With more than 30 bars and restaurants in Breckenridge, how are you to know which are best for drinking beer? Well, I took one for the Summit Mountain Rentals team and moseyed my way through Breckenridge to my six favorite beer bars here in town to get the scoop on their best beers and beer deals.
First stop: Broken Compass Brewing. Located on the north end of Airport Road, Broken Compass keeps a variety of about 12 beers on tap at any time to keep your taste buds happy. There isn’t any food there, but there is often a food truck outside, or you can bring your own food! My favorite part is that you can bring your dogs and they have cards and board games to enjoy.
My favorite beer there is the Chili Pepper Pale Ale (6.9% ABV or “alcohol by volume,” 20 IBU or “International Bittering Units,” a scale used to measure bitterness in beer). The five different types of chili peppers add the right amount of kick without burning your tongue off. My second favorite is their Ginger Pale Ale (5.9% ABV, 20 IBU). They make sure it is always flowing for their fans like me!
- Open daily 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.(ish)
- Click here for a full list of Broken Compass Brewing beers on tap.
- (970) 368-2772
- 68 Continental Ct., Breckenridge, Colo.
Next I headed back into town to my favorite pizza place, Northside. They have the tastiest handcrafted pizza and wings, a ‘locals’ atmosphere and good beer. Northside has standards like PBR as well as a variety of about six rotating beers. My favorite so far is the Bonfire Brewing Pink I Raspberry IPA (6.8% ABV, 60 IBU). This is not your normal fruity beer, to me at least. There was just a slight hint of raspberry in the after taste. It was featured on Northside’s special beers — and they were right, it is special!
If you’re around Summit County during mud season, take a chance and be a part of Northside’s very own beer tour. From May 1 – July 1, try a list of 40 specialty beers and get a mug to fill for the rest of the season at regular prices! There is a max of two beers a day from the list and four on Tuesdays.
- Open daily 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
- Happy Hour daily 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., then again from 10 p.m. – close: $1 off all beers, excluding the specialty beers featured on the chalk board above the bar.
- Click here for their Northside’s menu.
- (970) 547-5050
- 315 Main St, Breckenridge, CO
After that I stopped at Downstairs at Eric’s. Known for being the sports bar in town, they also have 30 draft brews to choose from. You’ll find mostly Colorado beers on tap, as well as three of our very own Breckenridge Brewery and Broken Compass beers. While I was there, I had a glass of the Upslope Craft Lager (4.8% ABV, 15 IBU), Fate Brewing Ozo Coffee IPA (7% ABV, 70 IBU) and the Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest (6.0% ABV, 30 IBU).
My favorite was the Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest — a classic seasonal beer that tastes delicious. The Ozo Coffee IPA was my second, with the right amount of hops with a distinct roasted coffee aftertaste. If you are looking for a light beer that’s not a PBR or Coors, try to Upslope Craft Lager. This is my “go-to brew” when I want something light and relaxing and it’s on tap at bars throughout town.
- Open daily 11 a.m. – midnight.
- Happy Hour Monday – Friday 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. Half off all domestic draft pints and pitchers.
- Click here for Downstairs at Eric’s full menu.
- (970) 453-1401
- 111 S Main St, Breckenridge, CO
Working my way down Main St., Après Handcrafted Libations was my next stop. Après goes out of their way to find local and/or smaller distributors/breweries to keep 30 rotating beers on tap and 40 rotating beers in the bottle. The coolest part is that they never repeat! With so many beers to choose from, Après offers flights of six beers so you don’t have to choose one and can try many!
My favorite little taste was of the Southern Tier Warlock (10% ABV, 20 IBU). This hard-to-find imperial stout is a treat with its cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin flavors. It really reminds me of a slice of pumpkin pie; perfect for this time of year!
Now if you get to the point where you need to take a breather from alcohol, try to Principal’s Office Spiced Ginger Beer. This non-alcoholic beer is made in Colorado Springs and has a nice spicy-ginger flavor. (And, it helped my night last a little bit longer.)
- Open Monday – Thursday, 2 p.m. – midnight(ish) and Friday – Sunday 12 p.m. – 2 a.m.(ish).
- Happy Hour daily 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. – close. $2 off all beers, cocktails and wine.
- Click here for a full list of Après Handcrafted Libations beers on tap.
- (970) 423-6700
- 130 S Main St, Breckenridge, CO
Next up was Kenosha Steakhouse, my favorite restaurant and bar in town. They have 20 beers on tap with another 11 rotating beers — be sure to check the clipboard! My favorite beer at Kenosha was the Odell Brewing Mercenary Double IPA (9.3%, 70 IBU), a very hoppy choice.
Megan McCulloch, my partner in crime the night of the beer tour, said her favorite beer on the rotating tap list was the New Belgium Eric’s Ale (7.0% ABV, 16 IBU), a peach-spiked sour beer. Normally she gets the Ballast Point Sculpin IPA (7.0% ABV, 70 IBU).
Another fellow we met at Kenosha had this to say:
“Most taps at the best brewery in town … as opposed to just Coors Light.” – Zeke Hersh, Breck
- Open daily 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- Happy Hour daily 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. $1 off wine, wells and drafts. Half off selection of apps (back of the menu).
- Click here for Kenosha’s craft beer menu.
- (970) 453-7313
- 301 S Main St, Breckenridge, CO
My last (but not least) stop of the night was at the well-known Breckenridge Brewery. They offer a broad portfolio of beers. My favorite and go-to is the Avalanche Ale (4.4% ABV, 19 IBU). This caramel, hoppy drink just goes down right from the very first sip. The other fan favorite of the Breckenridge Brewery is the Vanilla Porter (5.4% ABV, 16 IBU). The chocolate and roasted nut flavors come out and make this a very flavorful option at the brewery.
- Open daily 11 a.m. – midnight
- Happy Hour daily 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. $3 pints of their handcrafted ale, $3 well drinks and house wines.
- Click here for Breckenridge Brewery’s handcrafted brews.
- (970) 453-1550
- 600 S Main St, Breckenridge, CO
At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with any bar in Breckenridge. Each has their own unique set of rotating craft beers. Be sure to remember these helpful tips with going out on the town:
- If you don’t know what beer to choose ask the bartenders, they are always willing to help and give samples.
- Always remember to ask what is on Happy Hour special. Sometimes not all the drafts are on special and you don’t want to get stuck with a more expensive bill!
- Take time out of your night to drink a glass of water! This will help your night last longer and not wake up with a huge headache in the morning.
- Leave your car at home and take the bus. All of the buses in Breckenridge are free and many hotels and complexes offer free shuttles. It’s always better to be safe than sorry! Click here for more information on our town buses.