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Opened in 1989, the Old Colorado Brewing Co. was the first microbrewery in the city of Fort Collins. Located on the ground floor of the Northern Hotel in Old Town, it served as one of the forerunners during the micro-brewing revolution of the 1980s. While it is no longer running in Old Town, it is operational in nearby Wellington, Colorado.


  • The Northern Hotel in Fort Collins, the original site of the Old Colorado Brewing Co.
  • The current location for the Old Colorado Brewing Co. in Wellington, Colorado.

In 1989, Joseph Neckel, a certified German Brew Master, joined the micro-brewing revolution by starting the Old Colorado Brewing Co. Inspired by old brewing styles in his family that date back to the early 1900s, Nickel used his recipes to thrive in the craft beer scene. Located in the ground floor of the Northern Hotel, it eventually closed during the early 1990s. 

However, the brewery was picked up again by Nickel's grandson, Brandon Nickel. In doing so, the brewery was brought back to life in 2015 in Wellington, approximately ten miles north of downtown Fort Collins. 

Presently, the brewery resides in a five-story grain mill on the west side of the town. The mill, which was built in 1922, still contains its original walls, floors, and ceiling. To accommodate for brewing, Nickel has the space with the capacity to brew up to twenty beers.

While it no longer resides in the Northern Hotel, the brewery still offers a unique selection of beverages that tap into its historical roots.  

Fort Collins Brewery Guide. . Accessed October 24, 2018. http://fortcollinsbreweryguide.com/Brewery/Old-Colorado-Brewing-Co..aspx.

James, Libby. Old Colorado Brewing Company takes on new life in Wellington. North Forty News. March 17, 2015. Accessed October 24, 2018. https://northfortynews.com/old-colorado-brewing-company-takes-on-new-life-in-wellington/.

Old Colorado Brewing. . Accessed October 24, 2018. http://oldcoloradobrewing.com/#history.

Image Credits:
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. . Accessed October 24, 2018. https://www.achp.gov/preserve-america/community/fort-collins-colorado.

Old Colorado Brewing Co.. Thirst Colorado. . Accessed October 24, 2018. http://www.thirstcolorado.com/old-colorado-brewing-co/.