Welcome to Day 2 of the group stages in the Colorado Brewery Cup, the World Cup-style tournament in which Channel 2 is seeking to crown the king of the 200-plus breweries across the Centennial State.
We saw some great action in Day 1, which featured breweries from Denver and its suburbs to the west and north. You can still vote in that contest, but as of Saturday morning, Great Divide (Denver), Wynkoop (Denver), Dry Dock (Aurora) and Mountain Toad (Golden) were the top vote-getters.
For those of you just joining in on the fun, you’ll see a map above of all the state’s breweries broken down into 16 groups, based primarily on region. Each group’s name is based on the icon that was given them through Google Maps (some are admittedly more appropriate than others).
The top two vote-getters from each group will advance to form a 32-brewery knockout round. From there, we’ll have a five-round tournament to crown a champion.
How do teams advance? Based entirely on your votes!
We’ll release four groups per day over the first for days of the Cup. Up now: the Donut, Sunshine, Photogenic and Hiking groups, which are comprised entirely of Englewood, Littleton, Centennial, Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch, Parker, Castle Rock, Aurora, Northglenn, Broomfield, Westminster, Erie, Boulder, Longmont, Louisville, Lafayette and even a couple more Denver breweries.
Cast your votes below — you can vote once in each group. And at the bottom of the post, you can find a schedule listing which groups are on deck.
The Skinny: Denver’s ever-expanding southern suburbs are starting to get in on the brewery game, and that has led to some increasingly-solid competition in the Donut Group. Several breweries in this group like have made good usage of the bigger spaces the suburbs provide.
Favorites: Lone Tree Brewing Co., Elk Mountain Brewing – Both Lone Tree and Elk Mountain specialize in German beers, but round out their taps with interesting pale ales.
Darkhorse: Dad and Dude’s Breweria – This place always seems to have quirky beers to match its quirky decor, including the oak-aged Xylophilia Milk Stout and Toffee Porter Nitro.
Newcomer: Two22 Brew – This newer Centennial spot features a woman, Paige Schuster, as head brewery, a refreshing rarity. And Schuster’s Red Cinnamon ale is just plain refreshing.
The Skinny: The suburbs northwest of Denver have hit the ground running when it comes to breweries, with several options in the Sunshine group like Yak and Yeti Restaurant & Brewpub, Big Choice Brewing and Odd13 Brewing swiftly gaining mass appeal.
Favorites: Yak and Yeti Restaurant & Brewpub, Big Choice Brewing – If you want unique stouts, The Yak and Yeti (see: Chai Milk Stout) and Big Choice (Poblano Stout) will be up your alley.
Darkhorse: Odd13 Brewing – You’ll find beers named after well-imagined heroes, sidekicks and villains at Odd13, and some well-imagined beers too, including the Papa Silenus double IPA.
Newcomer: 4 Noses Brewing – There’s a sophisticated feel to Broomfield’s newest brewery. There’s also a stout blended with DazBog coffee.
The Skinny: Welcome to the next two groups of death. In fact, Boulder and its suburbs may have more big, well-recognized breweries than Denver. And the Photogenic Boulder grouping isn’t lacking on variety, with stouts at Southern Sun Pub & Brewery, browns at Upslode Brewing Co. and whites at Avery Brewing Company.
Favorites: Avery Brewing Company, Upslope Brewing Co. – This battle is all a matter of personal taste, as both Avery and Upslope provide great taprooms with a wide range of award-winning beers.
Darkhorse: Southern Sun Pub & Brewery – Yes, Southern Sun is merely Mountain Sun’s second location, but that hasn’t stopped Boulderites from loving it – and its Stout Month – just as much as the original.
Newcomer: Twelve Degree Brewing – Louisville is one of the fastest growing cities in Denver, and its brewing scene is starting to catch up. Enter Twelve Degree and its Belgian-inspired ales.
The Skinny: For as many good breweries as Boulder has to offer, there may not be more bang for your buck anywhere in the state than in Longmont, the town’s brewing giants Oskar Blues Brewery and Left Hand Brewing call home. Unseating them in the Hiking Group might prove to be a tall order, even for a beloved brewery like Boulder Beer.
Favorites: Oskar Blues Brewery, Left Hand Brewing – If any brewery could match Oskar Blues’ dynamic trio of Dale’s Pale Ale, Mama’s Little Yella Pils and Old Chub, it might be Left Hand, with its Milk Stout, Sawtooth Ale and 400 Pound Monkey IPA.
Darkhorse: Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub – Boulder Beer has always been there for a state that loves its hops, providing its signature unfiltered, dry-hopped Hazed & Infused for 35 years.
Newcomer: 300 Suns Brewing – Longmont’s newest brewery has a unique concept called “collabeeration,” in which they let a contest-winning home brewer make a beer for their taps.
Past and on deck…
- Friday: Museum, Skyscraper, Rail and Landmark groups
- Sunday: Agriculture, Horseback, Sheriff and Ski Lift groups
- Monday: Peak, Campground, Falling Rock and Flag groups
NOTE: See a brewery we missed? Feel free to mention it in the comment section below or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org