Life is good for beer lovers in Colorado Springs. At last count, there were more than 30 breweries in the Colorado Springs area, so whether you live here or are just visiting, this brewery scene is hard to beat. What’s better than 30 breweries? Having someone else drive you to them.
Colorado Craft Tours is the newest way to explore breweries and distilleries in Colorado Springs, and we hopped on their shuttle bus during our last visit.
First, however, we downloaded our Crafts & Drafts Passport, a free opportunity to get discounts at 30+ breweries, distilleries and cafes in the Colorado Springs area. Many of discounts are two for one drinks at the participating businesses, including a 10% discount on any tour with Colorado Craft Tours. Just download it to your phone and go—it couldn’t be simpler. As businesses redeem your stops, you win prizes.
We were booked on the Old School Tour and hopped on the Colorado Craft Tours shuttle bus at Ivywild School, home of Bristol Brewing which would be our last stop of the day. Our bus driver was Galen, who co-owns the operation with her husband. Our guide for the day was Nick.
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The day was hot and we were happy that the shuttle bus had good air-conditioning as we were transported to our first stop. Colorado Gold Distillery is best known for their vodka that’s made under the name, Colorado High Vodka. Made with hemp, I’ve tasted this vodka at various distillery events, but it was fascinating to get a first-hand look at how it’s made.
Mike Almy, head distiller and director or production gave us the behind-the-scenes tour of Colorado Gold.
Colorado High Vodka has put this distillery on the map and is their bestseller despite the fact that they do make a variety of other award-winning spirits. I’ve been on more than a few distillery tours and the hemp component here made this one extra interesting and it didn’t hurt that Mike is personable and knows this business well.
There’s some advanced distilling machinery here along with some traditional stuff so it’s a nice look at the industry from all angles. They make a lot of booze, although they are cutting down on some products and distribution and a portion of what they make will now only be available at the distillery.
They are in the process of creating a fully-functional tasting room complete with tables for guests to relax and enjoy samples as well as mixed drinks. Until the tasting room is finished there aren’t regular hours here so it’s good to either take a tour with Colorado Craft Tours or call ahead.
At the end of the tour, we tasted their spirits and while I’m not much of a vodka fan, theirs is smooth and quite good. I also like their Silver Tequila and bourbon. At Colorado Gold, your Crafts & Drafts Passport is good for a free tour and spirits tasting and 10% off all purchases.
Back on the bus, we were on our way to Goat Patch Brewing Co., apparently named after one of the owner’s long, goat-like beard. Like Bristol, Goat Patch is located in an old school, namely Lincoln Elementary School and even though I didn’t go to school in Colorado Springs, a flood of childhood memories came back as I walked down the halls.
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If I lived in Colorado Springs, I think I’d spend a lot of time in this taproom which invites the outdoors inside through a wall of windows that open to a large, sunny patio. Using our Crafts & Drafts Passport we received a 2-for-1 beer here and even though it’s not a flagship beer, they let me get the Goat Patch Punch.
Goat Patch Punch is a multi-fruit ale brewed with orange peel and cherries and fermented in a unique blend of fruity German Hefe and French Saison yeast. Those are the details but the fact is that it’s summer in a pint glass. I could drink this al fresco all day, but at 6.4% ABV, I probably shouldn’t. The several other beers I tasted here were solidly good and we’d love to come back one day.
The last stop on our Old School Tour with Colorado Craft Tours was Bristol Brewing back at Ivywild School. Do you understand the name of this tour yet? Two out of three stops were located in old schools!
I’ve been to Bristol a number of times and it’s a stellar place to grab a pint and a sandwich in Colorado Springs. It’s popular with neighborhood folks who bring their dogs and drinks beers in the sunshine on the vast patio. The Crafts & Drafts Passport allows the carrier one free flagship beer here.
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If you haven’t visited, Ivywild is a repurposed 1916 school building that today features Bristol Brewing as well as a distillery, bakery, bar and market. I drank a Laughing Lab as we discussed the growth and revitalization of Colorado Springs with Galen and Nick. The town’s come a long way baby, and it’s still moving in a very positive direction.
Galen’s brewery tour bus is part of the rejuvenation of Colorado Springs. If you haven’t visited the Springs in a while, it’s time to go.
Galen runs weekly tours and custom tours. This outing is perfect for family reunions, bachelor parties and corporate bonding events. Visit them online at ColoradoCraftTours.com.
Thank you to Visit Colorado Springs for hosting us in your beautiful city and thank you to Galen and Nick for providing an awesome tour.