NCBT: Snowbank Brewing

Back to Fort Collins! It’s surprising what a week or so can do to the weather, so on this snowy day, let’s grab a beer.

Before I begin this post, however, I should probably note that Snowbank Brewing is one of my favorite breweries. I’ve been multiple times for multiple different reasons. Stepping back and reviewing Snowbank was a challenge so I brought my roommate with to give me some good perspective.

Tucked around the corner from the big breweries of Odell Brewing Company and Fort Collins Brewery on Lemay sits Snowbank Brewing Company. It’s a small, office like building with glass windows looking in on the tanks and equipment. When we went, it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon around 70 degrees and they were hosting a new food truck’s debut. The beauty of this brewery is that they are always down to host events like food truck birthdays and rocket launch viewing parties. The patio is very small, holding only a few tables, and the inside is taken up by long community tables in the center with a couple regular tables around the edges.

I have never been to Snowbank and found a place to sit without searching for a minute, there’s almost always a half full room on arrival. The environment in clean and open, but lacks that “home” feeling in décor. It’s efficient and has the east and south walls as mostly windows to catch all the beautiful sunshine. There is a bookcase with tabletop and board games for both kids and adults alike. My favorite part is that dogs are allowed in the taproom as long as they are behaved and on a leash. The inclusion of dogs into the typically open beer crowd leads to a lot more conversations between strangers. It feels like an actual community which is probably the reason I keep coming back, well, and the dogs.

Their flight is made up of six tasters, which requires you to choose which one of their regular brews to forgo. However, they sell tasters of the same size so the others can be added on later. I highly recommend getting all the regular brews as well as asking for the Solar Panel or Solar Flare (a new addition to the mix). The Solar Panel is probably the highlight of Snowbank – I get a taster no matter what pint I order – because it is a well done beermosa that is perfect for sunny days. Made with their Moon Arête wheat and a splash of orange juice, it is a really nice balance between the sweet and hoppy.

Our flight passed on their regular pale ale mostly because my roommate is typically not a fan of that type. I was happy to see a new beer, the Sourado, as an option. It is a tart sour IPA and has a smooth texture with a tart aftertaste that lingers, almost tingles, on your tongue. We discovered that the longer a drink, the more flavor you get. The Solar Flare is made with the Sourado instead of their wheat. If we had time – and money – I would have ordered one to make sure it tasted as good as it sounded. Next time it definitely will be on the list.

The Colorado Red was my roommate’s favorite beer because it has that classic American Red ale elements. Mine was the Crankenbrew. A coffee pale ale, the Crankenbrew is a really interesting coffee beer. That coffee flavor is prominent from the first sip, with a crisp finish that makes it stand out from other coffee beers. Typically coffee is paired with stouts and porters making it a dense and filling beer. The lightness that comes with the pale ale actually lets the flavors of the coffee stand out. If you’re a coffee addict like me, I would definitely recommend it, just be wary that some batches might have a slightly burnt element which I assume is just the risk of brewing beer.

Snowbank also has a special rotational collaboration with the local Nuance Chocolate Company and while some flavors are very strong and sometimes overwhelming, I have happily appreciated how they achieved the vision they were going for. Overall, I have yet to find a beer they brew that I do not like, some are just higher on the list than others. Only downside, the stickers are not free. Sad day.

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