We’re looking forward to another exciting year in the Colorado craft brewing scene, and we’re sure you are, too. Based on our recent experiences, we’re offering you our list of top breweries in the Fort Collins area that you shouldn’t miss in 2016. If you haven’t visited any of these beer havens… you must. In addition to the many popular, long-time breweries in Northern Colorado such as Odell Brewing Company and New Belgium, here are some lesser-known establishments that are quickly climbing the ranks, making great beer and being inventive all at the same time
Zwei Brewing - This place is making solid German styles that has us loving a simple Pilsner again, importing most of their ingredients straight from Germany. Zwei is also inventing some great new experimental ales as well. Find them on tap in the taproom or keep your eye out for frequent beer release parties. Our favorite was being there for the Oktoberfest release party. The Oktoberfest Marzen style is a must try and will almost surely be back again this fall.
WeldWerks - Just one beer needs to be highlighted here at this Greeley brewery…the Cherry Gose (pronounced “Gosuh”). Weldwerks’ beers are all solid, but the Cherry Gose is a great beer for that person who says, “I don’t like beer.” That may be true, but we challenge these people to say that don’t like THIS beer in particular.
Jessup Farm Barrel House - Barrel aging is the focus here, where the brewers use a variance of casks from bourbon, wine and tequila to give any standard style of beer some new characteristics. The brewing is done on the first floor of the barn as you walk in and the very unique taproom and bar is on the second floor. Jessup Farm has us looking forward to trying new beers mixed with unique flavors. Also, an artisan marketplace is right next door.
City Star Brewing - For several years now we’ve occasionally made a point to go out of our way to get to this little brewery in Berthoud. You’ll feel like you’ve travelled back in time to an Old West saloon located in the historic downtown area. Try beers like “Cowboy’s Golden,” “Six Shooter Pale,” and the “All American IPA.” This brewery also experiments with different flavors and styles that have caught on with craft beer lovers, and beers like the “Raspberry Bandit” (a raspberry brown ale) has been spotted in local Fort Collins bars and taprooms.
Horse & Dragon Brewing - Their “Sad Panda”, a coffee stout, makes us happy for sure. You can find a lot of quality experimental beer here and there’s always something for everyone to enjoy. A laid-back vibe gives this a good destination to grab a few brews and just chill for a while. Once you wind your way back through the maze of streets near the old airport, you can’t miss this place because it’s the only red building on the whole block.
High Hops Brewery - Another destination brewery, this establishment is located in Windsor adjacent to the Windsor Gardner west of town. A recently expanded taproom has a great assortment of beers that have an eye for inventiveness and boldness. One of the best views of the Colorado mountains is seen from on their patio, and you can watch the hops grow while the sun is going down. For all you hop-heads out there, give “Dr. Pat’s IPA” a try. Don’t be afraid to try new things here. You won’t regret it.
We hope you enjoy our recommendations and that they enrich your craft beer experience in Colorado. If you have any comments or suggestions, please visit our Facebook and Twitter pages and share your thoughts with us.