Best of the West 2014 — Critics’ Choices

Published on: February 25th, 2014

DRINKS

BEST WAREHOUSE DRINKING: 303 VODKA, J&L DISTILLING, REDSTONE MEADERY

303 Vodka – Never tell a proud Polish man that he can’t make whiskey from potatoes. That’s how 303 Vodka was born.

J&L Distilling – Layers of flavor, and far from moonshine. Come taste the wares of a physicist and chemical engineer.

Redstone Meadery – Ancient Greeks knew how to party, and there’s a reason honey wine was the nectar of the Gods. Try some with a truffle.

HAPPIEST BARISTAS: BREWING MARKET COFFEE

Like snowflakes, each of the five Brewing Market locations is unique, built for truffle lovers, wine aficionados, or those in need of a study sesh. Happy customers = happy baristas! Multiple locations

HARDEST TRIVIA: GEEKS WHO DRINK

Ever wish you could beam yourself into an episode of The Big Bang Theory? Drop in and meet “Geeks” who could make Alex Trebek cry. Can you hang with the big dogs? ‘Cuz you don’t get points for naming all the Spice Girls. Multiple locations

BEST CIDER: THE OLD MINE

Made in-house using only apples, pure cane sugar and yeast, this three-year-old recipe is hands down the best hard cider around. Paired with the cute mustachioed glassware, it’s made our YS staff into regulars. 500 Briggs St, Erie

BEST COCKTAILS: MARTINI’S BISTRO

Kept in the small cubby bar of Martini’s Bistro is a bartendar. This man, Stefan, has created about half the drinks on the list, each one better than the last. Best part? Your martini comes with an extra half in the shaker. 543 Terry St, Longmont

RETAIL

CANDIE’S VINTAGE CLOTHING: CHOICE PLACE FOR A WIG
Need a boa? Maybe a tiara? This is your one-stop shop for theme parties, dances, theater night, um…drag night? Enjoy this collection of traditional and flashy wigs that would make Lady Gaga green with envy. 2512 Broadway St, Boulder

COOLEST BABY STUFF: ELIZABETH’S EMBELLISHMENTS

The French-cottage inspired merchandise and collective scents of perfume and body butter make this place ooze femininity and romance. Caution: Their baby room might make you want to have a child. 611 S Public Rd, Lafayette

BEST PLACE TO BUY IN BULK: SIMPLY BULK

From the moment you walk in the door, you’ll be tempted by everything you could want—cereal, trail mix, coffee, spices—in barrels and bins. Owner Phil Bratty brings 30-plus years of grocery business experience to his bulk-only store that allows you to take home (and pay for) only as much as you need. 418 Main St, Longmont

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