It is easy to see the importance that beer culture plays within the Fort Collins community.
For many students at CSU, beer is an integral part of the college experience. The many breweries that call Fort Collins home provide 70 percent of Colorado’s craft beer. This is no small feat and, as a result of the hard work of local breweries, there is no shortage of variety from brown ales to imperial stouts and everything in between.
Horse and Dragon Brewing Company is a new up-and-comer on the scene. Opened by Tim and Carol Cochran in April of this year, the brewery has been releasing beers already making a splash in the community.
Beers like Sad Panda Coffee Stout, Fort Kölnz and Almost Summer are varieties that call Horse and Dragon home.
While many may not be aware of the specific date, the prohibition of alcohol was repealed on Dec. 5, 1933. In honor of this, places like 1933 Brewing and Social will be letting loose in style by encouraging people to dress in 1930s attire while they celebrate the 21st Amendment at the brewery, located 124 Racquette Dr.
With this “holiday” in mind, Horse and Dragon plans to tap their latest hop creation, Almost Winter.
Brewed by their master brewer Linsey Cornish, a CSU alumna, Almost Winter is a fresh take on one of the breweries first beers, Almost Summer, but with a new twist: fireside bourbon and barrel aging.
“The change in the beer is dramatic,” Carol said. “Not just the taste but the color, the texture … It’s a really cool experiment to see just what a barrel does to a beer.”
Like many breweries in Fort Collins, Horse and Dragon works hard to be conscious of their effect on the environment.
“Our company is based on four values,” Tim said. “Make great beer, treat people like we would like to be treated, minimize our impact on the environment and be proactive within our community. We have tried to be dedicated [to the environment] since day one, from the water we use all the way to repurposing all of the furniture.”
But Tim and Carol could not have done it without the help of employees like Luke Margheim.
Margheim, sales representative for the brewery, is also an alumnus of CSU. Luke brewed beer at home for many years before he met Tim at a men’s beer group at The Mayor of Old Town.
“How beer translates into the community is really exciting to see,” Margheim said. “It’s very unique to see such a wide age range of people enjoying these beverages and having a conversation based around that.”
The Cochran’s see Fort Collins as a city of symbiosis between the CSU campus and the town itself.
“One of the reasons we find Fort Collins invigorating is because students are here,” Carol said. “When you’re out and about and you see all these young people, it’s really inspiring. They’re what make Fort Collins vibrant.”
Friday’s celebration will take place in the taproom beginning at 4 p.m.
Collegian A&E Writer Royce Hoffner can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @RoyceHoffner.