After a Saturday afternoon sampling a few of the Colorado Springs breweries, we were ready to hit it even harder for Saturday night! On the agenda was Bristol Brewing Company, Black Fox Brewing (which, technically, is located inside Bristol Brewing), Kevin Baity Kraft Beers, Rocky Mountain Brewery, and Phantom Canyon Brewing Company. That’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get to it!
Colorado Springs Beer Tour, Part 2
Bristol Brewing Company
Our first stop: Bristol Brewing Company. Bristol is one of the few Colorado Springs breweries we were actually familiar with before our trip, and we were pretty excited to check out their tap house. What made this a bonus would be that it was a 2-for-1 because Bristol Brewing Company was also where we could check out beers from Black Fox Brewing. I’m all for efficiency, especially when it means I can get beers from two good breweries in one stop!
First impressions of Bristol Brewing was that this tap house was a little smaller than I expected. I don’t know why, but I kind of expected Bristol to be HUGE, based on the fact that Laughing Lab has always seemed to be a pretty popular beer around these parts. Bristol was actually the largest brewery we’d visited all day, but still a little smaller than I’d expected. However, it was a nice surprise that the tap room was still a reasonable size. I actually really liked the vibe of this place, and you can lose that too easily when you grow too large.
We were lucky enough to find a few seats at a community table and settled in for some beers. The Mass Transit Ale was my first beer, my only Bristol beer, and one of my favorites of the entire beer tasting trip. It’s an Amber Ale that was easy drinking, and you can bet I’ll be picking up a 6-pack next time I visit the liquor store. It was so good! Jeff had the Compass IPA which was very aggressively hopped both in aroma and flavor. Wow! Everyone around us was drinking this one too, so it was clearly a favorite.
Sampling Beer from Black Fox Brewing (inside Bristol Brewing)
Next up, I switched to Black Fox and tried the “Som,” a Belgian Saison. It was dark and delicious, slightly sweet with notes of coffee and vanilla. Jeff’s second was the Red Rocket Pale Ale, another hoppy beer, this one toned down with a bit more of a malty finish. Both were good, but we still stand by our first two choices as our favorites.
We could have stayed at Bristol’s all night, but we were on a mission, so on we went. I’ll be back again not only to Bristol Brewing, but also that awesome looking German restaurant nestled behind them. That’ll be a fun night for sure.
Next Up: Kevin Baity Kraft Beers… Not!
Next, we headed to Kevin Baity Kraft Beers only to find the place locked up tight. Maybe it was a bad sign that the Kevin Baity website hasn’t been updated since February… because this place was CLOSED. We couldn’t tell if it was closed for the day, or closed for forever. Either way, we kept on driving to our next stop, which was…
Rocky Mountain Brewery
Rocky Mountain Brewery was next on the list. I was excited to go here because I knew that they had just won a Gold and Silver medal in the Fruit Beer category in the 2012 World Beer Cup. I was hoping to try the winners, Eat A Peach and Da’Yoopers, but alas that was not to be since neither were on tap. Instead, I had the Brunette Nut Brown, which was good. Jeff had the Arithmetic Double IPA which was so aggressive with the hops that he was in heaven. The beers were great at Rocky Mountain Brewery. The location, I should mention, is really industrial. Housed in the back of a homebrew store, the tasting room is small. You feel more like you’re behind the scenes in the brewery for sure. They may not be top of the town in ambiance, but they certainly make up for it in some damn good beer.
Phantom Canyon Brewing Company
Finally, after a long day of beer drinking, we made our way back to the hotel for some dinner. Lucky for us, our hotel was just across the street from our last brewery of the day, Phantom Canyon Brewing Company. Phantom Canyon is in an old historical building in downtown Colorado Springs and serves up a full menu in addition to some great beers. The place felt eerily familiar when we went in, and it didn’t take long to realize why. One look at the beer menu and we realized we’d seen these beers before; Phantom Canyon is owned by the Wynkoop group. Once we realized this, our beer choices were easy because we’d had these brews before. Jeff had the Railyard Ale and I had the Queens Blonde Ale. They were just as good as we remembered them from Wynkoop in Denver.
Phantom Canyon Brewing Company also made some amazing food, and we both decided on a good dinner to end our day of beer indulgence. I had the Lemon Tobasco Fried Chicken – which was to die for! Jeff had the Baked Ziti which was also amazing. Good food, good beers… it was the end of an amazing day.