Natural Highs: Fort Collins Brews You Can Bike To

Fort Collins has more micro-brews per capita than any other Colorado city, all of which are American Craft Brewers except for Anheuser-Busch. The Brewers Association defines these Craft Brewers as small, independent, and traditional, giving a unique feel to local breweries.

Many of these brewers offer tours and tastings, giving you the option to taste beer at its premium freshness. As some of these beers are simply test-runs, these breweries offer some beer that will never be brewed or bottled again. If you love beer, Fort Collins is an oasis in which to go “bottoms up!”


Fort Collins Brewery

img: New Planet Beer

1900 E Lincoln Ave, Suite B


Mon-thurs noon to 6

Fri-sat noon to 7

Tasting ends a half hour before close.

Tom and Jan Peters own Fort Collins Brewery and reside locally. They bought the brewery in 2004 and distribute craft brews to 22 different states from Wyoming to Florida.


New Belgium Brewery

500 Linden St


Hours and tasting: Tues-Sat 10 to 6

Tours: Tues-Thurs 1:30 to 4:30

Fri 12:30-4:30

Sat 11 to 4:30

Every half hour

CAN RESERVE TICKETS AT NEWBELGIUM.COM UP TO 6 MONTHS IN ADVANCE-You need tickets in order to take the tour, but can taste by simply walking in.


On a cycling trip across Belgium on his fat-tired bike, electrical engineer Jeff Lebesch rode through beer towns picking up ideas and ingredients for making his own beer. Using old dairy equipment stored in his basement, Lebesch crafted the first United States Belgian style beers, Fat Tire and Abbey. These are two of New Belgium’s most popular beers, which are distributed among 25 different states along with the rest of the beers produced at New Belgium. His wife Kim started as the company bottler, distributor and sales rep, and is now the CEO as the company went commercial in 1991.


Odell Brewing Company

800 E Lincoln Ave


Mon-Sat 11-6

Tours Mon-Sat 1, 2, and 3 p.m.

Live Music Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m.


Odell’s beer was born in the kitchen of Doug Odell’s Seattle home, and in 1989 he and his wife Wynne moved to Fort Collins to expand the brewing operation. They set up at first in an old grain elevator, using 5 barrels in the brewing process, which is now the name of one of their darker beers. Odell’s sister Corkie joined the operation, helping out with only the second microbrewery to open in Colorado. A 50-barrel brew house and bottling plant resulted from outgrowing the grain elevator, and Odell Brewing Company now distributes in 8 states and brews 40,000 barrels of beer a year.


Brew Pubs: Brewpubs are bars or restaurants that serve beer brewed on site. The two most popular in Fort Collins are:


CB and Potts and Big Horn Brewery

1415 W Elizabeth St.


Monday-Friday 11am-2am

Sat and Sunday 10:30am to 2am


“Potts” as it is so often called began as a pub and tavern in 1971. They added the Big Horn Brewery on the side in 1995, to provide freshly brewed beer to thirsty customers. Various sizes-from growlers to kegs-of this award-winning beer can be bought on site.


CooperSmith’s Pub and Brewing

5 Old Town Square
(970) 498-0483

Pub-side Hours Sunday-Wednesday 11am-11pm

Thursday 11am-11:30pm

Friday and Saturday 11am-Midnight

Poolside:Mon-Fri 2pm-2am

Sat and Sun 11am-2am


Coopersmiths fills growlers of beer, but does not bottle it for sale. These growlers are glass jugs, usually 64 ounces, equaling about 5.33 regular sized beers.

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