Best of the Springs 2018 Expert Picks: Beer

By Stephanie Earls Updated: May 8, 2018 at 8:24 pm • Published: May 8, 2018 0
photo - Terri Bradshaw's dog, Oscar, interferes a little as she tries to read the menu at Pub Dog Colorado Monday, April 24, 2017. This is first destination in the state where it's entirely legal to dine, indoors, with a dog, although on this day all diners and dogs were ouside on the patio. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
Terri Bradshaw's dog, Oscar, interferes a little as she tries to read the menu at Pub Dog Colorado Monday, April 24, 2017. This is first destination in the state where it's entirely legal to dine, indoors, with a dog, although on this day all diners and dogs were ouside on the patio. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette

PUB DOG COLORADO

2207 Bott Ave., pubdogcolorado.com, 375-0771

Colorado Springs' dog owners no longer have to wait for good weather, or a seat on the patio, in order to dine and drink out with their companion animals. Pub Dog Colorado's owner, Tara Downs, addressed a health code impasse by designing her restaurant with two separate dining rooms: a self-serve space that welcomes dogs and opens onto a patio and grassy area, and a full-serve dining area and bar, where only humans and service dogs are allowed. With Bear Creek Dog Park only about a mile away, Pub Dog's the perfect place to treat yourself after you've treated Rover.

hispanic brewerie
The city's first Latina-owned brewery will host its grand re-opening on Cinco de Mayo, this Saturday. Jessica Fierro, who last year beat out other top homebrewers in the nation to win Viceland TV's Beerland competition reality show, bought Great Storm Brewing Co. earlier this year. Over the last few months she's been transitioning the brand and officially opens as Atrevida Beer Co. May 5. Monday, April 30, 2018. (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette) 

NEW STORM BREWIN': ATREVIDA BEER CO. (formerly Great Storm Brewing Co.)

204 Mountain View Lane, No. 3, atrevidabeerco.com, 266-4200

When Jessica Fierro took over earlier this year as the new owner of Great Storm Brewing Co., it wasn't the veteran homebrewer's first foray into the world of commercial brewing. Last year, her recipe for a tamarind-flavored Biere de Garde won the grand prize on "Beerland," a competitive reality show on Viceland TV that profiled some of the nation's top amateur brewers. Her bottling contract-winning "Dona Neta" beer belongs to "Beerland" sponsor and AB InBev subsidiary Golden Road Brewing, but Fierro is pouring variations on that recipe, and other creations inspired by her Mexican heritage, as she continues transitioning the business away from the brand by which it's been known since early 2012. In early March, Fierro announced a new name for the city's first Latina-owned beer company: Atrevida, the feminine form of the Spanish word for "bold."

Red Leg’s Blue Nose Brown Ale and some comfortable ski chairs at Trails End Taproom. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Red Leg’s Blue Nose Brown Ale and some comfortable ski chairs at Trails End Taproom. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock) 

SUDSY FIRSTS: TRAILS END TAPROOM

3103 W. Colorado Ave., trailsendtaproom.com, 428-0080

The Springs' West Side saw the openings of two innovative, beer-themed businesses last year: the area's first pour-your-own taproom, and the state's first drinking and dining spot where dogs officially are welcome indoors. Paces from the Midland Trail and a short pedal from Red Rock Canyon Open Space and Garden of the Gods, Trails End Taproom is the kind of trailhead I can appreciate. Owner Kevin Weese's bike-themed beer Smorgasbord has 40 self-serve taps dedicated to a rotating lineup of Colorado craft libations, some of them regional brands rarely found outside their home bases. Trails End's model lets patrons pour anywhere from an ounce of beer to a full glass, and though you'll find no servers, per se, employees are on hand to help walk newbies through the process. All tips are donated to local trail and humanitarian nonprofits.

Some of the 12 beers of Christmas on tap at Brewer's Republic in Colorado Springs Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, are from left to right Pikes Peak Brewery's AdAmAn, Prairie's Beer That Saved Christmas, Delirium Noel, O'Dell's Isolation, Upslope's Christmas, Brvery's 6 Geese A laying, and Kannah Creek's Winter soulstiz. ( The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Some of the 12 beers of Christmas on tap at Brewer's Republic in Colorado Springs Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, are from left to right Pikes Peak Brewery's AdAmAn, Prairie's Beer That Saved Christmas, Delirium Noel, O'Dell's Isolation, Upslope's Christmas, Brvery's 6 Geese A laying, and Kannah Creek's Winter soulstiz. ( The Gazette, Christian Murdock) 

OLD LEASE, NEW LIFE: BREWER'S REPUBLIC

112 N. Nevada Ave., facebook.com/brewersrepublic, 633-2105

The late December 2017 news that Brewer's Republic craft beer bar and restaurant had suddenly closed, due to a landlord-tenant dispute, sent shockwaves through the city's craft beer crowd. Thankfully, the panic was short-lived. After the sub-letter pulled up stakes, the location defaulted back to longtime lease-holders Jerry Morris and Tom Halfast, who'd sold the 6-year-old bar in 2016 to focus on opening Cerberus Brewing Co.. Morris and Halfast's revived Brewer's Republic re-opened in February as a "Cerberus taproom," with a third of the 20 taps devoted to selections from the West Side brewery and the rest to "the best we can find; what Brewer's is known for," said Morris. The menu, created by Cerberus Executive Chef Mark LeFebvre and prepared by sous chef Michael Sims, is a sub- and pizza-focused version of the fare offered at Cerberus. "There's something about being back here with an opportunity to really make this thing pop," Morris said. "It did OK before, but it was never really wildly successful like Cerberus has been. It's kind of exciting to have another shot at it and see if we can make it sing."

To see the full 2018 Best of the Springs results, visit thebestofthesprings.com

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