We’re fortunate to live in the state that has well over 150 different microbreweries and brew pubs. It would probably be ambitious of us to think that we can visit them all, but we’re willing to give it a try :). Just to be clear, a microbrewery is a traditional brewery brewing craft beers for wholesale on a limited scale and a brew pub is where beers are brewed and served on the premise of a pub or restaurant. We enjoy going to both, but our focus is going to be on visiting the microbreweries. This past week we visited Bristol Brewing Company in Colorado Springs, which is definitely a slightly different experience than other microbreweries that we’ve visited in the past.
Bristol Brewing Company is now located inside of an elementary school called Ivy Wild that was built in 1916. In 2012, Bristol Brewing Company and several other businesses including a delicatessen called The Principal’s Office, The Old School Bakery, and an espresso/cocktail bar took over the school to create a unique eating and drinking environment. As with most microbreweries, Bristol has a pub on site where you can enjoy a flight tasting of all of their beers or simply enjoy a pint of your favorite craft beer.
After a quick bite at The Principal’s Office, we went over to the pub for a flight of Bristol’s beers. Several of Bristol’s beers are widely distributed, so they can be found at many establishments and liquor stores throughout Colorado, but there were several that we’ve not had before. Bristol brews several IPA’s and Pale Ales, but they have enough variety for anyone to find a beer that is right for their palate. One of the nice things about microbreweries is that they will often feature a couple of seasonal beers that are available for a limited time, which gives you the chance to taste something unique for every season.
For our tasting, we tried the Laughing Lab Scottish Ale, which is their signature, award winning, craft beer. We also tasted the Beehive Honey Wheat, the Mass Transit Ale, the Bristol White IPA, the Belgian Pale Ale, the Red Rocket Pale Ale, and the Compass IPA. As is typical, craft beers can be a little more hoppy than traditional beers, but these didn’t leave that bitter after taste and our favorite was the Mass Transit Ale, which is more of an amber ale. Another benefit that microbreweries and brew pubs offer is the ability to buy growlers, which are bottles that hold five or six pints worth of beer and can be brought back in for refills throughout the year.
The Bristol Pub is definitely a fun place and one that we’ll return to again in the future. We were there during the day on our last visit, but by the time we were ready to leave, it was already starting to fill up with a young and vibrant crowd. With so many microbreweries and brew pubs to choose from, we’re already starting to think of where we want to go next.