Winter Park and the Fraser Valley offer a veritable sampler of craft brews, wines and spirits.
Local Expert: Drinking in Winter Park
We all know that living in a mountain town requires a certain aptitude and passion for outdoor living: biking, hiking, skiing, fishing, and so forth but, if you ask any longtime local, they’ll tell you that should also get familiar with our local watering holes!
For a relatively small community, Grand County has no shortage of craft breweries, wineries, or distilleries. And as your local experts, we have some insight into the craft drinking scene in Grand County.
Don’t forget to be safe on your Grand County Craft Drinking Tour: jump on the Lift and always be safe!
Find it: Downtown Winter Park below Rudi’s Deli
Drink this: Don’t leave without trying the Shrub Spritz. It’s basically fermented fruit muddled with citrus and white whiskey or vodka. Another must-have is the Idelwild Moscow Mule (with house-made ginger beer).
Specials: Happy hour pricing on cocktails & small plates from 3:30-6, and late night drink specials starting around 9.
Vibe: You’ll love the speakeasy feel of this place complete with dim lighting, fireplace seating, rich wood and a view right into the distilling room!
About: Winter Park & the Fraser Valley’s first distillery, opened by brothers, Dave (who manages the bar) & Jeff (the “idea man” & distiller) has garnered much excitement and attention. They’re experimenting with different distilling processes & so far distill gin, vodka, & whiskey in house. You can tell these guys are passionate about their work from the obvious care they give to every detail. The flavors they infuse their cocktails with blend seamlessly and even the strait whiskey like the chip aged whiskey with it’s smooth woodsy flavor is outstanding.
Find it: Directly off Highway 40 in Downtown Fraser
Drink This: Each variety they produce is bold and tasty. If you like reds, The Grateful Red is an award-winning, well rounded dry red blend that pays homage to the Grateful Dead. For a smooth white, try the Riesling. It’s much drier than most other Rieslings and not syrupy sweet.
Specials: For a little over $10 per person, the guided wine sampling is the best deal, not to mention the most fun! You’ll get a heavy sample of 6 of the winery’s best-selling wines (everything form a crisp chardonnay to a velvety port) – along with an informative description of each.
Vibe: Cozy & artsy with good music & gorgeous artwork. Heads up – seating space is limited, call ahead if you have a bigger group.
About: Winter Park Winery sources grapes mostly from the four corners area of Colorado & make all their wine in-house. You can even ask for a quick tour of the process from owner Jon who loves to share his expansive knowledge of wine making and will happily answer any questions you have.
Find it: Inside Winter Park Mountain Lodge across from Winter Park Resort
Drink This: The Perky Porter brewed with coffee beans from one of our local coffee joints has a smooth almost chocolaty taste. They also offer a full bar for non beer drinkers.
Specials: Daily happy hour on brews & bites from 4-6pm.
Vibe: With their killer views of Winter Park Resort, cozy fireplace seating, open pool tables and rustic décor, this brewery will make you feel like you’re tucked away at an old ski lodge.
About: One of our longest running local breweries, Moffat station has changed ownership a few times over the last few years, but they seem to have really figured out their footing under their newest Brewmaster. One cool thing about this craft brewery is that they do their brewing in-house, and you can actually see the copper-filled Brewery above you while you’re sitting at the bar – an awesome atmosphere enhancement.
What else: Dig in! These guys make some dang good chicken wings!
Find it: Directly off main street in Downtown Winter Park, next to Epic Mountain Sports
Drink This: If it’s your first time, get a flight to discover what you like before committing to a pint. Ready to dive in? The BruBrew IPA is an easy drinking well rounded IPA with a tangy citrus finish. The rotating sour is another favorite.
Specials: Growler refills starting at $15, and a mug club where you can pay to have your mug ready and waiting for you at the bar.
Vibe: You’ll feel like your chilin’ at your buddies house. You can even kick it old school over a heated game of battleship (they have board games at the bar)! Hideaway is low-key, but lively with music from local bands on the patio & inside when the weather cools.
About:The brewery is owned and operated by brothers Andy (the brewer) and Sam (the bartender), both pioneers to the craft drinking scene in Winter Park and they are the real deal. You can smell the hops from the moment you walk in, and most often you’ll get a glimpse of the guys starting a new brew or checking levels in the brew room while you’re bantering with ’em at the bar.
What else: While they aren’t set up to serve food onsite (although popcorn is available is you’re craving a salty snack)
Drink This: We visited on a warm June day, and the Pineapple Wheat was a perfect companion for day drinking and yard games. The mildly malted, hoppy Winter Park Ale is another winner that pleases nearly all palates.
Specials: Happy hour on craft beers, pitchers and food from 4-6pm. Follow them on Facebook to stay in the loop for more weekly specials and events!
Vibe: The Peak reminds us of our favorite collage bar in all the best ways. It’s a spot where you make a little noise, camp out on Sundays for football games, and catch up over a pitcher and a game of pool.
About: Tom, who has been the brewmaster since 2011, says he loves the freedom he has to create and rotate new brews for his customers. He plays with different seasonal combinations but keeps select core beers like the Winter Park APA on tap year round. We also love that you can overlook the brewery room and often see brewers climbing atop steel ladders to huck bags of fresh hops or barley into beer kilns from your table.
Find it: Downtown Winter Park, 2nd level of the Cooper Creek Shopping Center
Drink This: The options are endless, so our advice is to start with your choice of either a whiskey or wine flight to sample, and go from there. Whiskey lovers ought to give the Black Canyon a go – it’s aunique sour mash, corn-based whiskey with a “love-it-or-leave-it” personality that will help you determine what to taste next. Winos, be sure to include the Colterris White Cabernet in your tasting flight for a refreshing and unique experience.
Specials: Daily happy hour from 3:30-5:30 with $2 off select wines, whiskeys and cocktails.
Vibe: A relaxing and friendly feel that encourages conversations with your bar stool neighbors and bartenders.
About: While they don’t technically craft their own wines and spirits, Grapes & Grains is definitely worth a visit during your Grand County Craft Drinking Tour as it’s the only true tasting room in the valley. Owned & operated by long time friends and service industry veterans Kathy Jameson & Rachel Rayburn, Grapes & Grains turned out to be one of our very favorite experiences during this research process. This Colorado proud tasting room serves only Colorado-made spirits and stocks: not just wine and whiskey, but a full selection of Rum (try the Ski Bum Rum), Gin, Vodka, & Beer. They even craft unique non-alcoholic mocktails made with Zubberfizz, an all natural soda made in Durango, for designated drivers or mama’s to be.
What else: Feelin’ crafty? Follow Grapes & Grains on Facebook to see about upcoming “make & take” and”Paint and Sip” events.
Next time you’re in search of a great craft brewery, distillery, or winery in Grand County, check out one of our favs & let us know what you think!
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