The Breweries of Summit County
Looking for an outdoor Utopia for your honeymoon adventure? Or a mountain Mecca that has an impressive brewery scene? Does this magical place even exist? Yes, it does! Welcome to Summit County, Colorado.
Summit County is perfect for anyone who loves outdoor activities, breweries, and beautiful alpine views. Boasting almost unlimited activities year-round, this locale is an outdoor junkie’s dream. Add to that the perfect pairing of a delicious craft beer, and welcome to your new favorite vacation spot.
Visiting the Rocky Mountains for the views? It does not get much better than the glorious peaks and valleys in towns like Breckenridge and Silverthorne. Whether hiking, skiing, or trying your skills on a fatbike along the Summit Rec Path, the majestic scenery of the county is unmatched.
After a long day of outdoor endeavors there is a rich brewery scene to explore. Kick back and relax with a craft brew at one of over ten local breweries in the area. From classic brew pubs such as Breckenridge Brewery, to the numerous newcomers on the beer scene, there is definitely something for everyone in the Summit County brewery world.
Key Facts About Summit County:
Summit County Climate:
Officially described as a subarctic climate, the area can be very cold in the winter and more mild during the summer months. Even in July temperatures can swing from an average high of 74℉ to an average low of 39℉. Be prepared with layers for summer evenings when the sun dips behind those gorgeous mountaintops.
Best Time to Visit:
Anytime of the year will offer great outdoor activities! In the winter months you can discover activities like skiing or snowshoeing. During the summer there’s an extensive selection of hiking and mountain biking trails to explore.
Popular Towns in Summit County:
Breckenridge, Silverthorne, Keystone, Frisco, Dillon
Nearest Major International Airport:
Denver International Airport (DIA) is about 2 ½ hours driving to the area. There are several local municipal airports offering other options as well.
Important Things to Know When Visiting:
Depending on where you come from you may need to be aware of the altitude. If you’re from somewhere closer to sea level, pay close attention to how the high altitude might affect your body.
DID YOU KNOW?
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, Summit County residents have the longest life expectancy of any county in the United States.
The Breweries of Summit County, Colorado
Looking for a convenient stop to refuel after your day of outdoor adventures? Located on Main Street, Breckenridge Brewery is a must-visit destination for beer lovers in Summit County. As the resort itself offers world-class skiing, the brewery is a popular après-ski hangout in the winter and can get very busy on the weekends.
Their beer lineup features a variety of staple pours like the Avalanche Amber, Vanilla Porter, and the Agave Wheat. In the taproom you’ll consistently find flavors to please your palate, such as excellent seasonal beers like the famous Christmas Ale.
If you live in the United States it’s very likely you’ve seen a “Breck Brew” in your local liquor store. They currently send their creations to 35 states, in case you discover a new favorite to enjoy in your home state later.
Breck boasts classic pub fare, such as wings and burgers, that hit the spot with any of their beer selections, as well as fan favorites like the turkey apple brie sandwich. The brewery even features breakfast, where you can pair a hearty burrito with a coffee topped by their vanilla porter whipped cream.
Words of Wisdom from the Head Brewer:
“One of the first craft breweries in Colorado, Breckenridge Brewery opened its doors in Summit County in 1990, and to this day, we continue to treat locals and visitors with a welcoming atmosphere, delicious food and of course, an unforgettable selection of beer. We always have something new and tasty to try! Our Brew Pub focuses on creating innovative new beers that can then graduate to larger production, such as the fan-favorite Mountain Beach Tropical Session Sour.”
-- Jimmy Walker, Head Brewer at Breckenridge Brewery
Photo credit - https://www.facebook.com/BreckenridgeBrewery
BRECKENRIDGE BREWERY DETAILS:
Year Founded: 1990
Flagship Beer: Avalanche Amber
Address: 600 S Main St, Breckenridge, CO 80424
Dillon Dam Brewery
If you’re looking for a fun mash-up of restaurant and brewery, look no further than the Dillon Dam Brewery. Easy to find, just minutes off the main drag on your way toward Keystone, it’s a perfect jumping-off point for all of your Summit County escapades.
Planning to grab some grub after a busy day in the mountains? Dillon Dam has a huge menu with a wide variety for all tastes (pun intended). Everything from bison burgers to honey chipotle chicken - hot, fresh, and delicious.
To perfectly pair with your food, try any of their award-winning beers, such as the Sweet George’s Brown and Mclhur’s Irish Stout. Take a seat at their unique semi-oval bar on the first level, or enjoy the mountain view from the second level. If the weather is right, you can relax on their patio while you sip your selection.
Photo credit - https://www.facebook.com/dambrewery
DILLON DAM BREWERY DETAILS:
Year Founded: 1997
Flagship Beer: Dam Light
Address: 100 Little Dam St, Dillon, CO 80435
Outer Range Brewing Co.
One of the newer players in the Colorado craft beer scene is Outer Range Brewing in Frisco. A convenient location just off I-70, Outer Range offers patrons a fun atmosphere, a bevy of beer options ranging from their impressive IPAs to saisons and stouts, as well as creative bites that will leave you wanting more.
Ready to kick back with a stellar brew and not sure where to start? Then look no further than ORB’s In the Steep IPA. If the brewery’s clever names tend to catch your eye, then their I Miss Loud Taprooms might just be the IPA you’ve been waiting for.
What goes better with a beer called Pluck Pluck Pluck than a juicy fried chicken sandwich? The taproom is also home to Bird Craft, which offers Thai-ish chicken dishes to compliment your beer of choice. Or for a more eclectic flavor, nibble on the ahi poke tots while you enjoy the fantastic view from their patio.
Whichever refreshments you’re partaking in while at Outer Range, definitely savor the fact that you’re experiencing one of the top new breweries in the country. Since their journey began in 2016, Outer Range has consistently impressed craft beer connoisseurs and is worth a stop during your Summit County honeymoon.
Photo credit - https://www.facebook.com/OuterRangeBrewing
OUTER RANGE BREWING CO. DETAILS:
Year Founded: 2016
Flagship Beer: In The Steep IPA
Address: 182 Lusher Ct., Frisco, CO 80443
Angry James Brewery
Spending time admiring the Blue River in Silverthorne? Or perhaps you’re craving one last refreshment stop on your way out of town? Take a peek at Angry James’ tap list, or better yet, pull up a seat next to their fire pit and stay awhile to peruse your choices.
Their Tri-Centric IPA features an impressive lineup of three different hops - Cascade, Centennial and Citra, for those of you in-the-know. If a Hefeweisen is your go-to choice, then savor Angry James’ Alpen Weiss while you gaze on the alpenglow of the surrounding peaks from their German-style beer garden.
What is the perfect brewpub bite to compliment a hearty German beer? The Bavarian pretzel, of course! If something sweeter is more your style, give your taste buds a treat with their apple berry crisp and caramel toffee ice cream.
Lastly, nothing says ‘honeymoon’ like the lush Nighttime Rendezvous porter to finish off your visit to Angry James. Its robust, rich taste with hints of chocolate will have you ready to plan an even sweeter anniversary trip back to Summit County.
Photo credit - https://www.facebook.com/angryjamesbrewing
ANGRY JAMES BREWRY DETAILS:
Year Founded: 2018
Flagship Beer: Norwegian Farmhouse
Address: 421 Adams Ave, Silverthorne, CO 80498
Getting Outdoors in Summit County
Going in the Winter:
Going to Summit County during the Winter Months (generally December to April/May) will bring some of the best winter sport activities in the world. With snow-capped peaks, massive ski resorts, and everything in between Summit County will not disappoint anyone seeking a great winter-themed honeymoon.
Hit up the world famous ski resorts for some alpine sports. Whether you ski, snowboard, or any variety of snow sport, you’ll find it in Summit County. With famous resorts like Breckenridge, Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, and Copper there is something for everyone.
If you’re more inclined to enjoy the frosty climate at a faster pace, there are options for snowmobile rentals in every major town including Silverthorne, Keystone, and Breckenridge.
Another great mountain activity that lets you truly appreciate the backcountry paths. Snowshoeing is great because it doesn’t require a lot of gear, and you can explore some of the less-traveled areas using great designated trails among the mountains of the county.
Photo credit - www.silverthorne.org
One really fun activity that you might not have had on your list. There are several great hills you can find in Summit County, such as Rainbow Park in Silverthorne, for sledding while you reminisce about childhood winter memories.
There are several options for skating, such as the many frozen mountain lakes, and Keystone alone offers two maintained outdoor rinks. Get some hot chocolate and enjoy a romantic day of skating on a beautiful lake surrounded by mountain views on all sides.
Going in the Summer:
Going to Summit County during the summer months (generally May to October/November) will be a nature lover’s dream come true! The summertime can often be even more crowded than the winter, bringing all kinds of visitors to experience the Rockies in the more mild weather. Whether you are watching the aspen leaves change in late-summer or enjoying the mountain wildflowers bloom around you earlier in the season, Summit County won’t disappoint for your summer honeymoon destination.
If you love spending time outdoors you’re going to love hiking Summit County in the summer. There are a plethora of trails for any level of hiker. If you are new to hiking you can find shorter trails around Lake Dillon.
If you fancy yourself a seasoned outdoor enthusiast you can try your hand at the challenging Quandary peak. Quandary is a 14er that finishes at an elevation of 14,265 ft. You’ll have some of the most beautiful views in Summit County. This is a perfect spot for unforgettable honeymoon photos!
Many of the same hiking trails are also fantastic for mountain bikers. Some of the ski resorts like Breckenridge will transition in mountain biking resorts during the summer months.
Just like hiking there are trails and paths for all levels, so if you’ve been curious to try it, this is the perfect time and place. There are many great rental options throughout the county.
Photo credit - www.breckenridge.com
Amongst the picturesque mountains, Summit County boasts world class fishing in its crystal clear waters. Both fly fishing and traditional fishing are easily accessible in the summer months, all while being surrounded by crystal clear waters and a fresh mountain breeze.
Colorado is easily among the most famous rafting locations in the world. Every major city in Summit County has at least one outfitter to take people on a guided rafting tour. If you’re experienced you can also rent a raft and explore one of the many well-known white water rapids. If you’re an adventurous couple then this is a great option for a unique honeymoon activity!
The Sights of Summit County
Beyond nature and breweries there are a lot of fun things to see in Summit county.
If you’re in need of some one-of-a-kind Colorado souvenirs to take back from your honeymoon, there are some great shopping opportunities in the towns of Summit County. Check out Main Street in Breckenridge for eclectic stores to explore, or downtown Frisco’s quaint and stylish shopping scene. There are also the Outlets at Silverthorne where you can snag some brand-name bargains.
There are quite a few small museums scattered around the county to satisfy history buffs. The area dates back to the mid-1800s and the gold rush. Things like Dillon Schoolhouse, Washington Gold and Silver Mine, and the Summit Ski Museum will add to your cultural experience. There is a rich history to explore in the area, including some hikes that detour past historic mines.
Make sure to check out a concert at the Dillon Amphitheater. One of the better kept secrets in the area, the Amphitheater has concerts with a beautiful backdrop of the Rocky Mountains and Lake Dillon. Grab a blanket, some beers, and enjoy an evening with each other complete with a live music soundtrack and gorgeous scenery.
Photo credit - Jenise Jensen and www.dillonamphitheater.com
One of the whackier things to find is the Breckenridge Troll. Found on the small trailhead near the Stephen C. West Ice rink, the statue is a 15-foot tall wooden troll. Built during an arts festival several years ago, the landmark has remained as a local favorite. Named Isak and originally built by Danish artist Thomas Dambo, this one is worth seeing.
Dillon Ice Castles
The Dillon Ice Castles is one of the most unique and artistic experiences you will find in Colorado. A seasonal event that generally opens in December (temperature dependent), The Ice Castles are a massive collection of frozen sculptures complete with tunnels, ice slides, and amazing lighting. Almost a small city made out of ice, it's an experience you won’t regret!
Enjoying Every Last Drop
Summit County is a fantastic place for your honeymoon any time of the year. A real treat for any nature lover, Summit County has some of the most beautiful views you will find anywhere in the world.
To go with the extraordinary nature there is a rich brewery scene to explore. When planning your post-wedding adventures, take advantage of this genuinely great spot for beer lovers, nature lovers, and everything in between!