Local Breweries in Telluride: Craft Beer & Culture


Telluride, Colorado, a picturesque mountain town known for its stunning landscapes and vibrant ski culture, is also home to a thriving craft beer scene and many local breweries in Telluride. With a handful of local breweries and distilleries, Telluride offers a unique and exciting experience for beer enthusiasts and curious travelers alike.


  • Telluride brewing locations have adapted their brewing techniques to the challenges and benefits of high-altitude brewing.
  • The town offers a wide variety of craft beers and spirits, from award-winning IPAs to handcrafted cocktails.
  • Local breweries play a significant role in Telluride's community, hosting events and supporting sustainability efforts.

Exploring the High-Altitude Brewing Scene

The Craft of Brewing at Elevation

Brewing beer at high altitudes presents both challenges and opportunities for Telluride’s breweries. The lower atmospheric pressure and reduced oxygen levels can affect the fermentation process, requiring brewers to adapt their techniques. However, the pure mountain water and unique environmental factors also contribute to the distinct flavors and characteristics of Telluride’s craft beers.

Signature Brews and Seasonal Offerings

Telluride’s breweries offer a range of popular year-round beers, such as Telluride Brewing Company‘s award-winning Face Down Brown and Smuggler’s Union‘s Daly’s Blonde. In addition, seasonal and limited-edition brews showcase the creativity and innovation of local brewers, often incorporating local ingredients and flavors.

The Culinary Experience at Telluride Breweries

Pairing Food and Beer

Many of Telluride’s breweries also offer exceptional dining experiences, with menus designed to complement their craft beers. From house-made sausages and hand-pressed burgers at Smuggler’s Union to the influence of local ingredients in brewery cuisine, visitors can enjoy the perfect pairing of food and beer.

Brewery Tours and Tastings

To fully immerse yourself in Telluride’s brewing scene, consider booking a guided tour or tasting experience. These tours offer insights into the brewing process, the history of the breweries, and the opportunity to sample a variety of craft beers.

The Community Pint: Breweries as Social Hubs

Events and Gatherings

Telluride’s breweries serve as more than just places to enjoy a cold pint; they are also vibrant social hubs within the community. Many breweries host regular events, such as trivia nights, live music performances, and special beer release parties. Larger events include the Great American Beer Festival, the Telluride Jazz Festival, and the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival. These gatherings provide a chance for locals and visitors to mingle and bond over their shared love of craft beer.

Supporting Local: Breweries and Sustainability

In addition to their role as community gathering spots, Telluride’s breweries are also committed to supporting local initiatives and sustainability efforts. Many breweries partner with local farms and businesses to source ingredients and collaborate on projects that benefit the environment and the community.

The Spirits of Telluride: Distilleries Making Their Mark

Handcrafted Spirits and Artisanal Cocktails

While beer may be the primary focus of Telluride’s craft beverage scene, local distilleries are also making a name for themselves. The Telluride Distilling Company, for example, produces award-winning vodka, schnapps, and ginger beer, offering a unique alternative to traditional brewery offerings.

Distillery Tours and Experiences

Similar to brewery tours, distillery tours in Telluride provide an opportunity to learn about the craftsmanship and passion behind the production of local spirits. These experiences complement the brewery scene and offer a well-rounded taste of Telluride’s artisanal beverage culture.

Planning Your Brewery Itinerary

Mapping Your Brewery Trail

With several breweries and distilleries to choose from, planning your Telluride brewery itinerary is key to making the most of your experience. Consider mapping out a route that includes multiple establishments, taking into account transportation options and ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.

Here are several breweries to visit in and around Telluride:

  • Telluride Brewing Co
  • Telluride Distilling Company
  • Stronghouse Brew Pub

And here are a few Colorado breweries outside of Telluride that offer brews locally:

  • Ska Brewing Company
  • Ouray Brewery

Tips for the Ultimate Brewery Experience

To optimize your brewery visits, consider timing your trips for smaller crowds or unique experiences, such as special release events or off-peak hours. Additionally, research accommodations and other attractions in Telluride to create a well-rounded and memorable visit.


What are the must-visit breweries in Telluride for a first-timer?

For first-time visitors, Telluride Brewing Company and Smuggler’s Union are two must-visit establishments, offering a range of award-winning beers and unique dining experiences.

Can you recommend any brewery tours that include food pairings?

Smuggler’s Union offers a memorable experience that combines a brewery tour with a delicious menu designed to complement their craft beers.

Are there any breweries in Telluride that are kid-friendly or pet-friendly?

Many of Telluride’s breweries welcome families and well-behaved pets, but it’s always best to check with individual establishments for their specific policies.

How do Telluride breweries incorporate local ingredients into their brews?

Telluride’s breweries often partner with local farms and businesses to source ingredients, such as locally grown hops or seasonal fruits, which are then incorporated into their unique and flavorful brews.

What are some unique beer styles or flavors that can be found in Telluride breweries?

Telluride’s breweries offer a wide range of beer styles and flavors, from classic IPAs and stouts to more experimental brews that incorporate local ingredients and high-altitude brewing techniques.

What is the Colorado Brewers Guild?

The Colorado Brewers Guild (CBG) is a non-profit association representing Colorado craft breweries. It advocates for the industry, organizes events like Colorado Craft Beer Week, and supports members with resources and advocacy. The CBG fosters a collaborative brewing community, promotes Colorado as a top craft beer destination, and enhances the state’s craft beer scene.


About the author

Shannon Persad

As a seasoned journalist and Colorado native, I bring a deep-rooted connection and comprehensive understanding of Colorado to my work at ReadyColorado.com. My appreciation for the state’s rich history, vibrant culture, and pressing environmental issues drives my commitment to exploring its evolving landscape—from the bustling urban centers to the tranquil mountain towns.