This is it, the final installment of awards you all voted on. To preface this reveal, we’d like to thank every single brewery for helping make 2014 in Colorado Springs truly wonderful. We’ve seen more breweries open up in the past year than the previous five, and there’s no end in sight. New markets continue to flourish, with breweries opening up on El Paso St (Storybook Brewing), Powers Blvd (Nano 108), and even Falcon (Jaks Brewing, coming soon!). There are also some amazing businesses where we love to see our favorite breweries on tap. We’ve given out all but two of the award categories, so here goes:
To kick it off our final annoucement, we’ll reveal your choices for Best Rotating Taps!
While Colorado Springs’ brewery population is booming, so is the craft beer bar market! In 2014, we saw a taproom go up in a church, a local dive bar get transformed into a craft bar and craft kitchen (503 W) and almost every place that serves craft beer has expanded their selections to help continue to meet the demands of our beer-loving public!
1st Place: Brewers Republic
Brewers Republic has grown in leaps and bounds after joining forces with their neighboring bar The Underground. Expanding from a small cooler based tap system to the 20-tap system they have now only helped boost their popularity. Plus, Josh and his staff have some of the most exciting beers flowing through their bar, and also have quite the extensive bottle list as well. It’s hard to go there consecutive days and see the same variety on tap, which definitely has the community’s eye as well, voting them to the top of the Rotating Tap list!
2nd Place: Front Range BBQ
We’re not shy to say that we love what Front Range BBQ brings to the craft beer scene here in Colorado Springs. They’ve long been our spot for Meet the Brewer events, and Brian and his crew always have an extremely great variety of beer on tap and in the cooler. Wednesday nights are usually the night to stop in there, as they pair some of the best beer and live music in town! Congrats!
3rd Place: Green Man Taproom and Beer Garden
It’s hard to argue with 47 taps. In a church. Right near downtown. Green Man is nearing their 1st anniversary this coming February, and when there’s that much selection on tap, it’s definitely a sight to behold. Effectively anchoring the new South End of Downtown Colorado Springs, Green Man offers beer in a sheer quantity that is hard to match anywhere south of Denver. Congratulations!
Alright, now onto the category that everyone has been clamoring for…We decided to let all the drama from an earlier reveal subside until we announced this one. It took awhile to comb through and validate all 12,000 votes, but we made it. You all voted, and based on the community’s consensus, here are your “winners” for our 2014 Best of Beer: Local Brewery.
1st Place: Red Leg Brewing Company
As the second local brewery to open up on Forge Rd.(Bristol being the first long ago), Todd Baldwin and his staff at Red Leg Brewing are truly killing it. Expanding from a one-barrel system to a 10 barrel system in under a year is almost unheard of in the brewing world. Add winning a medal for their Devil Dog Stout and you’ve got the makings of a killer craft brewery! Now they’re canning and expanding their outside keg sales as well. From a public perspective, making that transition seamlessly and effortlessly is truly a testament to the drive and attention to detail that everyone working for Red Leg brings everyday to our community. Congratulations Red Leg!
2nd Place: Bristol Brewing Company
We’re happy to see one of Colorado Springs’ flagship breweries make it into the top three! With their Community Ales series, Bristol Brewing helps pump money back into our community, but also allows individuals to support their favorite non-profit through each week’s Karma Hour. It seems like everyone is following suit with their own “pint-of-beer-philanthropy,” but Bristol easily made it popular here in Colorado Springs. We’ve personally been loving their house sours and Single Hop creations, as well as some barrel-aged offerings thanks to a healthy partnership with 291 Distillery, who now occupies Bristol’s old space across Tejon.
3rd Place: Nano 108 Brewing Company
Keith (as well as his fans) has been bugging us day in and day out to reveal the results of all of the categories, and we’re pretty sure he’ll be happy with this one! Being the “oldest” of our “new breweries” they’ve had the time to really grow their operation on the east side, and it really shows! Keith, and his new brewer Terence (formerly with Great Divide) have already been brewing up a storm, and from what it sounds like, it’s just to help meet the demand of the east side beer lovers! Congratulations!
To close this whole thing out, we here at Focus on the Beer want to extend our utmost gratitude to every single one of the readers, voters, brewers and brewery staff here in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region. Without all of you, we wouldn’t be able to write about what we love to write about. That said, this whole “Best of Beer” has been a huge learning experience for all of us and we look forward to next year’s ballot. We’re looking forward to 2015, and hope to provide everyone with the best beer-reading experience that we can! Thank you for voting!