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of Phantom Canyon Brewing Company - Colorado Springs, CO
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"This was the first stop the first brewery tour vacation for my and I in Colorado, and it was a great place to start. Phantom Canyon is a large establishment (two-stories, if I recall) and, by all accounts, a great place to hang-out. In addition to a great beer selection, the food was pretty good, service was great, and the place had plenty of pool tables and patio seating.
But enough mindless drivel. On to the beer! On the day of our visit (7/2/05), Phantom Canyon had on tap 11 different brews (well, 10 actually as they were out of Cascade Amber - but I did see someone wheel a keg of it away while we were there). I didn't rate any of them higher than 4 out of 5, but then again, I don't rate many beers 5/5. My favorites were the Railyard Ale (4/5), Pikes Peak or Bust Brown Ale (4/5), Hefeweizen (4/5), and Zebulon's Peated Porter (4/5). Zebulon's was the most notable of Phantom's beer in that it had a remarkable smokey flavor and very smooth mouth-feel. Unfortunately, there wasn't any aroma to speak of.
Other beers which I rated in the 2.5 to 3.5 range included Queen's Blonde Ale (3/5), Antioxidant Ale (2.5/5 - had a strong ginger flavor but no aroma), Pinhead Ale (3.5/5 - a mix b/n an amber and an IPA), and Sierra Madre Stout (3/5 - great mouth-feel).
I didn't care much for the Demolition Cream Ale (1.5/5 - it was a bit too sharp on the tongue) or the Phantom IPA (2/5 - no smell, which is a crime when it comes to IPA's, and it was too bitter - shame on me on this point, I guess).
All in all, a pretty good establishment. Any place that is willing to roll out so many different brews at a time and is willing to take some risks is well worth the visit.
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