Fort Collins’ new Black Bottle Brewery a colorful hangout

black bottle breweryPop the top off of a Black Bottle beer and you’re bound to find some hidden color inside.

Between the 40 taps, including seven in-house brews, and the overall variety of the beer to the selection of bar food, this new addition to the Fort Collins brewery scene is a small place that packs a punch.

The obvious place to start at a brewery is the beer. But good luck deciding.

From Liquid Metal, Black Bottle’s Imperial Stout, to their Belgian White, Holy S*** Double Wit, there is something for everyone.

The Wit has a strong citrus scent and after the first swig, that aroma came full circle. With accents of coriander, orange and ginger, it’s a light, sweet and fruity blend that will satisfy anyone’s beer-buds.

And the Imperial Stout is divine. As a wheat beer lover, finding a dark beer that is enjoyable is always difficult, but this is a keeper.

The beer menu might be daunting, but you won’t catch a break with the food menu. There is plenty to choose from and there’s no doubt that the must-order at Black Bottle are the sliders.

The crab cake slider is simply perfect. Moist, packed with flavor and light on the breadcrumb filling, the crab stands out and you will feel like you’re on the coast in New England.

And if the crab cake was perfect then I don’t know what you’d call the pork slider.

Mouth-watering pulled-pork is enough on its own. Imagine then being surprised with the first bite when your mouth is consumed with a mustard-based sauce instead of the typical barbecue.

While most everything in the shop is worth tasting, there are a couple of items that need some tweaking.

The crab mac ‘n cheese sounded like heaven in a bowl, but after just one bite, I wanted to reach for the salt shaker. The mac ‘n cheese part was great, but the sprinkled cheese caused the crab on top to dry out. Hold the crab — and the extra four bucks it costs — and buy yourself another beer.

The meat flatbread is perfectly delicious. There was just one little problem: I ordered a flatbread, not a pizza.

The crust was thick and doughy and lacked the crispy crunch that screams flatbread. And while it was topped with cheese, ham, pepperoni and diced sausage, all of those toppings loaded the slices down to the point that the crust was failing at its primary job: to hold it up.

The droopy flatbread was just too dense and heavy to be considered flatbread. With that said, the flavors were spot on, and if pizza and beer is what you’re in the mood for, go to Black Bottle.

I genuinely enjoyed myself and the grub. Fitting in isn’t easy in a town known for its beer, but Black Bottle feels like anything but the black sheep of the city; it’s a relaxed place that I see myself enjoying many more beers.