Colorado Springs breweries

Colorado, in general, and Colorado Springs specifically is home to some pretty good beer. The Indy has a list of the area’s breweries.

I’m learning to like craft beers. It hasn’t always been this way. I used to resent what I called “college beers,” beers for pretentious college kids. I drank whatever beer came in a can and was inexpensive. I enjoyed Old Milwaukee Light for a long time. Then when I moved to Colorado I switched to Coors Light because, well, it’s Colorado. I tried some imported beer (because that’s not pretentious), and it was a mixed bag. When I was in Russia in 2000, I had some Baltika and fell in love with it. But Baltika wasn’t imported to the U.S. till years later. And for some reason, most of the smaller breweries don’t brew lagers. Why is that, I wonder. Are ales easier to make? Is the process of making a lager prohibitive for smaller breweries? Or are ales just a better, more sophisticated beer? I don’t know. But for a while, ales triggered migraines, so I just stuck to bourbon and Coors Light. (Side note: I’ve been talking a lot about health problems. I really am not an 80-year-old man, despite sounding like one.)

Lately, though, I’m really enjoying the local brews. My favorite daily drinker has been Beehive, from Bristol. I’m also a fan of their Laughing Lab flagship beer (I was sad when I learned that the inspiration Lab had died).

There’s more about beer here than I could possibly write, and there’s so many tasty ones I’ve had in the last few months that the only advice I can give you is to go ahead and get a second job so you can afford to try everything without going broke and eating out of dumpsters (Burger King has excellent “throwaway” items, by the way).

Phantom Canyon Brewing Co., downtown Colorado Springs, Co.

Phantom Canyon is a favorite because it's close to home and has great food. And you can play pool upstairs.

Phantom Canyon Brewing Co., downtown Colorado Springs, Co.

Sampling a selection on a flight at Phantom Canyon.

Phantom Canyon Brewing Co., downtown Colorado Springs, Co.

Phantom Canyon has excellent food. Here, we're eating the hummus plate.

Phantom Canyon Brewing Co., downtown Colorado Springs, Co.

At the bar, Phantom Canyon has a prominent list of the available beers.

Phantom Canyon Brewing Co., downtown Colorado Springs, Co.

A flight of nine beers at Phantom Canyon. I'm not much of a dark drinker, but the Dark Side was awfully tasty. Adrienne likes the hefeweizen.

Bristol Brewing Co., Colorado Springs, Co.

Trying a six-beer flight at Bristol.

Bristol Brewing Co., Colorado Springs, Co.

It's helpful that each beer on the flight at Bristol comes with a little explainer paragraph. I don't know a lot about beer, and it's good to at least try to be educated.

Trinity Brewing Co., Colorado Springs, Co.

Adrienne and my mom at Trinity. My mom doesn't even drink beer. Won't even try it. I'm not entirely convinced we're related.

Trinity Brewing Co., Colorado Springs, Co.

Appetizers at Trinity. Notice the table, which is made from broken glass and lighted from beneath. Very cool.

Trinity Brewing Co., Colorado Springs, Co.

The hummus plate at Trinity.

Trinity Brewing Co., Colorado Springs, Co.

My mom had some kind of warm cheese dip in an edible bread bowl.

Trinity Brewing Co., Colorado Springs, Co.

The drink selection at Trinity is pretty healthy. And the people behind the bar seemed to really enjoy talking about beer, which helps the uninformed like me.

Trinity Brewing Co., Colorado Springs, Co.

Me and mom.

Trinity Brewing Co., Colorado Springs, Co.

At the bar at Trinity.

Rocky Mountain Brewery, Colorado Springs, Co.

Didn't care too much for Rocky Mountain Brewery. Felt like an outsider there. And it felt a little too much like someone's basement. Also, their website is a MySpace page. No good.

Rocky Mountain Brewery, Colorado Springs, Co.

An eight-beer flight at Rocky Mountain Brewery. We had a hard time knowing what we were drinking because the beers were written down on a small chalkboard behind the crowded counter.

Rocky Mountain Brewery, Colorado Springs, Co.

On the plus side, Rocky Mountain Brewery has a barbecue truck parked outside, B'z BBQ.

Rocky Mountain Brewery, Colorado Springs, Co.

The best part about Rocky Mountain Brewery: The barbecue truck's quesadilla. Delicious.