In most liquor stores, the beer and cider sections are stacked with label art of various styles and techniques. It feels impossible to identify two of the same label, and the choices can become overwhelming. Although it has remained a small and intimate business for almost 10 years now, Trinity Brewing Company is an example of endless variety in the aesthetics of their labels, brewery location, and menu selection.
Shades of orange and green leave the walls surrounding the brewery, with chalkboards noting updates regarding new crafts and recommendations. Posters displaying past Trinity label art fill the room, and the colors and patterns match the variety of beer tap handles. The bar stretches along the entire length of the restaurant space, with tall colorful stools lining its edge, leaving room for more traditional wooden tables.
From the vibrant decorations and warm-colored paints, to the quirky decoration and wooden aesthetic, the experience at Trinity Brewing restaurant begins to feel like sitting within a craft beer label. One would never expect to find such a unique and comfortable setting located in a parking lot just off of the busy highway, as the nature of the scene takes you far from the traffic outside.
Jesse Calabro, our waiter, talked about the ways in which Trinity is unique not only to other restaurants in Colorado Springs, but also to other breweries. “I’ve been to breweries all over the state and the country,” he said. “But we’re kind of a funkier group here. Not just in our beers, but in our staff as well.” Calabro talked about the design of the building, the labels, and the colors, and claimed that the character of Trinity Brewing is “everything that mixes in with it.”
Calabro also spoke about the intentionality of sticking with one location, despite the success Trinity Brewing has seen. All the beers that Trinity distributes are brewed in the same building where they serve food. Trinity distributes to Chicago, New York, Oregon, and in Colorado, to Denver, Carbondale, and Colorado Springs. “We wanted to keep it more intimate with the folks of Colorado Springs,” Calabro said.
The goal of intimacy is most definitely achieved at Trinity Brewing through the experience of the customer, the restaurant staff, and the space layout. Calabro questioned Trinity Brewing when he first started working there due to the size of the kitchen: a closet-sized, semi-open space that feeds a much larger room. “That’s how it is,” said Calabro. “We’re not going to deny that. But how they produce that size of menu with a kitchen like that is pretty crazy.”
The menu options at Trinity Brewing not only exceed the selection at a regular brewery, but also the selections at most other restaurants in Colorado Springs. One of the unique qualities of Trinity Brewing is their abundance of vegan selections on the menu, from a veggie burger made from coconut, peas, and other ingredients, to seitan wings, and vegan corndogs. Calabro credited these vegan options as responsible for much of the business Trinity attracts. “I think that’s a big thing for businesses, not just breweries—to have options that people may not have had anywhere else.” Calabro said. The uniqueness of the menu extends beyond the vegan variety, also offering a selection of mac and cheese bowls, meat and cheese boards, sandwiches, sliders, poutine, stuffed jalapenos with chorizo and shrimp, and country fried bacon. “I really liked the little silver tray that my food came on,” said junior Jackie Bonasia. “I like when restaurants do that because it feels authentic and a little bit nicer than bar/beer food. I feel like they paid a lot of attention to their food as well as their beer.”
“You go to any brewery, and you’re going to find things that you like and don’t like,” said Calabro. “Everybody’s got their own taste… you’re never going to please everyone 100 percent” The combination of close-knit service, food and drink options, and colorful setting, however, make Trinity Brewing a taste for everyone.