This post is sponsored by the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Bustang service, and we thank them for a great, safe trip!
Day trips to visit breweries in other cities is always a risky proposition unless you have a designated driver. Luckily for us Colorado residents, we have another option that is just as good as having a DD roll around to breweries with you—take the Bustang! They’ve recently started doing weekend trips up and down the I-25 corridor, and you can use that to your advantage to hit up some breweries that you don’t normally get to enjoy on a regular basis.
So, we saddled up and hit a handful of breweries and craft beer spots thanks to our trusty purple steed, and here’s how it went down.
Since there’s only two buses that head up to Denver on any given Saturday, we had the option of heading up at around 7 am or 1 pm. Since we were hitting up places that wouldn’t be open in the early morning, we opted for the 1pm departure. According to the schedule, we would arrive at Union Station around 3 pm to start our brewery tour.
We arrived at the Colorado Springs Downtown Terminal about 30 minutes early thanks to a prompt Lyft driver. Instead of waiting in the open air, we ran over to Brewer’s Republic for a quick pregame pint. Thankfully, the owners have revitalized this spot, so if you’re heading anywhere that departs from the Downtown Terminal, head to Brewer’s to start your trip off right.
Beer: Station 26 Tangerine Cream
Running Total: One pint
Our Bustang arrived right on time and all we had to do was activate our tickets in the Ride Bustang app on our phones and show the driver the date and time on the ticket. Boarding was easy and painless.
If you haven’t been on a Bustang, let me tell you, it’s pretty plush. There’s footrests, power for both laptops and USB devices and free wireless internet access. We hooked into the WiFi, and while it wasn’t fast enough to watch a YouTube video or Netflix, we were able to use social media and email just fine.
The great thing about a chauffeured trip up to Denver is that you don’t do any of the driving. Yes, there are a few stops on the way up, but with the way I-25 is these days, it’s a stressful trip and thanks to the Bustang we experienced none of that. Upon arriving at Union Station, we were rested and refreshed — ready to get our brewery hopping on.
Stop Number One
Our first stop was Woods Boss, who just opened last summer in the Five Point neighborhood, to meet up with Sam Sly from Beer n’ Loathing. If you haven’t been, you need to add this place to your list. They have 3 huge slices of redwood that make up the bar and some tables in their space, and even though the rough cut wood and metal motif has been played out in every brewery recently, the sheer magnitude of these pieces of wood will astound you. We tried a flight of their beers, but the standout beer for me was their Vivette, a black currant New England IPA. We gained a few more brewery hopping crew members after 20 minutes at Woods Boss, so it was time to head to the next spot. Onwards!
Beer: Flight of four beers, one pint of Vivette
Running total: One Flight, One Pint
Stop Number Two
On from Woods Boss, we walked a short 6 block walk down the street to Spangalang. We’ve been here before, but since we were in the area, we couldn’t pass up a stop. Most of the crew got a pint of Spangalang’s Very Stable Genius Helles, which I found to be just perfect on a nice warm April Saturday. With such a packed schedule, we didn’t stay long at Spangalang, so after everyone finished their pints, we headed off down the road, heading to Our Mutual Friend.
Beer: One Pint of Helles
Running Total: One Flight, Two Pints
Stop Number Three
We didn’t make it very far after leaving Spangalang. With Goed Zuur just a block North, we had to stop in and say hi to my friend Lance who’s usually behind the bar. Lance is an old college friend from our time in Durango, so it was nice to see him and catch up a bit. Oh, and if you haven’t been yet, Goed Zuur is probably one of the coolest new additions to Denver. Get a butter flight, crack open a cool bottle or just grab something amazing from their taplist. We could have spent hours there, but we still needed to head into the heart of RiNo.
Beer: Pint of Pliny the Elder, Can of New Image Dyad
Running Total: One Flight, 3 pints
Stop Number Four
Dragging the crew out of Goed Zuur was difficult, but we had a plan to uphold. Half the crew jettisoned and we gained another two on the walk over to Our Mutual Friend. OMF was packed, but we jumped in line and quickly made our way up to the bar. My choice was Wizard’s Bong, a New England Pale Ale packed with hops. We were enjoying just hanging out on the patio when someone mentioned that Ratio Beerworks (our next stop, just down the street) had a new carrot beer we had to go try, and we were running out of time if we were to catch the bus back home. Full beers in hand, Sam and I took the opportunity to create some footage for his Chug News video series, and we were off.
Beer: Wizard’s Bong NE Pale Ale
Running Total: One Flight, 4 pints
Stop Number Five
At this point, we were all at least four beers deep in the matter of three or so hours, plus samples and flights, so luckily, Ratio Beerworks had a food truck where we could soak up some of the amazing beers we’d had. After a quick pint of Ratio’s King Carrot beer, we realized we needed to get back to Union Station to catch our ride back to the Springs. We said bye to our friends, who were planning on staying at Ratio for a bit longer and hailed a Lyft back to the station.
Boarding the bus on the way back was just as easy as it was earlier in the day, but this time, it was serving as our designated driver! The ride back was easy as can be, with our trip finishing at the same place it had begun. Next time you’re looking to head up to Denver, consider using the Bustang, as it’s quite an easy way to get up to some fun breweries! We’ll definitely be taking a Bustang brewery tour again.