Town Pump, the first bar to receive an alcohol license during the city's Prohibition, remains a significant historical landmark in discovering the rich past of the Fort Collins' beer and brewing history.


  • Modern picture of the Town Pump (2015). Today, you can see an armadillo upon entering the historical bar.
    Modern picture of the Town Pump (2015). Today, you can see an armadillo upon entering the historical bar.
  • North College (1907). While Town Pump may not have opened quite yet, we can see that this section of town was a popular transportation hub for horse carriages.
    North College (1907). While Town Pump may not have opened quite yet, we can see that this section of town was a popular transportation hub for horse carriages.
  • North College (1997). The Town Pump first began serving New Belgium's Fat Tire in 1991.
    North College (1997). The Town Pump first began serving New Belgium's Fat Tire in 1991.
  • Town Pump Special Stock Whiskey, created in collaboration with Old Town Distilling. (from Instagram, @townpumpfortcollins posted March 16, 2017).
    Town Pump Special Stock Whiskey, created in collaboration with Old Town Distilling. (from Instagram, @townpumpfortcollins posted March 16, 2017).

Named after a commonplace to water horses, the Town Pump opened its doors February 26, 1909, making it the first bar (not saloon) to open in Fort Collins, CO. Saloons were old-timey and Western in setting, while bars began to emerge as a modern hang-out for individuals. While Fort Collins experienced its own Prohibition period from 1896 to 1969, the Town Pump was one of the first bars given an alcohol license for 3.2%-or-less in the 1930s. During the Prohibition, the popular dive bar had a speak-easy in the basement and a drugstore on the main floor.  With its underground speak-easy, Town Pump was able to be a main courier for bootleggers throughout Prohibition.
The Town Pump was also the first bar in Fort Collins to serve New Belgium's Fat Tire beer in 1991 when distribution methods for the Brewery began to form. 
Today, the bar is widely known for its historical significance within Fort Collins' history (and the armadillo watching customers walk through its entrance!). Within the past year, the bar has collaborated with the first organic distillery in Fort Collins, Old Town Distilling, to produce "Town Pump Special Stock Whiskey". The bar also has its own beer, collaborated with Odell Brewing, named "Town Pump Pail Ale". Along with its own personal creations, the bar is has created its own unique community within Fort Collins' bar scene. 

Fort Collins History Connection. 1997. . https://history.fcgov.com/thenandnow/.

Fort Collins History. Visit Fort Collins. . . https://www.visitftcollins.com/things-to-do/itineraries-tours/history/.

Flemming, Barbara. History: A look back at when Fort Collins was dry. Coloradoan. May 13, 2018. . https://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/local/2018/05/13/history-look-back-when-fort-collins-dry/599269002/.

Williams, Don. The Beer Chaser Does Colorado. The Beer Chaser. May 19, 2015. . https://thebeerchaser.com/tag/the-town-pump-fort-collins/.

Udell, Erin. A look back: Fort Collins' long-lived prohibition. Coloradoan. April 7, 2016. . https://www.coloradoan.com/story/life/2016/04/07/look-back-fort-collins-long-lived-prohibition/82704542/.

Town Pump. . . https://www.facebook.com/TownPumpColorado/.

. . https://www.instagram.com/townpumpfortcollins/.