Colorado beer guide puts Grand County breweries on the map | SkyHiNews.com

Colorado beer guide puts Grand County breweries on the map

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, CO Colorado

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News

Fans of froth and fermentation have access to the grail of Colorado craft beers in the newest edition of the “Beer Drinkers Guide to Colorado.”

Recently released, the 27-inch by 39-inch map quenches knowledge on bucket brewers to mega-brewers, from Las Animas to Steamboat Springs.

And it’s packaged with free beer coupons, to boot.

Two Grand County breweries – the Grand Lake Brewery and the Moffat Station Restaurant and Brewery, Winter Park – are both featured on the map, the brainchild of Mike Laur of Colorado Springs whose favorite beer is an IPA.

“I love maps, and I love beer,” Laur said. “It was kind of a natural thing to put the thing together.”

Laur said he had the idea for 20 years and was motivated by the mission to promote local craft beers.

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“For a beer lover, it doesn’t get better than in Colorado,” he said.

Colorado’s craft beer scene dates back at least 30 years.

“People are beginning to go beyond the Buds, the Coors and the Millers out there and are starting to experiment,” Laur said. “The people that know it will go way out of their way to find good beer.”

States battled for Brewery and Brewer of the Year awards during the 2009 Great American Beer Festival contest in Denver in September. The festival is deemed the largest commercial beer competition in the world.

In it, California outranked Colorado in the number of entries, but Colorado beat out all states in the number of awards, garnering 45 to California’s 39. Third place was Oregon, followed by Washington and Pennsylvania.

As much as 80 percent of beer sold in the country is in a handful of brands, but that doesn’t mean the craft industry isn’t growing.

The U.S. brewery count of 1,525 on July 31 is the highest total in 100 years, according to the Brewers Association.

Laur’s map showcases 121 of them.

More info on tap

On the back the map features beer information, such as the family tree of ales, lagers and lambics, beer glassware, the anatomy of a brewpub and “A Beer Geek’s Haven” section that shows names of bars and taphouses that cater to “beer hounds.”

The Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Bar at Winter Park Resort is on that list.

For color, Laur added Colorado sites, such as national and state parks, Colorado ski areas, 14’ers and approximate drive times within Colorado.

There is also a section on taxis and public transportation, in case the map leads one to sit too long on the bar stool.

Grand Lake Brewery owner Karen Wood, who prefers her pub’s Pumphouse Lager and Shadow Mountain Stout, said the drinker’s guide “gets a lot of exposure on the Front Range.”

What’s particularly unique about it, she said, are the coupons that come with it. Grand Lake Brewery offers a free souvenir pint glass on its coupon.

The coupons for free beer, food and other deals are worth about $100, according to Laur. The map comes folded for the glove box, rolled for wall display, or laminated.

Laur said he thinks he’s hit a responsive cord in the marketplace.

“I’m not alone in seeking out good local craft beer whenever I travel,” he said, “always looking for something new, different and tasty.”

– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail tbina@skyhidailynews.com.

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