Review of Crested Butte Brewery & Pub

In Colorado for some Rockies skiing, I was fortunate to be able to attend the grand opening of the Idle Spur Crested Butte Brewpub. Located at 226 Elk Ave., it's at the heart of the town's business district, surrounded by shops, restaurants and saloons. From the sidewalk, passersby peering into the large glass window can't fail to notice the shin and sparkle emanating from the display fermenter behind the bar. Inside, the decor fits the period with natural-stained wood used throughout. The 10-barrel system looked compact and ultra-modern. Recipes were perfected at a sister brewery in Breckenridge, Colorado. With a little water treatment, pelletized hops, and crushed barley and wheat malt, this brewpub was producing tasty brews that the standing-room-only crowd obviously found pleasing. The kitchen was in full production to complement the beer menu.

The Mountain Wheat was cloudy, mild and medium-bodied. The IPA was a medium amber color, medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, and possessed a hoppy palate and aftertaste. I found the aroma of the Fuggles hops appropriate and pleasant. The Avalanche Ale was lightly carbonated, with a medium body and amber color. The palate seemed hoppy, with a slightly dry aftertaste. The Oatmeal Stout was opaque, medium-bodied, with good head retention and a forceful roasted flavor.

Visitors staying nearby have use of public busses into early evening and reasonable taxi rides to the slope-side condos after that. Regardless of the season, I expect that the Idle Spur and brewmaster Christopher Scott will continue to do a booming business as more visitors learn of the beverages produced there.

Update: Now operating as Crested Butte Brewery & Pub, their bottled bottled products are receiving widespread distribution. The Rodeo Oatmeal Stout offers a rich aroma with a medium body, coarse black malty character with a very dry finish.

Crested Butte Brewery & Pub (formerly Idle Spur Brewpub)
214 Elk Avenue
Crested Butte, Colorado 81224
tel. 970-349-5026

Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - December, 1993, updated October, 1999

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