From breweries to ski-makers, visitors see how stuff is make in Colorado.
The Colorado Tourism Office released a list to remind Coloradans and visitors about the one-of-a-kind products made within the state. From the smaller stores and factories such as Honeyville Honey and SunCrest Orchards Alpacas, to such household names as Celestial Seasonings and Coors Brewery, Colorado is full of interesting factory tours. Below are a some places to see firsthand what’s behind the brands. After a tour, and learn what is involved, you’ll never take local products for granted again:
- Celestial Seasonings, Boulder. This was a pioneering and still remains one of the largest specialty tea manufacturers in North America. During free daily tours, visitors see where the teas are sourced and how the teas are made, packaged and distributed all over the world. A highlight: “The Mint Room.” In addition to the tour, guests can try free samples of teas, see original artwork for the boxes and purchase tea-related stuff from the gift shop.
- Coors Brewery Tour, Golden. Board a van in the visitors’ parking lot, parking lot, take a short ride through Golden to the world’s largest brewery for a free tour that includes a brief history of the business, the brewery process and some free samples of beer for those of legal age.
- Enstrom, Grand Junction. This family-owned candy store and factory began in 1929 and is famous for its almond toffee, made with the finest, freshest ingredients. Enstrom’s toffee, with their toffee popcorn, truffles and gourmet chocolate are now sold internationally, but the mother ship where visitors can they still hand-make their candy is at their store in Grand Junction.
- Fiesty Spirits, Fort Collins. The city’s first distillery was opened in 2012 by a team that remains committed to developing new and creative flavors using natural, organic ingredient. Take a free tour of the facility with one of the founders or the head distiller to get a truly behind-the-scenes look, sample something that is “in progress” during the tour and purchase a mixed cocktail in the tasting room to enjoy the finished product.
- Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy, Longmont. The Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy, Colorado’s first artisanal cheesery, offers a creamery tour showing how cheese is made. Spend an hour on the tour and cheese tasting. This one is not free but costs $10 per person.
- Honeyville, Durango. What began just north of Durango in the 1920s when a man was transferring his honey to town in a pickup has grown into now a company with beehives all across the Rocky Mountains. Honeyville not only makes some of the best honey in the state, but also uses the honey to enhance jams, jellies and its famous Cinnamon Whipped Honey. Visit the Honeyville Factory Store and country kitchen to see their live glass beehive and watch how the honey. With increased pesticide use causing worldwide colony collapse, it is especially important to see what’s involved in the bee biz.
- Infinite Monkey Thereom, Denver.This urban winery does not have a vineyard, but does have a great tour for visitors wanting to see how wine is made. The winery sources the majority of its grapes from the Western Slope and ships them to Denver to ferment, refine and bottle these award-winning Colorado wines. For $25, spend an hour with the tour guide learning about the winery and tasting plenty of quality wine, including their famous canned wine. Hang out in their Wine Lab after to continue tasting the wines.
- Meier Skis, Glenwood Springs. Meier Skis is the only ski manufacturer that utilizes 100% Colorado grown wood including High Alpine Aspen and Beetle Kill Pine (blue stain). Still completely handmade, Meier utilizes the highest quality materials and ski technology. This award- winning company has grown from the garage to their current factory in a mere five years. The factory tour includes a walk-through of the 3,000-square-foot factory with one of the crew who provides a detailed description of sourcing materials and ski-making. For those captivated by the concept and the process, there is an opportunity to purchase to purchase hand-made skis or other Meier gear on location.
- Moots Cycles Factory Tour, Steamboat Springs. Moots Cycles makes hand-crafted, high-performance titanium road, mountain and cyclocross bicycle frames. Free one-hour tours are offered every week so that guests can meet the crew and see how these high-quality bikes — or take a YouTube tour any time you wish.
- SunCrest Orchard Alpacas and Fiber Works, Palisade. Alpaca fiber is softer than cashmere and warmer than wool. SunCrest Orchard offers tours to show how yarn from alpaca fiber is spun into yarn at their mini-mill. Stop in the farm store afterwards to shop a wide array of products made on-site.