New Fort Collins app promises free drinks and adventure

Ty Davis

Enter a brand new reason to explore the vast amount of bars in Fort Collins. The app Tab Hop, launched on Sept. 10, promises one free drink every day to local Fort Collins locations.

cinnsationale on tap at silver grill cafe
Odell Brewing Company and the Silver Grill Cafe teamed up to create their annual CinnsationAle: a sweet, autumn ale infused with cinnamon rolls. The ale will be on tap at Silver Grill and Odell until supplies run out. (Brooke Buchan | Collegian)

The app was founded by locals Grant Robinson and Parker Fisher, both former Colorado State University students. Robinson studied business management and entrepreneurship, while Fisher studied communications and real estate.


The two met through their participation in the Young Life program at CSU, specifically when Robinson tried to date Fisher’s cousin. Though the relationship didn’t work out, Robinson and Fisher became quick friends. They even have matching tattoos of the word “yes” on their thighs.

“Of everyone I’ve come across in my life, Grant (Robinson is) the yes-man,” Fisher said. “So him and I have always found we’re willing to take risks and live adventurously.”

The idea for the app started when Robinson took a trip to London in November 2018. A friend of Robinson’s was using a meal planning app that brought users to the restaurants, instead of meal planning apps in the United States that bring meals to users. When Robinson returned to the U.S., inspired by the app, he told Fisher about the potential business venture. 

Tab Hop is a good way to drive business for business owners. It’s really a great marketing tool for everyone. I think that will be really successful for (Robinson and Fisher).” – Bethany Cloud, Odell Brewing Taproom Manager.

“Parker (Fisher has) always been the main person where I’m like ‘Hey, what do you think of this idea,’” Robinson said. “(We were) just trying to shoot from the hip and come up with something.”

The two brainstormed for almost a month before they finalized the idea that would become Tab Hop. With the idea complete, but no experience in programming, they contacted Dallas-based company CrateBind. According to Fisher and Robinson, CrateBind is known for its work with established companies, not experimental products and start-ups, but the company was receptive to their idea and produced a prototype.

With drained savings and investors on board, the last hurdle was to find businesses willing to sacrifice a free drink for the promise of returning customers.

“We didn’t even know if it was something that could be done, if places were willing to give up a free drink to attract new customers; (it) sounded like a pretty big thing to ask,” Fisher said.

According to both creators, businesses were ecstatic at the idea of an app that would get new customers in the door and incentivize repeat drinks.

“We got an overwhelming yes, which led to big names like Odell’s and New Belgium signing up,” Fisher said. “From that, we got a lot more confidence and momentum and started rolling.”

Businesses were especially interested in the benefits, with limitations on exploitation.


Tab Hop is available on IOS and Android.

“One of the main reasons we have the feature built in … where you can only visit the same place twice in a month, (is that it) not only protects the venue from having their regulars come in every single day to get a free drink, but it encourages the user to go explore the city,” Fisher said.

Odell Brewing Taproom Manager Bethany Cloud confirmed that almost all of the users who come into the taproom on the first day of allowing the app came back for a second round.

The IOS version of the app released on Aug. 10, and the Android version released Sept. 6. In just under two months of release, the app has already partnered with 33 locations and has been featured in some of Fort Collins’ biggest events like Tour de Fat, Bohemian Nights and Fortoberfest. 

The creators hope to expand even further, citing the ultimate goal to be in all 50 states.

“You’re getting new people in the door who might not have tried that brewery yet,” Cloud said. “Tab Hop is a good way to drive business for business owners. It’s really a great marketing tool for everyone; I think that will be really successful for (Robinson and Fisher).”

A few of local Tab Hop partners include Avogadro’s Number, Emporium Sports Bar, Pizza Casbah and Odell Brewing Company. A full list of partners can be found on the app

Editor’s Note: CrateBind’s location has been corrected.

Ty Davis can be reached at or Twitter @tydavisACW