FORToberfest welcomes the fall season with local beer, music

Nate Day

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Fort Collins is known for several things: being a model for downtown Disney, the biking community, and of course, Colorado State University, but all of those pale in comparison to Fort Collins’ affinity for beer and music. That’s exactly what FORToberfest embodied Saturday, giving the community a fun afternoon to dance and drink away.

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Although the day was plagued by overcast, it was clear upon arrival that guests were enjoying themselves. A father and daughter were dancing with zeal in the middle of the Old Town Square, a golden retriever was gleefully trotting around, holding his own leash, and laughter was clearly audible over Tallgrass’ folksy, banjo-infused set.

The festival offered visitors the chance to listen to some great local bands, including Gasoline Lollipops, Danielle Ate the Sandwich and The Taylor Scott Band, as well as plenty of opportunities to consume an adult beverage or two—maybe even more.

Ten beers were offered at the event, including select Oktoberfest brews from Odell, Sierra Nevada and Samuel Adams. There was Odell’s new Rupture Fresh Grind Ale, Angry Orchard cider and a classic Coors Light for those wanting to stick to what they know. In addition, local Mexican restaurant Rio Grande set up a booth to sell their famous margaritas, and Wilbur’s Total Beverage offered wine. It’s safe to say this event had the alcoholic beverages covered.

Like many others, Michael Deconcini and Cheyenne Merrick were enjoying a beverage and some live music at the event.

“We just moved here a month ago,” Merrick said. “We were just walking around in Old Town and discovered (FORToberfest). It was a nice surprise.”

While some people had no idea the event was going on, others came specifically for the beer.

“I had the Oktoberfest,” Harrison Nial said, drinking his second beer. “It was really good, and I mean, we’re at FORToberfest, so I have to drink an Oktoberfest.”

Odell’s Oktoberfest seemed to be the most popular drink of the day. The drink is a seasonal one from the local brewery, Odell’s Brewing.  Odell’s website describes it as being “brewed with biscuity, sweet Munich malts and spicy, herbal noble hops.” It is known for being surprisingly light for a lager made for autumn weather.

However, it wasn’t just beer that people came for. 

“There are two bands I want to see here,” said John Debroux. “Gaspops (Gasoline Lollipops) and then Danielle Ate the Sandwich. She’s really great.”

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Despite the event being centered around beer, it was a family affair through and through. Many people brought their children to enjoy the live music—not to mention the playground in the Old Town Square—but other children were finding their own forms of entertainment.

“He’s trying to scare all the people away,” Chris Blados said as his wife, Mary Blados, attempted to wrangle their elatedly energetic son.

Whether it was the beer, the music or the fun family outing, Old Town Square was unquestionably hopping (pun absolutely intended) with folks looking to enjoy some local Fort Collins culture, and FORToberfest certainly delivered.

Collegian reporter Nate Day can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @NateMDay.