Denver is known as the ‘Mile High City,’ because it sits at the base of the majestic Rocky Mountains at an elevation nearly 5,280 feet above sea level.
In ages past, the city was relatively small, wild, and full of rough prospectors and cattlemen, who came to stock up on provisions, sell their wares, and spend some of their hard-earned loot.
For much of its past, the city wasn’t known as a center for trendy cuisine, but it has almost always been a big beer town. This is mostly due to the Coors brewery, which has brewed beer here and shipped it all over the country for decades.
Recently, the city has experienced a food and beer renaissance, giving it another level of enjoyment for tourists to experience.
Below are seven of the best food and drink tours in Denver.
1. Downtown Microbrew Tour with Lunch
This four-hour tour with lunch will take you through some of the city’s hippest neighborhoods – many of which weren’t always so trendy.
Denver has always been a beer town, primarily thanks to Coors, but it has also undergone a craft-beer explosion in recent years. This four-hour tour lets you sample up to 15 of the city’s favorites.
You’ll also get to take in some historic sites, like the aforementioned Coors brewery, Coors Field Baseball Stadium, and other popular downtown attractions too.
All that beer will definitely whet your appetite; lunch will consist of mostly organic and locally-sourced ingredients prepared to perfection. They’ll be paired with local microbrews, wines, and hard ciders.
2. Haunted Evening Pub Tour
Like most cities, Denver has a dark, weird and seedy side that the tourism department usually tries to cover up.
If, however, you think that this is perhaps the most interesting aspect of many cities, then this haunted evening pub tour should be a good fit.
On the 2 ½-hour tour, you’ll visit a selection of the city’s oldest bars, some of which were once speakeasies and bordellos.
Not surprisingly, they’re filled with history and anecdotes about the characters who used to frequent them – like a sheriff and madam that have been dead for decades.
The tour includes four pub stops. If you’re like most guests, after the tour is over, you may choose to head back out on your own and spend a few more hours at the interesting places you’ve visited.
3. Brews and Views
Though downtown Denver is the epicenter of the state’s culinary revolution, there are plenty of wave-makers outside the city limits too. If you’re in the mood for some amazing local brews but would rather enjoy them surrounded by rural beauty and majestic mountains, this tour has your name on it.
The tour is all-inclusive and open to just 14 people, so you’ll get to know your guide and fellow guests well – especially after you’ve knocked back the first few pints.
You’ll visit the historic mining and brewing town of Golden and will hit a few of the area’s most popular pubs along the way.
Bring a few bucks for food and drink, as only the first beer is included in the cost of the tour.
4. Small-Group Walking Food Tour of Downtown Denver
With this small-group tour led by a local foodie, you’ll have no choice but to sample and appreciate some of the best grub the city has to offer, much of which is served up by the area’s chefs, who are making quite a name for themselves in culinary circles.
With its rugged nature and wide-open spaces, it’s no surprise that local produce and meat are the preferred ingredients.
To protect that intimate feeling you just don’t get with large tours, this 12-person tour will take you to seven restaurants that always get high marks. You’ll probably meet some of the chefs and restaurateurs who usually find it hard to contain their enthusiasm around happy visitors.
You’ll also learn a lot about the city, its history, and what makes its residents tick.
5. Lower Downtown Craft Beer Experience
It’s been said that what the Napa Valley is to wine, Denver is to beer; if you think about it, it’s an apt description.
Once only home to mega-breweries, the craft beer movement has shifted much of the city’s production to small breweries, who can change their offerings easily to suit the tastes of their customers or the seasonal ingredients available.
The tour will visit 10 of Lower Downtown’s breweries, where you’ll sample an amazing array of beers – from heavy to light and everything in between.
As a souvenir, you’ll get to keep some of the sampling glasses that will make for great mementos of your Colorado trip.
6. Walking Beer Tour with Lunch
Depending on how many beers you consume before lunch, this may be a walking or crawling tour.
Either way, this four-hour tour will take you to some of the city’s trendy downtown neighborhoods, full of eating and drinking establishments that are worth a visit.
The tour is limited to a dozen people and will visit a few places that have been constructed with recycled materials, making them quirky, cool, and environmentally friendly.
You’ll be guided by a local foodie and beer enthusiast, who’ll also give you lots of insight into the history of the city, much of which dates back to the wild-west days.
“Buds & Beers” A Cannabis Grow & Craft Brewery Tour
Buds & Beers combines two of Denvers popular industries.
Sample some beers on this unique tour that explores some of the local breweries and shows you a commercial grow facility where you’ll learn more off cultivation process of cannabis.
You’ll be transported on a 420-friendly (smoking allowed) party bus.