Fort Collins Colorado Beers

Fort Collins, Colorado sure knows how to host a beer enthusiast. I found myself visiting in early Fall on the first day of a Hiking, Biking and Beer Adventure and was thoroughly impressed. After getting setup with rental bicycles from Full Cycle, a small group of us set out on the bike paths to check out the town and visit a few breweries.

As would be the case in almost every town we visited, bike paths were readily accessible and easy to use. Not to mention the mountain bike I got had front shocks and seemed to roll almost without effort. A far cry from the single speed rusty beater I keep chained up in the basement back at home. After a few mellow paths winding through town we stopped for the first of many awesome beers that Colorado has to offer.

Funkwerks has been making beer since 2009 and a few days after our visit would go on to be named GABF 2012¬†Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year (Funkwerks, Fort Collins, CO,¬†Funkwerks Brewing Team). It was easy to see how they earned this as we sat out front in the sun sampling a variety of their Belgian inspired beer (pics below). They seem most well known for their Saison and I couldn’t help be reminded of Ommegang in a weird way.

Odell Brewing Company
After sampling a few brews at Funkwerks we decided to jump back on the bikes and head over to Odell Brewing Company. Odell has been around since 1989 and has the distinction of being the 2nd microbrewery in Colorado. I was blown away by the large open layout of their bar and brewing facility, the hop cone bike rack designs and of course the beer. We were a group of 9 and in a hurry so the executive decision was made to order a flight of every beer they had and share among the group. Naturally I neglected to take the detailed notes I knew I would not remember but lets just say it lived up to the Colorado reputation of quality craft beer. From there it was off for a full tour of the #3 craft brewery by volume – New Belgium Brewing.

New Belgium Brewing Company
I’ve been to my fair share of brewery tours, but New Belgium takes the cake. After as many types of samples as could be desired, we grabbed our beers and got the grand tour from Michael – one of the employee-owners. You could feel the pride and commitment from everyone we came across during the tour and I was blown away by the sheer pace of their growth. The whole story is on their website and let’s just say I found myself daydreaming of working there myself.