These are Colorado's best breweries and beers in 2022
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.
- To cap its year, the brewery won two medals in the prestigious Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beers competition in November, one for a lager and one for a stout.
- Honorable mentions: Westbound & Down, Outer Range, Ratio Beerworks, Cohesion
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
- "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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