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Brews and Views: Touring the South Platte River

Posted at 07/19/2017 10:00 AM by Pat O'Connor

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St. Patrick's Brewery. Photo via local guide David McCollough

Colorado’s summer days offer a perfect opportunity to marry our favorite activities: beer drinking and recreating, as in having fun outside. Whether you’re cycling, running, doing paddle sports or taking a leisurely walk, having a chance to down a cold one and take in a nice view during or after your sport defines what living in the Denver metro area is all about.

The Mile High City is blessed with wonderful urban river/creek trails -- Clear Creek, Ralston Creek, Cherry Creek, the Highline Canal, and Big and Little Dry Creeks. But the South Platte River stands out when it comes to combining recreation and drinking some suds. The South Platte/Mary Carter Greenway Trail is the perfect spot to accomplish these goals. The south section of the river through Littleton offers lush vegetation, scenic bends in the river and best of all, nice venues to stop and relax.

The South Platte River begins its journey through Denver from deep in the Rockies in Park County. Emerging from Waterton Canyon to its impound area at Chatfield, it is then released back to its bed that stretches 439 miles east where it eventually meets with the North Platte River and the "Mighty Mo" (Missouri).

The section of the South Platte through Littleton is especially handy since there are notable watering holes adjacent to the trail, providing opportunities to quench your thirst, grab a bite to eat and play your favorite lawn game. From these perches, you can enjoy brews and views, whether it involves river vistas or the just the local clientele. Check out these venues on your next foray along the South Platte.

The Pint Room

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Photo Via the Pint Room's Facebook Page

 This bar and grill tucked away in the Riverside Downs shopping center features a whopping  175 taps that change weekly. Off Belleview and Prince Street, this riverside gastropub is a beer lover’s paradise. From local craft beer to ciders and barrel aged, The Pint Room will have a brew for the most discriminating palate. Top off your beer with a selection from their mouth watering menu that features amazing burgers and appetizers. Best of all, an intoxicating patio awaits you where you can enjoy an exceptional view of the South Platte, the bike path and a quaint park situated next to the water. You'll be hard pressed to find a more enjoyable setting to take a break from your bike ride, paddling or weekend stroll.

Platte River Bar & Grill

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Photo via Platte River Bar & Grill Facebook Page

As you continue south down the South Platte River corridor, it’s hard to pass up this iconic establishment located across from Arapahoe Community College. Featuring live music five days a week, Platte River Bar & Grill attracts a wide range of clientele. As an award winning bar and restaurant, the Platte has a great reputation as a premier venue for outdoor live music. Two inside bars offer a variety of Colorado craft beers, spirits and popular speciality drinks. On a nice day, the outdoor patio is packed with patrons enjoying not only cold drinks but Mexican food and burgers. Happy Hour includes great prices on drinks and food. Always looking out for the community, Platte River Bar & Grill offers a number of benefits throughout the year to help non-profits and people in need.

Farm House at Breckenridge Brewery

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Photo via Farm House at Breckenridge Brewery Facebook Page

Formerly a carnation farm just down the road from the Platte River Bar & Grill is the Breckenridge Brewery. Founded in the said mountain town in Colorado, it moved to Denver in  1992 and opened a larger manufacturing facility adjacent to Coors Field. Two years ago, prompted by its increased production and need for more space, the operation relocated to Littleton where $36 million was invested in constructing three buildings on 12 acres. There is a 100 barrel brewhouse, barrel aging room and packaging facility, and The Farm House restaurant and beer garden. This engaging facility can accommodate 300 people and has a home style feel. Outside, challenge friends to a game of bocce, giant Jenga or corn hole, and hang out around the fire pits. The spacious grounds are a perfect spot to spend your summer days and evenings enjoying the 20+ Breckenridge brews on tap and a sit down meal or grab-and-go food from the food truck Thursday-Sunday, weather permitting. Five days a week, the brewery offers 90 minute tours of the brewing facility, capped off with tasty samplings.

Angelo’s Taverna/Carboy Winery

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Photo via Angelo's Taverna Facebook Page

A mainstay on 6th Avenue in Denver since 1974, Angelo’s now offers its famous char-grilled oysters in Littleton. Located just south of the Breckenridge Brewery, Angelo’s continues the tradition of great Italian food. Oysters of the highest quality are delivered and shucked daily, and varieties from the east and west coasts will surely satisfy your bivalve cravings. The happy hour is 2-5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. to close, and includes $1 oysters on the half shell, a daily special and reduced drink prices. Check out Carboy Winery next door. Carboy is a unique Colorado urban winery working hands-on with vineyards and winemakers from prominent wine regions around the world. High quality wines are sourced and then aged further, blended or bottled to make the special brand.

Posted by Pat O'Connor

Pat O’Connor has dual citizenship in both Wisconsin and Colorado, having been born and raised in Wisconsin Dells, but later adopted by the Centennial State. A graduate of the University of Colorado (B.S. Journalism, 1980), O’Connor began her career as a sportswriter at the Boulder Daily Camera under the tutelage of the venerable Dan Creedon. Her experience also includes stints in public relations at Aspen Highlands Ski Area, the Colorado Trial Lawyers and the Colorado Division of Wildlife. When she isn’t piecing together sentences, the self-proclaimed “Cheesehead” enjoys hanging out with her three kids and assortment of family pets, running, playing golf, hiking 14ers, horseback riding and skiing. As a mother to two (at one time three) competitive swimmers, her favorite fragrance is eau de chlorine. During football season, she can be found cheering for the Buffs on Saturdays and screaming when the Packers score on Sundays. She loves talking sports and giving recommendations on cheese curds.

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Topics: Things to Do in Denver