Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado reminds me of Oregon. Like Oregon, its mountains and rivers provide a natural playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Similarly, its breweries and brewpubs provide a haven for craft beer geeks.

I spent three days in Boulder last fall soaking up the local beer culture at the 1st Annual Beer Bloggers Conference. During that trip, I visited Oskar Blues, Boulder Beer, Great Divide, and numerous brewpubs.

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Colorado again—this time Colorado Springs, for a three day business trip. After landing in Colorado Springs, and checking into my hotel, it was time for dinner. I consulted my Find Craft Beer iPhone App (highly recommended at $0.99) and was thrilled to find Trinity Brewing three miles from my hotel.

Located in a small strip-mall at 1466 Garden of the Gods Rd., Trinity is a brewpub that’s only been open for three years. The trinity behind the name stands for artisan beer, slow food, and conscientious people.

The pub has a warm, cozy vibe to it. They have an impressive 31 taps (10 house brews and 21 guest beers) and serve approachable pub fare—but with a slow food focus. I ordered the vegetarian Holy Mole Enchiladas and the beer sampler tray. Trinity's descriptions are listed in italics. My comments are in bold.

  • Flo India Pale Ale:  “A staff and regulars favorite of our public house. Brewed with a blend of eight hop varieties and seven world class malts this dry hopped ale combines both English and American brewing traditions. The resulting beer is driven by fruit and balanced by dry palate, a true treat for the bold fans of the hoppier side of beers.” Medium bodied with plenty of citrus and light floral notes, backed up by a solid caramel malt backbone. Very nice! 

  • Didgeribrew:  “Wild Saison. Loving Wit Biers so much, we decided to make our third interpretation of a hybrid of the style. Brewed with the base malt structure of a Belgian Wit, this beer quickly gets funky. We ferment this treat with a special and rare strain of the wild yeast Brettanomyces. This special yeast creates notes of barnyard, wet wool, and even green apple! After fermentation the batch is aged on a grip of fresh kiwi fruit, again imparting an even higher level of tartness than expected.”  Mild funky Brett aroma and flavor. The tart kiwi melds nicely with the tangy wheat! Light and refreshing, this would be a great summer quencher.

  • Libidinous: “San Hop Saison The first in our rotating release of specialty single batch beers! Brewed without hops, we flavored this specialty with heather tips, juniper berries, chai, and saffron. More of an ancient Gruit than anything, we know you will enjoy this unusual treat.”  I'm new to gruits and this opened my eyes to a different world of herbal flavoring options. The juniper and heather lend distinctive flavors and are excellent stand-ins for hops!

  • Farmhouse Walloon: “Inspired by the ancient and more authentic Saisons of southern Belgium. We gather the ingredients for this recipe from our own small ecoregion, and strictly only use ingredients from local farms and gardens. Each year we use a number of unique pumpkins and squashes along with a number of secret ingredients to create the creamy and very drinkable indigenous interpretation of this Belgian style. Voted in the top 15 Saisons in the world in 2009.”  The pumpkin flavor is noticeable and the beer is well spiced—without going over the top.

  • Soul Horkey Ale:  “The flagship of our house brewed beers. Soul is a special recipe that combines ancient English tradition with new Belgian ideas. As a session ale built for true malt heads, this ale demonstrates the true depth and diversity of malt by blending 9 highest quality malts in a dry balance with Chinook and Kent Golding hops.”  Malt forward, nicely balanced, and an easy drinker. 

  • Awaken Coffee Stout:  “A dark, creamy, and surprisingly drinkable Dry Stout. As you would expect from the brewers at Trinity, this Stout is anything but main stream. Starting the base recipe with ten malts and three hop varieties, we age the resulting dry stout on locally roasted Sumatran coffee beans and Chicory to create balanced and pleasing bitter notes.”  The chicory and coffee flavors are front and center, while subtle vanilla lurks beneath. Very smooth mouth feel.

The dinners were appropriately sized (and reflective of the quantity the average human should probably consume at a typical meal) and decently priced. The enchiladas were good, but a bit on the bland side for me. But the beer—it was excellent! I was very impressed by the variety and quality of the beer Trinity is producing. Beyond their core brews, they’re doing some amazing work with saisons, barrel aging and wild beers. 

If you ever visit Colorado Springs, be sure to make a trip to Trinity Brewing. I’d definitely visit again. Actually, I did—the night before I flew home.

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