Thursday, June 19, 2008

Restaurant Review: Choice City Butcher & Deli

Choice City Butcher & DeliLiving and working in a big beer town like Fort Collins is like living in a candy store. So many beers are brewed all within a few square miles. The local restaurants in the area can't help but highlight all of these local brews. The downtown Fort Collins area along College Avenue has a wide variety of restaurants and cafes and makes the perfect location to go grab some lunch. I had the pleasure of meeting up with a fellow beer blogger David from Musings Over a Pint who was out in Colorado on a business trip. He told me that he was headed up to Fort Collins to visit one of the local breweries. He and I hooked up for lunch at a quaint little deli shop that has a nice hidden surprise. I'm speaking of Choice City Butcher & Deli.

Choice City Butcher & Deli is just a half block west off College Avenue on Olive Street. From the outside, you see a small intimate outdoor seating area leading into the interior. From within, you'll find a small seating area and a deli counter displaying a wide variety of meats and cheeses along with a posted menu of sandwiches and other delights. What you may not notice is something that is bound to grab the attention of beer lovers everywhere. They seem to have a fairly big beer cooler and a beer menu.

The two Dave bloggersI had heard from some friends that the beer selection here was rather different. I asked the friendly guy behind the counter if I could look at his beer menu. He was more than happy to hand me his leather bound beer selection. Almost immediately I was amazed at just how many selections they had. I was counting over 78 different beers on site. While discussing the list with David, our host behind the counter said that this list wasn't complete and that they had a lot more specialty beers stored in their cellar. He even showed me some beers that I knew were almost impossible to get here in Colorado that he had sitting in the cooler. Nice.

While I swore to secrecy not to divulge what special beers he had available I can point out their extensive list that they have on their web site. While they stocked the usual local brews, they also carried some aged beers as well as a good selection of Belgians and out of state beers.

I opted for the Stone Ruination IPA as that brew was on my "to try" list. Stone in known for their big and hoppy brews and this was definitely one of them. It's IBU rating was off the chart at 100+. This brew was a mild orange color with a small head. Smell the aroma! This beer didn't disappoint. I'll have to give this a full review later sometime but it's one I know I'd have again.

My friend David opted for an Odell 90 Shilling, a local favorite Fort Collins beer he couldn't get back east in Virginia. We took our lunch outside and enjoyed the nice warm late Spring day in Colorado.

If you're a beer fan and visiting Fort Collins, make Choice City Butcher & Deli part of your meal plan. There's something for everyone here. Be warned, their deli sandwiches are HUGE. I suggest getting the 1/2 sandwich unless you are extremely hungry. Their full sandwiches can easily feed 2 people. Might even be a good idea to split with your buddy if you like the same thing. Then after your meal, head on over to one of Fort Collins many breweries for a tour and a tasting.

Choice City Butcher & Deli
104 W. Olive Street
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 490-2489

Update: Since my original visit, they've recently expanded their taps and now offer over 37 craft beers on tap and still have an extensive bottle list. This is one beer stop you don't want to miss.

Related articles:
- Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard review.
- Odell Brewing tap room.
- Lunch at Coopersmith's Pub and Brewing.
- Restaurant review: The Tavern at St. Michael's Square - Greeley CO.

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