April 18, 2016

Phantom Canyon Brewing Company in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Cheyenne Building in Colorado Springs, CO

photo by: teofilo/Flickr/CC BY-2.0

Located in the historic Cheyenne building, Phantom Canyon Brewing Company is the perfect combination of history, local beer, and Friday-night fun.

Micro brewing is a booming business in America, and Colorado has some of the nation's best beers on tap. If you’re a fan of local brews but also have a keen interest in history and are looking for a good place to party on the weekends, then the Phantom Canyon Brewing Company in Colorado Springs is the perfect place for you.

Phantom Canyon can proudly claim to be the first restaurant in downtown Colorado Springs to have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. It's located in the historic Cheyenne building, a 1901 edifice that initially served as the local office for the western terminus of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad. During that time, the second and third stories served as a hotel for employees of the railroad system.

The Cheyenne building derives its name from Chief Two Moons of the Cheyenne tribe, who participated in what has come to be known as Custer’s Last Stand and other confrontations with the federal government in the 1870s. The Native American leader’s visage hangs over the corner of the front entrance to brick sandstone building. Elsewhere, the steel door that used to lead to the building's safe now leads to the office of Brewmaster Alan Stiles.

A visage of Chief Two Moons at the Phantom Canyon Brewery in Colorado Springs.

photo by: Cavalier92/Flickr/CC BY-NC ND 2.0

The corner of the Cheyenne Building is adorned with the visage of Chief Two Moons of the Cheyenne tribe.

The Cheyenne building didn’t serve the railroad system for long. Between 1909 and 1963, it was a cheap hotel (for tourists, not railroad workers). In the 1970s and '80s, there were plans for its demolition before the building was saved by the creation of a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone.

In 1991, Wynkoop Brewing Company purchased and restored the building. Phantom Canyon Brewing Company opened there two years later. The building was most recently renovated in 2015.

If you go to Phantom Canyon today, you just might bump into a celebrity. Daryl Hannah, Kris Kristofferson, Kevin Costner, and country star Steve Earle (of "Galway Girl" fame) have all been spotted sipping a cold one here.

But Phantom Canyon isn’t just a great place to have a beer; It’s also a hub for Friday and Saturday night entertainment. It boasts the largest billiard hall in Colorado Springs, which can be found on the second floor.

In addition to 10 pool tables, the second floor features several big screen TVs and dartboards, as well as a jukebox to play all the nostalgia-inducing hits you could dream of. Be sure to come early, though, because the billiard hall gets crowded during happy hour and late nights.

Meanwhile, the locale’s rooftop patio, which seats 75 guests, is a great place to enjoy some brew and excellent food in the summer months.

The Phantom Canyon Brewing Company is a unique blend of history, fun, and great beer. A visit there is certainly an experience you won’t forget anytime soon.

Location: 2 E. Pikes Peak Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Hours: Seven days a week, 11:00 a.m.-last call.

You're having: Lemon-peppered Tabasco chicken downed with one of the brewery's many specialty beers.

Best Yelp review: "Visited PBC for dinner because of the great Yelp reviews! We happened to arrive at the start of happy hour! I ordered the Lamb Bbq sandwich - with blackberry bbq sauce, pearl onions, and carrot slaw on an onion rosemary bun. It was absolutely delicious! Everyone thought their meals were perfect and we will definitely be back! Lovley atmosphere and location, too!"

The Rooftop at Phantom Canyon Brewing Company

photo by: Alexa Hubbard

Enjoy a cold one, some great food, and views of the Rockies on Phantom Canyon's rooftop patio.

Billiards at the Phantom Canyon Brewing Company

photo by: Alexa Hubbard

With 10 tables, Phantom Canyon boasts the biggest pool hall in Colorado Springs.

Filip Mazurczak is an editorial intern at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He previously worked as a freelance journalist, translator, and editor. He is from Sioux Falls, South Dakota.


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