Dogs may very well outnumber Denver residents these days (especially after the surge of pandemic puppies). And after a ruff day, there are a lot of people who don’t want to choose between unwinding with their human friends at a bar or spending time with their best canine pals.
There’s a reason those ”puppy dog eyes” always win.
“When we would get home from a long day at work, our dogs were always excited to see us,” said Manuel Baca, co-owner of Littleton’s Coal Mine Ave Brewing, which has an off-leash dog area for customers. “And we’d feel guilty leaving them at home if we met up with friends. So we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be ideal if we could walk our dog to a brewery where they could enjoy themselves while we enjoyed some craft beer?’”
Luckily, Denver is the most dog-friendly city in the country, according to a recent survey, and although the rules differ in each of the cities and towns that make up the metro area, there are plenty of places where pooches can play.
Dogs were first allowed (on leashes) on registered Denver patios, where no food was served, in 2007. Then, the Mile High City became the first in the state to allow dogs on restaurant and bar patios over 400 square feet with food, as long as they’re on a leash, stay on the ground, and the business has a separate entrance to the outdoor space. No dogs, except those deemed service animals, are allowed inside an establishment that serves food, which is why breweries with food trucks out front are popular with dog owners.
In 2020, the Colorado Senate passed that dog-friendly law for the entire state.
Here are nine spots around town where you and your dog can unwind together, so you reduce the frequency of those guilt-tripping puppy dog eyes:
Coal Mine Ave Brewing Company
Manuel and Erica Baca left their careers in finance and IT and opened Coal Mine in 2018 to focus on their passions for pups and craft beer. The brewery has a 2,500-square-foot off-leash area with dog pools and playground equipment where up to 20 dogs can roam freely (as well as a large, dog-friendly patio) while you sip on a Peabody Hazy IPA or Baca-Zacca IPA. “We always felt like dogs got bored sitting at breweries on a leash, so we decided they should have a good time as much as the owners,” Erica said.
9719 W. Coal Mine Ave. A, Littleton; coalmineavebrewing.com
Romero’s K9 Club & Tap House
Join Romero’s K9 Club in Lafayette by purchasing a day pass and registering your four-legged friend ahead of time so they can sniff their way through the outdoor biergarten off-leash. Or, if you like your pup close by, bring them to the year-round, enclosed pavilion.
985 S. Public Road, Lafayette; romerosk9club.com
Cerberus Brewing Company
Bringing your dog along with you to Pikes Peak or Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs? Stop by Cerberus Brewing Co. in Colorado Springs, recently ranked No. 33 on Yelp’s list of the Top 100 Dog-Friendly Places to Eat throughout the U.S. — the highest of any Colorado spots. The brewpub has a Puppy Patty on the menu, and the outdoor beer garden and patio are stocked with water bowls and treats.
702 W. Colorado Ave., Colorado Springs; cerberusbrewingco.com
New Terrain Brewing Company
New Terrain sits next door to the Tony Grampsas Dog Park in Golden, so once your dog has run out of steam, head over to the brewery to cool down and listen to live music on the patio, where leashed dogs are welcome.
16401 Table Mountain Parkway, Golden; newterrainbrewing.com
The Patio at Sloan’s
After a long walk around Sloan’s Lake, Fido won’t mind taking a nap at your feet while you sip on a Huckleberry Fizz at The Patio at Sloan’s and eat a buffalo chicken wrap. (Sneak them a few fries for being an extra good boy or girl.) The year-round outdoor patio allows pups on a leash, and the staff always has a clean water bowl on hand. Alternatively, you can pay for a bowl of bone broth for a special treat.
4032 W. 17th Ave., Denver; thepatioatsloans.com
Zuni Street Brewing
Zuni Street Brewing’s patios welcome all babies (human or fur). The family and dog-friendly taproom is the perfect spot to rehydrate in the middle of your walk around the LoHi neighborhood with water bowls, picnic tables and umbrellas to keep your pup cool.
2355 W. 29th Ave., Denver; zunistreet.com
Your dog will probably be the one dragging you to Improper City’s large outdoor turf area in RiNo, largely due to the delicious smell wafting from the many food trucks parked outside. As enticing as it is to play some fetch, they’ll have to stay on the leash while they make new friends.
3201 Walnut St., Denver; impropercity.com
LowDown Brewery + Kitchen
Voted No. 45 on Yelp’s Top 100 Dog-Friendly list, LowDown’s spacious outdoor patio has a dedicated area for pet-friendly tables. Known for its pizza and beer list, which has won accolades from The Great American Beer Festival, it’s the perfect spot for yappy hour.
800 Lincoln St., Denver; lowdownbrewery.com
Happy Dog Park & Taproom
Keep your eye out this fall for the opening of Happy Dog Park & Taproom in Jefferson Park. There will be a self-serve tap wall and a 5,000-square-foot artificial turf dog park for off-leash play. Regular visitors will have to purchase a membership for their dog for $35 a month.
2850 W. 26th Ave., Denver; happydogparkandbar.com
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