Hyatt Regency Denver creates microbrewery tour By Laura Del Rosso / October 04, 2004 Share 1 -- DENVER -- Move over, Milwaukee. The Mile-High City is making claims that it is the beer-making capital of the U.S. The Coors Brewery, founded in 1873 in Golden, a suburb of Denver, is famous as the largest single brewery in the world, using the natural spring water from the Rockies in the brewing process. But thats not the sole reason for Denvers claim as the beer-making capital.Microbreweries specializing in a variety of beers have been sprouting up in the city -- and all over Colorado -- for the last couple of decades.In fact, Colorado now ranks first in the nation in beer production per capita and second in the number of breweries in the state, according to the Colorado Tourism Office.There are about 90 breweries in Colorado, offering a huge variety of beers, from wheat to stout, said Dick Kreck, a Denver Post columnist who is known as Mr. Beer.There is a young and upwardly mobile population here, willing to try different beer styles and, not incidentally, pay the higher price tag for the privilege, he said.The city also hosts the annual Great American Beer Festival, the largest of its kind in the U.S.Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, who opened Denvers first brewpub, Wynkoop Brewing Co., in 1988, likes to call Colorado the Napa Valley of Beer. The Wynkoop Brewing Co. is one of the stops on a Microbrew Walking Tour of downtown Denver, created by the Hyatt Regency Denver.The tour, which visits many of the award-winning breweries in the city, was designed by Kreck. It is a self-guided tour that enables hotel guests to wander at their leisure, sampling beers at various microbreweries and pubs downtown.Many [microbreweries] are within easy walking distance of the hotel, said John Schafer, the Hyatts general manager. This tour showcases Denvers attractions such as Coors Field, the Denver Center for Performing Arts, Denver Pavilions and Sixteenth Street Mall.The tour includes a pint of beer at Breckenridge Brewery, two pints at the Denver Chop House, two pints at Rock Bottom Brewery and two pints at Wynkoop.The $99 package includes an overnight stay at the Hyatt Regency, a $10 coupon for the hotels restaurant and the tour with beer samplings. The package is offered on weekends throughout the year, subject to availability. To book, call (800) 233-1234.To contact reporter Laura Del Rosso, send e-mail to email@example.com.The Perfect Itinerary: ColoradoHome-based FIT specialist shares her familys favorite Pat Thomas, owner of Personal Travel Planner in Sterling, Mass., spent 30 years managing travel agencies in Massachusetts before becoming a home-based agent. She specializes in FIT vacations throughout the world. Thomas recently spent a week traveling through Colorado with her family. Every turn in the road is spectacular in this itinerary.Day 1Fly into Colorado Springs and pick up your rental car. Take the three-hour drive to Alamosa and overnight at the Alamosa Inn. Enjoy dinner at the True Grit Steak House.Day 2Get an early start on the day and drive to the Great Sand Dunes National Monument, where you will see 30 square miles of the tallest sand dunes in North America at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Drive three hours to Mesa Verde National Park. Stay inside the park at the Far View Lodge for two nights. Dine in the hotels upscale dining room.Day 3Sign-up begins at 8 a.m. at the Mesa Verde Visitor Center for the daily guided tours of the Anasazi cliff dwellings, which date from the 13th century and are some of the worlds largest and best-preserved testaments to ancient civilization. There are also several areas to explore on your own. Dine in the casual cafeteria near the visitor center.Day 4Drive to Telluride by way of Durango, Silverton and Ouray on Route 550. This is the most spectacular road in Colorado with more than 100 miles of roads and scenic mountain passes. Silverton is a charming town situated at an altitude of 9,000 feet with a 100-year-old town center complete with a stagecoach and a narrow-gauge railway. Ouray is known as the Little Switzerland of America, and Telluride, situated at the end of a box canyon with gingerbread homes, is lovely. Spend the night at the Wyndham Peaks Resort in Mountain Village and take the gondola over the mountain to Telluride for dinner at Rustico. The return ride under the stars is magical.Day 5Get an early start for the five-hour drive to Aspen via the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument. The Black Canyon was so named because little sunlight can penetrate its depth. Arrive in Aspen at the Molly Gibson Lodge in the center of town. Enjoy dinner at the Mother Lode restaurant.Days 6 and 7Drive or take the shuttle up to Maroon Bells Recreation Area, the most photographed scene in the state. Wildflower meadows surround Maroon Lake with the Maroon Bells mountain peaks in the background. Drive three hours to Denver and stay at the Gregory Inn bed-and-breakfast for two nights. Located in the citys Lodo section, its within walking distance of Laramer Square and most attractions. Dining at Tiramisu Restaurante Italiano or the Broker is recommended.Day 8After a gourmet breakfast at the Gregory Inn, drive to Colorado Springs. Enter the Air Force Academy at the north entrance and visit the beautiful chapel there. Drive through the Garden of the Gods, a geologic oddity of red Morrison sandstone formed 300 million years ago. Some spires rise 300 feet from the garden floor. To end your vacation in style, dine in the Charles Court and spend the night at the Broadmore Hotel.