Monday, September 30, 2013

Colorado Beer Tour during GABF Week 2013, Part 1- Fort Collins

This is Part 1 in a four- series on GABF week in and around Metro Denver. When I say Great American Beer Fest week, I mean it. Going to the GABF was a great one-time experience for me but with the tickets selling out so fast we needed another strategy.  What we found was that during GABF many of the local breweries, tap houses, and brewpubs well have special tappings all week long.  Let's start with the farthest away from Denver where the event will be taking place, if you have tickets the GABF you'll be there all weekend. I'm going to take you on the Colorado Beer Tour, we'll start in Ft. Collins which our first stop, Choice City Butcher and Deli

This butcher/deli shop was voted by, the top 10 establishments in the world to drink beer where the top 2 places are in Belgium. Yes, this is the beer geeks mecca in Ft. Collins.  What's so cool about Choice City is that they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with over 30 taps of excellent beer. Have a hot sandwich, chips, and a pint of beer.

Choice City Butcher will have many fantastic beers on tap for GABF week. Here's a little list of what Russ Robinson has in store for us;
Firestone Walker, Pivo Pils, Pilsner
Epic, 2 yr old Brainless on Cherries, Belgian    Strong
Russian River, Pliny the Elder, Dbl IPA
Russian River, Temptation, sour
Avery, Samael, Barley-wine
Shmaltz, Jewbelation Bar Mitzvah, 13th Anniversary Ale
New Belgium, La Folie, sour
New Belgium, La Terrior, sour
Bruery, Bois, Old Ale
Bruery, Autumn Maple Spice
Bruery, Hottenroth, Berliner Weisse
Lost Abbey, Brandy barrel-aged Angel Share, Barley-wine
Odell, 3 yr Bourbon barrel-aged Stout
Odell, 1 yr Deconstruction, Golden Ale
Alesmith, X, Pale Ale

Russ Robinson, owner/beer enthusiats
of Choice City Butcher.

Choice City Butcher
104 W.  Olive St.
Ft. Collins, Co
(970) 490-2489

Right across the street kiddie corner to Choice City Butcher is a tap house, Tap N Handle. Now you may think that it's weird to have both of these beer establishments so close to each other but it's a great concept. You see, both of them compliment each other in the tapping of beer, so you'll find that they try not to overlap. Tap N Handle has over 70 taps and recently bottle beers so you should be able to find something that tickles the palate.  As of this writing Tap N Handle doesn't have a website but here's the telephone number so you can call ahead and check if they have your favorite beer on tap. 

During the GABF week, Tap N Handle will also have representatives from various breweries from around the country and will have there selected beers on taps.
Friday, Oct 4- Oskar Blues @6pm
Saturday, Oct 5- Crooked Stave@4pm
Sunday, Oct 6- High Hops @6pm
                         Goose Island @8pm
Monday, Oct 7-Great Divide, Yeti Sighting     @5pm
Jeff Willis owner of Tap n Handle Tavern
                          Avery Demon series @7pm
Tuesday, Oct 8- Green Flash @5pm
                           Stone @7pm
                           Mission @ 9pm with special    guest Alesmith
Wednesday, Oct 9- Firestone Walker @5pm
                               Big Sky @7pm
                               New Belgium @8pm

Here are some of the beers on tap for GABF week;
Oskar Blues, Grapefruit infused G'Night, Imperial Red Ale
Crooked Stave, Hop Savant, American Pale Ale
High Hop 1 year old aged Noble One,  Belgian Quad
Goose Island, Nightstalker, Imperial Stout
Goose Island, Bourbon County Coffee, Stout
Avery Brewing, Demon Series, Mephistophele's, Samael, The Beast, Meph Addict
Green Flash, Green Bullet, Triple IPA
Mission Brewing, Carrack, Imperial Red Ale
Firestone Walker, Parabola, Russian Imperial Stout
And much more, so call ahead

Tap N Handle
307 S. College Ave
Ft. Collins, CO
 (970) 484-1116

I recommend not going to the 3 major breweries in the area, these are like going to an amusement park with over crowding and lots of noise. I will though tell you that a really cool place to go for a beer is Equinox Brewing.  It's located a little south of the old downtown outdoor mall.  Equinox Brewing has a quaint and cozy taproom with an outside patio area.  They can have any given time 17 beers on tap with a couple of specialty beers and they also have a traditional English-style beer engine of a cask condition ale.

I hope this helps in your search for beer during the hectic GABF week. Next stop on the tour is Longmont and Niwot.

Equinox Brewing
133 Remington Street
Fort Collins, CO
(970) 484-1368

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