There is a saying in Colorado about the weather. If you don’t like it, just wait a few minutes, and it will change. I think the same can said for the brewery scene in Fort Collins. If you’re tiring of it, just wait a few days and a new one is bound to open.
This brings me to Black Bottle Brewery, a small, local, laid-back establishment just entering the busy brewery scene in downtown Fort Collins.
With an extremely friendly staff and simple, yet cozy, environment, Black Bottle makes for an inviting and casual destination.
The emphasis here is definitely on the beers, with an impressive list that any beer connoisseur could appreciate.
What’s really nice is the option of sizes. Any beer can be ordered in the usual pint size, but you can also opt for 4-ounce “tasters” for $2. With such a variety to choose from, I highly recommend this route for optimum sampling capabilities.
From sours to lagers and ales to meads, Black Bottle has got it all ... and with catchy names to boot. The Floozy American, Dirty Hippy, and There Goes the Neighborhood are just a few.
To complement the beer selection, Black Bottle does offer a food menu best described as beer-infused American standards.
We decided to try the Bavarian Pretzel sticks ($5), Mussels cooked in sour beer ($10), the Pork Belly Slider ($3), and the Beer Cheese Soup ($3-$4 for cup or bowl).
We weren’t disappointed with anything, but nothing truly stood out either. Like I said, you come here for the beer and the food is sort of a bonus.
A friend recently introduced me to a brand of pretzel rolls at Costco that are so incredibly delicious my mouth waters just thinking about them. They are perfectly soft, doughy and sweet and my heart jumps just a bit when I know they are in the house.
So these were my pretzel expectations as our order of Bavarian rolls arrived at Black Bottle. I will say that they were no Costco roll, but they weren’t bad either. In fact, they were quite good. They simply lacked that extra level of quality that I’ve come to expect in a pretzel roll. I also liked the trio of mustards that accompanied them. It added a needed level of flavor and texture.
The mussels did not have an overpowering beer taste in the least, which I was thankful for. The sour variety used simply enhanced the already strong shellfish-flavored broth. The mussels themselves were perfectly cooked to a requisite soft chewiness.
Probably my least favorite item was the slider. I found the pork itself a little bland, though the barbecue sauce did help in masking that. It wasn’t bad, it just didn’t leave much of an impression.
On the other hand, the beer cheese soup was quite tasty. Unlike the mussels, I could taste the beer in this soup. It added a subtle layer of flavor to the already buttery and sharp tang of real cheddar cheese.
Overall, I would absolutely go back to Black Bottle. I just wouldn’t go expecting a gourmet meal. As Fort Collins has shown many times, beer rules here, and so it does at Black Bottle Brewery.
Shannon Teslow has lived in Windsor since 1995. If you have comments you’d like to share, email Shannon at firstname.lastname@example.org.