Southwest Colorado (April 21, 2009) – Finding a place to savor the flavors of Southwest Colorado is easier than ever, thanks to the recently-published Southwest Colorado Brewery Tour brochure. In addition to featuring the region’s 16 microbreweries, the guide (downloadable at
http://www.swcoloradoheritage.com/heritage-maps-and-trips/suggested-trips/hop-to-it-brewery-tour) also highlights the region’s 15 wineries and distilleries. With so many choices there is something to please every palate.
“Hops” to It
There are four suds shops located in Durango, which calls itself the “Napa Valley of Beer.” The Carver Brewing Company (www.carverbrewing.com) is the second-oldest operating brew pub in Colorado and features Lightner Creek Lager and Colorado Trail Nut Brown Ale. The third-oldest brewery in the state – Durango Brewing Company (www.durangobrewing.com) – is also located in Durango. It has a great tasting room and features award-winning brews including Durango Derail Ale. Ska Brewing Company
(www.skabrewing.com) is noted for its green and recycling tactics, while Steamworks Brewery (www.steamworksbrewing.com), with locations in Bayfield and Durango, features a patio and live music.
The Cortez/Dolores area boasts three microbreweries, including Main Street Brewery (Cortez), which produces nine craft beers; Coyote J Brewing Co. (Cortez – www.jfargos.com) that pours four beers; and Dolores River Brewery (Dolores) that is known for its handcrafted beers and single barrel series
Family-owned Revolution Brewing (www.revolution-brewing.com), located in Paonia, is known as Colorado’s smallest brewery. While Ourayle House, a one-man operation with direct fire-brewed beer in Ouray, is also proving size doesn’t matter.
Western Colorado’s terrain and weather are the perfect pairing for turning great grapes into savory sips in this up-and-coming wine region. Most of the wineries are open Memorial Day through fall, though visitors are advised to contact the wineries and distilleries for specific hours of operation.
Paonia has a plethora of wineries and tasting rooms. Azura
(http://web.mac.com/azurastudios/AZURA_STUDIOS/Gallery_%26_Tasting_Room.html ) offers a tasting room and art gallery. The underground “wine cave” at Black Bridge Winery (www.blackbridgewinery.com) was salvaged from a local mining operation. Stone Cottage Cellars and Terror Creek Winery are also located in Paonia.
Jack Rabbit Hill Estate Winery (www.jackrabbithill.com) is a 70-acre Hotchkiss estate winery that makes its wines from 22 acres of certified-organic/Biodynamic® vineyards. Leroux Creek Vineyards
(www.lerouxcreekinn.com), also located in Hotchkiss, boasts a bed and breakfast and hiking/biking trails. Other “must not miss” wineries include Cortez’s Guy Drew Vineyards (www.guydrewvineyards.com), Stoney Mesa Winery (www.stoneymesa.com) in Cedaredge, and Surface Creek Winery (www.surfacecreek.com) in Eckert.
Those who crave spirits should stop by Cedaredge’s Blossomwood Cidery (www.blossomwoodcidery.com) and Colorado Gold Distillery (www.coloradogolddistillery.com), which produce bourbon, vodka and gin. Mancos Valley Distillery in Mancos is renowned for its rum.
Tasty Festivals & Events
Good family fun is always on the menu in Southwest Colorado, which boasts lots of festivals and celebrations that celebrate the flavors of the region. Here is just a taste of what is in store.
*June 10: Taste of Ouray (www.ouraycolorado.com)
*June 13: Love Your Valley Microbrew Fest, Ridgway
*June 25-28: Telluride Wine Festival (www.telluridewinefestival.com)
*July 23-26: Crested Butte Land Trust Food & Wine Festival
*August 21-22: Mesa Verde Country Wine, Food and Art Festival,
*August 29: 2nd Annual Grillin’ Chillin’ and Thrillin’ Microbrew Fest,
*September 6: Fall Festival of Beers and Chili Cookoff, Mt. Crested
*September 12: Harvest Beer Festival, Cortez
*September 18-20: Blues and Brews, Telluride
*September 19: Passport to Pagosa: Wine and Food Festival, Pagosa
*September 25-27: Harvest Festival, Paonia
The Southwest Colorado Travel Region boasts eight scenic byways, five national forests, five hot springs, five wilderness areas, two national parks, and two national monuments. The area stretches from Delta in the northwest to Pagosa Springs in the southeast. For more information about
this unique region log on to www.swcolotravel.org for
information and to request a map of the area.