Best detour destination ever! Beer ingredients come from owner’s land
This may be the only brewery in the world that produces its beer made entirely from ingredients harvested on their family farm.
As my wife and I drove west from Alamosa, Colorado along Highway 160, a route many vacationers take traveling from Great Sand Dunes National Park to Durango, we noticed a small roadside sign, “Colorado Farm Brewery.” We had some time to kill, so we veered from our itinerary and arrived 15 minutes later at the small and unassuming watering hole. Best detour destination ever!
First, I need to point out that this brewery isn’t a castle or monolith that other big breweries erect to attract and impress customers. Colorado Farm Brewery sits on a small plot that’s part of a larger agricultural family homestead that started 80 years and four generations ago.
In contrast, we have visited the opulent grounds of the Sierra Nevada Brewery near Asheville, North Carolina and really enjoyed its showmanship and panache. Our experience at the Colorado Farm Brewery, though, took us to a different type of venue, what I refer to as my “happy place,” where you sip beer, eat peanuts, play cards, listen to the hawk soaring overhead and take a moment to appreciate our nation’s rural heritage and the achievement of the Cody family.
Tasting room sign says it all
Here’s the soul of the brewery summed up by its taproom sign: “All our beer is born from hops grown on site, grain from the field behind you, yeast from the air around you and water from beneath you.” I chatted with brewery owners, Josh and Sarah, who were pouring the day we visited. My wife and I quickly recognized their pride in the brewery. We sampled six beers that ranged from light lager to amber ale to porters and a few unique creations, including my favorites “Farm Candi” and “Grammy’s IPA.”
We arrived just as the brewery opened before dinnertime and as the local food truck, Gosar Sausages, was starting to serve great chow. The brewery frequently teams up with the fifth generation Gosar family that started producing food in America when grandpa Frank moved from Europe in 1900.
Farmland surrounds the brewery
Our time with Josh and Sarah turned out to be the most relaxing moment of our 10-day vacation. We sat outside surrounded by crop fields, irrigation lines, grain silos, hay bales, tractor tire playground and the sounds of farming (without some of the aroma). And when the cowboy on horseback started circling the field across the road, it solidified this drinking experience as one of my most memorable.
Local brewery with worldwide reach
We sipped our samples completely oblivious to the farm’s global reach. The Cody family farm operates a business that sells its malt to approximately 35 other companies around the world, with brewing clients such as New Belgium, Sierra Nevada and Goose Island.
From its website, you can book a tour of the farm and brewery. As a family, we love visiting new breweries while vacationing across America. But when we exited the main highway to find the Colorado Farm Brewery, we didn’t expect to be both quenched and inspired.
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