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2012 Best Of Craft Beer in Colorado

2012 Best Of Craft Beer in Colorado

It’s the middle of the holidays and we’ve been thinking a lot about all the great beers we’ve had this year in this beautiful state of Colorado. Thinking back on 2012 there were some great new beers, beer events, and some breweries really shined and made an impression on us. We figured we would give a few shout-outs to some of our favorites. With 160ish breweries in CO, creating these lists is no easy task. We buckled down had a few more beers and compiled lists of some of our favorites and weighed our results together. We know we have left out some fantastic beers and brewers off these lists. You’ll see some lists are a top 1-10 or top 1-5, that’s because we started out trying to go top 1-5 for all of them, but there is a lot of fermented gold in this state so we just had to lengthen the list. So here you go:

Best beer brewed in Colorado Springs in 2012:

1. Phantom Canyon Winston Smith’s Barleywine
2. Trinity The Flavor
3. Pikes Peak Elephant Rock
4. Trinity Brain of the Turtle
5. Bristol Old No. 23

Best beer bar in Colorado Springs:

1. Front Range BBQ
2. Trinity Brewing Co.
3. Brewer’s Republic
4. Another Pint
5. Blue Star

Best craft beer selection (liquor store) in Colorado Springs:

1. Coaltrain
2. Weber Street
3. Cheers

Best beer events in 2012 (all CO):

1. Great American Beer Festival
2. Vail Big Beers and Barleywines Festival
3. Avery Sourfest
4. Pints for Prostates rare beer tasting
5. Zwanze Day

Best cellarable beers from CO brewed in 2012:

1. Avery Uncle Jacobs
2. Crooked Stave Batch 1
3. Oskar Blues Ten Fidy
4. Phantom Canyon Winston Smith’s
5. Great Divide Barrel Aged Yeti
6. Elevation Apis IV
7. Avery Mephistopheles
8. Dry Dock Bligh’s Barleywine
9. Odell The Meddler
10. Bristol Old No. 23

Best beer brewed in CO in 2012:

1. Crooked Stave Batch 1
2. Crooked Stave Persica
3. Oskar Blues Whiskey Ten Fidy
4. New Belgium Tart Lychee
5. Crabtree Menage a Trois
6. AC Golden Apricot
7. Avery Uncle Jacobs
8. Odell Myrcenary
9. Crooked Stave W.W.B.I.
10. New Belgium La Folie

Best overall CO brewery in 2012:

1. Odell 
2. Crooked Stave 
3. Avery 
4. New Belgium 
5. Funkwerks
6. Oskar Blues
7. Great Divide
8. Ska
9. Elevation 
10. Dry Dock
These are the people, beers. or places that stood out to us in 2012. Let us know in the comments or on our facebook page what you think. What were some of your favorites?

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Eric teaches art, loves being outdoors, and organizes beer events around the country. He founded Focus on the Beer and Beers Made By Walking.

  • Great list! It’s tough narrowing down the best when the bar has been set so high this year. We had a tough time figuring which should be on our draught list this year, we could’ve easily made it a top 100 instead of 10.

    Happy Holidays to you guys, hope to make it down to the Springs more this next year!

  • Myrcenary?? What about Saboteur or Friek?
    And where is Ska Mexican Logger?? (that’s for you Eric)

  • @Redman – Thanks for the comment. Yes, Ska Mexican Logger is certainly on my own Top 5 list however this was a weighed list between a group of us and unfortunately that beer didn’t make it. But yes, one of my all time favorite beers hand’s down.

    Myrcenary I actually agree with here. That beer does not get the recognition it deserves, and the other two beers you mentioned are fantastic too. This wasn’t an easy list to make. What would be your Top 10 list?

  • Great list. It gets me how no matter how well thought out a top or best of list is such as these, you are still gonna get a “yeah but…” from some. Cheers brother!

  • Great list. It gets me how no matter how well thought out a top or best of list is such as these, you are still gonna get a “yeah but…” from some. Cheers brother!

  • really surprised to not see the Colorado Brewer’s Rendezouz listed here for CO events. AMazing event. nice list though. i don’t venture outside of IPA’s very much, but you pretty much nailed my fav breweries. Odell, Oskar’s, Avery top 3. big props to Telluride Brewery for getting my attention this year.

  • Correction – Crabtree Menage a Trois. Loved that brew.

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