Wine Your Way Through NoCo

Although Northern Colorado is considered the Napa Valley of beers, when it comes to the vine, Colorado is holding its own. The best growing area is on the Western Slope near Palisades but there is an increasing number of vineyards on the northeast side of Colorado. The Western Slope has many traditional varieties such as Cab Sav and Merlot, and the Cab Francs are outstanding.  This is a must do trip if you love wine.

For NoCo, the varietals in our area tend to be cold hardy varieties such as Marquette and Marechal Foch, but the local vintners are making very respectable wines from Western slope grapes.

If you love wine,  we can accommodate your passion. If you come and visit here are several options for you:

Spero Winery – Ig you are driving through Denver at some point in your travels, you definitely want to make a stop at Spero Winery. About 75% of their wines use Western Slope grapes with the remaining coming from California. The owners are Sicilian and expert winemakers. All the wines are aged to some degree before selling. They offer at least 15 different wines. Our favorites were the Cab Franc and Sangiovese – both using Colorado grapes. The wine is also reasonably priced!

Ten Bears Winery – This is a nice gem of a winery on the northern side of Fort Collins on Hwy 287. The winery has several acres of grapes used for their Estate blend but the 90% of their wine uses Colorado grapes.  Take some cheese and crackers, enjoy the reasonably priced tasting and the view of the foothills in the distance!

10 bears lisa

10 bears tasting.jpg

Blue Mountain Winery –  This is a super little winery in Berthoud, about 30 miles south of Fort Collins. It makes a wonderful afternoon activity. There are eight wines in the tasting which includes a stroll through the beautiful gardens that have a view of the mountains. Reservations are required as there are limited scheduled group tastings on the weekend. The vintner uses primarily high-quality California grapes with a few from the Western Slope. A microbiologist by trade, he has a gift and a nose for making excellent wines.

blue mountain winery mountain view

Front Range Wine Fest – If you come for a visit in August, be prepared to go to the Front Range Wine Fest!  It’s the third Saturday in August! There are over 30 Colorado wineries represented from both sides of the slopes. As with most wines, some are marginal and some are outstanding. This is where we discovered Spero Winery!

If you enjoy wine with meals, there are several options to pair a wonderful dinner with a satisfying wine.

Origins Pizza – This Neopolitan style pizzeria is owned by two sommeliers, so you know your wines are going to be outstanding. There are usually four casked wines – two whites and two reds and a great representation of other varietals and blends by the glass or bottle. The food is outstanding as well.

Mary’s Lake Lodge – If you are planning a day in Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, we highly recommend a late lunch/early dinner at Tavern 1929 at Mary’s Lake Lodge. The building erected in 1913 has earned its place on the State Register of Historic Properties for its unique character. While you dine, you will have a fantastic view of the mountains and can enjoy not only house brews but house wines as well. They have a short but excellent wine list but it is the pours that make it unique. We call them the Mary’s Lake Pour.

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White Water Rafting

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If you are planning on visiting Fort Collins in June and July, put white water rafting on your itinerary! The Poudre River not only provides some of the greatest fishing in Colorado but also the finest in rafting experience!

We are fortunate to have four companies that service rafting in the area. Depending on the month, you may experience up to a continuous Class IV rafting event. We rafted the third week in June of 2016. The river had been closed due to spring melt off, high water and loads of “strainers” on the river.

Most companies offer a variety of rafting experiences, from beginner and family to advanced. We chose the “Blast” experience for experienced rafters. We elected to wear wet suits and were glad we did. The Blast offered almost continuous Class IV rapids with plenty of action – and plenty of water!

Come join us for a fun-filled afternoon!


Holiday Twin Drive In Movie Theater

If you are wanting a little retro activity in your vacation plans, the Holiday Twin Drive-In Theater is just up your alley. If you are bringing your family, this will soon be a family favorite.

The Holiday Twin sits on Overland Trail across from Horsetooth Range. From a scene a little reminiscent of Field of Dreams, cars line up on this country road to gain access to the theater. Many moviegoers come in their cars but the best viewing is from the back of a pickup. It’s not uncommon for people to bring their blow up mattresses, blankets and pillows for a four-hour movie adventure.

Fort Collins offers perfect weather for old-time drive-in movie watching. Never humid, sometimes a bit cool, but almost always a clear night with a beautiful sunset to the West. Then a starry, starry night.

Screenings are from mid-April through September. Concession stands available on site.

holiday twin


Farmer’s Markets

Driving across the Front Range from Denver to Fort Collins, one can see many, many old farm houses. Some are dilapidated and vacant. Some are still occupied. Still others are transformed into working farms, businesses or incorporated into a new subdivision as a club or activity house. Our own subdivision, Nelson Farm, was a successful dairy farm.  As a transplant, I have this grandiose vision of how beautiful it must have been in the early 20th century for a farmer with a view of the Rocky Mountains. Although many farms are now gone or gobbled up by subdivisions, the spirit of “farm to plate” is still strong and the entrepreneurial spirit of handmade and homegrown goods from goat’s milk soaps to farm-raised tilapia under hydroponic greens brings a new century of farming to the area.

Outdoor Farmer’s Markets are available from June through at least September. 2015 was particularly mild so the markets were open through October. In the summer, there are three to choose from but the most popular is the Saturday market downtown. We tend to shop at the Sunday market that is about a mile from our house. In the winter, the market is in the Opera House. Some vendors are there only in the winter. Some sell at both.

I was pleasantly surprised with the winter market – winter vegetables, mushrooms, cheese galore, a Greek olive oil vendor, several bakers and an assortment of crafters. The winter Saturday market has a variety of vendors, from the Blue Mountain Winery in Berthoud to fresh mushrooms, pastas, breads sauces, along with the usual produce. One of my favorites was Turned Silks. The crafter repurposes sweaters into cool wearable art. An intriguing finds at the winter market was Quatrix which offers beautiful lettuce and herbs and tilapia grown in an aquaponic environment.

If you visit between June and October, summer’s bounty will be at its peak!

More information in case you were curious:

John Nelson, one of the region’s first and most successful dairy farmers, immigrated with his wife in 1871 from Ayrshire, Scotland, to the Fort Collins area. He purchased 240 acres just 3 1/2 miles southeast of town, near the present intersection of Lemay and Swallow, and built a house and planted wheat and oats. There was only prairie stretching in all directions. Some believe the grasshopper plague of 1874-1876 persuaded Nelson to switch to dairying. He brought the first herd of registered Jersey cows into Larimer County. This was the county’s first dairy business, and some historians say it was the first in the state. Building on Nelson’s success, other farmers began dairying operations as well. In the 20th century, a number of local dairies operated profitably, as milk production has remained an important industry. In addition to his dairy operation, Nelson also raised Clydesdale horses for a time. Around 1880, he built a sandstone milk house which has been preserved and is all that remains of the farm.


Summer Baseball

Going to Coors Field may be on your itinerary, but if not, you can enjoy up close and personal baseball in Fort Collins during the summer!

The Fort Collins Foxes  are a member club of the Centennial State League, a wooden bat summer collegiate baseball league based in Northern Colorado.  The Foxes feature top collegiate baseball players from around the country, and just like Minor League Baseball, provide fun family entertainment.  A tremendous entertainment value with free parking, $6 admission, $5 Culver’s Butter Burgers (chips included), and $1 drinks or peanuts.

The summer evenings are cool and dry, the sunsets are spectacular, and you may see an eagle fly overhead! We did!

mike and butter burger
Mike won a cinnamon roll!
Evening at the Foxes

Ice Skating, Tennis, Swimming, Horseshoes

Yes, we are three hours from Breckenridge and Steamboat for skiing. But when not skiing, what else is there to do on the Front Range! Ice skate, play tennis and swim! Along with our neighborhood pool and very nice tennis courts within a very easy walking distance, Fort Collin’s offers the following venues for skating, tennis, swimming,  and horseshoes!

Edora Park

Just about one mile north of Waterford Inn along the Power Trail, Edora Park features a wide variety of activities.

Tennis – six lighted courts plus six 12’ high cinderblock backboards to beat balls against.

Disc Golf or A well manicured 18 hole, 5848 foot course that is moderately hilly and lightly wooded with multiple pin placements. The creek comes into play on 5 holes.

Horseshoes – A huge facility with 32 lighted pits, Edora Park hosts organized league play plus local and state tournaments.

Edora Park Pool and Ice Center (EPIC)  EPIC is the region’s premier ice and aquatics facility.  EPIC is home to the CSU Hockey and Water Polo Teams as well as the Fort Collins Area Swim Team and Fort Collins Figure Skating Club.  It features an indoor 50-meter x 25-yard pool, two 3-meter and two 1-meter diving boards, separate warm water pool and wading pool, and two indoor 200′ x 85′ ice surfaces.

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Skate Park – this 17,500-square-foot concrete facility boasts snake runs, bowls, ramps and rails. The integrated design allows for a seamless flow between park structures, while also catering to varying expertise levels.

Pond Skating – I didn’t think it would get cold enough here for pond skating but there are several ponds available for winter skating. City Park and Prospect Ponds have sections of the ponds that are scraped and prepped for outdoor hockey or casual skating.

outdoor skating pond



Location. Location. Location. This course’s clubhouse and practice facility is literally walking distance from Waterford Inn.  At best, it is 1/4 of a mile from our house and is Mike’s primary course. The course features a championship length, 18-hole golf course. It is the home of local U.S. Open Qualifying and a perennial favorite for many State amateur events.

The clubhouse also is how to C.B. and Potts Restaurant and Brewery. It was our custom when visiting the area to have our last vacation dinner on the patio, watch the golfers come in, and enjoy the sunset against Horsetooth mountain. We hope you can come and enjoy it as well!



This 18-hole municipal course is about 2.5 miles straight south of Waterford Inn (along the Power Trail) and has the best scenic vistas of the Front Range! SouthRidge has a great mix of terrain and almost every type of feature to make a fun and challenging course.

City Park Nine  

Family fun! City Park Nine is a regulation length 9 hole municipal golf course that offers enjoyment and challenges for players of all ages and abilities. Built in 1940 and located next to historic City Park and Grandview Cemetery, the course features tight fairways, small greens, and mature trees. It is consistently recognized as the “Best Nine Hole Golf Course” in Colorado.

For those bringing families, City Park Nine is adjacent to City Park Pool and Sheldon Lake. The pool complex which has a large outdoor pool, lazy river, multiple slides, shallow water areas and geysers. Sheldon Lake has shaded picnic areas, trout fishing, and paddleboats for rent. And of course, outdoor ice skating in the winter! The golf course, lake and pool remind me of the old Landa Park in New Braunfels, Texas.  Much family fun!


Bicycle Trails

Fort Collins has several trails for biking, walking, jogging, or skating. The trails are about 10 feet wide concrete and have very few street level crossings.  They are maintained year round and snow is removed from the trails during the winter months. Trails serve as commuter routes for many students and residents as well. The beautiful scenery that can be enjoyed along the system often makes one forget that they are in urban Fort Collins.  Here is a condensed listing of the trails in the Fort Collins area.

The Power Trail runs north and south and access is less than a quarter mile from the Waterford Inn.  About 1.5 miles to the north is Edora Park and the connection to Spring Creek Trail.  Going south, it follows the west side of the Union Pacific Railroad past two golf courses to Trilby Road.  From there it can connect with Fossil Creek Trail or continue south through a wetlands to Carpenter Road.  Future phases will extend to Loveland’s trail system.  The Power Trail runs about 1.5 miles north from the Waterford, and about 4.0 miles to the south.

The Poudre Trail meanders along the northwest to east side of town following the scenic Poudre River for 10.1 miles. It runs the gamut from prairie, to riverside, to parkland, to woods, to views of downtown and Odell and New Belgium Breweries. Expansion of this trail east toward I-25 is expected over the next several years.

The Spring Creek Trail follows Spring Creek for 6.9 miles. It can be accessed about 1.5 miles north from Waterford and runs east to the Poudre River where it joins the Poudre Trail. To the west, this highly popular trail continues through several parks across central Fort Collins and the Mason Trail to the west side of town where it becomes the north end of Fossil Creek Trail.  A short ride yields Rally King Brewing, but for another mile you can have Black Bottle Brewery.

A special purpose ride can combo Power – Spring Creek – Poudre – Lincoln Avenue to visit Funkwerks, Horse and Dragon Brewing, or Fiesty Spirits Distillery.

The Mason Trail serves as a convenient north-south route in the central core of Fort Collins and is maintained by the Streets Department. While not necessarily scenic, it serves as a useful connection through town and provides easy access to several destinations like Hardihood Brewing, Black Bottle Brewery, 1933 Brewing, or Zwei Brewing.  Adjacent to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad corridor, the trail offers a solution to improve safety and mobility for cyclists and pedestrians traveling north and south in the city and is 3.5 miles long. This trail connects to the other trails located within the city, such as the Spring Creek Trail and the Fossil Creek Trail.

The Foothills Trail is a 6.8 mile earthen trail that travels along the foothills parallel to Horsetooth Reservoir from Dixon Reservoir at Pine Ridge Natural Area to Reservoir Ridge Natural Area and Michand Lane. This trail is on rugged terrain.

The Fossil Creek Trail runs along the south and west sides of town through the Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area along Fossil Creek.  A short ride on quiet neighborhood streets connects the trail segments between Shields Street and College Avenue. This segment will open as right-of-ways are established and construction finishes. The Fossil Creek Trail is 5.2 paved miles.

The Poudre River Trail Corridor is just southeast of Ft. Collins and runs for 21 miles from Windsor to Greeley.  Midway it has the Kodak Watchable Wildlife Area Trailhead and the ride can be book-ended with High Hops Brewery in Windsor on the west and WeldWorks Brewing in Greeley on the east.

Taprooms and Pubs

mayor taps

Here is a condensed listing of the tap rooms and pubs in the Fort Collins area.

More details on each, including hours, beers, wine, cocktails, food menus, and their websites can be found at:

Fort Collins

The Forge Publick House

The Forge is a really cozy tap room that is located in downtown Fort Collins with a quality selection of beer. Bring cash because this place doesn’t take plastic, but they do have an ATM so you can get cash. This place is somewhat hard to find and is located down the Firehouse Alley. They don’t open until 4:00 and they’ve recently expanded where there are two separate bars to sit at, and the back bar is only open on weekends.

The Moot House

The Moot House has been a mainstay in Fort Collins since the 1970s. Right off of College Avenue in south Fort Collins, this place started serving Odell “Golden Ale” back in 1988, which was the first beer that Doug Odell of Odell Brewing made. After recently finishing a remodel of their bar, beer has become more of a focus here. A great selection of 30 different craft beer taps with a new menu, and still has the great English pub look. The patio here is a great spot to enjoy your favorite craft beer!

Choice City Butcher and Deli

Choice City has really great food paired with great beer in a casual atmosphere with a really cool beer tap handle collection. This spot is usually hoppin’ for breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. On Wednesday nights starting at 4pm, go in and enjoy their sliders and beer special. Ranked by as among the top ten places worldwide for beer selection, Choice City offers microbrews from around the United States and the world. We particularly enjoyed their Reuben sandwiches on one of our earlier trips to the area.

Black Bottle Brewery

This is a great little, hidden gem that made both our brewery and tap room lists because they brew their own beer and serve other beers as well. Not too far from Waterford Inn, and near the Spring Creek trail, it’s an easy bike ride. Black Bottle Brewery brews their own beer, out of sight in the basement, just below where you sit.  BBB has 40 taps, a full-service bar with wine and liquor and an excellent menu. Along with rotating selections of their own beer, they feature guest taps from other breweries in Colorado and from around the world.

Tap N Handle

The Tap N Handle is a great pub (just across the street from Choice City Butcher & Deli) in downtown Fort Collins where beer is truly the focus. They are one of two Fort Collins own named to America’s 100 best beer bars, 2015 by Draft Magazine; no brewpubs, no breweries, just 100 fantastic bars that do craft beer better than anywhere else.  If you’re eclectic in your beer choices, the Tap N Handle offers you local, national and international flavors! A really sweet little food menu with tasty food at reasonable prices. The Honey Sriracha wings are a really good pairing with beer. Head to the back and downstairs for Pinball, a foosball table, darts and video games.

The Mayor of Old Town

The Mayor of Old Town is a fantastic place for beer lovers, where they have 100 taps flowing! Yes, that’s right…100 TAPS of awesome choices! Once you walk in the front entrance you’re taken aback by a huge digital menu with all the beers they have on tap. They are one of two Fort Collins own named to America’s 100 best beer bars, 2015 by Draft Magazine; no brewpubs, no breweries, just 100 fantastic bars that do craft beer better than anywhere else.  Upscale bar food is available. This beer oasis is very close to Colorado State University campus and is in downtown Fort Collins area.

Ace Gillett’s

Downtown, in the basement of a boutique hotel, this is a throwback treasure.  A classic cocktail lounge setting, they have the best selection of Belgian beers in town.  With delightful dishes and classy cocktails, Ace Gillett’s offers delicious food and drinks that are sure to satisfy!  We had the most amazing duck confit with polenta and pork cheeks with orecchiette. Be sure to check out the bar manager’s videos!

William Oliver’s Publick House

The nearest taproom to the Waterford Inn, William Oliver’s began as Fort Collins first dedicated whiskey bar and quickly transformed into a beloved neighborhood pub.  They feature plenty of local beers, darts, and a kitchen where their menu is dominated by bacon and pork dishes. They have the largest selection of whiskey in the area and offer varying sizes of whiskey flights.

Otto Pint

Otto Pint is the next closest tap room and eatery to us. It is less than a mile and we can bike to it. The pizza is very thin crust and my favorite is the Schezuan spicy chicken honey pizza. Otto Pint donates 100% of its charitable contributions to 

Blind Pig

Fort Collins Brewery – Gravity 1020

We have eaten at Gravity twice and both times it was excellent. Situated within the Fort Collins Brewery site, it offers a full menu and of course, FCB beer. This is a super place to go as brewery destination followed by an excellent meal.


This cidery took the place of our favorite haunt – Crankensteins. We loved Cranks – a bike shop turned coffee shop, pub, hangout for the young hip/cool. Ah well. With that said, our friends who love cider will love this place. Great cider and sandwiches! Live music on the weekend!



I loved Social! It’s a super cocktail bar with a fabulous cocktail and wine list. Their claim to fame are throwback drinks, sommelier-selected wines and a charcuterie serving innovative cheese and meat boards. On a first trip, four of us split the Marble Rye. The salmon pate was outstanding as well as the empanadas. Situated in underground Fort Collins, it has a great ambience of Parisien art nouveau meets 21st century industrial. Cozy. A bit loud but a cool place for visitors to see what is happening under the streets of downtown.



In downtown Loveland, featuring 70 beers on tap, large menu with recipes from around the world, a full bar, and of course live music four nights a week without ever having a cover charge.



Here is a condensed listing of the breweries in the Fort Collins area.

More details on each, including hours, beers, tours, and their websites can be found at:

Fort Collins


Zwei Brewing


This German-style brewery, also brings American and Belgian styles to their taps as well. Zwei Brewing has a food truck by the front entrance of the brewery. Also, if you want to enjoy your own food to eat at the brewery go ahead and bring it.  There is lots of seating inside and out.  Worth a look are nice big tables made from beetle kill. Beers like the Dunkel and Helles are their specialty, and for those serious beer drinkers you can get your beer in a German stein! Prost!

 new belgium

New Belgium Brewing


Right behind Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada breweries, this is the 4th largest micro-brewery in the nation. New Belgium put Fort Collins on the beer map with their Fat Tire Amber ale. The company is 100% employee owned and runs the Tour de Fat every year in select cities across the United States. Definitely worth going on a tour of this brewery with it’s massive maze-like wood barrel aging room…the largest in the nation.  Be warned, there is often a multi-week wait for tour openings.  Sign up is on line.


Odell Brewing Company


Every time you go back to Odell Brewing there’s something new to try. A recent expansion has a new tap room and more seating inside and outside. Look for food trucks in the parking lot on your way to the front entrance. Their beer 90 Shilling is what put them on the map, their Easy Street Wheat pleases on hot days, and their IPA is the consensus local favorite.  They feature summer concerts on the patio.


Maxline Brewing

The newest brewery in Fort Collins!   Maxline Brewing is the financially affiliated brewery of the Waterford Inn and is our personal favorite.  It is located on the Mason bike trail, about two miles west of the Waterford Inn as the crow flies or pedaling on bike dedicated street lanes; or about three miles using the scenic (Power / Spring Creek / Mason bike trails) route.


The Fort Collins Brewery


One of the older breweries in Fort Collins, this brewery was originally called H.C. Berger Brewery.  It reopened as The Fort Collins Brewery in 2003.  It features the FCB Modern Tavern, a top eating establishment with fresh, locally sourced comfort foods with a modern twist.  Their Oktoberfest won a gold medal at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival, and with beers like the Chocolate Stout and 1020 Pale Ale you can’t go wrong.


Rally King Brewing


Probably the second closest brewery to the Waterford Inn, Rally King Brewing is just a couple miles of leisurely bike ride on the Power and Spring Creek bike trails.  Rally to this local neighborhood brewery or make it one of your pit stops. Quench your thirst with beers such as the Surfer Girl Pale ale.  They have plenty of seating inside and a nice little porch area outside.

black bottle

Black Bottle Brewery


This is a great little hidden gem that made both our brewery and tap room lists because they brew their own beer and serve other beers as well. Not too far from the Waterford Inn, and near the Spring Creek trail, it’s an easy bike ride. Black Bottle Brewery brews their own beer, out of sight in the basement, just below where you sit.  BBB has 40 taps, a full service bar with wine and liquor and an excellent menu. Along with rotating selections of their own beer, they feature guest taps from other breweries in Colorado and from around the world.


Equinox Brewing


This quaint spot is in downtown Fort Collins and has a great beer garden in the back, right next to where they do all their brewing. Equinox balances old styles of beer with new concepts and ingredients. Their beer selection changes on a weekly basis, and Equinox has made close to 100 different beers since they’ve been open. When the weather is warm this is a great spot to watch some local musicians in the beer garden while sipping on a beer of your choice.




This brewery is a great and unique little place and stands out from the other breweries. Funkwerks specializes in the Saison style of beer which comes from Belgium, where these beers have a distinct spicy flavor due to the specific strain of yeast they use. Their Imperial Saison Ale called Tropic King and their Raspberry Provincial (which won a gold medal at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival), really take you to a different part of the beer world. If you’re really looking for something funky and different…this is the place for you.


Jessup Farm Barrel House


This old farmhouse is only a couple miles up the Power bike trail from The Waterford Inn. The philosophy at Jessup Farm Barrel House is to not overwhelm you with really strong beers, but to overwhelm you with beers with unique flavors. They make a traditional ales here, but add options of barrel aging, getting blended flavors from each type of barrel they use. This approach makes for an interesting “compare and contrast” flight.  This brewery is also embedded into a great little artisan village with a place for coffee, a bakery and restaurant as well.  A one stop shop for all your needs!

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Horse & Dragon Brewing Company


It’s the little red brewery that could! This fun little place is just down the way from Funkwerks in front of the old Fort Collins Municipal Airport, and it stands out from all the other buildings around it. Seriously, you can’t miss it and you really don’t want to. The beer is great, but several flavors stand out the most. Like the Flagstone Copper Ale, which really quenches one’s thirst for great beer, and the Whistle Stop Honey Brown is one of the finest brown ales out there. Grab your brew at the counter and sit down at one of their unique tables with convenient little pint glass holders set into it, or go outside and relax on their patio and enjoy a pint with friends and new acquaintances.


Snowbank Brewing Company


It is sometimes said that today’s snow is tomorrow’s water, which eventually turns into beer. That being said, at Snowbank Brewing Company the snow and water they use, eventually turns into great beer. Located next door just north of Fort Collins Brewery, this brewery has a comfy and clean look to it inside, and a good sized bar.  There’s almost always a food truck of some type right out front as you walk in.

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Pateros Creek Brewing Company


Before the Poudre River was “The Poudre”, it was called Pateros Creek by Spanish explorers. This brewery is nestled in the heart of downtown Fort Collins and has a very rustic feel inside. Pateros Creek’s easy drinking brews can also be found in cans outside the brewery. These canned beers include their Brown Porter Ale called Cache La Porter and their Kolsch Style Ale called Old Town Ale. From their Legends lineup to out-of-the-box Renegades, Pateros Creek Brewing Company has something for everyone.


1933 Brewing Company


Prohibition ended in 1933.  So, if you need a cold brew, with no hassle from the Feds, this brewery is located right off of Mason Street in the southern part of Fort Collins.  Walk into this “speakeasy” and you’re invited into a very open seating area with a window behind the bar which allows you to see the brewing in action.  Get into this place quick…before the Feds move in to shut ’em down!

CB potts

C.B. and Potts Restaurant and Brewery


Since the 1970s, located in the west-end of Fort Collins near CSU campus, the original location has been a go-to, classic sports bar.  A second location, in the clubhouse of Collindale Golf Course, is just a short walk from the Waterford Inn.  Sit on the patio, enjoy great food and beer, and watch the golfers finish their round.  The brewery has won various medals at Denver’s Great American Beer Festival over the last few years.


McClellan’s Brewing Company


This brewery, on the west end of Fort Collins, brings the traditional Celtic cask-style ales to the area. Simply put, this means that their beer is “naturally carbonated” through the fermentation process. This style of carbonation brings a more unique flavor profile to your standard ales, and is a lighter and gentler carbonation process that balances out the malt and hop flavors from the first sip to the point it hits the back of your tongue. Usually, cask ales across the pond in England, Ireland and Scotland are served at room temperature. However, here they’ve “Americanized” their beer to be served cold instead. This brewery also has 14 guest taps from other breweries and serves up its own food as well.


CooperSmith’s Pub and Brewery


Is this a pub? A pool hall? A brewery? Well, the answer is “all three.” Coopersmith’s brewpub has made over 147 different types of beers since their doors opened in 1989. This full-service restaurant is located right in the middle of downtown Fort Collins and offers different menus for the pub side and the pool-side. Every Monday night is pizza night on the pool-side, which goes great with their beer. Their full range of beers is available on either side.


Anheuser-Busch Brewery


Budweiser…the king of beers, that got its start in St. Louis Missouri moved to Fort Collins and opened this massive facility in 1988. Whether you enjoy a domestic beer or not, this brewery is impressive just for its sheer size in operations…even if you’re a bit “snobbish” about your beer. Take the tour of this brewery to witness the huge quantity it produces.




City Star Brewing


A destination brewery right on Mountain Avenue in the heart of downtown Berthoud, that apparently has a ghost residing within the walls of the brewery. A small brewery with a distinct Colorado western feel and an attractive vibe with live music usually going on from day-to-day. Plenty of quality beer offerings where American style ales are their focus, and whiskey barrel aged brew is a facet of their experimentation. Beers like their 6 Shooter IPA and the Bandit Brown Ale are very worthwhile. You can find their beer on tap all over Fort Collins in various tap houses and bars. This brewery is a bit out of the way from Fort Collins, but so worth the drive!


Berthoud Brewing Company


Berthoud’s namesake delivers with some great beers right off Mountain Avenue which is the main street that goes through the middle of Berthoud. This brewery has a small town feel inside with walls that are built with old wood siding…almost makes you feel like you’re sitting inside a barn. While you pretend to be “on the farm”, one can enjoy beers with small town names like the Red Barn Irish Red ale and the Farmer Aid Session ale.  An interesting detail about the tap room is the railroad tie tap handles.



Broken Plow Brewery        [have not visited]

This brewery is located in north-central Greeley with a comfortable little taproom. This brewery is clearly grounded in its farming roots, as reflected in the names of the beers and their agriculture-themed tasting room. Randy Waddle, master brewer at the Broken Plow Brewery and his family were originally local farmers in western Weld County. They decided it was time to plant themselves into the craft beer culture and serve you up some great brew! With names like the Prairie Pale Ale, Dust Devil IPA and the Two Rivers Smoked Porter, this brewery doesn’t leave its farming roots too far behind. Don’t miss their signature Chili Wheat beer, which is fantastic. With a comfortable bar, friendly staff and good beer, it’s a sure recipe for an enjoyable afternoon or evening.



WeldWerks Brewing Company


After being different car dealerships for 75 years in downtown Greeley, WeldWerks erected a temple to the beer gods, or a brewery if you will, in late February 2015. This is where a vaulted ceiling, very comfy seating areas, a great bar that wraps around a whole corner, and (of course) great beer come together.  The beer taps rotate quite frequently here and if you can get a pint of the Cherry Gose (pronounced “Gosuh”) you not only are lucky to have had some, but also fortunate to have found it because it’s rumored to go quickly.  The brewery is a good refreshment stop at the east end of the Poudre River Trail Corridor bike ride from Windsor to Greeley.


Crabtree Brewing Company


This is another brewery located in Greeley not too far off of Highway 34. Crabtree Brewing believes in using quality ingredients to make solid beer with distinctive flavors and characteristics. Their beer is worth the drive from Fort Collins and includes names like Chunkin Pumpkin Ale, Boxcar Brown Ale and the Peachtree Cherry Wheat Ale. With a spacious tasting room and an outside patio, for those sunny Colorado days, makes this place another worthwhile stop for any beer lover.

Wiley Roots Brewing Company          [have not visited]

Located on the east end of Greeley a little bit off of Highway 85, this brewery is within an industrial park and a little hard to find, but totally worth the search. Inside you’ll find a very open place with plenty of room, a very large “L-shaped” bar, plenty of tables, and free popcorn to snack on. Wiley Roots opened it’s doors in July 2013 where they serve 5 standard beers, as well a root beer on tap. With beers like the Deep Roots Chocolate Porter and Red Wiley Amber you’re sure to make this trip to Greeley a good one. Wiley also has 2 seasonal taps and a Brewer’s Reserve tap for all to enjoy.

Brix Taphouse & Brewery          [have not visited]

Right on 8th street in downtown Greeley this casual spot has a modern brick feel on the outside and an old brick-style inside. It’s no wonder they named this great beer destination “Brix”. This is a combination tap house and brewery where their small operation brewery just started brewing, and their own beer (They’ll have an Amber ale affectionately named the “Naughty Nun”) should be on tap soon. Regardless, if you enjoy a variety of good beer and styles from around Colorado…this is your spot. Everything they have on tap is beer from Colorado only, and they represent Northern Colorado with pride. They have a small low maintenance kitchen at the end of the bar in back where they serve you tapas, paninis and flatbread pizza. Their motto here is, “Thanks for drinking good beer.” No…thank you for having great beer Brix!




Crow Hop Brewing Company


This brewery in Loveland opened its doors in 2013 and is a great little spot located in downtown Loveland in an old brick building right off of 3rd street. Crow Hop currently has five standard beers, and for those who like lighter beers they have one called Loose Tongue, which is an American golden lager with Pilsner and Helles roots.  It is a very friendly little watering hole with plans to expand outside to the east sidewalk for 25 more people. If you’re a stout fan, the Sleeping Owl Stout is a fantastic Oatmeal Stout with big flavor.


Grimm Brothers Brewhouse


Loveland’s first brewery that was inspired by the stories written by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, and of course, they’re inspired by German-style Lagers and Ales too. Grimm Brothers has five year-round beers such as a Alt Style Ale called Little Red Cap and a Dunkel Lager called The Fearless Youth. You can also try many seasonals that they brew throughout the year. They’re located right off of Denver Avenue in a small industrial park, and not too hard to find. You can always get something to eat from the multitude of mobile food vendors that show up outside the tap room in the parking lot.

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Loveland Aleworks


A great little brewery near downtown Loveland that prides itself on simple, honest beer.  Small batch traditional European and American craft beers are Loveland Aleworks specialty. Aleworks is always rotating through their taps, and there’s a generous selection of board games available to play with friends while enjoying your brew.



Verboten Brewing


Verboten’s beers embrace the trend of incorporating fruit and spice, barrel aging and other distinctive ingredients and processes to make craft beers.  The brewery and taproom are across the street from local distiller, Dancing Pines Distillery.  With the tagline, “beer for all”, Verboten firmly believes there is a beer out there that will appeal to everyone.


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Big Beaver Brewing Company


A local Loveland watering-hole and brewery that is committed to brewing the best beer possible with the lowest environmental impact. At Big Beaver, they believe”There are no strangers here, only friends who have never met”. They pride themselves on brewing without adjuncts, such as corn and rice, and their beers are never filtered or pasteurized. A brewery with plenty of variety, they make beer with 6-8 different kinds of yeast. Great beer names (with adult flair) like Shaved Tail Belgian Ale, Big Woody double IPA, and Hoppy Ending Pale Ale. Every Friday is “free beer” Friday!

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Big Thompson Brewery


The newest brewery in Loveland.  We enjoy picking up a couple Runzas from down the street to pair with their excellent beers and friendly atmosphere.  Their black lager is outstanding and their seasonal beet beer is worth the trip.



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High Hops Brewery


How many breweries are attached to a gardening and home brewing store? How many breweries grow their own hops? High Hops does! Located within the small town of Windsor, this place is a must see.  If it’s a nice day sit on their patio, perhaps enjoy some live music and the greatest view of the mountains of any of the breweries in Northern Colorado. It is fantastic for sure!  The brewery is a good refreshment stop at the west end of the Poudre River Trail Corridor bike ride from Windsor to Greeley.