I submit to you the following truths:
- Hanging out with friends is fun
- Drinking (mostly) good beer is fun
- Brewery-hopping in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains on a beautiful day is fun
Now, given that I deduced the veracity of those statements over the course of a single Saturday, you may be inclined to declare small-sample-size shenanigans. You technically wouldn’t be wrong -- but you actually would be completely wrong, because those things are definitely true.
My girlfriend and I are pioneering it out here in Colorado, meaning we are geographically far removed from the majority of our family and friends. As such, having visitors from back home is an understandably rare occasion, and a bit of an event.
It’s an even rarer occasion, and even more of an event, to have multiple people come visit us at once, which is exactly what happened recently. The people who visited us comprise most of a tight-knit group of friends from my girlfriend’s college days, as well as the husband of one of said friends. Each of these folks is a fine, upstanding citizen in their own right -- contributors to society, intelligent, congenial, and the rest of it.
(Your intelligent, congenial author.)
They also enjoy beer.
Thus, since all these people were congregated in one locale, sans kiddos, and since Northern Colorado is host to a rather copious helping of craft breweries, it was only logical that we spend a day sampling the suds.
Here's a list of the breweries we visited, in chronological order:
- Grimm Brothers (Loveland)
- O'Dell (Fort Collins)
- Fort Collins Brewery (guess where?)
- Funkwerks (Fort Collins)
We ordered sampler flights from each of the breweries, so there are too many individual beers to list and review in this space. There weren’t any surprises from O’Dell and FCB: nice facilities, nice vibes, solid-to-excellent selection from O’Dell. Grimm Brothers in Loveland (http://www.grimmbrosbrewhouse.com/) has a nice little taproom, and featured a sound variety of stouts and ales.
Funkwerks stole the show.
Funkwerks is a relatively new brewery (est. 2009), and is located in FCB’s old facility. It features a no-frills taproom, a tiny office space in the back, and a brew room that is dwarfed in scale by those of some of its larger neighbors.
No matter on the frilly stuff, though, because Funkwerks has got it goin’ on with some tubular saisons.
Its Saison (6.8% ABV, 0.37 wOBAR, 3.68 BAR) earned the silver and gold medals in 2011 and 2012, respectively, at the Great American Beer Festival for its class. Their Tropic King (8.0% ABV, 0.36 wOBAR, 3.58 BAR) is an Imperial with a crackling mouthfeel, fruit-tastic flavor, and peppery fade. It’s kind of like drinking a delicious and delightful party.
Perhaps not coincidentally, our little group was precisely a “delicious and delightful party” by the time we all took a few sips of these (and other) Funkwerks offerings. To a person, we proclaimed Funkwerks the winning brewery of the day.
And since we’re all upstanding contributors and whatnot, I’d recommend you heed our opinions.
Funkwerks Tropic King