Top five picks for breweries this summer

Brandon Flanery 

bflanery@uccs.edu 

     With summer right around the corner — aka hot days and no school — it’s time we all consume the sweet nectar of the gods, and by that, I mean beer.  

     Like any good, upstanding, of-legal-age Colorado citizen, I love beer. I drive a Subaru, snowboard, hike mountains and drink beer, and Colorado Springs is a great city to be a beer lover. With 31 breweries and vastly more beer halls, you could have a different beer every Saturday and Sunday and not tackle all of them in a whole year. 

     Well, I’m crazy and decided I wanted to tackle five breweries just this past Saturday to increase the number of breweries I’ve been to here in Colorado Springs. Of the 31 breweries in Colorado Springs, I’ve been to 23, and here are the top five I’d recommend based on the beer itself and the vibe — the only real two things I care about when going to a brewery.  

5th place: Trinity Brewing Co. 

     Alright alright, I’m gonna own a bit of bias here. I’ve been going to Trinity since I was 23, so there is a bit of nostalgia. But this gem has a traditional brewery vibe (loud noise, lots of wood accents and all the high bars) and some great beers with a bend towards saisons — one of my favorites, other than IPAs, like any other white guy. (Let’s face it — IPAs are the pumpkin spice lattes of white dudes.) You can expect these saisons to be some of the best you’ve had, with lovely floral notes in every sip. 

4th place: Manitou Brewing Company 

     I have a confession: Manitou Brewing Company is not a part of 31 breweries of Colorado Springs, because the list doesn’t include Manitou. However, I needed to include this brewery in my list. This gem is nestled into downtown Manitou, slightly hidden in the many businesses with an outdoor patio that is quaint and hidden in the shade. Don’t hit this place on a nippy day because the shaded patio can be really cold, and there’s not a ton of seating in this place.  

     Other than their patio, you can expect a similar vibe to Trinity — lots of exposed wood and rusted metals. But the beer takes priority at this brewery for me. Lots of stouts, porters and IPAs that I’m never disappointed with. They also have classic pub food for those of you who are hungry.  

3rd place: Metric Brewing 

     This perfect spot is located in an area of town that I believe is going to go through some serious gentrification over the next few years — Circle and Palmer Park. Unbecoming in a simple strip mall, Metric is my third favorite for lots of reasons.  

     Number one, the vibe is great. Very unique. Beers are served in beakers; tables are metal; and the whole brewery has a very clean look to it. The beer is fantastic, especially their IPAs. The owner has a preference for them, as well as a preference for quality ingredients.  

     One of the owners of Metric was originally the brew master of Bristol, but he left because the ingredients at Bristol had begun to get lower in quality so they could mass produce — in other words, quality suffered for the sake of quantity, and he wasn’t about it. Instead, he started his own new brewery.  

     While this brewery doesn’t serve food, they often have food trucks that you can enjoy.  

2nd place: Goat Patch Brewing Company 

     Goat Patch is one of my absolute favorites. The vibe is great, with lovely outdoor seating and garage doors that pull up when the weather is nice. It’s embedded into the trendy Lincoln Center that has a coffee shop, bakery (one of my absolute favorites, but that’s for a different time) and a great barber shop among other businesses.  

     This brewery looks like all the other Colorado breweries I love — exposed wood, dark metals, etc. (I’m a sucker for exposed wood), but beyond vibe, what we’re ultimately looking at is the beer.  

     On their menu, dark ales are probably their most prominent, which fits with the slogan on their website, “the home of balance brews,” which they absolutely are. I have never been disappointed with any beer I’ve had here, including light beers, which I’m normally not a fan of.  

     But the cherry on top is the energy. Goat Patch always has a lively energy with people who recently went on a bike ride or finished a hike, taking in the sun and great libations. I love drinking there and feel a part of something bigger than myself — a community. Goat Patch doesn’t serve any food, but there are always food trucks outside and also food nearby in the other businesses at Lincoln Center. 

1st place: Cerberus Brewing Co. 

     Hands down, my absolute favorite brewery is Cerberus. They have amazing food, amazing beer and the outdoor beer garden in Colorado Springs. Located on Colorado Boulevard just west of I-25, this gem is my go-to brewery on a nice day.  

     The beer garden alone would be reason alone to go to Cerberus, but the reason I go is their hazy IPA — the Elysian. I’m a sucker for a hazy IPA. For me, it’s “The Lord of the Rings” of beers — absolute best beer, and every time I think I’m done, I order another one. In addition to their hazy IPA, they also serve a beer slushy (if that’s your jam) and have amazing food. I often find myself salivating on my way into the brewery from their smoking meats.  

     The end of the school year is coming, and summer is just around the corner. With this list, you’ll be able to enjoy some hot days with a cold beer in one hand, great food in the other, all while taking in a lovely vibe.  

     Cheers! 

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com