Denver – Coloradans take pride in the many one-of-a-kind products made within the state. From the smaller stores and factories such as Honeyville Honey and SunCrest Orchards Alpacas, to the well-known companies including Celestial Seasonings and Coors Brewery, Colorado is full of unique factory tours that are both educational and fun. Below are a few ideas on where to experience Colorado’s local products and see firsthand what it takes to make them so great. For more information, visit Colorado.com.
Celestial Seasonings (Boulder). Celestial Seasonings, one of the largest specialty tea manufacturers in North America, offers free daily tours. On the tour, visitors will see how their favorite Celestial Seasonings tea is made, packaged and distributed all over the world. Guests will learn where each ingredient comes from, and have the opportunity to experience “The Mint Room.” In addition to the tour, guests can try free samples of tea and purchase one-of-a-kind souvenirs from the gift shop.
Coors Brewery Tour (Golden). The world’s largest brewery, Coors Brewery, sits on the Clear Creek River in Golden, Colorado. After visitors are collected by vans in the parking lot and taken on a short drive through Golden, they can experience a free tour that includes a brief history of the business, the brewery process and some delicious samples of beer for those of legal age.
Enstrom (Grand Junction). This family-owned candy store, which began in 1929, is famous for its delicious almond toffee. Made with the finest, freshest ingredients, Enstroms toffee is now sold world-wide along with their toffee popcorn, truffles and gourmet chocolate. See how they make their hand-made candy at their store in Grand Junction.
Fiesty Spirits (Fort Collins). Fort Collins first distillery, Fiesty Spirits, opened in 2012 by a team who only use natural, organic ingredients and who always try making new and creative flavors. Take a free tour of their facility with one of the founders or the head distiller to get a truly behind-the-scenes look at the distillery. Sample something that is “in progress” during the tour and purchase a mixed cocktail in the Fiesty Spirits tasting room at the end to enjoy the finished product.
Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy (Longmont). Some of the best goat cheese in the state can be found at Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy. Their award-winning artisanal cheese making process can be experienced firsthand on their creamery tour. The tour and cheese tasting takes approximately one hour and includes an educational session about cheese making, a tour of our different make rooms, and a guided five-course technical cheese tasting. The fee for the tour is $10 per person.
Honeyville (Durango). What began in Durango in the 1920’s as a man transferring his honey in a pickup to town, is 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 their honey to enhance jams, jellies and even to make their famous Cinnamon Whipped Honey. Visit the Honeyville Factory Store to see their live glass beehive and watch how the honey is bottled in their country kitchen.
Infinite Monkey Thereom (Denver). As an urban winery, Infinite Monkey does not have a vineyard, but does have a great tour for visitors wanting to see how an urban winery works. The winery sources the majority of its grapes from the Western Slope and has them shipped to Denver where they make their delicious Colorado wine. 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 trying their variety of 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 world’s 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 Meier Factory tour includes walking through their 3,000 square foot factory with one of the crew and detailed description from how we source materials to how our skis are made. There is an opportunity to purchase your own pair of handmade skis or other Meier gear on location.
Moots Cycles Factory Tour (Steamboat Springs). Moots Cycles, a bike company located in Steamboat Springs, makes handcrafted, high performance, titanium road, mountain and cyclocross bicycle frames. Moots offers complimentary, one hour tours every week, year round, where guests can meet the crew and see how these high-quality bikes are made in the Moots facility located in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
Phoenix Gold Mine (Idaho Springs). Ever wondered what it was like to be a miner in the pioneer days? Phoenix Gold Mine was founded in 1871 and has rich history that highlights America’s pioneers and western spirit. Today, the mine offers tours that let visitors crawl through the tunnels and pan for gold. Other medals seen on the tour are Silver, Copper, Iron Pyrite and Tellurium. Tellurium is the medal used for solar panels, which the mine now uses for all of their energy.
SunCrest Orchard Alpacas and Fiber Works (Palisade). Alpaca fiber was once used to clothe royalty as it is a known to be softer than cashmere and warmer than wool. Clothes made from alpaca fiber can be found in Palisade at SunCrest Orchard where they offer tours to show visitors how yarn from alpaca fiber is spun. Meet the alpacas that provide the fiber and see how the fiber is turned into yarn at their mini mill. Stop in the farm store afterwards to shop a wide array of products made on-site.