What Makes Colorado-Style Pizza So Unique?

Located in a grand historic building on Miner's Street in Idaho Springs – once the epicenter of the Colorado Gold Rush, per the Idaho Springs town website — BeauJo's is a local culinary legend. The Gazette reports that Chris Bair, a Minnesota transplant, came to Colorado to attend the University of Colorado in Boulder but changed his fate when he purchased a small pizzeria in Idaho Springs from Beau and Joann, the former proprietors, for just $8000 in 1973. Bair was only 25 at the time, but he had a vision that continues today.

Idaho Springs was a sleepy town just 30 minutes west of Denver on I-70, the thoroughfare to the Rockies. Its location between two high-elevation mountain passes makes it a popular stop along the long road to the resort towns for winter and summer tourists. These days, Idaho Springs has become popular with tourists in its own right as a historical zone, a boutique shopping and dining spot, a white water rafting hub, and a gateway to summer and winter adventure sports and sightseeing. Don't forget about the famed Indian Hot Springs spa and pool. The hot springs were an early draw for Native Americans, miners, and settlers.  

The Gazette reveals that the entrepreneurial Bair put his vision to work and transformed the pizzeria, christening it Mountain Pies by BeauJo's Colorado Style Pizza, or BeauJo's for short. Like so many lucky gold miners before him, Bair struck gold with his innovative Colorado-style pizzas, properly dubbed the Colorado Mountain Pie.

A menu full of delicious, unique options

BeauJo's website shares that the Colorado Mountain Pie is a unique pizza because of its singular rolled crust, which is made with honey. These days, there are two versions on the menu which are both freshly prepared each morning: white flour made with honey and whole wheat made with agave. Every pie is made to order, starting with the type of crust. Once the dough-of-choice is flattened into a thin circle, the edges are rolled like a braid, creating an inches thick frame around a well deep enough for ample portions of the dozens of available premium toppings. This crunchy on the outside- doughy on the inside crust is BeauJo's Colorado Mountain Pie signature. You'll find squirt bottles of honey on every table alongside requisite jars of parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes, and BeauJo's suggests drizzling the crisp crust ends with honey for "a built-in dessert."  

Fully-loaded Colorado Mountain Pies are sold by the pound: one pound is six slices, two pounds is eight slices, three pounds is ten slices, and five pounds is twelve slices. Colorado Mountain Pies aren't thick and gooey in the middle like a Chicago-style pizza, but they are just as filling.

Don't miss out on the Colorado Mountain Pie

Pizza lovers crave adventurous pizza styles, so BeauJo's offers dozens of menu options including a generous salad bar housed in two vintage claw-foot bathtubs filled to the brim with ice. There is a huge build-you-own topping list complete with eight types of sauce, eleven meats, two meatless meats, seven cheese selections including vegan cheese, and more than a dozen vegetable and fruit toppings. BeauJo's is more than its classic Colorado Mountain Pie. It has a New York-style thin crust Prairie Pie without a rolled crust, along with gluten-free crust and cauliflower crust options. According to the menu, BeauJo's prides itself on using local ingredients where it can and also serves four scrumptious salads, sandwiches, seasonal delights, calzones, and appetizers, and has a full-service bar for soft drinks and adult beverages.

BeauJo's Idaho Springs still has a distinctly 70s mountain-town vibe with ski and mining kitsch décor, blonde wood paneling and exposed brick walls, and rough-hewn wooden chairs and tables, and the multi-story historic building can seat 700 guests at once. BeauJo's has locations along Colorado's Front Range metropolitan area, including restaurants in Evergreen, LoneTree, Ft. Collins, and Arvada, and has one restaurant on the western slope of the Continental Divide, in ski town Steamboat Springs. If you are craving a Colorado Mountain Pie but can't make the trip to Colorado, BeauJo's delivers nationwide with Gold Belly.