Photo By: John Robson
On a sunny, 60-degree February day, one can certainly be fooled into thinking spring is coming.
On a sunny, 60-degree February day, one can certainly be fooled into thinking spring is coming. Further deception is the ambiance of sitting and leisurely sipping beer on a farm, while taking in the sights of the foothills and sounds of chickens, goats, and pigs in the distance. At this point, it’s difficult to fathom our snowiest month is upon us. What a tease.
Special is an understatement to describe the brewing operation on this working farm in north Fort Collins. As one of the few in the country with similar models, Soul Squared Brewing Co. doesn’t do a typical farm CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Each month they brew a specialty beer for their BEER CSA, incorporating ingredients such as hops, beets, and honey from bees they raise on the farm. Now THIS is cool!
Head brewer and medal winner Jay Shambo poured tasters in their teeny private tasting room. Assistant brewer and farmer Aaron Gray and his farmer/marketing maven wife Mary joined in sharing a taste and passionately telling their story of building their unique brewery from scratch. I can’t wait until they fulfill their goal of adding a public tasting room in either Fort Collins or Wellington. Their beers do not disappoint.
Belgian Blond Ale:
This golden beauty is light in body with sweet orange citrus and a bit of peppery spiciness on the tongue. They do a little twist on the traditional Belgian style by using American and Willamette hops with traditional Trapist yeast. The result is a delightful earthiness and fruitiness. Jay likes to shoot for as dry as they can get it without scraping your teeth! This beer can easily lead you into the danger zone because it’s a refreshing, easy drinker at ABV: 7.5.
Extra Pale Ale:
I’m not a fan of super hoppy beer, so with one sniff; this was about to knock me off my chair. But, much to my delight, the taste is smooth and balanced, preventing the hops from burning my face off! Flavors of citrus and pine tree come out after the first sip. Three varieties of Northwestern hops are used to make this a traditional hoppy beer, so when the brewer loves hoppy beer, this is what you get! Another easy, all day drinker, described by Mary as “definitely a sessionable beer for ice fishing.”
India Brown Ale:
Immediately noticeable are hints of chocolat, in this traditional English brown with an Indian twist, resulting from British pale chocolate malt. There’s also a taste of grainy dark brown toast, but not burnt! Even though it’s hoppy, the malt balances it. Jay says it’s a “good hoppy beer for people who didn’t know they like hops.” Hmmm…apparently I now like hoppy beers!
Honey Hibiscus Saison:
There are no rules for Saisons and this one proves it. Although traditional, they add honey from the farm to the Sorachi ace yeast, which creates a combination of tart and sweet that only makes me yearn for more. Hence, I’m not the only one, as it created such a major buzz at Colorado Brewers Festival; it resulted in a chaotic 45-minute line for a tiny pour.
Wait for it…this one is coming soon; Spring-Summer Seasonal releasing in May.
Find Soul Squared’s Farm Built Flagship Beer in 4-packs and selected specialty Bombers at taprooms and local retailers, such as The Perfect Pour!
Kaarina Robson is the founder of Cheers United, where she coordinates fun and unique brewery tour experiences for business professional groups. Find her at cheers-united.com or Instagram @cheers.united