Brewery Snapshot: Atrevida Beer Co.

Stuck in the corner of an uninspiring strip mall, but with a focus on small batch production and creative twists on traditional styles, Atrevida Beer Co. is kind of a sleeper in my book that greatly exceeds outward expectations. Add in the funky Mexican taproom and friendly staff and and Atrevida rises pretty high on the must-visit list if I’m in Colorado Springs.

BEER LINEUP: Atrevida’s small-ish taplist covers a lot of territory, from standards like a brown and pale ale, through a tasty strawberry cream ale, to beers with pineapple and lemongrass. You’ll definitely find the basics, but be prepared to also have your horizons expanded – in the best possible way of course.atrevida-taproom.jpg

ATMOSPHERE: The small taproom has a chill Mexican theme going for it and feels a lot more comfortable than it looks from outside with a lot of bright colors, murals, and interesting decorations. There’s a definite industrial undertone of steel-and-concrete and on one side are racks of equipment producing the small-batch and experimental beers. The brewery also has a rather stark, sunbaked patio out front. Overall, the mashup of different elements works to create an unpretentious feel for hanging out. atrevida-brewing.jpg

SERVICE: Our server was very friendly and fast, both at the bar and the table.

LOCATION: There’s not much to recommend the atrevida-exterior.jpgindustrial-park neighborhood next to a busy highway except the plentiful parking. Atrevida is most definitely a destination brewery.

STANDOUT BEER: The Bouriqua Belgian Blonde with pineapple and citrus takes a solid, golden Belgian blonde and spices it up with a tasty balance of pineapple sweetness set off by lime-flavored citrus. Overall a very refreshing beer.

Patio Weather in the Springs

The patio-drinking season is winding down so a friend and I decided to take a trip to Colorado Springs for a short hike and a few patio beers.

After a morning hike we stopped at Cerberus Brewing Company 20181026_125401_hdr.jpgto enjoy their expansive patio/beer garden and some lunch. Cerberus serves up what I’d call “gourmet pub food”, which seems like overkill for a brewery, but was certainly tasty. They specialize in smoked brisket and our hunger was piqued when we smelled the smoker as we pulled into the parking lot. As far as the beer, my friend went light and I went dark and we both enjoyed all of the beers that we tried. They offer a varied selection for all tastes and exceptionally friendly and efficient servers. The overall atmosphere definitely encourages lingering, chilling, eating and drinking – especially on a warm sunny day.

From there we headed 10 minutes through downtown Colorado Springs to Goat Patch Brewing Co., which looks like a dated strip mall from the outside but inside is an old 20181026_142228_HDRschoolhouse converted to retail with businesses in the old classrooms and gym. The taproom offers up the standard craft-brewery experience; light-industrial design, garage doors opening to a patio, and a handful of beers that stay reasonably true to style and cover the full spectrum. The brewery offers up a pleasant experience but nothing about it would make me go out of my way to visit. In the context of this little tour, it’s a fine drop-in between Cerberus or Atrevida but you could easily substitute one of the other downtown breweries and not miss out on anything.

Our last stop in The Springs was Atrevida Beer Co., which was  a spur-of-the-moment choice but a fortuitous one. Located in a depressing-looking industrial park/strip mall, the exterior did not inspire confidence. However the indoor Mexican-themed taproom felt warm and cozy, enough so that we didn’t even bother with the small front patio. The 20181026_154621_hdr.jpgbeers mostly focused on traditional styles with interesting additions such as the Fresas con Crema strawberry cream ale and Boriqua Belgian blonde with pineapple and citrus. Based on all the brews we sampled, Atrevida has that approach dialed-in. We greatly enjoyed the creative beers, the friendly server, and checking out the tiny production units that make these small-batch creations.

Finally it was time to head back to Denver but not without a mid-way refreshment stop in Castle Rock at Wild Blue Yonder Brewing Co., which had just held their grand opening the previous day. We expected a quiet environment20181026_173437_hdr.jpg to wind down our day but it seems like the place has already become the go-to stop for Friday Happy Hour. The trendy-industrial taproom, front patio, and huge beer garden were packed and buzzing with energy. Although I didn’t try any of their food, the two beers I enjoyed while playing cornhole outdoors were absolutely fantastic. It often seems to take time for a brewery to settle into  their recipes and equipment but Wild Blue Yonder appears to have hit the ground running. It’s definitely worth the short drive from Denver.

From there it was back to the city and on to other Friday night Halloween-ish fun. Despite the fact that we packed in a drive, a hike and four breweries this day trip didn’t seem at all rushed and would also make a great weekend excursion. And if hiking isn’t your thing, Colorado Springs offers up a bunch more breweries that could give you an early start! Note: The earliest-opening brewery we found was 11 a.m.

Route Map and Directions: