Friday, December 7, 2012

Pikes Peak Brewing

Sometimes when finding a brewery they can show up in the most unexpected places possible. Most of the time certain breweries are just passed by not even knowing they are there. Like in the small town of Monument, Colorado right outside Colorado Springs along I-25. Most people will drive by there not even thinking to stop and explore. However within this small town lies a small restaurant where they are also brewing their own craft ales and it is called Pikes Peak Brewing.
Inside the brewery the small town feel of Monument is replicated with the environment and d├ęcor. It feels as if you are on the back patio enjoying beers with your closest friends, with tables and chairs all around. The beer menu is underneath the overhang of a roof, and the warmth of the building is topped off with a fireplace. The staff was very friendly, and all the customers were there in groups, and nobody was a stranger to each other. A true communal establishment where everybody enjoys the craft ales they produced, and with a wide variety to choose from some stood out more than others.
Some of the richest beers out there are the Belgian Style ales, and at Pikes Peak they took that literally both in name and flavor with the Gold Rush Ale. A strong golden color with just the right amount of spice and citrus that you would expect from this kind of ale, plus the great yeast flavor and muted bitterness from the hops. This beer is very true to what a traditional Belgian beer is, very complex in flavors, yet very balanced, and truly refreshing and easy to enjoy time after time. Also available is a Rocky Mountain Wheat which is much lighter than the Gold Rush but still packs a bold flavor for such a light beer.
Another famous landmark in this area is the Devil’s Head Fire Tower which had views for hundreds of miles and was used to spot wildfires. So what beer would be named after that? Only the Devil’s Head Red Ale. A full flavored ale where the richness of the malts, and bitterness of the hops are both present but they don’t overpower each other. This beer does not have a clean aftertaste but the lingering taste it leaves has a nice quality to it that still keeps you drinking more. If full flavored beers are what you are after the red is a good choice, but there is also a great oatmeal stout again named after a landmark. The Samson House stout is a full bodied oatmeal stout that has a heavy body, a slight sweetness, and bitterness that all come together to create one very enjoyable beer. Good any time of year, but this is the perfect beer to drink on the coldest of nights, especially in front of a fire.
Small town, small brewery, and a gathering for all the locals to meet after work. Not to mention the big, bold, and full flavored beers. When you put all those factors together you have exactly what Pikes Peak Brewing is. With a loyal customer base, friendly staff and craft beers in a small town it is easy to see why this brewery has been so successful. They are living proof that you do not have to be in a big city to thrive, so the next time you are heading south on I-25 don’t worry about where to stop in Denver, or in Colorado Springs, but make a rest stop in Monument and enjoy what Pikes Peak has to offer.
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