When Anheuser-Busch opened the doors to their Fort Collins Brewery in 1988, they opened the doors to the beginning of a craft beer culture in the Northern Front Range cities. Since then, Fort Collins’ craft beer industry has grown exponentially, with the popularity of some locally made beers spreading nationwide. New Belgium Brewing, known for the success of their Amber Ale, Fat Tire, was born in the basement of a Fort Collins home in 1991. Currently, the city is home to 14 locally owned and operated breweries. In fact, Fort Collins’ thriving brewery industry was recognized in a recent study by economists at Trulia, in the article “America’s Best Beer Towns for Celebrating Oktoberfest.” Fort Collins received a 95.8 out of 100 Oktoberfest index, ranking it third in the country. The city was edged out of the top two spots by Traverse City, MI with an Oktoberfest index of 100, and Bend, OR with an Oktoberfest index of 97.9.
The index is the cumulative result of a total number of breweries, breweries per 10,000 households, total number of bars, total number of bottle shops and percentage of German-Americans in residence for a given area. Boulder, CO, just south of Fort Collins, also made the list with an Oktoberfest Index of 94.7. Simply put, Fort Collins, has become an attractive place for beer loving home buyers all over the country, because it has a great place in almost every neighborhood to taste local concoctions.
Trulia notes that, “Of the top 10 metros with the highest concentration of breweries, most are in places with mountains, cold-winter weather, or pine forests.” With cities like Missoula, MT, and Portland, OR, rounding out the top 10, and Denver placing 14 on the list. It’s easy to draw the conclusion that one must head to places that resemble the Bavarian landscape, to taste a variety of great craft brews. Although many Fort Collins Oktoberfest celebrations have wrapped up, tourists and Fort Collins residents alike will be looking for a place to satiate their thirst in the upcoming holiday months. What better place to get their fill of fine craft beer than local favorite Odell Brewing Company? Try their delicious ale “90 Shilling.” Or, for those desiring a quintessential German style bier go to Zwei Brewing for their award-winning Helles crafted by owners Kirk and Eric Lombardi.