As the gateway to Cheyenne Canyon and Manitou Springs, you probably have passed through the West Side of Colorado Springs on more than one occasion without noticing anything but Garden of the Gods. But with a multitude of beautiful Victorian houses, great restaurants, and of course, breweries, the area is definitely worth another look.
Here are some of our favorites places to grab a fresh-brewed beer on the West Side:
Fossil Craft Beer Company
Nestled right along Highway 24 before Red Rock Canyon Open Space, you’ll find Fossil Beer Company – a family and dog-friendly brewery that draws its name from Colorado’s famous dinosaur discoveries.
Some of our favorites are the Mammoth, a 6.8%, 70 IBU West Coast-style India Pale Ale brewed with Chinook, Galena, and CTZ hops – this one has a juicy citrus and pine hop profile balanced by a solid malt backbone – and the Camarasaurus, a 6.5%, 40 IBU seasonal cream ale that has a unique sweetness that adds to its clean, easy-drinking flavor.
Fossil also has free popcorn for guests and an outdoor patio, what’s not to love?
Gold Camp Brewing Company
With an inspired aesthetic from the area’s rich mining history, you’re sure to strike gold with the beers at Gold Camp’s relaxed Tejon hangout.
Try the Kilted Tilter, a barrel aged wee heavy/scotch ale that’s perfect for a cold day in the Springs, the Joan of Dark, a Black IPA worthy of its heroine inspiration, or the Phoenix Phire DIPA, a 9.1% imperial IPA with a lot of character.
Stay awhile, play some board games and enjoy all the beers this one has to offer.
Bristol Brewing Company
Located in the Ivywild, an elementary school built in 1916 and decommissioned in 2009, Bristol is the foundation of a unique space that features a gourmet deli, espressos bar, distillery, bakery, and more.
Their flagship beer is the Laughing Lab, a 5.4% Scottish ale whose nutty, sweet flavor has won nine medals at the Great American Beer Fest since 1994. Other Rocky Mountain Ride favorites are the Compass, a 6.9%, 63 IBU American IPA with Chinook, Columbus and Cascade hops that delivers a lot of flavor, and the Mango Golden Sour, a 4.3% kettle sour brewed with wheat, barley, mango puree, kolsch yeast and a strain of lactobacillus that makes for a draught as tropical as it is tart.
Come on down to school and have a beer at Bristol.
Smiling Toad Brewery
Last but certainly not least, we have the Smiling Toad, a brewery that is nestled on the backside of an unassuming strip mall on the way to Cheyenne Canyon. The Toad’s atmosphere is like a den or basement in someone’s home, but don’t let that fool you, these beers are the real deal.
Drink the IPa Freely, the brewery’s flagship IPA that balances hops and malt to make one delicious brew, or the Runner’s Red, which is a perfect light-drinking beer after a long hike or bike ride in the canyon. Also be on the lookout on Tuesdays when the crew unleashes their “test taps” – some recent experiments include a coffee brown and a blackberry milkshake pale ale.
The Toad also has food trucks regularly, but be sure to come in Sunday for the best potluck in Colorado Springs!
Want to check out great breweries around Colorado Springs but don’t want to worry about driving? Let us take you around town! Rocky Mountain Ride offers brewery tours for up to 12 people, with each guest receiving an awesome gift at the end of the tour.
Learn more about our brew tours!
Colorado Springs Brewery Geek/Director of Marketing for Rocky Mountain Ride