Taking a tour of local breweries is like living in the best of all possible worlds you could ever imagined. Such a tour will satisfy your intellectual curiosity and at the same time you will be able to partake in samples to delight your palette. There are some amazing brewery tours in the Denver area. Each one will allow you to see behind the scenes where you will gain insight into how some of the tastiest brews are brought to fruition. Are you a history buff? Your guide will include some historical information as well. And if your tour is done right and done well, you will feel like you have been on a great adventure. Some of the tours even allow you to get your hands dirty so come prepared. When you get some of the whole-cone hops on your hands, you will begin to wonder why you haven't done this before.
A lot of brewery tours start and end at a memorabilia shop which is great for those people who are in their favorite brewery. But, even if your not, its great to have something to take home to remember your tour by. From there, you will head into the meat of the operation where all of the magic happens. Yes, how beer is made from four simple ingredients: grain, hops, yeast, and water. Being led by a tour guide, you will be amazed at the process which is a lot more involved than most people realize. Steps in the brewing process include malting, lautering, fermenting, conditioning, filtering, and packaging.
And you will have a chance to follow this entire process on your tour with your guide explaining every detail. They will also explain how different varieties are made and what gives certain brews specific flavors. It is truly a science and an art. You will also have a chance to ask questions if you so desire. This behind the scenes view will astound you on one hand and also give you a healthy respect for how the finished product gets to your lips. These tours have grown in popularity especially with the increased popularity of craft beers.
Interestingly, some brewery tours include hands-on experience. For instance, some breweries will allow you to use equipment and techniques that date back centuries. You will feel like you have traveled back in time and have become a craftsman. Its truly a cool feeling. You can watch the start if it all as the grain is ground, help carry wort and water via buckets, check if everything is at the proper temperature and use a vintage hour glass to time everything. Now, understand, not all of the breweries still opreate under vintage conditions and with vintage tools. There are some tours that will show off a sophisticated, modern operation.
With most of the tours, samples are included in the price of admission. We are not saying that you will be able to lead a tour when you are done because the process can be quite involved, but you will have a healthy respect for the process. And at the end of your tour, with a smile on your face, you will enter what most breweries call the tasting room. Of course, tasting is an integral part of the research process and of all the things you have had a chance to participate in during your tour, this one you will tackle with zest and passion. The beauty of the tasting room is in the name, you get to try a tremendous amount of different beers and take home your favorites. Quite often, a brewery will have some on hand that you won't always see on the market place. This is a unique opportunity to talk to the brewers, discuss the amazing process you just saw and learned about, and best of all, to taste and drink the final product.