Fort Collins is perfectly nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains with fresh snowmelt running off into the Cache la Poudre River making it an ideal place for brewing some of the nation’s best beer. Fort Collins is the largest producer of craft beer (70%, in fact) in Colorado (ironic for a town that was “dry” until 1969). Currently, the city is home to more than 20 craft breweries, the most microbreweries in the state, each with its own distinctive style, including one of the world’s largest operations, as well as a leader in eco-friendly and sustainable business practices. To get a taste of award-winning lagers, pilsners and ales year-round, take part of some brewery tours and a wild variety of taster trays, even spend a few days to taste them all! You can access more information about each brewery at Colorado Front Range, by contacting them directly or by taking our Foam on the Range Brewery Tour.
Summertime brings sunshine and beer to brewery patios, not to mention several beer festivals, including the annual Colorado Brewers’ Festival showcasing nearly 100 beers from over 50 breweries in the state of Colorado during the last weekend of June. As the oldest annual brewfest in Colorado, this Old Town event has been open solely to Colorado breweries for over the past 25 years. Other beer festivals, beer dinners, races, and events happen throughout the year to celebrate the local bounty of award-winning beers.
A large percentage of Fort Collins breweries are located within historic Downtown, including industry leaders New Belgium Brewing and gold medal winning Odell Brewing Company, all within walking and bicycling distance making visiting them easy to do on one trip. The beer lover can also take guided tours providing insider knowledge plus transportation between each brewery making for a perfect beer day. Fort Collins has experienced a boom in brewery growth in the past decade, bringing breweries to all areas of the city, including South Fort Collins, Midtown and the CSU campus. And, don’t forget about the memorable experience of seeing the Budweiser Clydesdales while visiting the huge Anheuser-Busch Brewery campus just north of town.
Fort Collins produces beers of every type, including a local passion for IPAs, tasty stouts, collaboration ales between all breweries, and extremely drinkable wheat beers. These passions make Fort Collins a perfect beer lovers’ and homebrewers’ paradise. Brewing stores offer hard to find hops, malts, tools of the trade and experts to consult.
Bicycles have a close relationship to the beer in Fort Collins with New Belgium Brewing Company’s affinity for bicycles, including the annual Tour de Fat bike parade & festival, bike and beer tours, keg delivery by bicycle, bike paths linking breweries together, and a bike rental program through the Fort Collins Bike Library.
If you want to see the inner workings of the brewing process you can sign up to take free brewery tours at Odell Brewing Company, Fort Collins Brewery, New Belgium Brewing Company and Anheuser-Busch Brewery. Bottling and canning lines, sustainable practices, water and green energy initiatives and tasting insights are all part of what you learn on the tours.
Now set out on your taste bud adventure to some of these high quality Fort Collins breweries!
Can’t Get Enough Beer? Find the full Colorado Front Range Brewery brochure here!
1933 Brewing Company is located along the south Mason Street corridor and named the brewery in honor of the year the U.S. ended prohibition. Brewing quality craft beers including flagship brews and rotating taps with seasonal and specialty beers in a fun and friendly tap room. (4025 South Mason St.)
Anheuser-Busch Brewing Co. Embark on a comprehensive tour of the Budweiser brewing and bottling process, visit the world-famous Clydesdale horses, pick up some souvenirs in the extensive gift shop and take a little time to lounge in the outdoor Biergarten. (2351 Busch Dr. – North of Fort Collins)
Black Bottle Brewery, a place where home brewing turned successful brewery with beers like “Hipster” and “The Last Unicorn” making this taproom a midtown hub of great tastes and cool culture. Offering a wide selection of seasonal and cellar beers as well as four flagship brews, Black Bottle Brewery has something for everyone. (1611 South College Ave. #1609)
C.B. & Potts Restaurant & Brewery has been a Colorado Front Range tradition since 1974. Featuring quality food, award winning beverages and medal-winning craft-brewed ales and lagers in a casual family-friendly atmosphere with two locations in Fort Collins. (1415 West Elizabeth St. & 1441 Harmony Rd.)
CooperSmith’s Pub and Brewing is the perfect place for a bite to eat with your brews. Opening in November of 1989, CooperSmith’s is the longest operating brewery in Fort Collins, opening just two weeks before Odell Brewing Co., and is an anchor business in historic downtown. Their specialty beers such as Albert Damm Bitter and Punjabi India Ale are served in the English tradition, dispensed from hand-drawn “Beer Engines” that pull in nitrogen from the atmosphere to give the beer a nice creamy head. (#5 Old Town Square)
Equinox Brewing is inspired by the balance and intrigue of the equinox and the changing of seasons, which brings a dynamic twist to their beers. Traditional styles, innovation and honoring history all while respecting each distinctive ingredient is Equinox’s approach to the brewing creative process. A cozy outdoor patio that is always buzzing, live music and very tasty brews makes this a must stop. Enjoy many rotating selections and special firkin tapping every Thursday (133 Remington St.)
Fort Collins Brewery & Tavern is a family-owned, handcrafted microbrewery and full-service restaurant that was established in 2003. FCB offers a diverse line-up of 50 ales and lagers that can be found on tap as well as in bottles throughout the U.S. Their philosophy is “Create Share Savor”, which results in the creation of high-quality craft beer and artisanal dishes, to share with friends and family, and to savor the experience! (1020 East Lincoln Ave)
Funkwerks focuses primarily on Saisons, with fruity aromas, and often offers drier profiles which become wonderful summer beers made by the masters. Funkwerks has won many medals in the past 5 years, and in 2012 The Great American Beer Festival named them “Small Brewing Company of the Year”. Their “Deceit”, Belgian-Style Golden Strong beer was awarded a silver medal in 2014 at the World Beer Cup. Refreshing and award-winning, a must stop along your tour. (1900 East Lincoln Ave)
Horse and Dragon Brewing Co. is one of Fort Collins’ newer breweries, but they are not new to the art of brewing beer with skilled master brewer and owners with years of beer industry experience. Their motto is: work & family, hops & malt, Horse & Dragon. They craft high-quality, great-tasting beers sustainably while building community in the heart of Northern Colorado. (124 Racquette Dr.)
The Jessup Farm Barrel House is extremely unique thanks in part to the brewery being housed in a 133-year-old, 3,000 square-foot restored barn that sits on the 13-acre Jessup Farm Artisan Village. The Barrel House is known for blending beers with barrels used for wine, bourbon and other specialty barrel-aged beer in order to create intricate flavors derived from the attributes of those barrels. (1921 Jessup Dr.)
McClellan’s Brewing Company a newer brewery in Fort Collins focusing on “creamier, smoother” European cask-style ales. These non-carbonated ales are “similar to nitrogen fed beer” like Guinness. (1035 South Taft Hill Rd.)
New Belgium Brewing Co. In 1991, Jeff Lebesch and Kim Jordan home brewed a version of ales Jeff had sampled while bicycling through Belgium. After over 25 years in the business, the brewery is recognized as the 4th-largest brewer of craft beer in the nation. The Fort Collins brewery now has a capacity of 150,000 barrels per year, opened an east coast brewery and Fat Tire Ale continues to sweep the nation. On top of their nine year-round-brews, including Fat Tire Amber Ale, sour beer collection, a special Lips of Faith beer series, seasonal beers and a Hop Kitchen beer collection, New Belgium is also known for its environmental stewardship. The Fort Collins location, fondly known as The Mothership, offers a glimpse into one the country’s most popular breweries. (500 Linden St.)
Odell Brewing Co. has the honor of being the first ‘packaging craft brewery’ in Fort Collins after opening its doors just two weeks after Coopersmith’s Brew Pub, the first brewery pub in Fort Collins. Home brewer Doug Odell opened his craft brewery in November 1989. In addition to their original 90 Shilling, a rich amber ale, Odell’s popular brews include Easy Street Wheat, a Gold Medal Winner at the 2005 Great American Beer Festival; 5 Barrel Pale Ale; Levity Golden Amber and Isolation Ale, available from November to March. A go-to brewery for locals and visitors, this taproom has been expanded to keep up with demand. Live music, food trucks and a warm fire pit also make the Odell patio a regional destination. (800 East Lincoln Ave.)
Pateros Creek Brewery is a brewery that embraces and celebrates Fort Collins history (Thus inspiring their name) making it is home to local favorites such as Old Town Ale and Car 21 named after our historic Birney trolley car. On summer nights you’ll find their patio filled with live music and a local food truck. Annually they host Stevetoberfest, where everyone with the name Steve (and its derivatives including Stephanie) receive their first beer for free! (242 North College Ave.)
Prost Brewing is one of the first companies/breweries in Fort Collins to have an alley entrance for patrons, making it quite unique. This alleyway taproom is a homecoming of sorts for the Denver-based craft brewery thanks in part to Prost Brewing having an ownership team composed of multiple CSU alumnus. The Gold-medal-winning brewery makes German-style lagers exclusively and serves them in a Bavarian-themed taproom. Prost will only be serving its own beers at the Fort Collins satellite location, and for the time being, every beer will be brewed at the Denver location and delivered to Fort Collins. (321 Old Firehouse Alley, behind Illegal Pete’s)
Rally King Brewing – A newer brewery to the Fort Collins beer landscape, Rally King is dedicated to helping its fans get through life’s ups and downs, Rally King Brewing offers English and Belgium styles as well many others. (1624 East Lemay Ave #4)
Ramskeller Pub & Grub, housed at Colorado State University, the bar was originally established in 1968, and after a long rich history it got a huge upgrade in 2014 and now has plans in the works to have full scale brewing operation for students of the Fermentation Science and Technology Program in fall of 2016. Stop by for a beer today, enjoy live music and a feeling of those old college days! (Lory Student Center First Floor, CSU Campus)
Snowbank Brewing – A departure from the traditional brewery, Snowbank Brewing focuses on innovation and a passion for the Colorado lifestyle. Beers are named for the wonderful Colorado landscape and made from Colorado snowmelt. (225 North Lemay Ave #1)
Soul Squared Brewery is a true farm-based brewery located in northern Fort Collins. Focused on distinct, high quality, small-batch beer, they offer brews with the freshest and highest-quality local ingredients possible including the hops that are grown on premises. (Served in Local taverns and available for purchase only)
Three Four Beer Company is a brewpub with 49 tap handles featuring some of the best beers from around the world, including several offerings produced onsite on their small, but powerful 3 barrel brew house. Delicious food and an extensive draft, bottle and cellar lists are available to enjoy. (829 South Shields St.)
Zwei Brewing Co. is focused on German beers and the great heritage of Old World brewing. These ideals and passions have helped inspire their flagship beer line as well as their rotating taps. Embracing key German styles have lead to lots of exciting beers at Zwei Brewing! (4612 South Mason St. #120)