Is Grand Junction The Next Great Beer Destination?
Updated: Aug 22
8/22/22 - Updated to reflect the opening of Trail Life Brewing
If one were asked the first thing that pops into their mind when they hear the words “Beer” and “Grand”, most beer aficionados would probably answer “Grand Rapids”, otherwise known as Beer City USA. With approximately 14 breweries per 100,000 people (C + R Research, 2019) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, it’s a community that is truly worthy of its “Beer City” moniker. With the number of breweries steadily growing here in Grand Junction, Colorado, however, the response to the aforementioned question may soon be changing!
With the recent opening of Trail Life Brewing, our city that we call home now boasts 8 breweries amongst its population of 63,597 (census.gov, July 1, 2019), making the per capita number 12 breweries per 100,000 people. The same C + R study put Denver’s per capita number at 12 breweries per 100,000, the same as where we currently stand here in Grand Junction. With 1 new brewery in the works that we know of, however, once they open Grand Junction will surpass Denver in that per capita number. The beer scene here in Grand Junction is, indeed, ready for prime time!
With all of these breweries comes a great variety of beers to satisfy anyone’s palate. Beer boards around the Grand Junction breweries show everything from a Pina Colorada Milkshake IPA at Monumental Beer Works, the God Hammer Norwegian Red Ale from Ramblebine Brewing Company, the Sanctuary Golden Strong Ale from Gemini Beer Company, and the Ginger-Lavender Blonde Ale at Foam & Folly Brewing to GJ stalwarts like the Broken Oar IPA at Kannah Creek Brewing Company and the Cold Shivers Pale Ale from Rockslide Brewery. The diversity is incredible, and should only continue to grow as the beer scene in Grand Junction evolves.
Now, with this steady growth, there are some that may wonder if the market risks becoming saturated with too many breweries too quickly. In this humble blogger’s opinion, I don’t feel that’s the case at all. With incredible weather, amazing outdoor recreation, a growing and diversifying business community, and a constant stream of rotating CMU students and their families who visit, there will be enough foot traffic here in Grand Junction to support this emerging industry. And once people find out about these breweries and pay their first visit, a return is virtually guaranteed. From the quality of the beer, to the stories behind them and the personalities that work in the breweries, one won’t be able to help from wanting to learn, and taste, more.
If you’re reading this locally here in Grand Junction and haven’t paid a visit to any of these fine establishments recently, go on out and give them a try. There’s lots to experience. If you’re from out of the area, I hope this has given you a brief glimpse into the wonderful beer scene here in Grand Junction. And I hope this makes you pause the next time you’re thinking about those terms “Grand” and “Beer” together, and that you decide to pay us a visit to explore the incredible breweries of Grand Junction, Colorado.