Locally brewed: Copper Club Brewing Company hosts Fruita community
Special to the Free Press
WHAT: Copper Club Brewing Company
WHERE: 233 E. Aspen St., Fruita, Colorado
When pennies first leave the mint, they gleam in the sunlight, shiny and new. Over time some are corroded and turned green from the elements. Others are forgotten, thrown out, shot at, flipped, punched, or melted down. At Copper Club Brewing Company in Fruita, pennies cover the top of the bar, sealed by a thin layer of laminate. Some of those pennies may have even come from the pockets of tasting-room patrons.
Daniel Collins, a Fruita resident, opened Copper Club Brewing Company in early 2012 with his wife, Michele. Tall with long hair and a big smile, the brewer-turned-businessman welcomes his customers daily through the large front door and into a well-loved Fruita establishment.
Two dartboards hang from nails on the wall. Board games are stacked beneath a Christmas tree in the window. In the corner, there is a large rack covered in dress-up hats.
According to Collins, who graduated from University of Georgia with a degree in finance, he’s applying his education toward investment in his community, pouring himself into creating a warm atmosphere and increasingly better brews.
“I wanted to keep things small, everything handcrafted, all the beers fresh for the local community,” he explained. “We try to keep a really friendly atmosphere.”
Beer on tap includes Hoocheweizen, F-Town Amber, 18 Road IPA, Slap & Tickle Extra Special Bitter, Moonlight Rye and Aspen Street Coffee Porter. A 12-oz. glass costs $3, a 16-oz. glass is $4, and a 20-oz. glass is $5.
Though food isn’t served at Copper Club, customers are allowed bring meals inside the establishment. For instance, Pablo’s Pizza will deliver there and many patrons walk next door to No Coast Sushi and bring food back. Copper Club welcomes whole families, too, including kids, and rootbeer is on tap for $2 a glass.
Most Thursdays, Celia Delaney and her parents, Joe and Cheri, can be found enjoying Copper Club’s weekly bluegrass jam session. Last Thursday, Dec. 11, was no different: Celia danced to thumping music as the Delaneys play games like Battleship.
“The beer is really good. That’s why we like to come. Plus the people are great, but I think she has more friends here than we do,” said Joe as he gestured towards his tiny, dancing daughter.
As part of Collins’ community-driven brewery vision, Copper Club also began hosting a potluck dinner every Monday night.
“The potluck was a big thing for me. Once a week I would come in here and eat amazing food with amazing people,” said Jason Mattingly, Copper Club’s bartender.
Prior to his employment at the Copper Club, Mattingly worked for Colorado National Monument in a seasonal position.
“When I came here, I met all these people. They all want to help you out,” Mattingly said. “Once I started working here, I found an apartment with this couple who was coming in here for like a month. It’s just a great community.”
Hours of operation include Monday through Thursday from 4-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 2-11 p.m. and Sunday from 2-8 p.m. The tasting room closed for the holidays, Tuesday through Thursday, Dec. 23-25, reopening Friday.
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