Wednesday, 14 October 2009 09:36

Bike and beer tours in the 'Napa Valley of beer,' Fort Collins, Colorado...we're talkintravel.

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October 13, 11:30 PM (Re: Examiner.com)

So many of us have done the wine tasting tours whether by car, bus, or limo.  Some may have even done wine tasting tours on a bicycle.  It had to happen sooner or later...now a beer tasting tour on a bike.  Here's the latest from FORT COLLINS, Colo.

-- Home to numerous micro-breweries and a Budweiser plant, there is only one thing this Front Range town takes more seriously than beer and that’s bikes. Here, the bike culture and beer culture collide to create a European vibe. And the bonus for bike, beer and budget loving travelers everywhere is this destination is an easy – and economical – trip from anywhere in the United States.

Located 50 miles north of Denver, Fort Collins has been called the Napa Valley of Beer. That’s no coincidence considering the five microbreweries who call the brew-topia home. Many of breweries are an easy bike ride from each other which makes for the ultimate beer tasting tour via bike. No bike? No problem. Stop by the Bike Library in Old Town Square and check one out – for free. Then embark on this self-guided tour of beer bliss.

Start: Coopersmith’s Pub and Brewing, next to the bike library in Old Town at 5 Old Town Square, always has something tasty on tap including Not Brown Ale, Poudre Pale and Horsetooth Stout. Looking for something with a kick? Try a Sigda’s Green Chili. Coopersmith’s is also great place for lunch to provide the fuel you’ll need for your ride. Pints from $4.

Stop 2: O’dell Brewing Company makers of flagship brew 90 Shilling Scottish Ale and a full range of flavorful beers from the light, crisp Easy Street Wheat to the dark, roasty Cutthroat Porter. Tasting trays and pints from $4.  Directions: exit Old Town Square via Mountain Avenue, follow Mountain Avenue across Riverside where it turns into Lincoln, follow Lincoln across the scenic Poudre River for approx. five blocks. O’dells is on the left at 800 E. Lincoln Ave.  Distance: .7 miles

Stop 3: Fort Collins Brewery makers of the tart, tangy and unique Major Tom’s Pomegranate Wheat as well as the smoky, complex Z Lager and dark, smooth Chocolate Stout. Tastings from $4.
Directions: Follow Lincoln Avenue East for approx. one mile, Fort Collins Brewery is on the left at 1900 E. Lincoln Ave. #B. Distance: 1.5 miles

End: New Belgium Brewing Company, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale, promotes biking nearly as much as it does beer. From the Tour de Fat every September, to Bike-In Cinema each summer, New Belgium is the trendsetter for beer and bike culture. Tastings are free but go early to get a seat.
Directions: Go back the way you came west on Lincoln, take a right on 1st street, follow 1st for approx. 1 block, left on Buckingham, right on Linden, brewery is on the right at 500 Linden St.)  Distance: 2 miles

Optional Extension: Big Horn Brewing Co. offers a cornucopia of hops and malts with award-winning brews like Buttface Amber, Big Red I.P.A and Total Disorder Porter. Located inside of C.B. Potts restaurant, this diverse menu makes this a great last stop – for beer and dinner.  Pints from $4.
Directions: Inside of C.B. Potts Restaurant, follow Linden west, left on Walnut to go around Old Town Square, right on Mountain, follow Mountain to Shields, left Shields to Elizabeth, Right on Elizabeth to 1415 W. Elizabeth
Distance: 3 miles

Those looking for more biking can take advantage of the city’s numerous scenic, paved bike trails. For those hammerheads looking ditch the granny-gears for some serious mountain biking can take advantage of trails in Larimer County, Lory State Park and the Poudre Canyon.

For more info: www.visitftcollins.com/  and for more articles, news releases and personal travel experiences from the National Travel Insight Examiners, Ruth and Rich Carlson, click here for our home page.

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