The beer’s the thing at Horsefly Brewing Company, although the food, especially the burgers and the wings, elevate the menu beyond your usual bar-food fare.
But start with a beer. Or four. Or six. On the menu are four-beer “tasters” (for $4.25, the same price as a pint), five-beer tasters and six-beer tasters ($5.00 and $5.75 respectively). The choices change with the seasons, though there are typically seven or eight fresh brews to choose from, including Bug-eyed Blonde, Cask Pale Ale, Tabano Red, Dry Irish Stout, Six Shooter Pale Ale, Jazzy Razzy (raspberry beer), and a German-style spring Maibock. In the winter brewmeister Nigel makes a beer flavored with coffee from The Coffee Trader across East Main Street.
The Cask Pale Ale has a very nice bitter/sweet balance. And the Stout may remind you of a classic Guinness, just a little lighter – a compliment to a meal rather than the meal itself.
Speaking of meals, the Horsefly has a full card, from appetizers – three kinds of nachos, jalapeño poppers, fried pickles (breaded Kosher dill chips with a ranch dipping sauce, $6.00) – to soups and salads and sandwiches (the Reuben is a customer favorite: corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing on marble rye, $8.75) and desserts (usually just one offering per day, apple pie, for example, or blueberry cheesecake).
But the real meat of the matter is those wings, those burgers. The Brew Pub Wings (10 wings for $7.50) come in nine different flavors, varying in spiciness from a rating of one chili pepper to 10 chili peppers. There’s a one-pepper BBQ, a one-pepper Hoppin’ Wings, created by part-owner Phil Friesmith with a finish of locally grown hops; two-pepper Jake’s Sweet n Spicy; a Classic Buffalo wings that rates three-pepper hot; and a scary-sounding 10-pepper sauce called, simply, Rude.
The burgers are full half-pounders. Try the 50/50 Burger, ground beef and bacon mixed equally and grilled, topped with grilled red onions, pepper jack cheese and garlic mayonnaise. All burgers and sandwiches come with either homemade potato chips or homemade French fries.
THE VIBE: Funky, friendly, all-inclusive, with a new outdoor bar under the shade trees in the side yard. There’s an antique sign on one wall that says: “You look like I need another drink.” There’s a white board behind the bar that says: “Pour It Forward Program. Buy a Beer for a Friend, an Acquaintance, or a Stranger.” The crowd may include horse people from the Black Canyon Horse Racing Association, people with rings in their eyebrows, 3-year-olds in pink pedal pushers, bikers, mountain bikers, lovers and plumbers. The roll of paper towels on the table is your napkins. There’s not a pretentious bone in the place.
FOR YOUNGSTERS AND TEETOTALERS: Horsefly brews up handcrafted sodas on site, including Root Beer, Sarsaparilla, and Orange Cream ($1.75/pint). The Horsefly Soda Float is $2.50.
DOING GOOD: Tuesday nights are Community Tap Nights. Every Tuesday beginning at 6 p.m. $1 of every pint sold goes to the featured local nonprofit. It might be Partners or Girls On The Run or the Uncompahgre Valley Association. Saturday nights from 7-10 p.m. there’s live music, and every other Wednesday is Jam Night.
$ Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 2-8 p.m.