Thursday, May 30, 2013

Coopersmith's Pub and Brewing

Earlier this week, I returned from a visit to Fort Collins, Colorado.  It's a beautiful city with a number of craft and micro breweries.  One of these is Coopersmith's Pub and Brewing.  I'd heard of Coopersmith's from other craft beer fanatics as a brewery that offered some good and unusual products.

There are two "sides" to Coopersmith's.  As you face it from the street, the right-hand side of the place is a pub with a pool hall and some outdoor seating.  The left-hand side is a pub with a restaurant. The brewing facilities appear in the left-hand side of the place, along with an aging cellar for the beer.

Like many brew pubs, Coopersmith's beer menu changes as the brewmasters experiment with new recipes or the seasons change.

During my visit, their beer menu included:
  • Columbine Kolsch – a classic German ale
  • Poudre Pale Ale – an English style ale featuring Crystal Malt, Amber Malt, English yeast, and Golding hops
  • Albert Damm Bitter – a traditional English bitter style ale
  • Punjabi Pale Ale – an IPA with lots of malt and Cascade hops
  • Cask Conditioned Punjabi Pale Ale – a variant of the Punjabi Pale Ale that is fermented, aged, and served in the same cask
  • Sigda's Green Chili – a golden ale brewed with Anaheim and Serrano chili peppers
  • Scrumpy Cider – a hard apple cider whose blend changes through the season
  • Peach Mead – a mead created with peaches, honey, and brewing sugar
  • Biere Blanche du Fort – a Belgian style white ale featuring orange peel, coriander, chamomile, unmalted wheat, and oats
  • Horsetooth Stout – an oatmeal stout
  • Not Brown Ale – this is a brown ale, but one that is lightly hopped so that the caramel and coffee flavors of the malt take center stage – it's even slightly sweet
  • Mountain Avenue Wheat – a German style hefeweizen made with 50% wheat malt
  • Collaboration Szechuan Porter – This beer was a collaboration between Coopersmith's, Equinox, and Fort Collins breweries.  It's a porter made with chocolate rye malt, raisins, and Szechuan peppercorns
  • Motueka Pale Ale – this pale ale features 100% Motueka hops from New Zealand
  • Hopfather-Part Two – this is a medium bodied American style red ale that starts sweet and finishes dry with a lingering bitterness
I didn't have the opportunity to try all of these during my visit, but I did have the opportunity to try four of them.  Sigda's Green Chili had an understated flavor that allowed the heat and flavor of the chili peppers to shine.  It was spicy, but not overly so.  The Peach Mead was very nice.  It was sweet, but not syrupy, with the honey and peach flavors being well balanced.  It made a nice "dessert" after trying the other beers.  The Not Brown Ale was my favorite of the brews, delivering on the menu's promise of coffee and malt flavors taking center stage.  Hops bitterness was present, but stayed in the background to balance the malt.  A very nice beer.  The Collaboration Szechuan Porter was very interesting.  The base beer was an excellent porter, but the addition the Szechuan peppercorns added a distinctly Asian note to the beer.  It was like having a nice Chinese dinner with your beer, and a very unique flavor.

If you find yourself in Fort Collins, I recommend dropping by Coopersmith's to see what they have on tap.  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.  The folks at Beer Advocate agree, rating it 90/100 or exceptional.  After the break below, I've posted some additional photos.

Coopersmith's Pub and Brewing
#5 Old Town Square
Fort Collins, Colorado 80524
Phone: 970.498.0483
Fax: 970.498.0471

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