Vail is a prime place to discover iconic Colorado flavors, including those of the boozy variety. From ultra-smooth whiskey, vodka and moonshine to inventive ales, porters and pilsners, local makers are churning out delicious sippers that honor the Centennial State’s one-of-a-kind culture and environment. Read on to find out where to savor Colorado-made craft beverages at breweries, distilleries and bars around town.
Insider’s Tip: Drafts and spirits are always rotating at these spots, so check back throughout the year to sip the latest and greatest.
10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirits
227 Bridge St., Unit F, Vail
This Vail Village distillery is inspired by the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division, the first and only mountain infantry division to fight in World War II. More than 15,000 soldiers lived and trained at Camp Hale (now a national monument), a training facility 22 miles west of Vail. The distillery’s spirits honor those who served and influenced the high-country lifestyle cherished by Coloradans today.
Pop into the lounge and tasting room to enjoy spirit flights and barrel-aged cocktails — and to pick up bottles of award-winning whiskey, vodka, moonshine, brandy and other liquors to take home. Standouts include the 10th Mountain charred-oak, barrel-aged bourbon, a vanilla-scented creation that tastes great neat or on the rocks, or the smooth potato vodka, perfect for spiking bloody marys, martinis and mules. Or support 10th Mountain’s philanthropic mission by purchasing a bottle of the oak- and honey-tinged Basecamp 40 Rye; proceeds from every bottle go to the namesake veteran-supporting charity.
Vail Brewing Company
141 E. Meadow Dr., #209, Vail
Vail Brewing Company, which has served award-winning pints since 2014, is a haven for beer lovers from all around. In their rustic, wood-furnished taproom in Vail Village, locals and visitors gather year-round to knock back glasses of refreshing Orange Haze Wheat, crisp Pete’s Stash Pale Ale or gently sweet Dark Necessities Porter. If you prefer a different type of brew, the spot also pours a probiotics-rich kombucha and a fruit-infused hard seltzer. Grab a seat on the sunny patio, where leashed dogs are allowed; check the calendar to see if there’s live music playing at the taproom; and don’t forget to take home some to-go cans of your favorite brews to enjoy later.
Vail Bars with Superb Colorado Craft Beer Lists
Beer lovers don’t need to head to a Vail brewery to sample locally made suds. Sidle up to the bar for a cold one at these watering holes.
536 E. Lionshead Circle, Vail
Settle into this storied bar in Lionshead Village, lovingly referred to as “Garfs,” to peruse a list of more than 15 Colorado craft brews. That includes selections from iconic brewing companies across the state, from Durango-based Ska to Golden-headquartered Holidaily. The bar also shakes cocktails made with local spirits and offers a menu of both casual and more upscale grub (think bison burgers and lobster ravioli).
Altitude Bar and Grill
250 S. Frontage Road W., Vail
Tucked inside the Evergreen Lodge at Vail, Altitude Bar and Grill is a hot spot for sports aficionados. They can catch a game on more than a dozen TVs while lingering over rounds of Vail Brewing Co. Gore Creek IPA or New Belgium Fat Tire. Indulge in some wings or cheese curds from the food lineup or pop next door to Annapurna Nepali & Indian Cuisine for platters of spicy vindaloo and chicken-stuffed momos.
292 E. Meadow Dr., Vail
A diverse roster of eats and sips draws revelers to The George, a restaurant and lounge beloved for its happy hour and late-night scene. There’s a list of nearly 30 canned craft beverages to choose from, including selections from Telluride and Vail brewing companies, and tons of cocktails, from martinis to spiked hot chocolates and coffees. Complement whatever you’re drinking with the popular mushroom and duck quesadillas, or if you’re feeling fancy, the surf and turf combo with king crab legs and sirloin steak.
Root & Flower
288 Bridge Street, Unit C4, Vail
Grab a seat at Root & Flower and taste your way through a comprehensive menu of wine, beer and liquor, with sources ranging local to international. Sample time-tested favorite cocktails like the Singapore Piers with CapRock Gin from Hotchkiss’ own Jack Rabbit Hill Farm. Or enjoy a hand-crafted drink featuring smooth vodka from The Family Jones in Denver. More of a beer person? Opt for cool draft from a Colorado craft brewery like the Crooked Stave Pilsner, also made in the Mile High City. Have your sips alongside some hot plates like the summery Ratatouille Tartlet with a medley of roasted veggies, perfectly charred tomatoes, arugula and a zesty lemon vinaigrette.