Brewery as Community
We spent the last week visiting Sarah’s family in Monument, Colorado. It’s not exactly a beer mecca, but Monument does have a brewery, Pikes Peak Brewing Company.
I’ve been plenty of breweries but few were as friendly as Pikes Peak.
Located just off Interstate 25, the brewery is situated in an old strip mall, near a library and a physical therapist. It’s not a glamorous place, but damn if it isn’t popular.
We visited on a Monday evening and the bar was packed. It had snowed the day before but there were still plenty of people mingling on the patio. We settled in at a table near the bar and watched a steady stream of office workers and old timers sidle up to the bar for their happy hour pints. A “buy a friend a beer” chalkboard on the wall is covered in miniscule writing. This is obviously a neighborhood joint, the perfect encapsulation of a “third place.”
Monument is a bedroom community. There aren’t many coffee shops to speak of, and restaurants lean toward the impersonal chain variety. The only thing Monument has plenty of is tract housing and churches. People commuting to Denver and Colorado Springs have plenty of beer options, but that probably works in Pikes Peaks favor. People who already understand IPA and Berliner Weisse are better customers than Coors drinkers.
The beer runs the gamut from Mild to milkshake IPA. There’s something for everyone, and it’s all pretty decent. Nothing blew me away, but over the course of a week I tried six different beers from Pikes Peak and each one was brewed to style. The golden Belgian ale was dry with a yeasty spice flavor. The mild was clean and toasty. The blood orange IPA was fruity. The beer is tasty, but that seems almost beside the point. Pikes Peak is good because it functions as a communal space, a place for people of all stripes to bond over their pints.