When it comes to a strategic location for an outdoors-themed watering hole, Trails End Taproom has serious traction. The Midland Trail is a literal stone's throw away; Red Rocks Open Space and Garden of the Gods, less than a mile.
Whether the taproom marks the end of your trail, though, really depends on where your day began. And if it began at the End, you will be forgiven for maybe getting distracted.
The new pour-your-own spot has 40 taps dedicated to craft libations, including a selection of Colorado beers making their first appearances in the Springs.
"We've driven all over the state so we have a bunch of breweries that have never been in Colorado Springs, and we'll be the only ones pouring their beers," said Trails End General Manager Mike Walter. "We have Platte Park Brewing Co., who brought their kegs down from Denver for the first time ... and Mockery Brewing, which has never been here. We've got two IPA styles coming from Outer Range Brewing Co. in Frisco. We actually said we'd drive up there and get kegs from them because they have such a cult following, and it's something that a lot of people here in the Springs have been craving."
Trails End's PIY model lets patrons pour anywhere from an ounce of beer to a full glass; it's easy to taste test, and sampling is encouraged. That kind of freedom appealed to small-production brewers here and around the state, said taproom founder and mountain biking enthusiast Kevin Weese.
"A lot of people aren't pouring the full pint. Just pouring a little bit and then coming back and pouring a little bit more. It's interesting," said Weese, whose high-tech wall of taps includes screens listing detailed descriptions for each brewery and beer. Prices start at about 40 cents per ounce, depending on the style, brewing processes and brewery.
Springs-made creations will bear a special, low-tech "badge" denoting the local origins. Red Leg Brewing founder Todd Baldwin said he's excited that his brewery's beers will be flowing alongside those of his craft compatriots.
"The fact that you can get so many local beers in here, to test them out in a place where the brewers can highlight themselves and local community partners like these guys, it's a win-win for everybody," Baldwin said. "Especially in a great location like this - close to the parks, trails, the Incline. It's a great spot for people to try all of Colorado Springs' local flavors."