It’s been raining a lot in Colorado of late, in case you didn’t know. The weekend before this last one we decided that we’d spent enough time sitting indoors because of the rain, and we decided to head south – where the sun was (mostly) shining and we could enjoy some fresh air and beautiful views. We spent most our afternoon walking around Colorado City and enjoying their annual Territory Days festival. Afterwards we decided to head down a bit further to Manitou Springs for a little shopping and wandering around.
Manitou Springs, Colorado is one of our favorite little touristy getaways. It’s less than an hour south of our home and it features a cute downtown area filled with all types of unique stores, bars, restaurants, and what has to be the coolest retro penny arcades in all of Colorado. It’s easy to waste an afternoon down here, and frequently we do. However we had yet to try their craft brewery, Manitou Brewing Co, so on this day we decided to make a special stop for a few pints. The clouds were just beginning to roll in, so it seemed like the perfect time to go back indoors.
Manitou Brewing Company has been open just over a year now, and our first impression was that they can still bring in some solid crowds. We were lucky to find one table open near the bar; the rest of the seating inside and outside was already full. The clouds opened up with a brief, light rain shower just as we arrived, yet nobody on the patio made any effort to move. It says a lot for a place that folks were willing to get a little wet rather than give up their seats, so we figured they were going to be good.
Manitou Brewing is cozy, with warm colored walls and wooden accents and furniture, and the staff was quick to greet us and get us a menu before we even got settled in our chairs. Manitou Brewing was serving eight of their own beers in a variety of styles, plus plus several guest taps and a limited bar. We selected two of the Manitou Brewing offerings: the EXP IPA #3, and the Cherry Poppin’ Sour.
Apparently, IPAs are relatively new to Manitou Brewing. The menu described the EXP IPA #3 as an experimental batch (we assume it was the 3rd) that Manitou Brewing is making to try to select just the right hop combo for their final IPA. Personally, we think they found it! We’re not sure what variety of hops was in batch #3, but we detected a wonderful citrus aroma with flavors of tropical fruit and grapefruit, giving this beer a bitter bite with a short finish. It was a really great IPA.
The Cherry Poppin’ Sour was also a fantastic beer. It had an incredibly flowery aroma, with an effervescent cherry flavor that was tart but not sweet. It was a crisp and refreshing drink, quite different from many of the other sours we’ve tried, but just as delicious.
Manitou Brewing Co has a full food menu, featuring a number of small plates, sandwiches, hamburgers, and more. Clearly the thing to try are their specialty fries, which comes with Parmesan cheese and your choice of either truffle oil or rosemary. We saw so many tables grubbing on these fries and they looked delicious. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the fries. We opted for their Pretzel Bites, served with a homemade Manitou Common White Queso. The pretzels were pretty basic, not much different than something we could buy in our local freezer section. Still, they were warm and tasty, and the queso was really delicious. It’s was a thinner queso, that was deliciously cheesy with just the right amount of heat, and it was the perfect snack to accompany our beers. Still, next time we’ll be getting those fries.
Overall we thoroughly enjoyed Manitou Brewing Co. This place fits perfectly in the Manitou Springs scene, and it feels like it’s been a neighborhood spot for a lot longer than a year. We were impressed with the quality of the beer, the local following, the relaxing ambiance and the great service. It’s safe to say that we won’t pass this place up next time we’re spending an afternoon in Manitou Springs.
About Manitou Brewing Co
Manitou Brewing Company
725 Manitou Ave
Manitou Springs, CO 80829