With two new microbreweries now open in Fort Collins, the city is affirming its position as a craft beer capital.
Zwei Brüder was founded by C.B. & Pott’s employees Eric and Kirk Lombardi, who decided to create their own brewery specializing in German and Bavarian styles.
“Eric and I were brewing at C.B. & Pott’s for many years,” Kirk Lombardi said. “It was time to do our own thing.”
Kirk Lombardi, a former Colorado State University student, was working with C.B. & Potts when the brewhouse began brewing beer.
“That was my internship,” Kirk Lombardi said.
Snowbank Brewing Co. has been in the works for about three years, according to brewery owner and brewmaster Dave Rosso.
For 13 years the Nebraska native has called Fort Collins home, the last six of which he has spent actively home brewing.
“I’ve always wanted to have my own business but I always knew that it had to be something that I was very passionate about,” Rosso said. “Brewing seemed to make sense.”
Zwei Brüder, located at 4612 S. Mason St. Unit 120, is one of the few breweries located in the south end of town, while Snowbank Brewing Co. is at 225 N. Lemay Ave., Suite 1, in north Fort Collins, near Odell Brewing Co. and Fort Collins Brewery.
“I just thought this end of town needed a brewery,” Kirk Lombardi said. “I thought it would kind of set us apart a little bit as well as offer all the people on the south end of town an option.”
The brewery’s focus on German style beers also sets it apart from the 15 other breweries. Lombardi said their Pils, Helle, Dunkel and Weiss beers will always be available on tap, along with numerous other styles.
Although Snowbank Brewing’s taproom has been open less than a month, Rosso said there already appears to be a crowd favorite: Colorado Red.
“It’s our most popular beer so far, it’s my personal favorite of the six (on tap),” Rosso said. “It’s a recipe I’ve been working on for years.”
Since March, five new craft breweries have opened in Fort Collins.
“I think the bar is set very high in Fort Collins by the other breweries already here,” Rosso said. “For those of us that are coming in late to the game, our beer has to be very good.”
Despite the community’s array of craft breweries, the Snowbank brewer believes there is still room to grow.
“When a new restaurant opens in Old Town nobody says, ‘Hey, you’re restaurant number 522, do you think that’s too many?'” Rosso said.
Rosso and Lombardi are both looking forward to working with other Fort Collins breweries.
“The community of brewers in Fort Collins really work together and help each other out,” Kirk Lombardi said. “I think along those lines, we are second to none in the world.”
Collegian Reporter Erick Plattner can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @ErickPlattner.
Fort Collins Brewery Opening Timeline:
1988 – Anheuser Busch
1989 – Coopersmith’s Pub & Brewery
1989 – Odell Brewing Company
1991 – New Belgium Brewing Company
1995 – C.B. & Potts – Big Horn Brewing Company
2003 – The Fort Collins Brewery
2008 – Pateros Creek Brewing Company
2010 (April) – Equinox Brewing
2010 (Dec.) – Funkwerks
2012 (Nov.) – Pitchers Sports Restaurant
2012 (Dec.) – Black Bottle Brewery
2014 (March) – 1933 Brewing Company
2014 (March) – Freedom’s Edge Brewing
2014 (May) – Horse & Dragon
2014 (Aug. 20) – Zwei Brüder Brewing
2014 (Aug. 22) – Snowbank Brewing Co.