24. Drink a Town Pump Pail Ale at the Town Pump

Fort Collins’ oldest bar is also its smallest and perhaps most beloved drinking establishment. The Town Pump opened in 1909 and was likely where the term “hole in the wall bar” was coined. Although hole in the ceiling may be more appropriate. When you go, make sure you look up at the ceiling, then ask any long time patron and you’ll hear the unconfirmed rumor that those are bullet holes fired during a bar room brawl sometime in the early days of the Town Pump. This place is steeped in history. During Prohibition the storefront became a deli and the basement became a speakeasy. It’s thought that kegs were brought in via underground tunnels. Our bartender tells us that the basement is indeed cavernous and a little spooky. In 1936, it re-opened as a bar.

These days you don’t have to worry much about gunfire erupting but there are a few things to remember when you go. This is literally the smallest bar in Colorado so if you go later in the evening it’ll be crowded and you may not find an open seat but cozying up to your friends is part of the fun! If you want the full Town Pump experience you should order their toxic cherries or oranges which have been soaked in everclear; they’re also known for their jello shots. Also be prepared to blush at the incredibly colorful collection of bumper stickers behind the bar! You’ll of course find a nice selction of New Belgium and Odell brews on tap. The Town Pump was pouring their beers long before anyone had heard of Fat Tire or 90 Shilling. In fact, this was the very first place to commercially serve Fat Tire and Odells brews the Town Pump Pail Ale soley to be poured at this very special little bar. Order one up to round out your Town Pump experience. It’s a nice light pale ale with lots of aroma. Cheers!

Final notes:
Cash only! No checks or credit cards. ATM is available
Open Monday through Friday 3pm -12:30am
Saturday 11-12:30
Sunday noon-12:30
124 North College Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 493-4404‎

2 Comments to “24. Drink a Town Pump Pail Ale at the Town Pump”

  1. Heidi 25 April 2010 at 10:47 am #

    This is always a must stop on a bar crawl of Fort Collins. But it’s the the place to stop in and use the bathroom. I’m convinced the bathroom use to be a very small broom closet and the original bathroom was probably an outhouse or the alley. Seriously, if you think the bar is small, check ou the bathroom.

  2. Heidi 25 April 2010 at 10:48 am #

    sorry, that should read “isn’t the place to stop in and use the bathroom.”

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