Pollyanna Forster.

Beatrice and Woodsley
The billowy white curtains around each table make the seating area at Beatrice and Woodsley feel more like cabanas in Tulum than Denver. Other eye candy at this Baker Street favorite are twigs, faux Aspen trees, hanging lanterns, and antique chainsaws supporting the bar shelves -- reminding us that this is Colorado and not a beach town. Tuck into eats like priest’s ears, a dish of heirloom beans, ‘nduja, and nasturtium on top of cavatelli. For drinks, sip on one of nine signature cocktails; the Apollo’s Creed ($11) mixes pear vodka, Absolut Orient apple, Domaine Canton ginger liqueur, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and honey chamomile syrup for a nice punch of flavor.

The Blake Street Vault
LoDo is teeming with bars, but none carry such a haunted legend as the Blake Street Vault, which opened in 2008. Dating back to 1863, the structure in which the bar is located is one of the city’s oldest buildings. Legend has it that “Lydia,” a former saloon girl, is a ghost who roams the place -- spurring visits by many ghost hunters to visit. When you’re not looking for ghosts, sidle up to the copper-topped bar and order a hot jerky ($9) and Colorado beer -- don’t forget to take a gander at the original tin ceiling.

Housed in the shell of a former mortuary, Linger -- whose name is derived from Olinger Mortuary -- features a rooftop bar where a 1975 RV is parked to serve street food during the warmer months. Year-round, you can settle in with the seasonal cocktail menu, which includes the New Saigon ($11), a mix of gin, Thai basil, cucumber, jalapeno, and black pepper. Stop by for weekend brunch and tack on bottomless mimosas to sweet delights like Cracker Jack waffles.

Bonus: If beer's your jam, consider booking with Denver Microbrew Tour (from $29) for a closer look at craft breweries and art murals. You’ll walk through LoDo, the Ballpark Neighborhood, and RiNo Art District, learning about Denver’s sudsy past. Tickets also include a beer review card to track your tasting notes and progress as you tackle 10 beers and witness their production. Wear comfortable walking shoes since tours can cover up to 1.5 miles for two to three hours.


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