Small breweries have found their niche in Colorado

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Colorado has breweries that everyone knows like New Belgium, O’Dell’s and Oskar Blues, but they also have some great unique smaller breweries that have found their place in the fast paced brewery scene.

Funkwerks Brewing Company


Their niche is brewing Belgian beers and doing a damn good job at it. Oh, and they play funk, a lot of it.

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Besides the “big guys,” Funkwerks topped my list of breweries. It was one great Belgian beer after the other. Their flagship saison was a fruity, dry beer that was perfect for the hot day. I tried their Tropic King, an imperial saison and their sour, Raspberry Provincial. But the star of the list was the Nelson Sauvin, a saison brewed with Muscat white grape juice.

The outside had lawn Jenga, which I am terrible at, corn hole, which I am awesome at, in a great out door space to unwind with a few unique beers.

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Ratio Brewing Company

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Ratio was one of those breweries that we just stumbled upon. It’s small but offers some unique beers. My favorite beer was Novo Hold Steady, a coffee-scotch ale infused with local cold pressed coffee. Handwritten, their white ale, is perfect for a night on the patio. It’s in what looks like a converted garage so it has an awesome open feel.

We met one of the locals who told us that it’s not a place that everyone finds and is “the locals” bar. I could kind of tell when we got a few “who are you looks” shot at you when we first walked in.

Horse and Dragon Brewing Company

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Horse and Dragon is the brain-child of a married couple who spent 10 years in China only to end up brewing beer back in Colorado. Lindsey Cornish, the head brewer, is churning out some unique beers like Carol’s 2 Obsessions, a coffee pale ale, which is something that I didn’t think would work but it really does. It does! Their coffee stout, Sad Panda, was another one of the highlights of the trip. It was one of the best coffee stouts I have had. Their line up includes other inventive names like Aggravated Aardvark Imperial IPA and Impish Iguana Double IPA.

Walking around Fort Collins, Denver and their surrounding areas you realize something. Breweries are everywhere and they have truly become a neighborhood bar. The locals embrace their brewery and they proud of it. I had countless conversations with the locals and they all seemed to take pride in the place they are drinking.

James Werner
Author: James Werner

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