It really depends on where you’re staying the night in Durango. But let’s say for a moment that you’re staying on the north side of town, somewhere on the 550 headed to Silverton. As you enter the city limits from the west, you’ll want to stop at the mecca of craft beer in Durango, Ska Brewing. Comparable to Left Hand Brewing in Longmont, and rivaling other such Front Range greats as Great Divide, Avery and Odell, Ska is worth the entire 350 mile drive from Denver. They have incredible standards regularly on-tap, and a handful of tasty small batches like an Orange Cream Stout and a Fresh-Hopped IPA.
From Ska, if you must leave, make your way downtown and enjoy both Carver Brewing and Steamworks (if you didn’t already stop at the Steamworks back in Bayfield). Catch dinner at the all incredible Himalayan Kitchen, food from Tibet and Nepal finely crafted by the same chef that runs our cherished eatery in Pasadena, California. It’s a lovely refuge and break from beer drinking. Everything is delicious, but you can’t go wrong by ordering Chicken Masala, Garlic Naan, and tasty Samosas.
Once full of food and downtown beer, grab a nightcap at Durango Brewing Company. They’ve got classic standards with some lovely seasonal taps, and they sport one of my favorite brewery logos in the state. After this weekend of beer drinking, you may want to head home. Or if the weather is good, it’s nearly impossible to avoid heading north, (if you didn’t come from this direction already), deeper into the San Juans for more beer in Silverton, Ouray and Ridgeway, or Dolores and Telluride. But that’s for another couple days of exploring.
Outside of the San Juans, there are many great breweries along the seven hour drive to Durango from Denver that we feature on this website. For some additional beer exploring on your way to Durango, check out the drives in the Central Mountains, (especially the Arkansas River area), and the thriving beer scene in the San Luis Valley where the Great Sand Dunes reign. The possibilities are endless, but a multi-day trip to this part of the state for beer and scenery is worth every moment and every penny of gas.
Top food picks for Durango: