Best of Boulder East County 2023 — Drink

Left Hand Brewing Co. Credit: Jacqueline Collins Photography


Pumphouse Brewery & Red Zone. Credit: Jacqueline Collins Photography

Pumphouse Brewery & Red Zone

540 Main St., Longmont, 303-702-0881

Louisville Winner: /pôr/ wine house

Lafayette Winner: Romero’s K-9 Club & Tap House

Hot off the heels of back-to-back championship seasons from the Avalanche followed by the Nuggets, it’s no wonder our readers voted Pumphouse Brewery & Red Zone as their go-to watering hole. Although it’s doubtful this year’s Broncos squad will see that success, the sports bar’s high TV-to-human ratio (33 HD TVs!), 8,000-square-foot space and casual atmosphere will keep our readers returning all year round. If you aren’t there for sports, try out the seasonal beer list that frequently has one-time brews you won’t find anywhere else. 


Avery Brewing Co.

4910 Nautilus Court N., Boulder, 303-440-4324

Longmont Winner: Pumphouse Brewery & Red Zone

Lafayette Winner: Romero’s K-9 Club & Tap House

Louisville Winners (tie): Lucky Pie Pizza & Taphouse; Mudrocks Tap & Tavern

Lyons Winner: Oskar Blues Grill & Brew

Every week during the summer, Avery Brewing hosts an event where registrants run a 5k followed up with a free beer. That’s how reporter Will Matuska was introduced to Avery, and he’s been a loyal customer since. But forget the run — just walk inside and you’ll see the wall filled with tap beers that has our readers choosing Avery for this category — if you can get past one of the best patios in the county. 


Acreage by Stem

1380 Horizon Ave., Lafayette, 303-227-3243

Longmont Winner: St. Vrain Cidery 

Erie Winner: The Old Mine

Louisville Winner: Rocky Mountain Tap & Garden

If you haven’t found yourself with one of Stem’s drinks in your hand overlooking the Rockies at golden hour, this is a sign to make it happen. Whether it’s the views, drinks or food, Acreage by Stem stands out as one of our readers’ favorite spots to bring friends, family, or just kick back. 


Swaylo’s Tiki Restaurant and Bar 

1315 Dry Creek Drive, Longmont, 303-651-0527

Erie Winner: 24 Carrot Bistro 

Lafayette Winner: Community Supper Club

Louisville Winner: /pôr/ wine house

It’s time to trade in those overused and predictable rum and cokes or gin and tonics for something a little more interesting. Perhaps substitute with fresh cocktails like the Rocky Mountain Sling, Vanillakilla or Cha, Cha, Cha? Swaylo’s Tiki Restaurant and Bar has offered these drinks and more to our readers since 2015 when the Swaylo team wanted to create a “vibrant coastal dining experience” for the growing number of Longmonsters. Indulge with a clean conscience — the restaurant gives 20% of its profits to nonprofit organizations and the surrounding community. 


MeCo Coffee Collective. Credit: Jacqueline Collins Photography

MeCo Coffee Collective

627 Main St., Longmont, 303-834-8418

Louisville Winner: Ziggi’s Coffee

Lafayette Winner: The Read Queen Bookstore & Cafe

When a space opened up on Main Street in Longmont in 2021, MeCo Coffee Collective co-founders Isaac Olson and Shane Stinn knew they had a home for their community-focused cafe. The name, if you’re wondering, comes from the founders’ two points of origin — Maine and Colorado. Today, the business has become a favorite for locally roasted coffee, serving out its infamous Cheesy Bits cracker and the two “store ambassadors” — the dogs Addie and Thea who “excel in treat tasting and hug giving as well as being the cutest.” 


Ozo Coffee Co. 

1232A S. Hover St., Longmont, 720-600-6689

Gunbarrel Winner: Ampersand Coffee Roasters

Louisville Winner: Giovannitti Coffee Roasters

Lafayette Winner: OTIS Craft Collective

Erie Winner: Erie Coffee Roasters

We love a good coffee roaster, and it’s crystal clear to our readers that Ozo Coffee Co. does it best. Ozo started sourcing ethically and sustainably grown coffee from around the world in 2007, and has since become a staple for coffee lovers around the county. It uses Diedrich and Gothot coffee roasters to highlight the best characteristics from every region — giving unique and distinct flavors our readers love to slurp. 


Left Hand Brewing Co.

1265 Boston Ave., Longmont, 303-772-0258

Superior Winner: 4 Noses Brewing Co.

Louisville Winner: Crystal Springs Brewing Co. 

Gunbarrel Winner: Avery Brewing Co.

Lafayette: Liquid Mechanics Brewing Co.

Niwot: Fritz Family Brewers 

Colorado is the promise land for beer lovers — there are 400 craft breweries in the state, according to Boulder County is no exception to that trend. But Left Hand Brewing Company stands out among all the rest. Many of its beers have won awards from the European Beer Star, the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival, but Avery’s stouts are its most decorated style, netting nearly 40 of these awards since 2006. 


Spirit Hound Distillers

4196 Ute Highway, Lyons, 303-823-5696

Longmont Winner: Dry Land Distillers

Lafayette Winner: DEKI Distillery

Ask the folks at Spirit Hound Distillers how they make our readers’ favorite locally produced spirits and they’ll say dedication, tradition and Rocky Mountain snowmelt. New American gin, vodka, coffee liqueur, rum, sambuca and whisky, whisky, whisky are produced at this Lyon’s distillery. The Hound’s straight malt whisky has gained global recognition, scoring 96 of 100 points at the 2022 London Spirits Competition. Every barrel of the distillery’s honey-aged whisky is bottled as a single barrel, making it 100% unique. From hand-crafted labels to locally sourced botanicals, everything Spirit Hound makes is a delicious labor of love.


Pumphouse Brewery & Red Zone

540 Main St., Longmont, 303-702-0881

Lafayette Winner: 95a Bistro & Co.

Louisville Winner: /pôr/ wine house

Erie Winner: Piripi

The happiest hours in East County are at Pumphouse Brewery. Stop by Monday through Friday between 3 and 6 p.m. to get deals on pints, Long Island iced teas, house margaritas, well drinks and house wines, all under $6. And if you’re feeling hungry, all of Pumphouse’s dozen-plus appetizers are $2 off, from asiago-artichoke dip to pretzel bites, wings and crispy calamari. For the late night crowd, drop by between 9 p.m. and closing to get the same great deals. 


MeCo Coffee Collective

627 Main St., Longmont, 303-834-8418

Louisville Winner: Ziggi’s Coffee 

Lafayette Winner: The Read Queen Bookstore & Cafe

A latte may seem like a simple drink, but it requires a mindful and educated approach to make it the delightful treat it is. Our readers head to MeCo Coffee Collective when they want a latte done right: silky, sweet and sumptuous. The baristas at this downtown Longmont coffeehouse know the sound of a perfectly steamed cup of milk, and the exact ratio of coffee, water, heat and pressure to bring out the acidity and sweetness of espresso. The creamy result finishes with a crisp tartness. Ask for a pump or two of mocha if you’ve got a sweet tooth. 


Teocalli Cocina

103 N. Public Road, Unit C, Lafayette, 303-284-6597

Longmont Winner: Jefes Tacos & Tequila

East Boulder Winner: Pica’s Mexican Restaurant and Taqueria

Louisville Winner: Casa Alegre

According to Wine Enthusiast, “it’s hard to say definitively who created the margarita,” but we here in Boulder County know that Teocalli Cocina offers up tiptop variations of the tart libation, from a classic La Casa Margarita with Monte Alban Reposado Tequila, to the spice of Aro De Fuego with fresno-and-jalapeño-infused tequila, housemade sour, cilantro simple syrup and fresh lime. Teocalli keeps it simple with great tequila and fresh lime juice. What more could you ask for? Maybe some chips and salsa, and Teocalli’s got that too. 


Pumphouse Brewery & Red Zone

540 Main St., Longmont, 303-702-0881

Louisville Winner: Mudrock’s Tap & Tavern

Erie Winner: Lazy Dog Sports Bar & Grill

Lafayette Winner: Dillinger’s Food & Spirits

The Red Zone was literally built to provide Longmont with a first-rate sports bar. Open at 10 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday for all the college and NFL games, The Red Zone is the place to watch the Buffs and the Broncos. Check the Pumphouse website for any given day’s TV lineup, then head down to Main Street, grab a table with your pals and order some brewskis and a couple of baskets of wings. There’s also plenty of seating outside — with heaters for when it’s chilly and misters for when it’s hot — that still gives you a great view of your favorite sporting events on the telly. Game on!


The Huckleberry

700 Main St., Louisville, 303-284-6597

Lafayette Winner: The Read Queen Bookstore & Cafe

Longmont Winner: MeCo Coffee Collective

You don’t have to head to Old Blighty to have the perfect traditional afternoon tea, because The Huckleberry in Louisville has you covered. Relax at a table dressed with crisp linens while you’re served a bountiful tiered tower of sweet and savory tea sandwiches baked fresh that day. Choose from The Huckleberry’s extensive selection of black, white, green, oolong and herbal teas. It’s the perfect way to catch up with an old friend or celebrate a special occasion.


/pôr/ wine house

701 Main St., Louisville, 720-916-3296

Longmont Winner: Küper Wine Bar

Erie Winner: Piripi

Niwot Winner: Farrow

Looking to drink wine on the sun-drenched patio of some remote European cafe? Save the airfare and head to /pôr/ wine house, where you’ll be steps away from downtown Louisville but feel as though you’re on vacation an ocean away. One look at the stellar wine list and you’ll see why our readers are enamored. /pôr/ wine house offers 24 wines by the glass, with a varietal to suit every palette. And if you’re not sure what you want, there’s always a sommelier on staff to guide your drinking experience.


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