Best Patios in Fort Collins

There’s no denying it, some days an adult beverage on a patio does the body good!

Beating the summer heat can be a tough task, but when you’re properly set up on a nice patio with your beverage of choice, even the heat can’t keep you down. A cold beer pairs well with the hot afternoons and warm evenings, so if you’re struggling to overcome the dog days of summer, pick up your favorite and grab a seat on a patio.

Now, with that being said, we must narrow it down because let’s be honest, there are tons of great patios to choose from in Fort Collins. Finding the perfect one, well that is up to you, but we are here to at least help get you started in the right direction. Use our suggestions to pick out your favorites.

Road 34 – Here you’ll find a wide selection of beers on draft and in bottles, and often times you’ll be able to catch a special beer event throughout the week. Their patio features large picnic tables, shuffleboard, a pool table, and TV’s so you can catch the baseball game while sipping a beer outside.

The Rio Grande – A water fountain, and a Mexican lager served with a lime. Do you not agree that that is what a hot summer night should include? Those two things put it up there on our list for sure!

Lucky Joe’s – Peanuts. A handful (or four) of this bottomless snack keeps you coming back for more. Order up a beer of your choice, sit back, and crack peanuts until your heart is content. You’ll enjoy the prime location for people watching as well.

Crown Pub – Front or back? Take your pick; they both have their advantages. Perfect for people watching, enjoy the hustle and bustle along the busy sidewalk out front. Or, sit on the back patio and enjoy getting away from everything.

Black Bottle Brewery – They recently brought in an L-shaped lounge sofa and wild pink flamingos to their perfectly shady patio, making it a great spot to snag a quick bite to eat and sip on their always-creative beers. All they ask is that you please don’t feed the flamingos.

Illegal Pete’s – Rooftop. Need we say more? Any beer you have while up on the rooftop patio tastes 100 times better. Even on cooler days earlier in the year their patio was a nice place to escape and look over the rest of Downtown Fort Collins. Sunsets can be quite a treat up there; we suggest you take a look for yourself.

Now get out there and find your perfect patio and beverage combination!

New Belgium’s revival and newly released 2015 beers are a must

If you haven’t already, you should check out the latest from one of Fort Collins’ biggest craft breweries. New Belgium recently released two new beers and brought back a fan favorite that have slowly been taking over taps all over northern Colorado.

Chances are good you’ve seen these three on store shelves or tap handles at your favorite watering hole. And if you’ve held off on trying them, you’re really missing out!

Let us introduce to you Portage and Slow Ride, and reintroduce you to Porch Swing.

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As winter moves a long the desire for those strong heavy stouts dissipates along with the cold weather. Enter Portage. With aromas of chocolate and nutty almonds, and flavor that is on the slightly sweet side, you’ve now found a beer that helps ease your transition to the lighter beer months.

As the temperatures inevitably rise outdoors those heavy hitting stouts will begin to hibernate to make way for lighter, easy sipping beers like Slow Ride, a session IPA. Recent trends have ABVs (alcohol by volume) falling this year and at 4.5%, Slow Ride is no exception. This tropical IPA is concocted using 8 different hop varieties, perfectly balanced, and created to be extra refreshing.

And if you’re picking up a Folly Pack, you’ll soon find an old friend, Porch Swing, mixed in with your other New Belgium faves. If you haven’t had this one before, you’ll want to find it while it lasts. A single ale, that pours a perfect golden color and has a perfectly light body, is best sipped on while escaping from your daily grind.porchswing_l

Keep your eyes open for these and give them a try when you have a chance, you won’t be mad about it that’s for sure.

There’s a new Fortune to be had

HCB - Miller Fortune

What to drink, beer or a cocktail?  A common question for many while out for dinner or a night on the town.

MillerCoors seeks to ease the pain of that tough decision by introducing Miller Fortune.  Beginning this month you’ll find the new brand, Fortune, a golden lager, in restaurants and on store shelves all across Colorado and the nation.  Caramel malts give it an amber appearance and Cascade hops provide a citrusy flavor as it hits your tongue.  But it doesn’t stop there; an addition of bourbon flavor sets it far apart from its fellow comrades.

Weighing in at 6.9% ABV, this bourbon inspired beverage packs a bigger punch that most others that you’ll find sitting next to it, with others ranging from 4%-5% ABV.  You aren’t expected to see this creation being served in a pint glass either, rather a rocks glass, like you would a nice glass of bourbon.  While this may be easy for some to put back quickly, it’s meant to be enjoyed over a period of time, warming up and bringing forward more bold flavors to your palate.

Next time you’re out and deciding between a beer or a cocktail, ask for a Miller Fortune and enjoy the best of both worlds.  The sleek black bottle, filled with a full flavored lager that flirts with the edge of craft beer potential, will keep you wanting more.

Love is in the beer…

 

I Heart Beer

Every year February 14th is filled with love, candy and cards, but this year you should do a little something more.

If you’re spending it with a loved one for first time or maybe 20th time, it’s sure to be a special day.  Exchange your cards and chocolate, deliver the flowers, tell them just how much they mean to you and then boom, pull out their favorite beer!  Sure the chocolates are great, but nothing says “I love you” better than knowing someone’s favorite beverage.  It could be a 4-pack of Oskar Blues’ Ten Fidy, Lagunitas’ Sucks (which just hit stores by the way), or maybe introduce them to Miller Fortune, a bourbon flavored lager.  Whatever it may be, a night spent in with a favorite beverage and great company is one of the best pleasures.

Not one for staying in, then head out and enjoy a nice evening on the town.  Pick your favorite spot for dinner and enjoy your favorites there.  If you stick around for dessert and you’ll want to pair Boulder Beer’s Shake (a chocolate porter) with anything chocolate or maybe you’re looking for something tart and fruity, in which case you should give New Belgium’s Transatlantique Kriek (a lambic ale full of Polish cherries) a try to get you puckered up.

Speaking of puckering up, Tap N’ Handle of Fort Collins, will be pouring a wide variety of sour beers all week long during their 1st Annual Sweet n Sour Week.  Beginning yesterday, February 10th, they started putting on as many sour gems as they could find.  Rumor has it they have had some real treats stashed away, guess you have to show up to see what they are!

Whether you’re spending it with your sweetheart or you’re celebrating “Singles Awareness Day”, be sure to make the best of it.  No sense in being a bum, share a beer with loved ones and friends alike!

Spring seasonals are making their way to town!

While we are still months away from the first day of spring, the spring seasonals will all slowly but surely be finding their way to shelves and taps shortly.

Seasonals seem to be arriving earlier and earlier every year. And while that sometimes means we have to fight off the thoughts of cold and snowy days as the winter seasonals start showing up, the arrival of Spring seasonals has a much warmer outlook. You may have noticed that your winter warming favorites have been quietly fading away as the days have been getting longer. Don’t fret, draft lists and store shelves will soon be filled with spring time favorites to help you welcome the green grass and celebrate the extra hours of sunlight.

Maybe you already have a few favorites that you’re excited to have once again, but here is a list just in case you need a few suggestions to get started:

Alaskan Brewing Co. – Extra Special Bitter
Big Sky Brewing – Bobo’s Robust Porter
Blue Moon – Valencia Grove Amber
Boulder Beer – Mojo Risin’ Double IPA
Lagunitas – Sucks
Leinenkugel’s – Canoe Paddler
New Belgium – Spring Blonde
Sierra Nevada – Bigfoot and Ruthless Rye IPA
Tommyknocker – Oaked Butthead Bock and Legend

CyclHOPS, Northern Colorado’s newest bike CAN-tina

CyclHops Bike Cantina logo
If you enjoy craft beer and bikes then this new spot is perfect for you!

Oskar Blues recently opened their newest venture, CyclHOPS, in Longmont. This quick service taco spot and tequila bar will also feature a full service bike shop and will be home to their bike brand, REEB Cycles. All aspects truly reflect the lifestyle of many along the Front Range and Northern Colorado.

With seating for upwards of 300 people, this face paced taqueria style CAN-tina offers up authentic and traditional tacos alongside a plethora of craft beers and specialty tequilas. There’s nothing better than fresh ingredients inside of handmade tortillas. Twenty taps, flowing with delicious craft beer, should keep your cravings at bay, at least while you’re enjoying your meal. Taking a trip into the tequila tasting room will have you in front of 43 premium tequilas, and no lime or salt is needed. The warm feel and tequila tiki bar will almost make you think that you are escaping Colorado to hit the warm beaches down in Mexico.

Before, or after, you eat be sure to stop in and check out the full-service bike shop that is also located in the Bike CAN-tina. Here you’ll find the retail home of REEB Cycles, a company dedicated to building bikes locally and made solely with American-made parts. They currently offer four models and were named to Outside Magazine’s “Top 9 Mountain Bikes of Spring 2012”.

Hop on your bike and ride on over to enjoy some of what makes Colorado so amazing, bikes and beer.

Winter seasonals are back!

The wait is over and it’s time again for those winter seasonals to fill the shelves, taps and your fridge!

For many of you this is your favorite time of the year, as all those delicious warming beers come back to your favorite spots to grab a beer. Whether it’s at your neighborhood hangout, the beer bar downtown, or the liquor store that’s on your way home from work, you’ll now find an abundance of local and national winter seasonals all over Northern Colorado.

While light, citrus and hoppy beers are enjoyed during the warmer months, winter months visit the opposite end of the spectrum, and can often times be rich and dark (though they aren’t always that way). These seasonals can offer a little bit more in ABV (alcohol by volume), seemingly warming you up a touch, perfect for a cold and snowy night. The thick and almost syrupy viscosity that is sometimes associated with these delicious crafts can seem like a meal in themselves, perfect for a pre-meal snack or after dinner treat. Heck, enjoy one before, during, and after, because they won’t be around forever.

The Rocky Mountains must be quite inspiring, as Colorado’s breweries have a thing for creating beers that pair perfectly with the cold winter months. You’ll find Blue Moon’s Winter Abbey Ale, Boulder Beer’s Killer Penguin, and New Belgium’s newest creation, Accumulation, all across the state. Black Bottle Brewery doesn’t have a bottling line just yet, but you can stop by their place and try their Angry Elf that they just released last Saturday. National favorites like Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale, Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter and Saint Arnold’s Christmas Ale are all great winter seasonals you should give a try as well while they last.

So next time you belly up to the bar or stop by the liquor store take a look at the seasonals, because once they are gone you won’t see them for another whole year. Sad, we know.

We hope you’re enjoying the great holiday season!

Try Somethin’ Pumpkin

With the leaves turning colors and the blistering hot days behind us, it surely means that the fall season is well underway.  And it wouldn’t truly feel like fall without any pumpkin beers floating around the store shelves and taking up spots on restaurant and bar tap systems.  But just as quick as they arrive, they disappear, until next year that is.  That’s so far away though so it’s best you get them while they are still around this year.

If you are imagining your first sip to be like taking a bite of your jack-o-lantern remains, you’ve got the wrong impression.  In fact, most are far more interesting in taste than just plain old pumpkin.  The addition of fresh cut pumpkins is a popular choice, while others sometimes opt to use pumpkin puree or just a touch of pumpkin flavoring.  You’ll also find many common fall spices in them like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.  A generally sweet and malty taste with the spices taking offering up a good portion of the flavor profile make them extremely popular on these cooler fall nights.

Here’s a list of a few we think you might like to try from our friends!

  • Alaskan – Pumpkin Porter
  • Blue Moon – Harvest Pumpkin Ale
  • New Belgium – Pumpkick
  • Saint Arnold – Pumpkinator
  • Tommy Knocker – Small Patch Pumpkin Harvest Ale

Get your pumpkin fix in before it’s too late!

Welcoming the New Year!

Now that we have all made it through the end of the world it is time to start firming up those New Year’s Eve plans!  Whether you plan on dressing up in your Sunday’s best or just throwing on whatever you can find on your floor, you should celebrate with your closest friends and family!

Still trying to figure out your plans for New Year’s Eve?  Well, there are lots of great local options right here in Northern Colorado!  Paying for overpriced hotel rooms and bar covers can take the fun out of the whole celebration, so staying in town allows you to save some money and make it home safe and sound to your very own bed.

Fort Collins:

  • You can head to Ace Gillette’s if you’re looking for something a little more upscale, for just $45 you can eat, dance to live music by Soul Proprietor, and win door prizes!
  • The Rio Grande in Fort Collins will be hosting a party upstairs in their Agave Room.  There you can enjoy appetizers, live music and a complimentary champagne toast, all for $25.
  • TI’s Lounge and Du’ Tell Events are hosting an evening of dancing, celebrating, light Hors d’oeuvre, champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight. 1st well drink on them, $10 dollars in advance $15  at the door, FIRE and ICE theme dress attire is encouraged …… Ladies, red or white….. Gentlemen black slacks.
  • Washington’s Sports Bar & Grill is hosting a party with Nufusion Productions, there will be all kinds of party favors, cash drop, and of course a champagne toast at midnight.
  • If you’d rather head to a show, check out Elephant Revival at the Aggie Theatre or Fierce Bad Rabbit at Hodi’s Half Note.

Greeley:

  • Cactus Canyon in Greeley is hosting a huge New Years Even Time Machine party with $1.75 longnecks and wells until 9 pm! They are currently taking table reservations and tickets to their party are on sale for a discount now!
  • Whiskey River in Greeley has FREE drinks and drafts until 11 pm, a FREE champagne toast at midnight and all of the party hats and noise makers you could ask for!

Know of a good party this NYE up in Northern Colorado? Be sure to tell us about it on Facebook, www.Facebook.com/NoCoNightlife!

If you plan on hitting the bar scene sans RSVP,  be sure to head out a little early so you don’t get stuck counting down the New Year while freezing outside in a line!  Be prepared, while most bars will be operating as usual, some will have covers for the festivities so be sure to have a little extra cash to get in.

Does the looming “fiscal cliff” and tighter budget after the holidays have you second guessing your New Year’s Eve celebration plans?  You can still ring in the New Year in your own grand fashion by throwing a house party!  Instead of spending money on a cover, or buying drinks at the bar, pick up a couple cases of seasonal beer (there are still quite a few great options on the shelves), a few appetizers, party hats and noise makers, and a celebratory bottle of champagne to pop at the stroke of midnight.

When all is said and done, be sure to plan ahead and figure out a safe and sober ride to and from all destinations!

Happy New Year everyone!

Thanksgiving Beer Recommendations

With Thanksgiving upon us, we have those who have helped us in our hearts and turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie on our mind. Or maybe that’s just us! Many will spend the day with family and close friends, enjoying football, cheese balls, turkey, green bean casserole, pie and, of course, a good beer to wash it all down. That being said, you should put some thought into the beer selection you make.

There are a few things to take into consideration when picking out your beverage for the day, keeping in mind when you’ll be having it and what you will be eating. Your favorite beer might be a stout, but drinking something dark and heavy early in the day will fill you up quickly, leaving no room for all the fixins’ you thought about for the last week. Instead, stick with something light, like a lager or pilsner, until it’s time to enjoy your big meal.

When choosing a beer to have with dinner, you can go in a variety of directions. Sticking with the light beer you’ve already been drinking will allow you to taste all the flavors that are on your plate. Another option is a darker, malty beer that will allow the flavors to complement one another. If you are skipping the bird and having ham instead, it’s suggested that you pair it with a wheat beer, or “Weizen” as the Germans call it. And if you’re thinking about picking up an IPA, DON’T. The extra hops can take away all the rich flavors you’re expecting to have in the perfect bite you have on your fork.

After dinner is over and you’re ready for dessert, bring out those dark, heavy beers that you enjoy so much. The sweet, spiced or fruity beers pair perfectly with many of the desserts you may find on the table. A chocolate stout or a sour beer might bring out a few extra flavors in the pie mom made! Or maybe this year that pumpkin ale you’ve been dying to try will take the place of that piece of pie that you always have!

And if you are lucky enough to be able to enjoy the day without stepping foot in the kitchen, you should be extra thankful!

Lagers/Pilsners: Coors Brewing “Coors Banquet”, Bards Brewing “Bards (gluten free)”, or Flying Dog Brewery “UnderDog Atlantic Lager”

Ales: Big Sky Brewing “Moose Drool Brown Ale”, or Anchor Brewing “Brekle’s Brown”

Wheat/Weizen: New Belgium Brewing “Sunshine Wheat”, or Boulder Beer “Sweaty Betty Blonde”

Stouts: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. “Stout”, Lagunitas Brewing Company “Cappuccino Stout”, or Alaskan Brewing Company “Stout (oatmeal)”

Pumpkin Ale: Coors Brewing “Blue Moon Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale”, or Tommyknocker “Small Patch Pumpkin Harvest Ale”