Posted Originally by: We Like Drinking
We Like Drinking is proud to participate in a series of interviews with local brewers. Check out our first in the Brewery Series: Smiling Toad Brewery. Jim Myers interviews Biff Morehead in this and provides more details about the brewery.
Location: 1757 S. Eighth Street, Suite 100, Colorado Springs, CO 80905
Hours: Monday-Saturday 3 p.m.-9(ish) p.m.; Sunday 1-6 p.m.
It’s not often that a brewery build a loyal following over a two-year period before moving its operation. But that’s exactly what happened with the Smiling Toad Brewery, a Colorado Springs nano brewery that recently relocated from the central area of Colorado Springs to the Southwest part of town. The main reason: size.
Biff Morehead, a brewing enthusiast, purchased the Smiling Toad from another brewer in 2012. The location was not ideal, set inside an industrial park difficult to locate, but it helped Morehead build the Smiling Toad into a local favorite with interesting recipes.
Fast forward to September 2014, and Smiling Toad Brewery moved to its current location three times the size of the old location. This is in the Skyway/Cheyenne Mountain area of town. The current location takes a little searching, but it’s worth a trip to the Toad to sample its wares.
The Smiling Toad operates a three-barrel system, which equates to almost 95 gallons of beer. The brewery attempts to keep 10 beers on tap at a time, which means the operation is brewing at a fast pace to meet demand.
If you’re looking for a brewery to sit and avoid conversation, you could probably do that at the Smiling Toad; but it would be difficult. The Smiling Toad is designed to be a social atmosphere. There is a dart board; Morehead and the staff are conversationalists; the tables are long picnic tables; there are no televisions; and the Toad has plenty of social events.
Smiling Toad Brewery offers several different styles, from light ales, to ambers, to dunkels, to stouts. IPAs are its most consistent in my opinion, and I can tell you the recent Imperial IPA was stellar. For those looking for something different, the Toad also brews a lavender beer. The taps are constantly rotating because sometimes brewing is about building recipes by what hops and malts are available.
As someone who got into the business a few years ago as a professional, Morehead said he relies on other brewers in the area, pointing to collaboration as a positive element of the Colorado Springs brewing scene.