Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fort Collins Brewery Recommendations

Last weekend a group of girls flew across country for a weekend themed of Beers and Bad Behavior to celebrate my very best friend's bachelorette party. It was so fun, I am so tired, and all of us have been texting about the cold that we must have shared. Cheers to hoping that goes away before the big day in a few weeks! 

I must say that I am not usually a huge bachelorette fan. I don't particularly enjoy genitalia themed head pieces, drink wear, or pinatas (sorry for all those bad mental images in your head right now). I don't really want to dare someone to do weird or embarrassing things in bars late at night. And the thought of coordinated 'with the bride' outfits makes my eyes roll back in their head REAL far. But enough of me sounding like the miser that I am. This weekend had none of that and It. Was. So. Awesome.

Awesome because L is my very best friend and she was so happy. Happy to see friends from across the country meet for the first time. Happy to be almost married. And happy because there was a lot of beer. 

I was pretty nervous when we started planning because we had 3 home brewers going on this trip and I was supposed to pick the breweries. If you know me, you know I'm a 10 dollar or less pinot grigio aficionado and while I enjoy a good craft beer and love our local breweries the stakes were real high. The way I shop for beer is I go to the liquor store, find something on sale that is most likely an IPA, and then purchase it if the label is cool. Yep, definitely didn't know where to start planning. There was a lot of googling, yelping, asking random friends of friends, and trip advisoring that happened. The greatest part of all that mad rush was it didn't matter. We went to a couple ones we knew we wouldn't want to miss and then just asked the bartenders what they recommended. 

So if you are visiting Fort Collins for a hoppy getaway, check out these 6 places that we went:

This was one of the absolutely cannot miss stops in our weekend and for good reason. The tour is free, but books up early. We snagged tickets online a couple weeks ago for a late Friday afternoon tour and there was nothing left for the rest of the weekend. I HIGHLY recommend going on this tour. It is free, the guides are great, we got to pour our own beer, and they give you a lot of samples. Like a lot of samples- aka have someone who can drive you home. Our guide, Sam, was able to answer all the home brewers questions, but still keep someone like me entertained. On top of that, you could tell how much he LOVED working there. My favorites were the pre-sour (only available at the brewery) and the Le Terroir (a sour). They end the tour with their famous Fat Tire and you get to take a slide down into the tap room. Book your tickets now.

Saturday we had high hopes to hit as many breweries as possible before the evening Notre Dame game and Funkwerks was first up. The ambiance is adorable and I love their packaging with its whimsy yet funky branding. My favorite beer was the Deceit, a Belgium style Golden Ale, and luckily no one liked it as much as I did meaning I got to finish it off. They have a lot of sours and saisons and really helpful staff. Sours aren't necessarily everyone's favorite drinks, but I'd go back for the Deceit.

This was initially not on my well researched intended list, but when FunkWerks recommended it our group couldn't pass it up. The big hit of the group was the Bothy, a bourbon barrel aged stout. That was a tad too intense for me, but I really liked the Whistle Blast, a honey brown ale of delishiousness. Also this place has the coolest tables made from old cable spools and was a great place to chat. They have a good diversity of beers and really wanted us to feel comfortable. Definitely recommend!

While this place didn't have as much ambiance as the other places, the beers were really good. The place was absolutely packed, but somehow we managed to get a table right when we came in (and it always helps when people buy you free popcorn because someone in the party is wearing a bachelorette sash and practically crying over all the cute dogs). Which leads to the next fact- Colorado loves their dogs. I was afraid by the end of the weekend that L was going to try to pack one in her suitcase. At this brewery she found a three legged dog and about died with excitement; there might have been tears. Anyways, I digress. They use snow as part of their water to brew with (so cool) and I highly recommend their Silent Snow White IPA or their Colorado Red. Another thing to note- they had the most amazing food truck when we were there (Umami); definitely a good place to come hungry.

ODell Brewing Company

This place was on my list from the moment I started googling Fort Collins breweries. While I love the 90 Shilling, it didn't quite have the same level of coziness as the others. It is larger (hence why I tried 90 Shilling before) and they have a very diverse set of beers to try from. We split 3 flights instead of 2 flights like the other places and there were lots of tasty brews. Still it felt much larger and wasn't as much fun to sit around and chat at. To Odell's credit, it was crazy packed so they must be doing something right.I recommend the beers and am withholding final judgement on the ambiance until I get to try again.

Equinox Brewing

This was our last stop on Saturday before the game and it was perfectly cozy and situated in one of my favorite parts of Fort Collins, Old Town. The inside has lots of little nooks and crannies for good conversation. Instead of sharing flights we each ordered our own pint and I lucked out with the Rocket Man IPA. It is actually the product of  a CSU Brew Science class and I loved it! As we were leaving a band was setting up and I think this would be the perfect way to spend a causal evening.

So I'm definitely trying to detox at the moment, but it was such a wonderful weekend and a great way to explore the city. I would also recommend a day of brewery tours for other parties because it is a casual way to get to know new people and you have a lot to talk about. My overall favorites were New Belgium and Horse and Dragon, but I found a beer I liked at each one on this list.

If you are ever out in Fort Collins, you won't be disappointed with a day tour of breweries,


  1. So many great stops for you!! Great job picking them! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  2. I have never been to a brewery but now I want to! The Funkwerks looks cute! Happy Thanksgiving eve!

  3. Such a fun idea for a bachelorette party! I've only been to one brewery, and hoping that'll change soon!

    Green Fashionista