School is out and the weather is warming up, that means one thing: Summer is coming. As with every summer that rolls around, people are looking to get outdoors and enjoy the sun and some fun. Being a college town, Fort Collins doesn’t disappoint. Whether you’re a resident or visiting on your Colorado vacation there is plenty to do in “Fort Fun.”
Fort Collins has more than a few nicknames and when it comes to the end of June, there is only really one, that being “The Napa Valley of Beer.” Home to such notable brewers as Anheuser-Busch, New Belgium Brewery, Odell Brewing Company, Fort Collins Brewery, CB & Pott’s Restaurant and Brewery, and CooperSmith’s Pub & Brewing, it should come as no surprise that every year at the end of June, FoCo hosts their annual Colorado Brewers Festival.
This year, 40+ breweries from around the state will be serving up over 70 beers, offering visitors the opportunity to sample some of the finest brews in all of Colorado. Here, those on their Colorado vacation can sample not only the local brews but the local cuisine and music as well.
The festival features local bands such as 12 Cents for Marvin and Fierce Bad Rabbit as well as food from some of the more prominent restaurants in the area. Proceeds go to help other events held in the city such as the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Santa Claus, the holidays downtown, free summer concerts, and the 4th of July Downtown.
For All Ages
Unfortunately for those who are under the age of 21, the Colorado Brewers Festival can’t be fully enjoyed. Luckily, there are other events that are open to people of all ages, like the Taste of Fort Collins. Hailed as a Northern Colorado tradition, this two-day festival takes a page from Chicago with their annual food festival, to which the proceeds go to support causes such as the Special Olympics Larimer County and Kiwanis Club International.
At this event, visitors can enjoy dishes and cuisine from 43 local restaurants and beverages, of the adult variety, from Wilbur’s Wine Pavilion and beer provided by Coors and Odell Brewing Co.
Also during this time, there are a number of competitions with awards being presented for areas such as Best American Cuisine, Best Vegetarian Option, Most Creative Presentation, Most People Friendly, and others.
The Taste of Fort Collins also hosts a number of musical performances, ranging from big name bands to more popular local talents. This includes Everclear, Mat Kearny, Air Dubai, Post Paradise, Eldren, Bonnie and the Beard, and many more!
Not to be overshadowed by the likes of the Colorado Brewers Festival and the Taste of Fort Collins, there are other annual events for those on their Colorado vacation to check out. One such event is the Goodguys 15th Colorado Nationals Car Show. Here visitors can check out 1,500+ different hot rods, muscle cars, trucks, and other classic works of the automotive persuasion.
There is also the Annual Terrace and Garden Tour. This tour leads visitors through some of Fort Collins most beautiful landscapes while being educated on the local flora.
If You Go
For a full listing of breweries and ticket prices for the Colorado Brewers Festival, as well as dates for this year’s event, visit: http://www.downtownfortcollins.com
For more information about the Taste of Fort Collins, visit their site: http://tasteoffortcollins.com/
Info on the Terrace and Garden Tour, visit: https://secure.closerware.com/fortcollins/npo.jsp?pg=fundraiser&article=508
Evan Witt is an Illinois native with a degree in English Literature from Lake Forest College, and as a frequent visitor to Colorado, he enjoys fishing, camping, hiking, and photography.
Header photo by Joe Wolf.
Photo of the Fort Collins Brewfest crowd (2004 event) courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Special thanks to the Taste of Fort Collins for providing photos for this article!