Brewpubs aren’t just about craft beer brewed on site. Many also are about food and atmosphere, which are among reasons they’ve gained in popularity with the public.
The local owners of Colorado Mountain Brewery, who found success with their brewpub and restaurant on Colorado Springs’ suburban north side, opened their second location Friday in the historic railroad roundhouse building at 21st Street and U.S. Highway 24 on the city’s west side.
Both locations are owned by Air Force Academy graduate Scott Koons and his father, Richard. Along with financial investors, the Koons launched their first location two years ago in the InterQuest Marketplace retail center, east of Interstate 25 and InterQuest Parkway.
After doing well on the north side, the Koons looked to expand and couldn’t pass up the historic roundhouse building, said Tiffany Jacobs, general manager of the new site.
The two-story, 38,000-square-foot building, built in the late 1880s, was home to the Midland Terminal Railroad, whose locomotives were stored and repaired there. In 1953, Van Briggle Art Pottery bought the building and used it for decades as a showroom and plant. Van Briggle moved out in 2009; Springs real estate company Griffis/Blessing Inc. bought the building and remodeled it into retail space for multiple tenants.
Being part of the west side community is important to the owners, who expect the location to attract local residents and tourists on their way to Old Colorado City, Manitou Springs and other attractions, Jacobs said.
“The history of this location, and being on the west side between Manitou and Colorado City and Cheyenne Mountain and the Broadmoor area, it just seemed like an ideal location,” she said.
While the north side brewpub is affiliated with the nearby Air Force Academy, the decor of the roundhouse location has been tied to the Midland Railroad, Jacobs said. Wall hangings include copies of a railroad mural and photos of train passengers from the Pikes Peak Historical Society. A heavy railroad car bell in the bar area is on loan from the Pikes Peak Historical Street Railway Foundation.
The roundhouse location’s mix of beers and menu also will differ in some ways from the north location, she said.
Half of the north side location’s 16 beers are brewed on site and the rest are so-called “guest taps” from other breweries. The roundhouse location will have five to six beers brewed on site, while another 20 or so might come from breweries on the East and West coasts, Great Divide Brewing Co. in Denver, Odell Brewing Co. in Fort Collins and local brewers such as Trinity Brewing Co. and Bristol Brewery.
“Supporting local businesses is huge on the west side,” Jacobs said. “But at the same time, (we want to) bring in some flavors from some other areas.”
About 80 percent of the menu will be the same, but the roundhouse location also will have features not available on the north side — a wood-fired pizza oven and a coal-fired grill for steaks, which will include premium Idaho wagyu beef.
The new menu concepts are designed to cater to what’s expected to be more of a diverse crowd on the west side, Jacobs said.
Brewpubs and brewing companies have been in vogue for several years in Colorado Springs, and more have opened as their popularity grows.
Downtown’s Phantom Canyon and Bristol Brewery, on South Tejon Street, opened in the early 1990s; Bristol’s owners now are moving to the redeveloped former Ivywild Elementary School on South Nevada Avenue.
Other local brewers include Trinity on the northwest side and Rocky Mountain Brewing Co., northeast of Powers Boulevard and Platte Avenue. Chains that have opened in recent years include Rock Bottom Brewery on Powers and BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse on North Nevada.
Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228 Twitter @richladen
Facebook Rich Laden