This is part of a monthly series that introduces you to Colorado breweries.
The Brewery: FATE Brewing Company
Opened: January 2013
The People: Owner and founder Mike Lawinski spent a decade managing several Boulder restaurants before purchasing the building for FATE in 2012. Captain of Suds is brewmaster Jeff Griffith.
The Space: The building—which sits at 38th Street and Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder—could be described as rustic-industrial. Concrete floors, high ceilings, and slate grey furnishings are softened up with warm, dim lighting and wood beams overhead. The main room is wide open; tables, booths, and a centrally located island bar (surrounded by flat screen TVs) provide plenty of seating. The split-level outdoor space offers a fully covered and heated patio that's open through (most of) winter. Although FATE is foremost a brewery, it boasts a full kitchen with a massive menu and quality ingredients. (See our “tips” section below for ordering suggestions.)
The Brews: At any given time, FATE has 30 (yes, 3-0) kegs tapped and ready to go. FATE's five core brews (Laimas, a kölsch style ale; Sudice, an American stout; Moirai IPA; Norns, a German roggenbier; and Parcae, a Belgian pale ale) are always available. A flight is just $7 and includes five-ounce pours of each of the core brews, or five custom picks. On rotation are around 10 of FATE's own seasonals and collaboration brews, all varied in flavor and approach. Ten-ish guest craft brews and two Belgian imports claim the remaining spots.
Buzzed Trivia: The brewery’s fate was almost entirely different (pun intended). In mid-2012, Lawinski discovered another Fate Brewing Company would be opening in Scottsdale, Ariz., in September of that year. The two brewery owners deliberated and—since they both maintain the title—must have decided they could coexist.
Sample This: Ask for a pint of the Cloth Cascadian Dark Ale. This black IPA sits at 6.5 percent, and its combination of low carbonation and potent hops render it drinkable and anything but bland. Another favorite is FATE's Coffee IPA, which rings in at 7 percent ABV. Cold-pressed Ethiopian coffee from Ozo is injected into the keg before brewers add suds. This method results in lower acidity, so bitter java doesn't compete with the hops. This coffee brew ranks far above any coffee stout-porter-dark ale I've ever had, but beware—the natural caffeine might deceive your drunk meter.
Take Home: Grab a growler of the Laimas kölsch. This great-for-any-occasion brew clutched the gold medal at this year's Great American Beer Festival. If you stop in on a Monday, their Growler Happy Hour lasts all day; they'll pour you a free pint of any FATE core brew to sip while you wait. Keep your eye out for canned six-packs of the Watermelon Kölsch and possibly the Coffee IPA in liquor stores this spring.
Tips: You could just swing by for a beer, but we suggest you bring your appetite. FATE was just named Boulder County's Best New Restaurant, and it's apparent why. From their Pub Plates menu, order the Pastrami Egg Rolls. Herb cream cheese, three mustards, and house-made kraut make this small bite complex and satisfying. For your burger fix, go with the Pork & Bull. A patty of pork belly and beef (straight from a ranch in Greeley) is sprinkled with peppercorn and complemented by smoked goat cheese and roasted tomato jam. But feel free to explore the menu—you really can't go wrong.