This post was updated July 25, 2017 to include current information and recommendations.
Ranking the best breweries in Fort Collins is like listing the best wineries in Napa Valley, the best pizza spots in Chicago, or the best coffee shops in Seattle. In other words, it’s an overwhelming feat. Fort Collins knows craft beer like no other city in the country.
Even if you aren’t a Fort Collins local, it’s likely you’ve heard of one or two of our neighborhood breweries. Resident or not, our list will most likely inspire a trip to a nearby hidden gem or a bigger brewery in the near future.
If you’re just looking for the closest brewery to you, we completely understand. Use our interactive map to track it down! Or, learn more about our city’s best, their histories and their quirks below, listed in alphabetical order. Either way, let’s all raise a glass to Fort Collins brewers!
Black Bottle Brewery has 40 taps, including lots of their own unique brews crafted in the basement just underneath your feet. They also offer several beers from other craft breweries around the world. This is the place to taste quality local libations and hand-selected global favorites all in one inviting and exciting atmosphere. They’re also ranked on our list of Fort Collins’ best outdoor patios so stop by next time the sun’s out!
Check out C.B. & Potts’ long list of awards and you’ll immediately understand why they’re a local favorite. This restaurant and brewery was a classic FoCo sports bar when it opened in the ‘70s. Then, in 1996, they began brewing their own beer and the rest is history!
CooperSmith’s is the longest operating brewery in Fort Collins, and their restaurant in Old Town is considered a local landmark. Sit in their Pubside or Poolside seating areas, conveniently located side by side. If you’re looking to up your craft beer game, enroll in CooperSmith’s Brew School and earn your diploma as you try a different imperial pint during 25 visits. Don’t miss their Poudre Pale Ale, Albert Damm Bitter and Horsetooth Stout, which were available on CooperSmith’s opening day and have been on their beer menu ever since.
DC Oakes is new to the Fort Collins beer scene, but they’re serving up craft brews that fit in just fine. Named after Daniel Chessman Oakes, an early, bearded and adventurous settler of Colorado, the team strives to emulate his work ethic and success every day and with every beer. It just so happens they also offer some of the city’s most delectable eats alongside their wine list, cocktail menu, and in-house, regional, and national brews.
Sit close to the action in Equinox Brewing’s beer garden, which is situated right next to where they brew their wonderful beers. They regularly rotate their styles and dispense them in a variety of ways — from regular taps to nitro brews. We love Equinox’s ability to seamlessly balance old beer styles with brand new innovations!
Photo courtesy of Funkwerks
You might have guessed this from the title, but Funkwerks is a truly unique craft beer destination in Fort Collins. Over the years, they’ve become famous for their specialty Saisons. Find out what they’re currently pouring — from mainstays to seasonals — and make a visit to their fun and upbeat taproom to sample the award-winning brews yourself!
Another newbie, this Fort Collins brewery brews bold and balanced beer influenced by the Colorado lifestyle. Born from a love of old-world European pubs and a desire to recreate that community atmosphere back home, head brewer Charlie Hoxmeier and his team created a local brewery that has quickly settled into FoCo’s beer culture. Preview their beers here then stop in to taste for yourself!
Just a few minutes east of Fort Collins in Windsor, you’ll find this local favorite. Their motto is “all types of beer for all types of people” and they’ve stayed true to that motivation since day one. In the taproom, you can taste IPAs, wheat ales, golden ales, porters and even a Habañero Hunny if you’re lucky enough to stop by in the summer.
Dog-friendly, people-friendly and community-friendly — this Fort Collins brewery is a must-try. The team’s knowledge and passion for beer show through with every sip and have done so since the brewery opened its doors in May 2014 — which just so happened to be the Year of the Horse.
Intersect is family-owned and neighborhood-focused so when it comes to kids and dogs, they’re all welcome! The brewery was founded as a place for friends and families to meet, unwind and socialize, and they’ve created spaces inside and outside to do just that. Check them out on our list of Fort Collins’ dog-friendly businesses!
After you’ve explored the unique offerings at the Jessup Farm Artisan Village, grab a drink at the Jessup Farm Barrel House. This brewery utilizes tequila, whiskey, rum, bourbon and wine barrels to age their beers, creating a truly unique yet approachable lineup!
Photo courtesy of Maxline Brewing
Step inside Maxline Brewing and you’ll immediately find a new favorite. Community tables, an expansive patio and the dog-friendly taproom, make this brewery a go-to destination for locals and visitors alike. Inside, you can watch three fermenters in full view to preview what’s to come on the tap list. But trust us, the brews currently available will keep you satisfied all afternoon!
Mash Lab is located minutes away from Fort Collins in Windsor. Housed in an award winning hot rod and custom fabrication shop, you can watch sheet metal transform into automotive art while you sip! Follow the brewery on Facebook to find out which food truck is pairing local food with Mash Lab beer.
McClellan’s Brewing Co. offers an authentic Celtic experience — from their elegant interior to their handcrafted cask ales brewed in traditional style. Pair your brew with an artisan sandwich or charcuterie board off their simple yet satisfying food menu. And during your meal, you can observe the brewing process through glass windows from both inside and outside!
If you don’t know about New Belgium Brewing Company, maybe you should start here. But don’t just sample one of their beers; bring the local craft beer experience to life with a visit to their tasting room and a brewery tour. Because their bottles can be found all around the world, New Belgium has become a source of Fort Collins pride. Take part in the annual Tour de Fat and celebrate all things bicycle and beer to experience Fort Collins culture to the fullest!
Odell may have a large following within the US (and even across the pond in the UK) but over the years, the brewery has kept to its family-owned roots right here in its hometown of Fort Collins. Their brews are built on British styles, where innovation and creativity meet balance, consistency and quality. Try their now famous 90 Shilling Ale, which put them on the map years ago or expand your taste buds by trying another one of their innovative creations. Not sure what you want? Let their Mood Pairing quiz steer you in the right direction!
When Old Colorado began brewing in 1989, they were one of Colorado’s first micro-breweries. However, the family itself has been home-brewing ever since the early 1900s! Today, from their Wellington brewery, the team is using grandfather’s recipes along with family traditions to brew true craft, award-winning beers.
Though the brewery is located an hour south in Denver, the Prost Tasting Room in Fort Collins has become a local staple. Located in the heart of Old Town, the bar serves Prost’s award-winning German beers alongside a lively and cozy pub atmosphere.
In December 2016, Fort Collins’ 1933 Brewing closed for rebranding and has now become Purpose Brewing & Cellars! Under new ownership, this Fort Collins brewery comes from Peter Bouckaert, once the Brewmaster at New Belgium, and his team of beer aficionados. Using special ingredients — from fruit and coffee to spices and wood — Purpose strives to create beers that will inspire you to pause and appreciate the craft, the surroundings and the community.
Photo courtesy of Rally King Brewing
Next time you ride your bike along the Spring Creek Trail, make a pit stop at Rally King Brewing where you can reward yourself with a wonderful handcrafted beer as you bask in the sunshine on the outdoor patio. This is a wonderful place to “rally” together with fellow craft beer lovers!
Snow and beer are such quintessential Colorado elements and Snowbank Brewing Company capitalizes on this beautiful combination. They provide what they call a departure from the traditional as they focus on innovation and a passion for the Colorado lifestyle. And most importantly, Snowbank has certainly mastered the art of crafting beer!
Three Four Beer Co. has been a local favorite since it opened its doors in November 2016. Once an old campus bookstore, the Campus West spot began as a beer bar serving empanadas, but, in just a few short months, the team was brewing their own beer! Today, you can find local beers on tap along with creations brewed in house — and you can still get crispy empanadas.
You can always trust a German-style brewery and Zwei is no exception. This brewery is run by two brothers who are passionate about brewing and possess some serious talent for making small-batch craft beer. Visit their comfortable and casual tap room — either inside at their bar or on their spacious patio at one of the beetle-kill pine tables. If it’s your first time, we suggest starting with Zwei’s classic Dunkel or Helles beers, but you can’t go wrong with any of their award-winning options. Feel free to bring your dog along because this brewery is dog-friendly!
If you want to explore Fort Collins breweries while helping the local community, check out the Fort Collins Ale Trail. Whether you choose the free option or buy the $20 Trail Pass, you’ll be helping spread awareness, funds and craft beer love around NoCo! Learn more on our guide, Everything You Need to Know About the Fort Collins Ale Trail.