Brewery Hopping: New Belgium, Odell’s and Fort Collins Brewing

Throughout the day (last Saturday that is) I posted various pictures to instagram. It wasn’t until later in the day, and more so the next day when the booze really wore off, that I realized what lushes we looked like. Writing this retrospectively I feel I should qualify this post by saying one of the biggest reasons we wanted to visit Fort Collins was to tour the many breweries there. So, yes we drank, practically all day long. However, we mostly stuck to the tasting trays and we spread out our boozing from 11:00 Saturday morning until 11:00 that night. 
With that out of the way, let’s talk about one of the most fantastic days we’ve had to date. 
Our day, as I said earlier, started around 11:00. According to the website the New Belgium brewery tours were booked for the day. I remained hopeful and talked Husband into going anyway, hoping they would squeeze us in somewhere. Unsure of the distance to the brewery we hailed a cab and got on our way.
This brewery was nothing short of amazing. From the decor, to the amazing beers, to the unbelievably cheerful employees, I was almost immediately ready to move in.
We learned that the tours were in fact booked up, however we got our name on the waiting list in the case there were some no shows. We just missed the 11:30 tour open slots, but got in on the 12:00. 
The tour lasted 1.5 hours and featured around five different beers along with a thorough tour of the facility and explanation of how New Belgium came to be. 
We left with a sincere appreciation not only for the beers that we already loved, but for the company and all of the great things it does both in the communities it is sold in, and for the planet through its eco-conscious practices. 
It is an employee-owner ran company meaning that all of the employees own the company equally (including the CEO and founder). For this reason they exude happiness because they are all very passionate about the company, the beer, and the customers that make it all a successful reality. As the tour guide put it, they consider the brewery their home.
Demonstrating just how much foam should really be in a properly brewed beer.
These glasses were handblown by a local artist. There are 146 of them, and supposedly she comes in ever so often and takes home 146 beers for free as payment.
Fun trivia fact, there are 700 beers bottled a minute (that doesn’t include the kegs and cans).
At the end of the tour, in the spirit of the lighthearted approach the company prides itself on, guests are invited to slide down a metal slide. I was less than graceful on the way down.
Because we waited to get on a tour we didn’t get done till after 1:30 and our stomachs were crying for some lunch.
We were just a short walk to the next brewery so we hit up a food truck to eat on the way.
This was Husband’s dish. I gave up grains and white starches for lent so I had to be a little creative with mine. I went with a sauteed veggies, beef and peanut sauce bowl. It was absolutely incredible. Although that may have had something to do with how hungry we were.
The next stop was Odell’s. 
We opted not to do the first come, first serve brewery tour, deciding they would most likely cover many of the same subjects as New Belgium did. Instead we grabbed a couple of tasting trays and took advantage of the gorgeous weather by commencing our tasting on the patio.
Taste the rainbow!
As the afternoon set in, the crowd spilled out onto the lawn. Had we not had other places to go, I could have easily soaked up the sun in that very spot for the rest of the day.
The last brewery for the day was Fort Collins. A much smaller establishment, but full of character. I actually liked it better than Odell’s both from a beer, and an atmosphere perspective.
I again went with a tasting tray. I felt it was the only way to get a true idea of the breweries offerings without trying to down pints like a mad woman.
They had a mint chocolate beer that danced merrily across my taste buds. 
At this point we needed a little break so we walked back to the hotel to walk the dogs and rest for a bit.
Only in Colorado (well and Washington I suppose) would you see a place like this.

A few hours later, feeling rejuvenated we went to Ace Gillette’s. The Trip Advisor reviews had touted this bar as a classy jazz bar with good martini’s. That was all it took to peak our attention.
It did not disappoint. I hate to admit it, but I was beered out at that point and this martini hit the spot.
We were starving again so we had the beef carppacio to hold us over until dinner.
Dinner was had at the Fish.
My mouth was watering at the anticipation of some good fresh fish. We started with the ahi tuna egg rolls.
Then had the sole with lump crab meat and asparagus. It was divine.
Then we may or may not have munched on some key lime pie (I only nibbled on the filling).
And to end our extremely long day we spent a few minutes in the hot tub to sooth our tired legs. The next day we planned to hike and head back downtown for some old fashioned Sunday gusto grabbing.

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