Another brewpub we tried out was Trinity Brewing Company in Colorado Springs, right down the road from the beautiful Garden of the Gods rock formations. This was a much more casual place than Phantom. They had a good selection of house brews, as well as seasonals, and a few other varieties from other breweries. And with other Colorado venues, a very nice happy hour discount. The house beers were around $3 when we went.
I first had their Flo IPA Nitro. The few nitro beers I’ve had have always been stouts, never an IPA, so I was intrigued. It was very smooth and creamy, perfectly balancing out the bitterness of the hops. Next beer I got with the Awaken Stout Nitro. “Coffee” is often used to describe stouts or porters, but usually is just a faint aftertaste. Not on this brew! This is straight up pure coffee flavor – the most I’ve ever tasted in a beer, including coffee porters. It’s a smooth drink, but you need to be in the coffee mood.
The coolest thing to me about Trinity Brewing was most of their house brews gave you a choice of carbonation. You could choose CO2, nitro, or cask. While I have had all of these types before, I’ve never seen them offered at the same time for multiple beers. I really liked having the option, as all three give the beer a slightly different taste and experience. While we do not have any brewpubs in Houston, maybe one of our breweries could try something similar. You listening?
Overall, I recommend Trinity Brewing. Their casual, friendly atmosphere paired with their house brews with choice of carbonation made for a very enjoyable experience.
The first brewpub me and Mrs. Suit hit up in Colorado was Phantom Canyon Brewing Company. It sits smack in the middle of downtown Colorado Springs in a cool looking old building. We were there somewhat early for dinner and the place was empty except for a few people at the bar… and the full brewery in the corner.
Our main reason for coming early was to catch their amazing happy hour: $2.75 pints of their craft brew, 3 to 6 pm and 10 pm until close everyday. You can’t beat that deal. Food was great and service was friendly, but this is HBR so I will get to the beers.
First beers we got were the Streamliner IPA and the Hefeweizen. The Streamliner was a strong IPA with a distinct sweetness to it. The Hefeweizen was strong on the banana, very similar to Karbach’s Weisse Versa. After dinner we got the Crosscut Wood-aged Ale and Jebus Braggot. These were strong, sipping beers. The Crosscut is a dark ale aged in whiskey barrels. It had very complex flavors ranging from dried fruit to bourbon. The Jebus was a mix between a beer and mead. It was very thick and sweet, having a distinct honey flavor. Overall, all 4 beers we tried here were very good and I would recommend them all.
Coming from Houston, home of zero brewpubs, this was quite the experience. It’s pretty cool to sit and eat dinner next to the fermenters your beer came out of. Happy hour was really good too. Most happy hours in Houston knock a buck off $6 pints of Bud Light. This place had house-made craft brews for $2.75. And more importantly, the staff was also fully aware of their happy hour – something you often have to fight for in Houston. They even warned my wife we she ordered the Jebus that since it was a 10% speacialty brew, it would cost more… and by more they meant a mere $4.50. You order something that strong in Houston and it will cost you $10 a pint!
More Colorado reviews are forthcoming, but this experience was pretty much repeated across the state. Our city could stand to learn a few things from here I think.