Most everybody who enjoys a frosty cold beverage every now and again is fully aware of Colorado’s legendary microbrew scene. But ask someone just where in the state to go, and you are more likely to be guided toward the traditional hotbeds of Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins. But here under the shadow of Pikes Peak, brewers are busy at work creating their own niche in the Centennial State’s rich beer history. If you come on down come thirsty, and make sure not to miss these selections while on your tour:
Bristol Brewing Company
1647 South Tejon
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906
The standard bearer for Southern Colorado beers, Laughing Lab is the flagship brew for Bristol Brewing Company. One of the finest Scottish Ales found anywhere, Laughing Lab is highly regarded for its blend of six specialty malts that produce a mildly sweet and nutty flavor without being too heavy. Laughing Lab has won awards across the globe, including at the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival.
Phantom Canyon Brewing Co.
2 East Pikes Peak Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Colorado Springs’ original brewpub, Phantom Canyon, has been welcoming guests since 1993. And after all these years people still come in looking for a pint of their famous IPA. Hoppy enough to satisfy the biggest hopheads, what makes this Pale Ale unique is the fact it is served from a classic hand-pump beer engine, creating an extra-smooth mouth feel that highlights the beers complex flavors. And at 6.7 percent ABV, this is a beer to be savored.
Trinity Brewing Company
1466 Garden of the Gods # 184
Colorado Springs, CO 80907-9464
Commonly regarded as the most technically gifted brewer in the Pikes Peak Region, Jason Yester honed his craft as the head brewer at Bristol Brewing Company where he started at age 19 before opening Trinity in 2008. Having a flair for the unconventional, no beer demonstrates this as the Farm House Saison. Utilizing seasonally available spices, herbs, fruits and vegetables, this beer changes every time it is brewed but is constantly delicious.
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
3316 Cinema Point
Colorado Springs, CO 80922-2815
Not to be forgotten in the mix of smaller brewpubs is local brewer Jason Leeman, who has free reign of what he puts on tap at his home restaurant in Colorado Springs. With their Class V Amber Ale, Rock bottom has the easiest drinking beer on this list. Using Pale and Crystal malts, Class V is smooth and balanced, and is starting to garner the recognition it deserves as demonstrated with a second place finish at the 2010 Colorado State Fair.
– By Kory Kilmer for CBSDenver.com