Fort Collins is blessed with fabulous weather, miles of scenic bike paths
and award-winning microbrews,
the creators of which just happen to be oh so close to the bike path, making a bike ride and beer tasting a near perfect warm weather date.
If you are lucky enough to live near one of the paths or you enjoy a longer ride, its always nice to bike home on this one. If you are starting farther away and need to park and ride, I suggest Lee Martinez Park on the north end of town as an excellent starting point.
From here you can make the ride portion of this day any length you want. Its only a little over a mile to the brewery block from here and there are also some single track trails along the river that are fun. If you’re looking for some serious exercise you can take a 10 mile (one-way) ride on the Poudre River and Spring Creek Trails to Cottonwood Glen Park. If you are in the mood for a hot weather treat, the trail swings dangerously close to Dairy Queen on the way (just west of the underpass at College Ave).
By now you will have worked up a good thirst and you have a selection of venues to chose from. These days you have four brewery choices – the standards, New Belgium Brewing and Odell Brewing Company, have recently been joined by The Fort Collins Brewery who relocated just up Lincoln Ave and the newly opened Funkwerks who took over Fort Collins Brewery’s recently vacated space farther up Lincoln.
New Belgium is probably the best known outside of Fort Collins and has the fact that tastings are free working in its favor. However, we find that particularly on sunny Saturdays, it is a little crowded. You probably won’t get to sit down and there is no outdoor seating. Our longstanding favorite is Odell’s.
Besides the fact that we just like their beer, (5280 agrees by the way, awarding Odell’s 3 of the 6 spots in their limited edition 5280 Six Pack) Odell’s tends to be a slightly more orderly and relaxing experience. You will pay $4 for your taster tray, but the money goes to good local causes through the Charities of the Month program and you are more likely to have a chance to sit down and relax. If you are lucky you can even score a seat outdoors on their patio.
They have live music on Wednesdays from 4-6 and while you can drink any of their standard brews here, you can also take advantage of the opportunity to order a taster tray of experimental brews from their pilot system, some of which are not available anywhere else.