Best Breweries Summit County

A cold beer is ALWAYS the first thing on my mind after an intense day of adventuring. It doesn’t matter if I just finished skiing, hiked 10 peaks in one day, bagged a 14er, or explored the many great mountain biking trails of Summit County, I want to finish with a cold one.

But with a dozen breweries in summit county, I wasn’t sure which one to head to when we first arrived in Summit County. After spending several months in the Breckenridge area, here’s my recommendation on which 3 breweries are the absolute best.

How These 3 Breweries Made The Cut

Personally, I’m just looking for a place to relax while I drink one (or two) pints and let my kids–well, be kids. I typically am not looking for a place to drop $100 on food while I down a drink. If you are looking for more of a restaurant style brewery, then head to Breckenridge Brewery, Pug Ryan’s, or Bakers Brewery where they have a full menu in a sit down restaurant.

Another big one for me is having some rad outdoor seating (at least in the summer). I mean, I’m in Colorado after all so I need to get my fix of mountain views.

Another big plus is that all three of these have a wide selection of board games. It doesn’t matter that we own half the games there, the truth is, I never make time to play them when I’m home so playing a game with my kids at the brewery is a win-win. I get a beer, they get attention. Score 2 for mom and dad.

Now depending where your adventure ends and what style of beer you like might influence which of these three you go to. And if you want a really fun evening, use the free bus system and take a bike + brew tour. These can even be done in the winter on fat bikes. (Check out our video below from our first brewery tour in Summit county.)

For the dog owners out there, I don’t have a dog (although my 10 year old son acts like one most of the time 😆) but all three of these breweries are very dog friendly👍

Bring some extra cash when you go to these because all three breweries have some pretty cool swag that you’ll want to take home with you.

Best Brewery in Breckenridge 

Broken Compass

This is my favorite brewery if I were rating it purely for the atmosphere and vibe. It’s a little bit out of town, down at the north end of Airport road, but the laid back feel here is worth the small effort it takes to get here. Plus, they have huge picnic style tables that fit groups or a big family like mine.

I also love that you can bring in your own food which is so important to a health but like me. Arugula salad anyone?  Plus, eating in Breckenridge can get expensive so it’s easy to hit the slopes, run into City Market and buy food, and then head down Airport Rd to the brewery.

Best Breweries Summit County, Broken compass
Photo Credit: Coloradobeer.org

To be honest, the only reason I don’t go there more is because they don’t have an amazing IPA like the next brewery. 

I think the coolest part of Broken Compass though is that they offer a free shuttle everyday from 12-8 pm. Call (don’t text) this number  (970) 406-2011 to schedule your pick up from Breckenridge. And don’t miss trivia night every Tuesday evening.

Best Brewery in Frisco

Outer Range

This is the Mecca for IPA lovers. I’m obsessed with their hazy, In The Steep. It looks like someone poured you a glass of orange juice it’s so thick.

In the summer, they have a great outdoor sitting area with outdoor games for kids. While the vibe here can be chill and great for kids (& dogs), it gets ridiculously crowded in the winter and there isn’t much in the way of seating otions- although they did add a yurt to help spread out the crowds a bit for the winter rush.

Best Breweries Summit County: Outer Range
Photo Credit: hopculture.com

You also can bring in your own food here and I love that Whole Foods is across the parking lot. It’s very easy to send the kids over for snacks while my husband and I get to take in the incredible view of Peak One from here. 

Last time I was there, they did have a food truck set up outside selling sandwiches and tacos. Again, there just aren’t many places to sit and eat.

This would be my favorite place if the vibe was friendlier. The bartenders just don’t seem to be stoked on life and that’s important to me. Maybe it’s just part of their branding 🤷‍♀️

Best Brewery in Silverthorne

Angry James

I really like how down to earth it feels here. If you aren’t obsessed with IPAs like I am, then you will love the diversity of beers on tap. The IPA there just doesn’t cut it for me (can you tell I’m a beer snob?) so we don’t hang out there as often but, I have been there for live music and it was EPIC.

Best Breweries Summit County: Angry James

The seating here is a little more spacious with large picnic tables and a outdoor seating with fire pits. You can’t bring your own food but they do have a menu. The Bavarian pretzels are great as is chili and pulled pork Cuban sandwhich.

Angry James is a local’s favorite and for more than just the good music, rad vibes, and great beer. You get a free half pint with every growler fill, which sounds like a win to me. Plus every Monday – Thursday from 4pm – 5pm is ‘Angry Hour’ which gets you $1 off pints.

Summit County Is An Adventurers Dream!

So what’s bringing you to summit county? If you are looking for adventures, we’ve got you covered. Check out all the related info we have on the area:

Plus, we’ve got some great videos with tips on our favorite hikes like the Peaks Traverse (a must if you love adrenaline) and Eccles Pass and our weekly vlogs where we show you all our shenanigans while camping and riding Breckenridge this winter. Subscribe if you like them 🙋‍♂️

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Best Breweries Summit County