#fortcollinsbeer – PorchDrinking.com
Odell Brewing Co. is back with their annual Small Batch Festival, one of the more laid-back and downright pleasant beer festivals you could hope to attend this spring. Despite their recent expansion to Denver’s RiNo district, the festival is staying true to its roots and will occur at their original Fort Collins site. (It’s hard to argue with that logic, since the back patio at their Fort Collins brewery is routinely touted as the best place to enjoy a beer in the entire city.) On Saturday, May 25th, festival-goers will get to enjoy over 40 different Odell beers, live music on two stages, and a round-up of local food trucks. Tickets cost $40 and get you four 6-oz pours of a wide variety of Odell classics, rarities, and special firkin tappings.
Maxline Brewing in Fort Collins is making a name for itself as the most dog-friendly place in town. The brewery typically hosts a fundraiser at least once a month; those fundraisers are almost always pup-centric. Puppy adoptions with a local shelter are also scheduled at least once a month and their patio is a haven for all sorts of four-legged friends. So when Terri Lee Bolles was brainstorming about where to hold the first fundraiser for her non-profit, Project Mental Health Freedom (PMHF), it was a no-brainer.
Many craft beer fans are apt to consider Fort Collins, Colorado as integral to the genesis of America’s craft beer boom. It’s not uncommon to hear this northern Colorado town described as the “Napa Valley of Craft Beer.” With this in mind, it is understandable that the introduction of any new brewery could prove challenging. It is an even more daunting task then to bring an established brewery from a foreign country and set up the first state-side shop in the former lot where long-time beer veterans Fort Collins Brewery stood (FCB was acquired by the Vancouver brewery last year). While a hefty endeavor indeed, the crew at Red Truck Beer Company relished the idea of such a challenge.
The Vancouver brewery opened the doors to the Truck Stop, their Fort Collins location, on August 17; they did not disappoint. We had the chance to discuss the opening with general manager, Laird Mulderink, who shared the process behind the opening. We also spoke with head brewer Shaun Salyards, previously of Fort Collins Brewery and Snowbank Brewing, who provided insight on the 18 (yes, 18) beers on tap.
Here in Colorado, it’s the beginning of the season for patio sitting, flip flop wearing, and summer time imbibing. The abundance of sunshine has got me in vacation mode and not just any kind of vacation mode—the kind where you sink your toes in the sand and smell the salt in the air. Sadly, I won’t be embarking on such a vacation anytime soon but Funkwerk’s Pineapple Provincial, paired with a tiny umbrella, will take you on a tropical vacation one delicious sip at at time.
Mainline Ale House is Fort Collins’ answer to many of the gastropubs and taphouses across the country. Good food, a wide selection of beers and artisan cocktails and a casual environment make Mainline a popular spot for the craft connoisseurs and foodies in Northern Colorado. That is why Mainline has become notorious for their beer-pairing dinners, incorporating local breweries from Fort Collins and creating a menu that highlights the restaurant’s food as well as the beers created by the local brewmasters. This Thursday, February 22 at 7 pm, Mainline will host one of these special beer dinner pairings with the team over at Snowbank Brewing Company.
Fort Collins is what some would consider the genesis of craft beer. Names like Odell, New Belgium, 90 Schilling and Fat Tire are synonymous with the craft beer movement and the renaissance of delicious drinks that have flooded the United States in recent years. The volume of newcomers to the brewing scene increases while the available real estate decreases, meaning it can be hard to set your new entry into the game apart from the rest. Rookies and veterans alike are trying to poke their heads out of a large crowd, which leads to the question: what separates a brewery from all the rest? That is a question McClellan’s Brewing Company has begun to answer.
On Thursday, October 26 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. friends, family, and Fort Collins community members will come together to raise money for a CSU Ram family in need. Hosted by New Belgium Brewing and Colorado State University at the New Belgium Porch at CSU’s football stadium, this Thursday’s “Happy Hour on the Porch” will be donated to CSU Associate Athletic Director Doug Max and his family who suffered a devastating loss recently when a fire heavily damaged their home and took the life of their daughter Rachel.
Tucked away in an industrial part of town near the old Fort Collins Airport, you’ll find a bright red building, originally an airplane hanger, and now a family-run brewery called Horse & Dragon Brewing. Inside, long community tables and round tops casually welcome you to put your phone away and have a seat. There are no TVs, live bands, or food trucks for entertainment. Instead, the brewery welcomes you to come in, grab a beer, chat with some friendly patrons or staff, and enjoy the moment. And immediately, you will feel welcome. There is an inexplicable vibe that Horse & Dragon exudes, that can only be attributed to owners Carol and Tim Cochran. Their love of craft beer and the Fort Collins community is poured into the brewery and here is their story.
“I was his light in the darkness.”
Frezi Bouckaert smiled slyly as she made the comment. Frezi further noted, “It was dark and I was his shining light.” As Frezi started explaining this rather somber statement, I realized she was speaking both literally and figuratively. Let me give you a little bit of context. Frezi met her husband Peter Bouckaert (yes, that Peter) spelunking in Belgium. When dating, some folks like to go to the movies, see live music or wine and dine; Frezi and Peter would go caving. A lot.
Featured photo provided by Maxline Brewing
Step inside Maxline Brewing and you’ll see a small tasting room lined with large, wooden community tables and expansive garage windows that open out to a patio in the south-facing sun. Inside the tasting room, three fermenters are in full view with chalkboard titles tantalizing guests with the beers to come. On this particularly sunny day, the patio is full and beers are flowing. Maxline staff, often called beertenders, weave seamlessly throughout the tasting room stopping to exchange pleasantries with customers, pet a dog or two (dogs are allowed on both patio and tasting room), and high five children on their way out. For this midtown location in Fort Collins, it’s as if “everybody knows your name.”
Odell Brewing Company last hosted Small Batch Festival in 2012, and while the event was an amazing success, the brewery has been quite busy in the years since — They expanded their footprint (Iowa and Texas,) updated their seasonal lineup (Brombeere here, Double Pilsner gone,) released a handful of new bombers (such as Brazzle and Pina Agria,) created a seasonal variety pack (Montage,) and completed brewery construction. Having accomplished so much the past few years, Odell is ready to bring back the Small Batch Festival and hopes to make it an annual event. Adam D’Antonio from Odell said “production comes first and festivals second. We didn’t want to bring Small Batch back until we were ready and could do it right.”