After a brief stop at Jessup Farm Barrel House a few years ago for my 2017 GABF visit, I have always wanted to spend more time at this unique brewery. Their quality-focused and inventive take on barrel-aging beers is a thing of beauty. Today, I have as much time as I need to truly spend time with their beers and relax in one of my favorite taprooms in Fort Collins, Colorado.
If you are out this way, do yourself a favor and go early for your morning cup of java. The atmosphere at Bindle Coffee is uniquely welcoming and homey. Days like this are an absolute gift. Being able to take it slow and not adhere to a schedule is one of life’s greatest indulgences. To me, sitting here at a coffee shop and observing the local vibe is invigorating to my soul.
The coffee is tremendous and the clientele is varied. Families coming in to grab a bite, friends meeting for conversation, and solo folks like me just getting some work done while they wake up. The variety of seating is also interesting. The spot that I really wanted to get was off in the corner by a little window that looked out onto the rolling hills, but that was occupied. I settled for a bench across from the barista counter so I could see all the action. A lot of locals come here and the staff knows about 75% of the patrons by name.
Before I know it, I am jacked up on caffeine and ready to walk across the path to the taproom!
Jessup Farm Barrel House
The Jessup Farm Barrel House is located in a quaint little area of shops that include places to eat and drink. This land was used to farm sugar beets until the mid-80s when the Jessups sold the land. There is a certain lore about this place that goes with its charm. From a taproom perspective, you are hard pressed to find a more relaxing place to enjoy a beer.
The actual barn where the taproom is housed is 140 years old. There is no brewing that happens on premises, rather, the wort is brewed at Funkwerks. The barrels are blended and filled in the main level of the barrel house and the taproom occupies the upper level of the barn.
As far as barrel-aged beers are concerned, there is much to lust after at Jessup Farm Barrel House. They have a wide breadth of selections from light and effervescent to dark and full-bodied.
Jessup Farm Beers
Picking out a beer flight here is easier said than done. Jessup Farm Barrel House has so many things on tap to choose from. Being that this is my first stop of the day, I err on the side of lighter.
The Helles in Wonderland is my jumping off point. This beer emanates a light and cracker-like bread aroma. There is some citrusy brightness that tastes like lemon. This beer drinks effervescent and clean. A great way to start off my drinking adventures and something I would do a full pint of if I were staying longer.
Next, it is the Senior Discount, a Belgian-style Witbier with coriander, chamomile, and orange peel. I love the herbaceous chamomile and orange peel aroma. The chamomile adds a spice note that balances out the other flavors nicely. The beer is crisp and refreshing with a dry finish. There is a hoppy bite at the end for balance, as well.
The Weisse with Spice is third in the order and this is like liquid potpourri. This herbal amalgamation of chamomile, elder flower, lavender, and lemon creates a marvelous bouquet of aromas. There is a flavor of lemon that is followed by juniper for a piney finish. All these flavors enliven my palate in a pleasing way.
To finish out the four, it is the Unicorn Bubbles for me. This golden sour is aged in a red wine barrel and has hibiscus flowers and citrus peel in it. Another big winner thanks to the hibiscus that provides a lot of balance. The tartness on this beer is perfect for me.
I decide to stick around for one more and enjoy a Feel the Peel. This is a barrel-aged golden sour with lemon peel, ginger, and thyme. What jumps out to me about this beer is that it evokes so many food memories. The ginger is bright and spicy, but does not overtake the beer. The citrus note from the lemon peel is the perfect foil for the familiarity of the thyme. I am happy that I chose this to be my closer.
In the last few years, breweries have gone all-in on aging beers in barrels. A noble feat, for sure. However, I argue that less than 10% of the breweries out there are really doing this process justice. There are many barrel-aged disasters on tap all over America. When a brewery like Jessup Farm Barrel House actually takes their time and understands the process, I want to shout from the rooftops with unbridled joy. There are no shortcuts in these beers and the flavors and textures speak for themselves.
If you are looking for a truly special beer tasting experience, look no further than Jessup Farm Barrel House. Their beers articulate what artistry looks like in liquid form. In addition to the beers, the staff is ridiculously friendly and knowledgeable. They will make you feel welcomed and answer all your questions. The bites they have to go along with the food are fantastic and locally sourced. Jessup Farm Barrel House truly provides a special craft beer experience.
Dan Beaubien has been involved with Beerploma since 2014 although his passion for craft beer dates back to 2006 when he started traveling for beer. Dan mostly covers craft beer events, festivals, brewery openings/releases, and beer reviews. Dan has a soft spot in his heart for authentic British Style ales, IPAs, and all things barrel-aged. If you have any questions or comments about this article feel free to email Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org .