Visited on: Tuesday 5th June 2018
This was the second pub in Pagosa Springs that was on our list to visit yet it did take quite a time to get here. It was my fault as I relied on the published map of a well-known beer ratings site and it was wrong, not for the first time.
Nevertheless we persisted and found the pub just off National Highway 160; we could have been here in little more than five minutes from our previous stop, instead of driving around the backwoods.
I was with Linda and John and we were on our way from Alamosa to Durango, stopping off at the best watering holes on the way. It was a very relaxed journey and time lost wasn’t that important at the end of the day. We could see that Pagosa Brewing (and Grill) was quite a big operation. So it is quite interesting to hear that it has organically grown since its doors first opened in November 2006.
Its instigator was Tony Simmons who first arrived in Pagosa Springs to do some snowboarding in 1996. Like many it seems, he fell in love with the place and created his livelihood here.
He became interested in home brewing, ran a home brew supplies shop and then worked for Durango Brewing for a while. As can be seen, this was a progression towards opening his own commercial brewery, a goal he achieved in November 2006 with Pagosa Brewing.
When we entered through the main door we turned left into the main bar room, passing the merchandise area on the way; apparently they sell a lot. The bar counter is to be found on the left. We settled at a tall table in the middle of the room. There were several ante-rooms including one with a shuffle-board table and also there was a dining room. Outside was a terrace with seating under parasols.
Food service has gradually increased over the years. They started with a lady who made burritos, progressed through an outside barbeque.
They then offered a delivery service from other restaurants in Pagosa but there weren’t enough to offer a good selection. So Tony went down the food truck route with his own version outside.
Finally in 2016 he added a full-service restaurant and added “and Grill” to the brewery’s name. I found it amazing to learn that they now serve between 350 and 600 meals a day, depending on season.
Another remarkable fact is that they are still using their original six-barrel (bbls) plant imported from England, although plans to install a newer and larger plant were ongoing and may have actually occurred by now. They brew up to four days a week.
There are always eighteen different beers available, all from their own plant. There are likely to be more barrel-aged beers, including sour versions, available in future.
When we visited this was the range on offer: Kayacker Cream Ale (4.9%); Peachy Peach Ale (5.2%); Brett Sour IPA (7.0%); Poor Richard’s (5.4%); Kool Cucumber Wheat (5.0%); Honeymoon Bier (7.3%); Soaker’s Stout (5.2%); Wolf Creek Wheat (4.8%); Pagosa Pale Ale (5.1%); Powder Dry IPA (6.8%); Wood & Sour Zin (6.0%); Rejuvinator Dopplebock (8.3%); Ragin’ Raspberry (5.4%); Chili Verde Cerveza (5.0%); Bare Scotsman Organic Ale (4.3%); Salty Caramel Stout (4.9%) and Moo Imperial Milk Stout (4.9%).
We tried Pagosa Pale Ale which was very bitter and dry, in taste more like an IPA, nice. Soaker’s Stout was very good, having the correct taste along with some bitterness. Powder Dry IPA was also liked, it was a typical American IPA, yet very well produced.
Finally, not mentioned above, there was a Cask IPA which was served from a hand pump labelled as Dark Cask. It was a very smooth IPA in the American style, yet was a dark version. We agreed that it was excellent.
So, if driving along highway 160 or visiting the town for winter sports or any other reason, you should visit Pagosa Brewing and you will be rewarded with some good beers.
Pagosa Brewing Co., North Pagosa Boulevard, Pagosa Springs, Colorado 81147. Tel: 01 970 731 2739
Hours: Monday-Sunday 11.00-22.00
Pagosa Brewing is just north of National Highway 160 and is well signed.
There is no known public transport except possibly Greyhound.