If you’ve been around the block in Fort Collins, you’ve probably had a beer at CooperSmith’s Pub & Brewery. Operating since 1989, it’s one of northern Colorado’s longest-running small breweries.
Thanks to the support of the people of Fort Collins, a major expansion happened in 1993 and a pool hall was added in 1997. As Fort Collins’ quintessential brewpub, aptly named by head brewer Dwight Hall, CooperSmiths’s pumps out eight mainstay beers and five to seven seasonals every year. Visitors can expect something new on tap every two weeks.
Changing with the industry as it has evolved over time seems to be the norm at CooperSmith’s. Originally inspired by English ales, the brewers became less and less afraid to deter from typical style guidelines with only one goal in mind; create interesting beers. Since his beginning days opening the kitchen to graduating to head brewer position, Dwight Hall has carried out CooperSmith’s eclectic philosophy seamlessly. To date, 150 different beer recipes have been produced and brewed.
The kitchen staff has equally liberated their ingredient arsenal as well. With dishes ranging from traditional pub fare to vegetarian squash ravioli and everything in between, the diverse menu of beer and food has proven to be original and very popular with patrons.
Although eclectic, CooperSmith’s is a still a traditional pub, complete with twelve tournament-sized pool tables, darts, and two patios for those looking for a traditional American pub. A pilgrimage may be necessary to get a taste of CooperSmith’s good stuff, as they don’t distribute—it’s all they can do to brew 1,900 barrels of beer a year to satisfy thirsty locals. If you do make the pilgrimage, be sure to take a few friends, CooperSmith’s will host private parties of up to 200 people.
Alex Gearhart, current Craft Beer Program intern at the Brewers Association, is a worshipper of the sun and cottonwoods, he can be found homebrewing when not exploring the Colorado Plateau. After completing his BA in Spanish for Business from the University of Colorado at Boulder in May, he plans to take his knowledge from the Napa Valley of Beer to Brazil to start his own brewpub.