By Savannah Hayes Orr
Just as craft beer drinkers are diversifying, so are their craft beer clubs.
Cathy Jones established Fort Collins Pints & Purls at Pateros Creek Brewing Co. in 2015, which she and her husband owned. “I was looking for a way to indulge my knitting hobby, while at the same time enjoying delicious craft beer.” With the closing of the brewery in 2016, Pints & Purls became nomadic, meeting at local breweries, taprooms, and the occasional distillery. As a huge supporter of local business, Jones likes introducing members to businesses they might not have visited before. “That support meant a lot to Pateros Creek, so I am happy to pay it forward and support my small brewery friends,” she said. Curious what beer pairs best with knitting? So was I.
”A good stout or porter goes best with knitting, but it really depends on what you’re making; those two might be more appropriate if one is knitting a sweater, whereas a classic IPA would work well with a complicated lace shawl,” Jones said. Obviously. Whether you’re an experienced knitter or are learning to crochet, just make sure you bring a thirst to quench.
More into competing than crafting? Miguel Molina founded the Fort Collins Retro Gaming Club at Pateros Creek (pure coincidence that Pints & Purls was, too!) as a way to share his passion for retro video and arcade games. But you never know where an idea is going to take you. The club now focuses on board games, meeting about three times a week at local breweries, taprooms and distilleries; but this isn’t your grandma’s Monopoly. “Social deduction games like Secret Hitler are very popular, but a lot of our gamers are also into strategic games like Azul and Dice Forge,” said Madeline Cook, one of the club’s coordinators. But the club is about more than just decks of cards and tokens; it’s about surrounding yourself with a community of people. Beer, like games, allows people to loosen their inhibitions, “Board games and beer connect people, it gives up something to relate to and leads to conversations that develop into lasting friendships,” Molina said. Anyone over 21 is welcome to join. “If you are feeling like a lone ranger and looking to make friends, our group is for you,” Molina said. “We are so damn friendly and fun.”
NoCo is home to a plethora of clubs devoted to those who love craft beer as much as you do. Like to run? Boom, running club with a beer cool down. Identify as a fierce lady? Boom, women’s craft beer club. The list goes on…literally, below:
North FoCo Pub Runners
Shoes & Brews, Longmont
Liquid Poets, Fort Collins
Weiz Guys, Loveland
Dads Liquid Therapy, Fort Collins
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pints, Loveland
Bonus: Company Beer Clubs
Does your company have a beer club? If not, start one! Otter Products (Otterbox is a division of Otter Products) has an unofficial “craft beer nerd club” for employees who enjoy indulging together. Use the headline, “Yes, I’d like to hang out after work, but only with an Imperial Russian Stout in hand.” If your business is small, think about starting a club for people in your industry. You can even go as niche as the C-BAMF, Craft Beer and Marketing Friends, a group for marketing professionals who work in craft beer. For more info, contact email@example.com.
While craft beer is at the heart of all these clubs, their true purpose is to find your people — it’s just a coincidence that the best people usually have the greatest beer.