Link Lane Town: Horse & Dragon Brewing Company
Date Posted: 11/05/2014 | By:
This hip brewery opened just recently – May 2014. It’s tucked away on a side side street of Link Lane Town – and the owners, Tim and Carol Cochran, love it there. They sought out their new digs by toodling around the industrial area east of Old Town and happening upon a vacant air hanger. Perfect! Their new brewery.
There’s an amazing bike rack at the front (see picture) of the building. And a metal rendition of their red and black logo on the front. Both are pieces of art, on their own.
And then there’s their beer.
In a city devoted to hops, where the aroma of malt wafts in and out of Old Town, you might think – not another brewery! But you’d be wrong. Tim & Carol have created a ‘happy craft beer experience’ and the tasting room/brewery is a retreat into a yeast zone like none other.
We talked with Carol recently about being into brew and finding yourself on the other side of the tracks, happily.
Us: Horse & Dragon Brewing Company occupies an amazing space – what brought you to this area of town?
Carol: Tim and I rode our bikes back here and got the vibe right away. It’s a hidden sub-culture with a cool feel to it. Our neighbors are entrepreneurs of all types and since the rents are often more reasonable compared to, say, Old Town, we’re well planted!
Us: Where were you before you came here?
Carol: In Bogota, Colombia, where my husband, Tim was working for South African Breweries/Miller.
Us: Wow. How many people can say that!
Carol: I know, right? When we were planning to return to the United States, I wanted nothing more than to live in Fort Collins – as my family had for generations.
Us: What’s the significance of your brewery’s name?
Carol: Well, there’s the Chinese zodiac reference, because in January of 2013 (at the very end of the Year of the Dragon) we began planning for our brewery in earnest. Then in May of 2014 (the Year of the Horse) we opened to the public. And there’s the yin/yang play between west and east, horses being on the wide-open fields of the west – and dragons being a popular symbol in the east.
Us: Your head brewer is a woman, Linsey Cornish. Where did she get her chops for the hops?
Carol: Linsey is awesome. She’s always playing with recipes to achieve her signature smooth balanced brews. She gets in there with the sweet malts and the bitter hops plus a lot of other fanciful ingredients. Her brewing lineage began right here in Fort Collins. She got her training at Odell Brewing and the CSU fermentation science lab class. The natural talent she has though, THAT is hers alone.
Us: How did you come upon Leapin Lizard to do your graphic labels?
Carol: We wanted a company that was local and put sustainability into practice. We found you on line and heard good things about the firm as well. Our experience has been altogether positive. Working with Casey is the best. He’s on top of the jobs, is flexible and organized and the labels are gorgeous.
Us: That is sure gratifying. Thanks. Where does the Horse and Dragon go from here?
Carol: We want to remain small, manageable, local and crafty. We don’t have visions of national distribution or even regional reach. There’s a pride that’s at play when we are doing our best to produce inventive and satisfying beers for our neighbors. We don’t have to get big – we just have to keep getting better.
Us: What are your company ideals?
1. Make great beer.
2. Treat others the way we’d like to be treated (all interactions — personal and business.
3. Minimize our impact on our natural environment as much as possible (thus the looking for eco-friendly ink and printing practices which led to Leapin’ Lizard Labels)
4. Be proactive members of our community (both the Fort Collins community and the community of craft beer).
Us: Do you think you’ll stay in Link Lane Town?
Carol: Are you kidding? Where else would we get to have a brewery with an abandoned airplane runway in our backyard?