Dec 20, 2022 - Business

These are Colorado's best breweries and beers in 2022

Inside Cerebral Brewing in the Congress Park neighborhood in Denver on Dec. 19

Inside Cerebral Brewing in the Congress Park neighborhood in Denver on Dec. 19. Photo: Esteban L. Hernandez/Axios Denver

Colorado's best breweries pour great beer — and offer great vibes and beautiful taprooms, we found in our annual survey of brewers, industry pros and beer lovers.

Why it matters: The qualities described in the Axios Denver Beer of the Year survey showcase what it takes for beer makers to survive in a tightening market.

What we found: 87 Colorado breweries received best-of nominations in the 7th annual survey, demonstrating the breadth of good beer in the state and wide variety of tastes.

  • Here are the results:
Best Brewery: Cerebral Brewing

Long a distinguished brewery, Cerebral now sits above the rest. The Denver beer maker — which is expanding to Aurora — is known for its innovation, whether its foeder-aged lagers or precision-flavored hazy IPAs.

Best Beer: Station 26 Brewing's Juicy Banger IPA

This year's winner is an IPA that's often under-appreciated, despite its wide distribution. But experts and beer fans alike say Juicy Banger's beauty lies in its simplicity.

  • "Balanced and crushable," one wrote. "Just so solid," another added.
  • Honorable mentions: WeldWerks Juicy Bits series, Cerebral Rare Trait, Outer Range In the Steep, 4 Noses Pump Action, Westbound & Down Infinity Pils
Best New Brewery: Cohesion Brewing

With a beautiful bar inside a remade red-brick warehouse, this Denver brewery is making old new again with its Czech-style lagers poured in three traditional methods.

  • "Probably the most gorgeous taproom in Colorado and excellent old world beers," Peter Quinn writes in our survey. "It will definitely grow over time to be a Denver staple."
  • Honorable mentions: Little Dry Creek, Jade, Fritz Family, Stronghouse
Biggest trend in 2022: Cold IPAs

This newer beer style emerged as a hybrid of an IPA and a lager, and delivers on the best of both worlds: Lighter and dry with a burst of hop flavor and aroma.

  • So it's no wonder that Cold IPA became a hit beer for many Colorado breweries in 2022.
  • Honorable mentions: A return to craft lagers and the continued domination of hazy IPA.
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