With this past weekend’s great weather it seemed like a good time to get out of town and check out the sunny scenery, not to mention finding a good patio, so we headed south to Colorado Springs. The Springs has loads of breweries but for a break in the middle and some wonderful scenery we headed up Highway 24 to Ute Pass and The Winery at Pikes Peak. This drive is super-easy to navigate and goes right past Garden of the Gods if you want to take a break for some sightseeing or hiking
Heading down I25 from Denver it’s a straight shot and just over an hour to exit 146, Garden of the Gods Road. Head west about 3 minutes and Trinity Brew sits on your right in a strip mall. The inside has a mountain-dive-bar look, but outside the wrap-around patio offers plenty of space to catch some sun and hang out. Though bit windy we still enjoyed the beautiful weather, a bite to eat, and good service. Trinity concentrates on what I’d call “challenging” beers – with many hoppy and/or sour options – and they do an amazing job. It’s a great place to expand your palate, and they also offer a couple of sessionable options too. Trinity also has a full-service kitchen if you need something to balance out your beer.
From Trinity we took the back way past Garden of the Gods to get to Highway 24, although you could easily navigate back to I25 and go a couple more exits south if you want to keep it simple. Either way, Highway 24 winds up a beautiful canyon to Ute Pass, where The Winery at Pikes Peak is on the left.
The Winery at Pikes Peak makes about seven wines, both white and red, from Colorado-grown grapes. Sampling is $8 but they’ll waive that if you stick around and purchase some glasses of wine or bottles to go. The friendly server provided great information on the wines along with tasting notes. We started with whites, which come in on the sweet or semi-dry side, then moved to the more-complex reds which had juicy layers of flavor and lean toward fruity styles. While not beer-related, we thought the winery side-trip offered a fun diversion and a pretty drive. The rustic southwest farmhouse-style building also houses a restaurant and ice cream shop if you want a quick bite.
We reversed course from there back to Garden of the Gods Road (again, take the back way or I25) to arrive at Red Leg Brewing Company, which is in an industrial park in between Trinity and I25 on the north side of the road. Red Leg proved to be our favorite destination with a diverse menu of solid, tasty beers of many styles served in a cozy industrial taproom. Red Leg seems to focus on true-to-style beers, with an occasional extra ingredient or experiment but nothing too wild. It’s well worth getting a flight, and the comfortable brews encourage lingering over a few beers. Additional factors that encourage sticking around are the super friendly bar crowd and servers. Regulars would just start chatting with us at the bar and inevitably mentioned how they liked the place because everyone was so friendly (and they enjoyed beer of course!). Although Red Leg doesn’t have a kitchen, they do have food trucks.
Leaving Red Leg it’s a two-minute drive east to I25 and then an hour or so north back to Denver.
Follow the link for the map.