Peanut butter and chocolate. Popcorn and movies. Hiking and beer. Yep, these are all things that pair great together. And if the idea of a pretty mountain trek followed up with a local craft brew sounds like a match made in heaven, a trip to Golden is in order. The town has compiled a list of six hikes and beer stops perfect for summer. Cheers!
THE HIKE: South Table Mountain. Acesss the mountain by parking at the base of Golden Summit Trail and then head up the .6-mile trail. You’ll gain 1,550 feet in elevation before you reach the top.
THE BREWERY: New Terrain Brewing Co, Golden’s newest craft brewery, is located on the eastern edge of North Table Mountain. There’s an outdoor beer garden with picnic tables, fireplace, food trucks and eight beers on tap.
THE HIKE: Matthews/Winters Park Trails. This Jefferson County open-space park offers 9 miles of trails, including Red Rocks Trail, Dakota Ridge Trail and Dinosaur Ridge where you can spot million-year-old dinosaur bones and tracks.
THE BREWERY: Barrels & Bottles Brewery, across the street from Coors, offers 27 craft beers and 24 wines on tap.
THE HIKE: Clear Creek Trail. This popular trail takes you from Clear Creek Canyon in the foothills all the way to the South Platte River in Denver. It’s perfect for families and picnics, with ample parking in downtown Golden.
THE BREWERY: The Golden City Brewery. Just a block from the Clear Creek Trail, this spot is perfect for a post-adventure Clear Creek Gold Pale Ale, an award-winning German Kolschbier. Order a beer, find a table and relax in the brewery’s backyard.
THE HIKE: Lookout Mountain Nature Center & Preserve. If you want a leisurely introduction to hiking, these trails are for you: After walking through the 1917 Boettcher Mansion, now a museum, on top of Lookout Mountain, take a hike on the preserve that’s home to 1.4 miles of gentle trails through the ponderosa pine forests.
THE BREWERY: Coors. After hiking, take a free, 30-minute, self-paced tour of the malting, brewing and packing of Coors. As the world’s largest single-site brewery, this is an excellent place to learn how beer is made, and, after the tour, sample three free glasses of beer.
THE HIKE: North Table Mountain. One of the chief landmarks of Golden, it offers a half-dozen hiking and biking trails (steep climbs and single-track sections for bikers) criss-crossing the area, culminating in a 5.9 mile loop that features 360 degree views.
THE BREWERY: Cannonball Creek Brewing. Just down the road from North Table Mountain, this young brewery took two prestigious silver medals at the Great American Beer Festival. After your hike, enjoy 6-12 brews on tap.
THE HIKE: White Ranch. This ranch has 20 miles of multi-use trails with mountain and canyon views. Hike across pine forests and open meadows.
THE BREWERY: The Mountain Toad. This dog-friendly brewery has an outdoor patio with food trucks, a beer garden and six to 12 craft beers on tap.