Best Bar AND Best Distillery
Spirit Hound Distillers
It may be impossible to be all things to all people, but Spirit Hound Distillers sure make an admirable effort. According to representatives from the distillery based in Lyons, the organization has a simple mission: “To produce the highest-quality hand-crafted spirits possible.” To that end, Spirit Hound has released more than eighty barrels’ worth of whisky, fine spirits that incorporate Colorado ingredients and that seem to breathe with the spirit of the West. Their craft and attention in distilling spirits is impressive enough, but Spirit Hound does a lot more. The friendly, inviting and convivial atmosphere of the facility off the Ute Highway in Lyons makes the Spirit Hound headquarters one of our favorite places to drink, and its commitment to consistently booking the best local live bands makes it one of our favorite places to take in live music. It’s pretty impressive for a place that opened with a simple commitment to fine spirits. 4196 Ute Highway, Lyons, 303.823.5696, spirithounds.com.
Runner Up for Best Distillery: Vapor Distillery, 5311 Western Ave., #180, Boulder, 303.997.6134, vapordistillery.com.
Runner Up for Best Bar: Bitter Bar, 835 Walnut St., Boulder, 303.442.3050, thebitterbar.com.
Avery Brewing Co.
27 years ago, Avery Brewing Co. opened its doors to the Boulder community with a simple business mantra at its core: “Beer first. The rest will follow.” That philosophy has proven to be a durable key to success for the spunky, funky brewery that now features a revolving menu of delicious dishes and 30 taps of year-round beers and seasonal specialty brews. The brewery’s consummate commitment to its brews, as well as its homey, welcoming atmosphere, have made it a consistent customer favorite. “We’re grateful to all our fans for supporting our steadfast dedication to creating the perfect beer,” said Avery Spokeswoman Krista St. Charles. “We serve up our brews and our locally sourced and seasonally inspired dishes with appreciation and love for Boulder, our one and only hometown.” 4910 Nautilus Court North, Boulder, 303.440.4324, averybrewing.com.
Runner Up: Beyond the Mountain, 6035 Longbow Drive, #109, Boulder, 303.530.6981, beyondthemountainbrewing.com.
Ozo Coffee Co.
The Ozo Coffee Co. is committed to its product. How committed? The creative brass behind the homegrown Boulder java retailer don’t simply want to connect its customers with coffee itself; they want to make sure their clients are educated about exactly what goes into brewing the perfect cup. Since opening in 2007, “coffee education” has been a central part of Ozo’s business model. Ozo runs classrooms certified by the Specialty Coffee Association, where they teach aspiring baristas and coffee enthusiasts all about the craft and science of the bean.“Our training team is equipped with decades of coffee experience, and we invite top-tier coffee educators from across the industry to instruct at our facility,” Ozo Coffee honchos explain. That kind of commitment goes a long way in serving experts and casual coffee sippers alike. 5340 Arapahoe Ave.; 1898 S. Flatiron Court, #110; 1521 Pearl St., Boulder; 1232-A S. Hover Road, #400, Longmont, 303.440.0233, ozocoffee.com.
Runner Up: Precision Pours, 1030 E. South Boulder Road, Louisville, 720.883.3301.
Best Sports Bar
Lazy Dog Sports Bar & Grill
It’s not easy to stand out on the Pearl Street Mall. Boulder’s signature pedestrian shopping Mecca is full of stand-out businesses, specifically when it comes to watering holes. Even so, the folks at the Lazy Dog Sports Bar & Grill have found a way to distinguish themselves on a busy business strip in a busy college town. The Lazy Dog has long been a dependable spot to find satisfying food, drink and company, with the best games and events streaming on the TV sets. According to ownership, the bar’s lasting appeal has everything to do with simple and time-tested values.“Lazy Dog, Boulder’s best gathering place since 1997, has always tried to be the neighborhood place, with friendly, inviting, quality customer service,” notes Lazy Dog Owner Steve Ross. “Thank you, Boulder, for 22 years of wonderful friends to serve.” 1346 Pearl St., Boulder, 303.440.3355, thelazydog.com.
Runner Up: World Famous Dark Horse Bar & Grill, 2922 Baseline Road, Boulder, 303.442.8162, darkhorsebar.com.
Backcountry Pizza may have plenty to brag about when it comes to their pizza, but their status as a taproom is equally impressive. The owners at Backcountry know that any good pizza is better with the perfect beverage, and their taproom contains more than 60 rotating beers on tap to make that culinary marriage possible. Along with a wide variety of bottled brews, Backcountry’s impressive taproom help it stand out from its competitors.“Join us with friends, family, or for a business gathering,” notes General Manager Scott Conley, “Our lively and knowledgeable staff looks forward to taking care of you!” 2319 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 303.449.4285, backcountrypizzaandtaphouse.info.
Runner Up: Oskar Blue Taproom, 921 Pearl St., Boulder, 720.645.1749, oskarblues.com.
Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse
The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is a local institution. Architectural and decorative elements of the stunning building located just south of the Pearl Street Mall were famously crafted in Tajikistan after it opened in the 1980s, lending the teahouse a cosmopolitan air. Even so, Dushanbe has rightfully earned its status as a quintessentially Boulder business during its long tenure in the city. Thanks to its selection of more than 50 premium selections of loose-leaf infusions, Dushanbe is a standout in the city, the state and the West for tea lovers. And thanks to its commitment to being a steadfast member of the community, Dushanbe is a place where Boulderites can both feel at home and get a sense of another part of the world. “We try to create a tea selection that encompasses all the major tea-growing regions and showcases some of the best teas the world has to offer,” notes Dushanbe Spokeswoman Sara Stewart Martinelli. 1770 13th St., Boulder, 303.442.4993, boulderteahouse.com.
Runner Up: Ku Cha, 1211 Pearl St., Boulder, 303.443.3612, kuchatea.com.
Best Wine Selection
Frasca Food and Wine
Frasca Food and Wine has its own hall of fame. The names in Frasca’s hallowed hall are all of the sommeliers and experts who, over the restaurant’s 15-year tenure, have helped make it one of Boulder’s most distinguished and refined wine sources, a place where the perfect Italian dish finds its ideal flavor complement in wine form. Names like Bobby Stuckey, Matthew Mather, Jeremy Schwartz and others are among the legends of Frasca. “The wine program is all thanks to 15 years of those who have worked in the cellars at Frasca,” said Carlin Karr, wine director. “We all work hard to provide excellent hospitality and create a wine program that we find exciting and that we believe provides discovery and interest for our guests.” They’ve all made a difference in making Frasca stand out to wine lovers and debutantes alike. 1738 Pearl St., Boulder, 303.442.6966, frascafoodandwine.com.
Runner Up: Hazel’s Beverage World, 1955 28th St., Boulder, 303.447.1955, hazelsboulder.com.