Brewpubs in Northern Colorado

Photo from Fort Collins Coloradoan

Photo from Fort Collins Coloradoan

Northern Colorado a hotspot in the national craft beer scene, home to numerous microbreweries and brew pubs. There are so many you could probably throw a rock from one to the other, and more open up every year.

This is a follow up article to an article I wrote in October 2012, called “Microbreweries in Fort Collins.” The difference between a “microbrewery” and a “brewpub” is that a microbrewery is a beer “manufacturer” who sells their product to bars and liquor stores. A brewpub is a restaurant that makes and resells its own beer. These definitions are my own and not official terms, at least that I know of.

Here is a list of brewpubs in Fort Collins and Loveland. While Fort Collins has a well-deserved reputation for its abundance of brewpubs, Loveland has quietly come on as a legitimate brewpub destination. Please let me know if I missed any restaurants that make their own beer and I will gladly add them to the list.

Fort Collins
BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse
2670 E. Harmony Rd

Black Bottle Brewery
1611 S. College Ave. Ste 1609

Coopersmiths Pub and Brewery
No. 5 Old Town Square

C.B. & Potts
1427 West Elizabeth Street

Gravity 1020
1020 East Lincoln Avenue

Old Colorado Brewing
320 Link Lane

Equinox Brewing
133 Remington

Tap and Handle
1900 East Lincoln

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse
623 Denver Ave

Loveland Ale Works
118 W 4th St

Opie’s Brewing
411 North Railroad Avenue

Rock Bottom Brewery
6025 Sky Pond Dr


John Mosley: CSU’s Civil Rights Trailblazer

ImageA few years ago I had the honor of meeting a man who is a living piece of history. His name is John Mosley, and his list of “firsts” and accomplishments is remarkable:

  • National Merit Scholar in 1939
  • First African-American athlete at Colorado State University (then Colorado A & M) in 1939
  • Member of the Tuskegee Airmen in 1945
  • Helped form the Head Start program
  • Member of CSU Sports Hall of Fame in 1998
  • Member of Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 2009

As much as Mosley accomplished, however, his life was also defined by what he couldn’t do. For instance, Mosley originally wanted to be a veterinarian. At that time, you couldn’t enroll in the program unless your father or grandfather was a veterinarian.  As a football player, he couldn’t go to movies or stay with the team in hotels. As an undefeated wrestler and winner of conference championships, he couldn’t compete in national tournaments because blacks were banned. And he had to live off-campus because residence halls and fraternities were white-only.

As humiliating and degrading as life was for Mosley, it was not without some merit; it prepared him to become a pilot and join the Tuskegee Airmen, a famous and well-decorated unit of all-black pilots in WWII.

“It was an experiment designed for failure. Anything you did, like not shining your shoes, not making your bed – things not related to flying – and you were washed out of the program,” Mosley said of the Tuskegee training program. “I completed the program because I had the experience at CSU and in high school, how to face similar challenges. I know what I had to do to succeed: be twice as good as anyone else in order to be considered average.”

I never knew about John Mosley until I attended a luncheon hosted by the CSU Alumni Association. Mosley was the speaker that day. At that time he was 86 years old and had to be helped to the stage. Yet, as he told us about his life, I became more and more mesmerized by him, what he had gone through, and what he represented. He was so much more than I expected when I signed up for the program.

At the end of his presentation, I decided I had to find Mosley and shake his hand, as a gesture of respect. I also wanted to tell him how moving his speech was, and how much I appreciated him sharing his life with us. To this day, I tear up when I think of that handshake.

Bohemian Nights at New West Fest

New West FestNew West Fest is one of Fort Collins’ signature events. It’s usually held during the third weekend of August. Founded in 1989, the New West Fest is a three-day smorgasbord of music, booths, food, and events put on the Fort Collins Downtown Business Association.

This crazy mix of high-brow art, low-brow crap, and everything in between was the brainchild of then-DBA director Maggie Kunze and her friend Jackie O’Hara. These two ladies stumbled on a successful, enduring formula; the New West Fest’s layout, atmosphere, and mix of vendors have remained the same since 1989.

The biggest change in the New West Fest occurred in 2005. The DBA partnered with the Bohemian Foundation to enhance the music component of the festival. The Bohemian Foundation, managed by local billionaire Pat Stryker, cranked up the music MANY, MANY levels by paying national acts to perform for FREE. That’s right…FREE. They also provide top-quality stages, sound, and lighting equipment so the experience is second to none. In addition, they simulcast the Saturday performance on large screens in Library Park because the Mountain Avenue stage is too packed with people. Past performers include Gypsy Kings, Allison Kraus, Los Lobos, Ben Harper, and Leon Russell.

Today the festival is known as the Bohemian Nights at New West Fest. The festival is huge, covering Library Park, Remington Street, Mountain Avenue, Old Town Plaza, Walnut Avenue, and Linden Street. There is a kids’ area with carnival rides, face painting and fun. There are food venders, craft booths, product vendors, and political causes. There’s a beer garden with local micro brews. And there’s the music everywhere you go on several stages.

So go check out the Bohemian Nights at New West Fest in August. Eat turkey leg, listen to some music, and get in some first-class people watching.

For information on the Bohemian Nights at New West Fest:

Tips on enjoying the festival:
• Ride a bike – it’s super-crowded with people
• Put on sunscreen
• Wear comfortable shoes – you’ll walk a LOT

Microbreweries in Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins is the second largest producer of beer in Colorado and the state is ranked first in the country in volume produced by breweries. A micro-brewery has production size of less than 6,000,000 US beer barrels. A microbrewer is different from a brew pub in that it produces and packages beer for sale outside of the brewery. A brew pub produces and sells its beer on-site.

Here are the micro-breweries in Fort Collins. Sample some of our locally made craft brews and find out why Fort Collins is known as the “Napa Valley of Beer.”

Fort Collins Brewery
1020 East Lincoln Avenue
Fort Collins, CO

1900 E Lincoln Ave, Unit B
Fort Collins, CO

New Belgium Brewery
500 Linden
Fort Collins, CO

Odell Brewery
800 East Lincoln Avenue
Fort Collins, CO

Pateros Creek Brewery
242 North College
Fort Collins, CO

President Obama Visits Colorado State University

Obama at Colorado State University in Fort Collins

On August 28, 2012, President Barak Obama made a campaign stop at Colorado State University. 13,000 people attended the event. Afterwards, the President stayed overnight in Fort Collins. He flew in and out of the Fort Collins-Loveland airport.

Regardless of your political beliefs, it’s a big, huge deal when the President of the United States honors your city with a visit.  The eyes of the entire world follow his every move, so his CSU stop was covered by national and Denver media. Jay Leno mentioned Obama’s CSU visit on his show. What a great showcase for CSU and Fort Collins.

In 2008, candidate Obama spoke at CSU prior to the election. Back then, the youth vote was a major part of Obama’s base and Colorado was a major swing state, which was why he paid attention to CSU.

Colorado is a swing state again in 2012, so our votes are important to both parties. For that reason, I would expect Mitt Romney to spend time courting Colorado, maybe even Fort Collins. In the 2008 election Obama won Fort Collins. In past elections we voted Republican, so the 2012 election could go either way.

No matter how you vote, the national exposure from the 2012 election is good for Colorado State University and Fort Collins.

Major Employers in Northern Colorado

So you are thinking of moving to Northern Colorado.  Or maybe you live here already and are considering a job switch.

Who are the major employers in the region?

Advanced Energy
Agilent Technologies
Avago Technologies
Banner Health Colorado
Center Partners
City of Fort Collins
Colorado State University
Columbine Health Systems
Group Publishing
Hewlett Packard Company
Larimer County
LSI Logic
Lucent Technologies
McKee Medical Center
Poudre School District
Poudre Valley Health Systems
State Farm

Check these websites for more information:

CSU vs CU: The Rocky Mountain Showdown


This Saturday (September 1, 2012) marks the start of the 2012-2013 college football season for Colorado State University. Normally that would be enough to get excited about, however, there’s much more drama and pressure riding on this game.

It’s our annual in-state rivalry game with the hated CU Buffaloes, who CSU hasn’t beaten since 2009. A win would sooth the pain of several close loses, and give CSU bragging rights for another year.

It’s the first game for new CSU coach Jim McElwain, who is fresh off a national championship with Alabama. A win would launch the “Coach Mac” era on a high note and help justify his $1 million-plus annual salary.

It’s the first game for new AD Jack Graham, who has staked his reputation on building a new on-campus football stadium.  A win by CSU would energize fans and donors at a crucial time in the decision-making process.

It’s the first game in CSU’s “Bold New Era,” a rebranding of the Athletic Department by CSU President Tony Frank. In December 2011, Frank unexpectedly fired popular AD Paul Kowalczyk then hired Jack Graham, who promptly fired football coach Steve Fairchild after three consecutive 3-9 seasons.

What about the players? Isn’t this too much pressure to place on their young shoulders? Absolutely.  They are not paid professionals. Most of them came to CSU simply to play football and get a free education at a top university. They work extremely hard and the game is an exciting reward. It’s not fair that they are pawns in such a high-stakes game.

Discovering that life is unfair and that people often put unreasonable expectations on you are lessons these young men are learning in 2012.

But here’s the thing: if Coach Mac is as good as we think/hope he is, he will have CSU’s players ready. And if CU is as vulnerable as we think/hope they are, CSU can beat them. And if CSU beats CU…oh what a wonderful year it will be!


Epilog (9/2/12):  The Rams ended up winning 23-17. It was an exciting, hard-fought game. Coach Mac and the players performed well and we could not be more proud of them. Time will tell how the Bold New Era, the on-campus stadium, and other issues turn out, but for now it feels great to beat CU and have braggin’ rights for a year.