By Kim Fuller Thirst Colorado
LOREN MATHEWS, OWNER ELEVATION 5003 DISTILLING 2601 SOUTH LEMAY AVENUE, #8, FORT COLLINS (photo above)
This grain-to-bottle distillery provides high quality spirits and tasting experiences. Owner and distiller Loren Mathews says she was a “lab geek” in college and used to work in the craft beer industry, but it was that added step of turning beer into spirit that got her excited enough to start a business. “I started distilling a number of years ago,” Mathews shares. “A lot of brewers naturally get into distilling because it’s a very similar process but it’s one extra step at the end.” When she launched Elevation 5003 Distilling, Mathews says she was “young enough to fail, and old enough to feel like I had a background.” “So, I just went for it,” she shares. Definitely try Mathews’ Timber Ridge Gin, and for a sweet little kick, the Franklin Coffee Liqueur. Mathews says Siewald and Cochran have been nothing but supportive. “They have more years on me with their businesses, but I also have a very large commercial background and have technical, so it feels like give and take,” explains Mathews. “They have just been super supportive which is amazing. I love that I have that, and we don’t directly compete with each other.”
JENNIFER SIEWALD, OWNER SCRUMPY’S CIDER & SUMMIT HARD CIDER 215 NORTH COLLEGE AVE., FORT COLLINSJennifer Siewald has a passion for fantastic cider. With flavors ranging from familiar to silly, Siewald reduces excess waste in the Fort Collins community by harvesting undesirable apples that would normally be thrown out, in return creating a beautiful product for those of legal drinking age to enjoy. “I am mildly allergic to hops,” Siewald shares on why she started making cider, “and as craft beer got going, it got more and more and more hoppy and I would still drink it. I got asthma attacks and it took me a while to figure it out, but then I just started drinking a lot more wine and cider. I figured out I don’t get sick when I drink cider.” Scrumpy’s Hard Cider Bar and Summit Hard Cider have only just begun to expand the profile of cider and the way fruit is enjoyed. When you’re at Scrumpy’s, be sure to try the Campfire, Blueberry Lavender and Rasbenero — two unique and memorable renditions of cider.
CAROL COCHRAN, CO-OWNER HORSE & DRAGON BREWING CO. 124 RACQUETTE DRIVE, FORT COLLINSHorse & Dragon is all about high quality, great tasting craft beer, along with supporting sustainability and community in the heart of Northern Colorado. “Craft breweries are generally great places to meet people,” says co-owner Carol Cochran. “They are really involved in their communities, and they build a lot of community.” With extensive natural wood décor, including beetle-kill pine, and potted plants aplenty, the brewery is a great place to raise a glass. It’s apparent from the moment you walk into Horse & Dragon that it’s a great place to gather, and to raise a glass. “Our goal is always to make beers that people would want to drink a second pint of,” she shares. “So, we have very few beers that are just way up there. Most of them are pretty well balanced and go great with food.” You may know Horse & Dragon from their Sad Panda Coffee Stout, and there are about five other beers that head brewer Josh Evans keeps in stock year-round. Most of the rest of the brewery’s fleet comes out once a year. With over 100 recipes, don’t miss this brainchild created by Cochran and her husband. Horse & Dragon is a 30-minute walk from downtown Fort Collins and a 15-minute walk from Odell Brewing Co.