Of the many things that make Colorado great two in particular are the Rocky Mountains, and craft beer. So when driving west along I-70 the scenery is great in all directions and when needing a break from the road to enjoy the scenery the places to stop for a pint are in abundance. This includes the small town of Dillon where most people drive by on their way to a larger resort town, but within this small town lies one of the nation’s largest brewpubs. Serving not only delicious food and award winning beer to go along with the great scenery since 1997 this is the Dillon Dam Brewery.
Located right off the highway in a two story building this small brewery has a great environment both on the outside and inside. Walking inside you are greeted with a spacious bar top lined with tap handles, to the left is an open window into all the brewing equipment, and to the right is a patio. Walk to the second floor of this building and guests get a bird eye view into the production facility where all the kettles and fermenters are located, and in the upstairs dining room guests are surrounded by windows that show the mountains from every direction. Throughout the restaurant are all the awards this brewery has won including a coveted gold in both World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Festival. With so many awards and so many beers to choose this is a brewery with a diverse, refreshing selection.
With so many beers available it is best to start on the light end of the spectrum and there is no better way to start than with the Wildernest Wheat. Brewed with lager yeast, Czech Saaz hops, and German Hallertau hops this is a very light bodied and clean beer. Served with a lemon slice this is a very refreshing beer and a great way to start a flight. Also available on the lighter side of beers is the Paradise Pilsner. A well balanced beer that has the hoppy forward one would expect, but unlike other pilsners this beer finishes with a nice malty flavor. Still on the lighter side, but with a more medium body is the Dam Straight Lager. A Vienna Style lager with great caramel notes from the malts but a mild hop finish this is a very balanced beer that is both crisp and refreshing.
For beers that are more full bodied and bold flavored there is the Sweet George’s Brown, winner of multiple awards and a great English Style Ale. This ale is brewed with a variety of both brown and caramel malts which create a richness, sweetness, and depth of flavor. The hop profile is very minimal, and there is very little bitterness. The end result is a rich, slightly sweet beer that has great body, and a clean finish making it easy to enjoy any season. For something darker there is the McLuhr’s Irish Stout. Winner of multiple awards and brewed with a variety of malts this beer has a rich sweet flavor full of coffee, chocolate, and even hints of caramel. Served with nitrogen it has a creamy mouth feel and a great Irish stout. Also available are a rotating variety of seasonal ales that include an IPA with seven different hops, an Oktoberfest, and an unique style known as a Bier de Garde in additional to several others throughout the year.
With a wide variety of beers that fans of all styles will enjoy it is no wonder that Dillon Dam Brewery has been serving high quality, award winning ales for so many years. A true destination in terms of breweries in Colorado this one is slightly off the beaten path within the mountains but one that is truly worth visiting. Good food, great beer, friendly service, and a small but comfortable tap room with some of the best scenery in Colorado. So when driving through the Rocky Mountains take a little extra time to make a visit to Dillon and visit the Dillon Dam Brewery where as they say they have some “Dam Good Beer,” and see for yourself one of the largest brewpubs in the nation.
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