Candy makers, tea blenders, whiskey distillers, wine makers and beer brewers around Colorado create edibles and drinkables to be delightfully indulged in. See how these products are made with behind-the-scenes factory tours at favorite names.
This nationally recognized tea company was born in 1969 when a group of young Boulder locals began harvesting, drying, blending and selling herbs from the Rocky Mountains at nearby health-food stores.
Tours of Celestial Seasonings are offered Monday through Saturday 10 am-4 pm and Sunday 11 am-3 pm. During the free, 45-minute experience, senses will be treated with herbal tastes and smells, highlighted by a visit to the peppermint room and tea samples. 4600 Sleepytime Dr., Boulder, 303.530.5300
Visit the candy-making production lines of a sweets factory that has been in operation through the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, the disco era, and into the 21st century. Today, Hammond’s Candies is the nation’s largest handmade candy company, producing such sweets as lollipops, candy canes, taffy, ribbon candies, chocolates and more.
No reservations are required and tours are free, running every half hour Monday through Friday 9 am-3 pm and Saturday 10 am-3 pm. After the 30-minute guided tour through the factory, be sure to check out the “Oops” room for heavily discounted candies that failed Hammond’s Candies high-quality standards in the packaging room but taste just as sweet. 5735 N. Washington St., Denver, 888.226.3999
Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey
A fire at George Stranahan‘s barn and the response by volunteer firefighter Jess Graber united these two men who later went on to open Stranahan‘s Colorado Whiskey. The small-batch distillery focuses on flavor and smoothness using ingredients from the Colorado Rockies for a 94-proof whiskey.
Take a one-hour, guided tour through the production brewhouse, still house, rack house and bottling room, and sample the fruits of Stranahan’s labor; VIP tours also available. Tours are offered several times each day of the week except on Tuesdays; reservations are highly recommended. 200 S. Kalamath St., Denver, 303.296.7440
The Infinite Monkey Theorem
This downtown Denver winery’s hip and urban vibe is shown through its innovative canned and kegged wine offerings and the name itself. The Infinite Monkey Theorem is based on the theory that if a monkey sat at a typewriter, it would eventually type the works of Shakespeare and there’s no proof that this would be untrue—much like the company’s view of the infinite variables of wine making.
Learn about The Infinite Monkey Theorem and the wine-making process through a one-hour tour and tasting for $25 per person, Thursday through Saturday 4 pm and 6 pm; reservations are recommended. 3200 Larimer St., Denver, 303.736.8376
MillerCoors Coors Brewery
Colorado has an extensive list of breweries based in its cities and mountain towns—many of which claiming national and international status in the beer-making industry. Though names like Great Divide, Avery, Left Hand, New Belgium, and Odell also offer brewery tours, the Coors Brewery tour may be the place to begin, since its first barrel was tapped at the originally named Golden Brewery back in 1873.
The self-paced tour lasts approximately 30 minutes and takes visitors through the history of the company and the malting, brewing and packaging processes—complete with brew samples in the chilled fresh-beer room. Open daily during the summer; closed Tuesday-Wednesday in the winter. Call ahead to confirm hours. 13th & Ford streets, Golden, 303.277.2337