Fort Collins, Colo.
Colorado has fourth-largest collection of craft breweries in America behind Oregon, Washington and California and the fourth-most breweries per capita in the U.S., which makes finding a great one relatively easy.
Fort Collins makes a great base of operations thanks to breweries as bold as the Belgian-inspired
and its Saison or the prolific
and its Woodcut oak-aged ales and sublime 90 Shilling Scottish ale. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention
New Belgium Brewing
, which has been cranking out tasty brews such as its Fat Tire Amber Ale and Ranger IPA for 20 years, but also hosts the Tour de Fat bike festival, Bike-In Cinema summer film series for cyclists and its Urban Assault Ride bicycle scavenger hunts.
It's all south from there, as
Left Hand Brewery
in Longmont has a tasting room teeming with taps of its signature Milk Stout, BlackJack Porter and Wake Up Dead Stout, while nearby
facilities crank out cans of Dale's Pale Ale and Old Chub Scottish on sites that include include a 50-acre farm, a brewpub and music venue called Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids and Solids and the Tasty Weasel Tap Room with live music, skee ball, small-batch brews and brewery tours.
From Longmont, it's decision time. Do beer lovers head south to Boulder for a one-city circuit of breweries including
and heavy hitter
for its cans of White Rascal Witbier or Joe's American Pilsner? Do they head even farther down Interstate 25 to Denver for a Hercules Double IPA at
Great Divide Brewing
? Given the gorgeous views in each direction, it's tough to lose.