FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Breweries have become a major tourist attraction in Colorado and especially in Fort Collins, where four new microbreweries have popped up just in the last year.
The three biggest names in Fort Collins form a sort of “sudsy triangle.” All three are very close to each other now — New Belgium, Odell Brewing Company and the Fort Collins Brewery, which moved to a larger facility just last August.
“We’re running almost full speed all the time. Sales are not the issue here, it’s how fast we can make beer and keep it a constant quality product,” said Doug Smith, production supervisor at the Fort Collins Brewery.
The Fort Collins Brewery moved to the larger facility because it’s been growing by 30 percent every year.
“The sign of that are going to be these new 100 barrel tanks. Before this the largest tank we had ever bought was a 60-barrel,” Smith said. “It brought us from a 600 barrel capacity fermentation space to a 1,000 barrel fermentation space.”
There’s a simple reason the brewery is making so much beer — more and more people like to drink it.
“They have what to me is an outstanding selection of beers with a whole range of that’s for my two cents worth is good as any in town,” a brewery patron said.
Kim Ruben serves in the tasting room and presents a full range of FCB beers, from a light pale ale to a dark chocolate stout. She says craft breweries have become a major tourist attraction in Fort Collins and northern Colorado. Each one has its own special recipes.
“We like to consider ourselves more of a German brewery, use a lot of German yeast, German malts. Odell’s is more English; New Belgium is obviously is Belgian beer; so each place kind of has its own kind of unique niche and own family, its own community, its own culture,” Ruben said. “More and more people are going to microbreweries and the small craft breweries to drink beer.”
Hot off the presses — the brand new 5th edition of “The Beer Drinker’s Guide To Colorado”– 142 breweries and brew pubs all over Colorado are represented. Beer lovers can plot out a state-wide tour to all corners of Colorado and never go thirsty. Go to beerdrinker’sguidetocolorado.com to order a copy of the guide. It’s even got free beer coupons.
The Fort Collins Brewery will open a restaurant at their facility beginning May 2.
Tours at the Fort Collins Brewery happen on Saturdays every hour from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Log on to fortcollinsbrewery.com to learn more. The tasting room is open Monday through Thrusday noon until 6 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays noon until 7 p.m.
Check with your favorite brewery to see what they’re doing to celebrate American Craft Beer Week May 16 through the May 22. Get more details at craftbeer.com.