The Fort Collins Ale Trail combines nearly everything we love about FoCo — hiking, craft beer and local philanthropy. And while you can’t really consider the Ale Trail a traditional hike, the app, the map and the reward at the end make it just as fun.
As a program of the Fort Collins Foothills Rotary, the Ale Trail is about drinking locally and impacting globally. Since their kick-off party at Prost Brewing on May 28, 2017, the program has been supporting several Northern Colorado nonprofits with the help of nearly 20 local breweries — and that number is growing!
Whether you stick with the free app or you get the $20 Trail Pass, the Ale Trail is a great way to support the community and learn more about the region’s best breweries. The Group, Inc. is a proud sponsor of the program, so we’re here to fill you in on how it works, who it benefits and how you can participate.
First things first, you’ll want to download the Fort Collins Ale Trail app from Google Play or the App Store. Once downloaded, you can select Take a Tour to learn more about the breweries, the beneficiaries and test out the map. Or jump right in and sign up for free!
With the free account, you’ll be able to use the interactive map, get extra information on the breweries and see their hours, and you can learn more about the nonprofits. When you sign up, you’ll get an email to confirm your address and then you’ll be prompted to purchase the $20 Trail Pass. You don’t have to buy it, but the pass makes you eligible for discounts at each participating brewery, you’ll get prizes as you check in at each destination, and all proceeds go to the organization of your choice! When you purchase, you can select one of four charities or you can disperse your cash between them.
When you arrive at each brewery, the Ale Trail app will prompt you to check-in and will then allow you to stamp your Trail Pass and get your donation discount! As you go through each step, your beertender will be able to help and verify. Then, you get $1 off your first beer! If you’re on the hunt for prizes, no purchase is necessary at the breweries, just visit and check in.
Once you visit ten breweries, your app will alert you of your first level prize — a stainless steel bottle opener or an item of equal value. When you visit every brewery on the list, you get a beer glass or a similar item! Drink responsibly and take your time; you have one year before your Trail Pass expires.
If you know someone who would love to embark on this craft beer adventure, you can also gift a Trail Pass through Foothills Rotary. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase and get a passcode that will allow the recipient to download free of charge.
Photo courtesy of Fort Collins Foothills Rotary
When you purchase a Trail Pass, you’ll select a single beneficiary or you can choose to have your contributions spread out among them. Learn more about each organization below!
CPRW is a nonprofit organization based out of Fort Collins. Their mission is to improve and maintain the ecological health of the Poudre River watershed through community collaboration. With the help of stakeholders and partners, the team identifies high priority restoration needs in the river’s watershed, the ridge of land that separates the river from flowing to different bodies of water. Run by volunteer representatives, the team is made up of private citizens and experts in restoration science, ecology, collaboration, forestry and local government.
This NoCo organization is one of the best-known nonprofits in the region. As the county’s only food bank, it has become a necessary resource for struggling families and individuals. The team provides the day-to-day nutritional assistance to our neighbors in need, but also helps stabilize their lives by providing health and hope, and putting them on a path to self-sufficiency. As of 2017, the food bank has served 36,000 people, shared 3.44 million pounds of fresh produce and distributed 7.66 million meals.
This Northern Colorado organization has offices in Fort Collins and Greeley. SAVA’s mission is to provide crisis intervention, advocacy and counseling for all those affected by sexual violence and to provide prevention programs through community outreach and education. Since 1976, the team has been operating a rape crisis hotline and, in 2003, became an independent nonprofit agency. Now, they strive every day to create a culture where sexual violence doesn’t exist.
The Rotary Foundation uses donations and contributions to serve local and global organizations in every category. The Foothills Chapter is one of 35,000 clubs around the globe and they’re using the Fort Collins Ale Trail, with the help of the Gates Foundation, to eradicate polio. Due to the Rotary and Gates Foundation matching programs, any contribution can be matched 3:1. When you choose the Rotary Foundation, your contribution can go farther and will help end a preventable disease.
Photos courtesy of Gilded Goat Brewing
The Fort Collins Ale Trail breweries are some of FoCo’s finest. This is the perfect opportunity to work with your local favorites to help a good cause and you’ll also find a few you haven’t tried before!
Coopersmith’s Pub & Brewing | This brewpub is one of FoCo’s most popular Old Town spots for in-house brews, other brews and delicious pub food.
DC Oakes Brewhouse and Eatery | DC specializes in small batch brews, featured beers made by friends, unique wines and classic cocktails — and they have a full menu of food!
Fort Collins Brewery | This local brewery is family-owned, offering handcrafted beers and a full-service tavern in NoCo.
Gilded Goat Brewing | Gilded Goat is one of the city’s newest breweries! They’re brewing bold and balanced beer influenced by the Colorado lifestyle.
Horse & Dragon Brewing | This Fort Collins spot is all about family, community and serving delicious beer.
Intersect Brewing | Inside the modern, industrial taproom, you’ll find a family-owned, neighborhood-focused, dog-friendly destination you’ll want to come back to.
Mash Lab Brewing | This brewery is separated from an award-winning hot rod and custom fabrication shop by a glass wall, making it one of Windsor’s coolest spots.
McClellan’s Brewing | At McClellan’s in FoCo, you’ll find cask ales and artisan eats all handcrafted with love.
New Belgium Brewing Company | New Belgium is one of FoCo’s most popular breweries and they’re the brewers of the famed Fat Tire Belgian Style Ale.
Odell Brewing | One of Fort Collins’ largest craft breweries, this is must on every beer tour!
Old Colorado Brewing | When Old Colorado opened in 1989, they were one of Colorado’s first micro-breweries.
Prost Tasting Room | Prost is a Denver craft brewery, but their Fort Collins taproom is a FoCo favorite.
Rally King Brewing | Rally King always has up to 18 beers on tap featuring everything from ales to lagers to sours.
Zwei Brewing | From German standards to innovative Colorado-style brews, Zwei is one of FoCo’s well-known craft breweries.
You can follow along with Ale Trail adventures on Facebook. In the comments below, let us know which breweries you’re choosing for your first ten!