Hop-Ed: Phantom Canyon Brewing Company

Phantom Canyon Brewing Company

Phantom Canyon has the unique distinction of being the oldest brewery in Colorado Springs, first opening its doors 24 years ago in 1993. Over the years, they have been able to fine-tune their brewing process and create a delicious menu that pairs well with their flagships. Since opening, they have not only honored the canyon they are named after, but also the historic and gorgeous Cheyenne Building in which the three story business is located.

Photo by Phillip Engh

Dedicated to serving some of the best beer in Colorado Springs, along with delicious food and the best hospitality in the business, they have made this spot into a home for food and beer lovers alike. The atmosphere inside is great; the first floor is a full-service restaurant, the second floor is a bar with many pool tables, dart boards, and an outdoor patio, and the third floor is a space for special events. With great happy hour deals and a location so close to campus, this spot stands out in the Colorado Springs brewing scene.

This Week’s 5 Beer Flight:

Wager Gulch Western Pre-Prohibition Lager

[5.3% ABV, 24 IBU, & 4.8 SRM] This lager is brewed in a pre-WWI style; it’s light and crisp with a bite of hops. Made with rice instead of maize, this one really surprised us with more flavor and character than generally expected in a lager. It has a crystal clear, light-gold color with a light head. It has standard lager aromas of wheat with floral undertones. It has a very complex and multidimensional flavor for a lager with light body and high carbonation. The flavor is crisp but also floral and bitter. Thus, it leaves a puckering mouth-feel. With a short finish, this beer is smooth and delicious.

Billy Boy Calamansi Saison

[5.7% ABV, 27 IBU, & 5.6 SRM] This is a unique farmhouse ale brewed with a calamansi puree; calamansi is a citrus fruit hybrid consisting of mandarin orange and kumquat. This beer is also special because it is brewed with Phantom’s house yeast, the “Billy Boy” farmhouse strain. It has a hazy, straw-like, gold color, a light head, and a dominant citrus aroma with hints of yeast and malt. We were lucky enough to try this beer just hours after it was tapped, so it was exceedingly fresh. The citrus flavor dominates the palate but does not overwhelm: sweet, but not too sweet, with a tinge of bitterness. It is complex but drinkable due to the medium body and high carbonation. The mouth-feel is heavy but fitting.

Bibles for Belgians Flanders Red Sour Ale

[8.1% ABV, 15 IBU, & 12.9 SRM] Named after a joke from the Simpsons, this beer was aged in oak barrels for three years and brewed with a house mix of brettanomyces yeast and microflora. It has a clear, red-brown-amber color and a light head. The aromas are dominated by oaken scents with underlying cherry and malt. It is light and smooth in the body but has distinctly tart flavors dominated by the cherry and brettanomyces. With high ABV and medium carbonation, the flavor can be summed up as robust. No way is this beer for chugging with that sour flavor profile, but sip away.

Brocephus Hemp Seed Honey Brown Ale

[5.8% ABV, 30 IBU, & 14.9 SRM] This beer has a clear, dark copper color, and the aromas smell like sweet, caramel malts. Though initially sweet due to the honey and caramel nodes, it slowly transitions into a malty and nutty flavor due to the use of local hemp seeds. With a lighter body but medium-light carbonation, this beer features complex flavor.

Duchess of Kirkaldy Barrel Aged Scotch Ale

[9.4% ABV, 48 IBU, & 17 SRM] This beer has low carbonation with practically no head. The color is slightly hazy but has a gorgeous ruby-brown tint. The aroma is dominated by whiskey and sweet malts. With a medium-heavy body and low carbonation, this beer is rich and complex. The flavors are relatively mild: initially of vanilla and caramel malt, then slowly transitioning into barrel aged scotch flavors. With a lingering and lasting finish, this is an interesting style to sample.

Other Beers on Tap:

The four flagships are the Dos Lunas Mexican Lager, Alpenglow Bavarian Style Hefeweizen, Streamliner IPA, and the Boxcar Amber Ale. Also currently available is the Summertime London Lager, Electronic Castaway Ginger Wheat Ale, Granny Gear Cask Throwback Porter, History Lesson American Pale Ale, The Ghost of Cain Best Bitter, Noriega Pineapple IPA, and the Shattered Barrel Aged “Manhattan Cocktail” Rye Ale. Also listed on the menu are the next 18 upcoming styles.

Where to Drink:

Located right downtown near the Antlers Hotel, the address is 2 E. Pikes Peak Ave. Since they open early and stay open late, Phantom Canyon Brewing Company is a great spot for a college night out. The food is high quality as well. While some may tell you this is not a great brewery, they are quite mistaken. With tons of experience and a large production system, Phantom Canyon is producing interesting and delicious beers. If you have not been before, definitely check out this staple in the Colorado Springs brewing scene.

Brandon Marcus

Brandon Marcus

Brandon Marcus

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Christopher Birtch

Christopher Birtch

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Julian Dahl

Julian Dahl

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