By Lisa Pogue
Where to pair Colorado brews with mountain-inspired food at Copper:
Center Village’s longtime party spot is loud and laid back with plenty of space to sprawl. The 12 taps are all Colorado all the time, the service is swift and the afternoon sun hits the wraparound deck just right for slopeside people watching. Try a pint of Avery’s White Rascal—an unfiltered Belgian White spiced with coriander and orange peel—with a dozen of Jack’s famed pineapple habanero buffalo wings. Stroll in Wednesday through Saturday after 3:30 p.m. and catch live music by the crowd-pleasing house band, Lefty Lucy.
Copper regulars are buzzing about the former Endo’s space that has been blown out and modernized for a bright, comfortable atmosphere with garage doors that roll up, huge flat-screens at every angle and an impressive chef-driven menu. Beer lovers flock to 20 Colorado brews on tap and knowledgeable bartenders are happy to slip you samples and explain the difference between a Belgian red and a black ale. The steak and Gorgonzola nachos hit the cheese quota with grilled beef, Applewood smoked bacon, jalapenos, shallots, Gorgonzola, pepper jack and a four-cheese sauce piled on thick-cut, Cajun-spiced potato chips. Pair the plate with an Out of Office German Pilsner by 10 Barrel Brewing Co.
For an upscale post-slopes rest stop, visit C.B. Grille and soak up the dark-wood, dim-light ambiance while Chef Jess and team craft creative Colorado small plates 5 to 9 p.m. daily. Treat yourself to candied bacon deviled eggs, Rocky Mountain bison sausage with grain mustard or bacon-wrapped Colorado goat-cheese-stuffed dates served with apricot chutney. Sip a Pray for Snow winter ale by 10 Barrel Brewing Co. or a Milk Stout Nitro from Left Hand. Or, go gluten-free with a crisp Colorado-made Glider Cider.
This lively locals’ favorite has a welcoming, friends-living-room vibe and some of the best après deals around. Happy hour runs 3 to 6 p.m. daily and features $4 Colorado drafts from every corner of the state. Savor the unique Graham Cracker Porter Ale by Denver Beer Company and tackle the two-fisted Colorado lamb burger, served with fermented garlic aioli and Swiss cheese. Catch live tunes by Mike Woodard Saturdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Bonus: Toast & Co.
Sometimes après starts at noon. Or 1 p.m. Or whenever your legs give out and you get thirsty. On those days, head straight to this sparkling new Copper Mountain brunch gem. This is where you make the exception and go for a craft cocktail instead of a Colorado beer. The extensive menu hits all the classics and rolls out creative spins like spiced whiskey sours, ginger kombucha mules and the ever-trending frose (frozen rose wine with strawberries).