Visited on: Monday 4th June 2018
Today we drove from our overnight stop in Alamosa down to Antonito for a ride on the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad. It was a fantastic line starting out over grassland and then travelling through rocky canyons on the way to Chama, New Mexico.
It is such a long railroad that the train can only do it one way in a day. So they run one in the other direction and the two meet in the middle of nowhere called Osier where a Turkey dinner is served to the passengers.
On the way we saw a lot of Elk. These were Elk only in North American parlance. On the other side of the Atlantic they are known as Red Deer and the European Elk is the Moose in North America. That didn’t matter as they are very handsome beasts and we enjoyed sighting them.
We came back from Chama to Antonito by chartered bus. It is possible to start from either end and go back there by changing trains at the mid-point.
After a very interesting day on the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad we quickly drove back from Antonito to Alamosa where we were staying the night. It only took a half hour and the road paralleled the railroad which was full up with unused wagons.
Just imagine, thirty minutes of nothing but railroad cars to look at! Of course you could look out the other window!
So, we were back in Alamosa and Square Peg was open. Inside we found a medium-sized room with a bar counter at the far end. It was bar service only here and I must say I liked the pub. Basic and friendly is the best way to describe it. Down one side of the room was a shuffleboard table. The counter is made from timbers rescued from a 137 year ago wood cabin. It was rather bare but I guess there is normally more furniture.
There was a wood-burning stove on the right side of the room. Behind which were shelves groaning with the weight of many boxed games. Next to that was a free popcorn machine which kept Linda busy throughout the time we were here, with occasion gulps of beer.
There is a fine wooden floor and there are pieces of old farm equipment on the walls. I’m certain the configuration of the room that evening is not the norm.
The story of the pub and brewery comes about when the two founders, Derek Heersink and Mark Martinez who had known each since a very young age, decided in 2014 that they wanted to go into the brewery business. They looked for premises and on 21st April 2016 they signed a lease on this property that was last rented by Amigo.com. It was originally the home of Husung’s Hardware.
The brewery is a three barrel (bbls) plant. They call it a nano-brewery but I think those are even smaller. It was purchased from the South Park Brewery in Faiplay, CO.
Their beers are unfiltered. Instead they use gelatine to filter out the particles as it attaches itself to them and because it is heavier, drops the lot to the bottom. I’ve not heard of this method before. The barley is from Heersink’s father’s farm in La Veta. It is sent to Colorado Malting Co for processing into brewer’s malt.
When we visited they only had three beers advertised: Bella Farmhouse Ale (5.5%) which we thought was a bit sweet and also creamy. Duke Imperial Vienna Lager (7.6%) was a good interpretation of the style being very full flavoured, extremely good. Black IPA fell at the last hurdle as it had just gone off. So a rather disappointing visit, although I’m sure other visitors won’t be so unlucky.
Square Peg Brewerks, 625 Main Street, Alamosa, Colorado 81101. Tel: 719 580 7472
Hours: Monday-Saturday 14.00-22.00. Sunday: Closed.
This pub is in down-town Alamosa. Alamosa is connected to Denver by Greyhound bus.
The La Veta Regional Airport is also at Alamosa.