Colorado Springs, Colorado:
Colorado Mountain Brewery at the Roundhouse
Visited on: Sunday 3rd June 2018
So, the first day of our road trip around the beautiful state of Colorado. Our host John was driving us from his apartment in Lakewood near Denver to an overnight stop in Alamosa.
Of course, we were not going to do it in one leap and had several interesting stops planned. The first was, with added railway interest, was here in suburbs of Colorado Springs.
This pub-brewery-restaurant is situated in an old railroad roundhouse. These were built around a turntable that was used for turning locomotives around. It was owned by the Colorado Midland Railroad, opened in 1883. The roundhouse was constructed in 1887-1888 in Colorado City. This was incorporated into Colorado Springs in 1917. However the area around the roundhouse is still known by its original name.
Also in 1917, the Railroad War Board routed all goods to the west from Denver onto the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, thus leaving the Colorado Midland with no through traffic. This was to reduce the need for resources during wartime as manpower was in very short supply.
It meant the end for the Colorado Midland as it shut down temporarily and then filed for bankruptcy in 1918.
The Midland Terminal Railway became owner of the roundhouse in 1921. It bought the section from Colorado Springs to Divide. That was purely a local operation over the old main line serving industries. It closed in 1949.
The roundhouse was purchased by the Van Briggle Pottery in 1955. They moved out in 2008 to a smaller location. The building earned a place on National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It was sold to a developer who stripped it back to the bare walls and then it into units.
Colorado Mountain Brewery acquired a part of it in early 2012 and the pub-brewery restaurant opened on 7th September 2012.
A Sunday lunchtime was probably the worst possible time to visit as it was chock full of diners and there were loads more waiting to get in.
We went to the “meeter and greeter” and informed her we only wanted a drink. Even then it was a bit of a struggle but she managed to sort out a small upright table with three stools near the bar counter and in front of the glass-fronted brewery. As it was so busy the photos in this article are not so good.
They brew a core range of six plus a monthly seasonal ale on their seven barrel (bbls) plant. We tried them all and these are our opinions. 7258 Blonde Ale (5.1%). We thought this was all right without being special, it seemed like a lager. Unibräu Hefeweizen (5.6%) was not typical for the style with banana overtones. Ole ‘69er Amber Ale (5.7%) was very bitter for an amber and had a strange burnt after taste.
We continued with Roller Coaster Red Ale (6.0%). Not our favourite style as it is a malty type of beer but this was very good with the correct taste plus a bitter edge. Monumental Stout (7.9%) had a bit of a coffee taste and this spoilt it. Panther IPA (7.6%) was a very dry American IPA. Finally we had the seasonal for June: Cream Ale (5.5%). You could taste the cream part and it had a slightly bitter after taste; quite good.
In addition to these beers from the Roundhouse there was a fine collection of guest beers comprising of Pikes Peak (Monument, CO) Elephant Rock IPA (7.7%) and Gold Rush Belgian Golden Strong Ale (8.7%); Eddyline (Socorro Springs, NM) Grapefruit Yanker IPA (7.0%) and Jolly Roger Black Lager (5.0%); Lone Tree Brewing (Lone Tree, CO) Mexican Lager (5.3%) and Double IPA (8.0%).
We could also have had Drydock (Aurora, CO) Apricot Blonde (5.1%) or their Sour Apricot (5.1%); Bonfire Brewing (Fort Collins, CO) Kindler Pale Ale (5.3%).
Then there were ciders: Snow Capped Cider (Cedaridge, CO) Honey Crisp Apple Cider (6.9%) or Wild Cider (Firestone, CO) Agave Peach (5.0%). I think that you’ll agree that is a very extensive selection of beers and ciders.
The Roundhouse is a good diversion off Interstate 25 because you can always have a guest beer if you don’t like the house beers. If going at a busy time or eating you should book, as we found out.
Colorado Mountain Brewery at the Roundhouse, 600 South 21st Street, Colorado Springs 80904
Tel: 719 466 8240. Web: cmbrew.com
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11.00-21.00; Friday-Saturday 11.00-22.00
There is a bus stop at Bott & Pecan which is a few minutes from the Roundhouse. It’s served by Bus 16.
It comes from central Colorado Springs. That is it for public transport in the area of the pub.
Colorado Springs is served by Greyhound Buses.