Each year, our favorite bars, restaurants, coffee shops and breweries create delicious concoctions that taste just like fall, with notes of cinnamon, clove, apple, and of course, pumpkin. To help us ring in the season, we rounded up a handful of our favorite seasonal fall drinks in Fort Collins, including both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. These autumnal drinks can be enjoyed at local businesses — or the comfort of your backyard around the bonfire!
COVID NOTE: Many of these drinks can be enjoyed on-site while others must be taken to-go. Check the website for each business to learn more about their availability and COVID-19 policies.
Photo Courtesy of New Belgium
For the beer drinker who wants more than just an ordinary pumpkin or Oktoberfest beer, look no further than New Belgium’s Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin Ale. This deep orange 6.4% ABV beer is characterized by a strong cinnamon and cloves aroma with a touch of chili pepper and a slight sweet-turned-bitter taste from start to finish.
While cider is automatically fall-ish by nature, this sweet harvest cider takes the fall vibes to another level. Della’s Apple Strudel from Summit Hard Cider features cinnamon, nutmeg and a hint of clove for an experience they call “sweet apple pie heaven in a glass” — and we have to agree!
Odell Brewing Co.’s Oktoberfest is the sign of fall’s arrival here in Colorado. It is brewed with biscuity sweet Munich malts and spicy, herbal noble hops, and has a 6.1% ABV. This Marzen-style lager is only available from August through September, so get it while you can!
Photo Courtesy of Ryan Sheets via Ace Gillett’s
Retreat to Ace Gillett’s, a sleek and sophisticated underground bar in the heart of Old Town. You can’t go wrong with their offerings, from the food to the drinks, but their Gun Shy cocktail is especially perfect for a cold fall evening. It’s made with scotch, bourbon, hazelnut and apricot bitters.
Lucky Joe’s has plenty of fall drinks to choose from — in fact, the entire experience at this Irish-bar-meets-Western-saloon just screams fall. We can’t decide between their Galway Hot Port, with Sandemans Ruby port, brown sugar, lemon with whole cloves topped with steaming hot water, and their Nutty Irishman, made with Frangelico’s Hazelnut Liqueur and Baileys Irish cream served with fresh hot coffee and topped with whipped cream.
For both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options, Union Bar & Soda Fountain has you covered in the drinks department. But this season, we have our eye on their Irish You Were Here, a cold-brew coffee cocktail made with Irish whiskey, honey and cinnamon. While you’re sipping on this sweet boozy creation, get to know the team behind Union Bar & Soda Fountain!
One of our favorite coffee shops in town, Harbinger Coffee, has a cozy coffee shop on Mason and a newer location in Southeast Fort Collins, where they roast their own beans. While they don’t have a PSL or any pumpkin syrup in sight, they make a popular fall drink called The Smokey Bear, made with local honey, black walnut and a touch of smoke.
This classic coffee shop offers incredible coffee beverages as well as a full bakery. It’s the perfect place to warm up and get a treat while you’re exploring Old Town — or their other locations throughout NoCo! Complete the fall experience with their version of the pumpkin spice latte, called The Crooked Jack O’ Lantern. And if you’re not a coffee drinker, opt for their pumpkin-flavored chai called The Crooked Cozy.
Since 2009, Happy Lucky’s Teahouse has remained committed to quality, selection and community, offering an interactive and immersive tea experience at their Old Town shop. Their collection of teas is the largest in the state of Colorado, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed when searching for a seasonal fall tea. Their Masala Chai Teas are a good place to start, specifically the Fire Chai. It contains organic black tea, organic ginger, organic cardamom, organic cinnamon, organic clove, licorice, fennel, anise and a proprietary blend of pepper.
The Human Bean is a locally owned and operated coffee shop with nine double-sided drive-thru locations and a mobile coffee truck serving the entire Northern Colorado region. During the fall, it’s the best source for your pumpkin coffee fix — as you’re encouraged to mix and match pumpkin with other flavors, like their oh-so-popular-and-delicious Pumpkin and Spice Brown Sugar Latte.
One of our favorite kombucha companies in Northern Colorado, Life’s a Buch is a small craft kombucha company started by Rachael Walker in 2018. While Pineapple Mint is their most popular flavor, the Apple Cider flavor is perfect for fall, as it’s fermented with organic apples and a homemade cider-spice blend, and brewed with local green and black tea.
Our favorite business qualities are locally-owned, family-owned, economically-focused and community-centered. Mugs Coffee Lounge combines all four of these qualities and throws in an outstanding environment and great coffee. Stop by their downtown or Oval location to sip on their Gold Finger latte, made with caramel and cinnamon.
What seasonal sips are we missing out on? Let us know in the comments below!