Head on down to Smiling Toad Brewery at 1757 S. 8th St. for what one Gazette reader called “the best neighborhood brewery in Colorado! Biff Moorehead, the owner, and the brewers Fred and Mark are always friendly and willing to chat about beers. If craft beer is your passion, then a stop at The Smiling Toad is a real treat for you.” Photo courtesy of Smiling Toad Brewery/Facebook

As my partner in beer pointed out Sunday, as we rolled through conjoined parking lots en route to Smiling Toad Brewery off South 8th St., I should probably appreciate the view — of Kathmandu and Hell — while I can.

In a mere few months’ time, the Toad no longer will have neighbors such as Little Nepal and Hell’s Kitchen Pizza. Owner Biff Morehead expects his brewery will be settled in its new location, off South 21st Street in Old Colorado City, by early next year.

“The move is progressing. The architect and contractor have submitted plans and we hope to have them approved this week,” Morehead wrote in an email.

In the meantime, remodeling is underway at the former Thirsty’s bar and nightclub, 2028 Sheldon Ave., which will get new paint and general spiffing up, plus a raised ceiling in the taproom and renovated space for the brewing operation, which will be upgraded from the current three-barrel system to 10 barrels.

As the city’s former tiniest brewery prepares to relocate and expand, for the second time, a new brewery is poised to open its doors across town in the Palmer Park neighborhood.

Construction is in the final stages at the steampunk-themed 1876 Ale Works, 3352 Templeton Gap Road, where co-owner and retired U.S. Army officer Kevin McCarthy set out to create a “conceptually unique” brewery, informed by a love of craft beer and his upbringing in Germany, in an Air Force family.

The brewery should be open in early December.

Hop another six miles east, and you land in the city’s Cimarron Hills neighborhood, where Nano 108 owner Keith Altemose is throwing a weeklong party to celebrate his brewery’s fifth anniversary.

“I can’t believe it, but it’s true. We’ve been open for business five long years and cranking out more beers than ever,” Altemose wrote in an email.

He’s marking the occasion with special food truck food pairings, games, live music and new beers. A different tapping is planned for each day of the celebration, which runs through Saturday. Nano 108 is at 2402 Waynoka Road.

“We have tapped 60 different beers so far this year. With a bunch more to come…,” Altemose wrote.

There’s “a lot of local products used in these beers. A lot of Colorado ingredients as well. All very creative,” he added. “What a long strange trip it’s been ….”


Stephanie Earls is a news reporter and columnist at The Gazette. Before moving to Colorado Springs in 2012, she worked for newspapers in upstate NY, WA, OR and at her hometown weekly in Berkeley Springs, WV, where she got her start in journalism.

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