The Pikes Peak Region is known as an outdoor adventure playground—and it's also becoming more and more known for its craft beverages. From beer to coffee to spirits, locals have a full range of options when it comes to choosing a pre-run caffeine kick or a post-ride relaxer.
And savvy adventure-seeking sippers can double the benefit with one of these five beverage choices. Quench your thirst and give back to causes you care about—now, that deserves a toast next time you head out for drinks in Colorado Springs.
1. Cheyenne Cañon Pinon Nut Ale
One hundred percent of the proceeds from Bristol Brewing Co. 's Cheyenne Cañon Pinon Nut Ale benefit the Friends of Cheyenne Cañon —which helps keep the trails you know and love that are a part of the 1,600-acre regional park as an outdoor refuge. Whether you hike Stratton Open Space or Seven Bridges or mountain bike Captain Jacks and the Chutes, when you drink a pint of this 6.5% ABV American Brown limited edition ale, at Bristol’s bustling home at Ivywild School , or from a bomber at home, you’re helping keep the streams, waterfalls, and woods of Cheyenne Cañon safe and maintained.
2) Bear Creek Porter
The greenback cutthroat trout has seen some rough days. Declared extinct in 1937, it was “rediscovered” in Colorado streams in the 1950s. In 2012, testing determined that only about 750 of these trout still existed—in Colorado Springs’ Bear Creek, which flows through the nearly 1,200-acre Jones Park. Since then, the area has been considered off limits for locals as the U.S. Forest Service and other governmental agencies determined how to handle the situation. Recently, however, El Paso County accepted a transfer from Colorado Springs Utilities and have stated plans to re-open the area for recreation.
Want to support the westside area and those now-considered-endangered fish? Head up to Pikes Peak Brewing Co. for a pint of its seasonal Bear Creek Porter. PPBC uses one gallon of water from the creek to brew this classic rye malt porter, and then donates a portion of the proceeds to the Cheyenne Mountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited to stream preservation.
3) UpaDowna Coffee Blend
Next time you’re at the locally owned Mountain Equipment Recyclers , perusing the latest arrivals in consignment and resale outdoor gear (which themselves benefit local military veterans programs), pick up a bag of UpaDowna coffee to go with your new-to-you camping percolator. Roasted by Mission Coffee Roasters, the coffee helps support the outdoor adventure nonprofit run a variety of events, from its Intro to Rock Climbing nights to its Adventure on Tap speaker series to the annual Pedal Party for cyclists of all ages and gear (unicycles, cruisers, tall, and fat bikes all welcome). Blends vary, but these days you can pick up Double Blaze Decaf, 14er French Roast, Campfire Costa Rican, and a medium-dark Mountain Blend.
4) Firebomb Moonshine
One of the newest drink-and-donate options comes via 3 Hundred Days of Shine, which opened its distillery doors in late 2014. They liken their 100-proof Firebomb Moonshine to having a “fireball jawbreaker in your mouth.” But it’s all good. Some of the proceeds support the EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) Warrior Foundation, an organization that assists active-duty and retired EOD tech, including those stationed at Fort Carson. One of the foundation’s granting programs helps injured members acquire adaptive equipment such as bikes and other gear to support their recovery.
Ride your own bike up the Santa Fe Trail to Monument and stop by the distillery tasting room to swig some of the shine on site, or seek it out in local liquor stores.
5) Manitou Springs Spring Water Pale Ale
Whether you're coming down from the Incline or just passing through Manitou Springs on your way to hike Barr Trail or Pikes Peak, you’ve likely grabbed some free healing refreshment at one time or another from one of the 10 mineral springs. If not, the next time you’re in town, you might try a splash from Shoshone Spring, which contains some of the highest mineral content of the 10, including calcium, chloride, lithium, manganese, sodium, sulfate, and zinc. And if you want to help the springs keep on keeping on, you can also drink the Spring Water Pale Ale from BierWerks Brewery. Fifteen percent of the proceeds from this brew, made using water from the low-sodium Twin Spring, is donated to the Mineral Springs Foundation.