When Gordon Schuck and Brad Lincoln were trying to decide where in the United States to open a small brewery that focused solely on Belgian-style saisons, one town kept rising to the top of the list: Fort Collins.
"Because of New Belgium, you have a lot of people around town who already know Belgian beers and know saisons," Lincoln says about the much larger New Belgium Brewing Company, which is also in town. "And Fort Collins has been very receptive to us, which is something that can be an issue when you have so many breweries that are already people and so many people who love them."
The two opened the doors to Funkwerks in December in the building formerly used by the Fort Collins Brewing Company at 1900 East Lincoln Avenue.
It is one of a handful of breweries in Colorado that focus on a specific style of beer, including Denver's Del Norte, which makes Mexican lagers, and Black Fox, a Colorado Springs brewery that also concentrates on Belgian saisons.
While the saison style is an open one, it typically includes beers that are light to medium bodied, highly carbonated and filled with notes of citrus or spice. Saisons are often lighter in alcohol -- although this isn't always the case -- and traditionally have refreshing characteristics that make them particularly popular in the summer.
"It's all we drink," says Lincoln.
Funkwerks uses a fifteen-barrel brewing system and expects to have five beers on tap in its tasting room by the end of this month. It also has bottles of its signature saison for sale there and at a few liquor stores along the Front Range.
The brewery is also using all organic ingredients and plans to become the second brewery in Colorado to be certified as organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (possibly this spring). The first is Boulder's Asher Brewing.