Posted on 15 Aug 2023

Prost! Exploring Oktoberfest & Colorado's Craft Breweries

As the aspens change color in the Rocky Mountains, there's no better way to enjoy the season than with a cold craft beer in Colorado. With Oktoberfest celebrations and more than 400 breweries across the state, there's something for everyone. Many of the breweries are independently and locally owned and serve up a wide variety of artisan craft brews. 

In September, the days are warm, perfect for a beer on a sun-soaked deck after a day of hiking or biking. The evenings are cool, perfect for throwing on a fleece jacket and sipping a beer around a fire pit. 

Where are the suds flowing in our Colorado mountain towns? Check out some of our favorite breweries in Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs and the Vail Valley listed below.  

If bratwurst and beer are your thing, pull out your lederhosen and dirndls and head to any of our local Oktoberfests!  

History of Oktoberfest

Originating in Germany in the early 1800s as a royal wedding jubilee, Oktoberfest has transformed through the ages into what is now the world’s largest folk festival. However, the journey to join in the revelry doesn’t demand a pilgrimage to Munich. Oktoberfest celebrations have spread around the world, and Colorado is as far as you need to go for some of the most raucous Oktoberfest celebrations and tastiest beer! 

Come September, the sounds of accordions, yodeling and the tapping of beer kegs will echo throughout the Colorado Rockies. 

VAIL OKTOBERFEST - Sept. 8-10, Sept. 15-17

Get ready for a blast of Bavaria with the Vail Oktoberfest, named among the 10 greatest Oktoberfest celebrations in the United States by USA Today. Mouthwatering classic Bavarian fare, including brats, spaetzle and pretzels are served up, and there's plenty of German beer flowing. Kick up your heels to Bavarian brass band and accordion music. Or strut your stuff in the lederhosen and dirndls costume contest, flex your muscles in the stein-lifting competition and keg bowling, or see how many brats you can put away in the bratwurst-eating competition.

The fun spans two weekends in September. The party is held in Vail Village September 15-17, then moves to Lionshead Village the following weekend, September 8-10.

Beaver Creek’s Oktoberfest returns with foot stompin’ oom-pah-pah tunes, tasty beer and brats that are wunderbar! Beaver Creek Plaza is transformed into Bavarian village with live entertainment, a costume contest and a Kids’ European Alpenhorn competition. So, don your lederhosen and come prepared to yodel! 

Grab a beer stein and get ready to party like you’re in Germany. This year the Breckenridge Oktoberfest is returning to a full-blown Munich-style street party with live music, food vendors and plenty of ‘Prost!” The three-day celebration will take over Main Street in historic downtown Breckenridge.  

After the festivals’ kegs have been tapped dry, our mountain towns have exploded with plenty of craft breweries to quench your thirst. Afterall, there’s nothing more refreshing than throwing back a cold one to cap off a day out on the trails, hiking, biking or skiing! Here’s where you’ll find the Moving Mountains Team raising a glass! 

BROKEN COMPASS - Breckenridge

FOOD & WINE recently listed this Breckenridge hot spot as #3 on their list of the 24 can’t-miss breweries in Colorado. First opened in May of 2014 by Jason and Jolene Ford, Broken Compass Brewing offers an impressive selection of craft beers for all wanderers, lost or otherwise. Their beers on tap include their medal-winning Coconut Porter and, for some Oktoberfest vibes, a traditional German style Altbier and a German Dark Lager.  

You can enjoy the Broken Compass brews at two locations in Breckenridge: their home base brewery just north of town, and their South Main Street taproom. Both locations are dog-friendly, and you can even bring in outside food from any of the many great restaurants in town or from your own (vacation home) kitchen!

And giving a new meaning to “booze cruise,” you can pedal your way to a cold brew with a fat tire bike and brewery tour. The adventure begins on the south end of town with brief stops at select landmarks as you cruise along the Blue River Rec Path, eventually landing at The Broken Compass Brewery for a tour and a taster.

VAIL BREWING CO. - Vail Valley

Crafted with Altitude; Brewed for Adventure is this brewery’s motto! This “Veteran & Ski Bum-owned” brewery has been a haven for beer lovers in the Vail Valley since 2014 and they’ve been pouring award-winning beers on tap ever since. 

Don’t be fooled by its location, in an industrial park in Eagle-Vail, between Vail and Beaver Creek. Vail Brewing Co. brewery and tasting room has plenty of mountain views and indoor and outdoor seating. 

Some perfect brews to complement the crisp mountain days of fall, include the Mellow Mood Session IPA, brewed with all organic German malt; Hero Dirt Brown Ale; and the World Beer Cup ‘22 award winner, Dark Necessities Porter.

Vail Brewing Co. also opened a tasting room in Vail Village in Solaris Plaza.


Good times are on tap on the large outdoor rooftop deck at the taproom and brewing facility on the west side of town. Storm Peak Brewing pours 20 rotating taps, including Mad Creek, a Colorado twist on the classic German Kolsch, and the Gaper, brewed with German Pils malt. 

Storm Peak also has a watering hole on the opposite side of town, The Bus Stop. Close to the base of the ski mountain, it’s a great spot for après after a downhill mountain bike adventure or a day out skiing or boarding!  

So there you have it, our guide to the best places to enjoy a cold craft beer in Colorado this fall. Whether you're looking for a festive Oktoberfest celebration or a more low-key brewery to relax at after a day of outdoor activities, you're sure to find something to your liking. So grab a stein and raise a glass to the start of the fall season in Colorado! 



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