No one can blame Town Pump for sticking to tradition. At 106 years old, Fort Collins oldest bar looks and feels as if it hasn’t changed much since it opened its doors way back in 1909, in the same location.
The tiny watering hole has the feel of a small town bar – with deer busts and antlers on the wall, bumper stickers proclaiming “Zappa for President” and “Nuke Gay Whales for Jesus,” and letter boards with yellow-stained pricing of $2.00 for a can of PBR. The actual price of a beer was not far off though, at $3.25 a draft during Happy Hour, which runs from 3 – 8 p.m. every day.
A shortage of customers led to prompt service as I ordered one of the bars two namesake beers, the Town Pump Pail Ale from O’Dell – an American Pale Ale with an excellent citrus and floral hoppy scent and flavor and a low ABV. My buddy ordered the same. It was then I saw the sign behind the bartender.
For me, this was no problem, as I keep cash on hand for this very reason. But my friend had not come prepared, and worse even, the ATM machine in the bar wasn’t working for some reason or another. Not a huge deal, considering the good deal on some great local craft beers. We both tried the Twn Pmp Rye’d from Oskar Blues – a full-bodied rye ale with a hoppy finish – next, which we enjoyed on the patio in the alleyway.
In addition to the several beers offered, the Pump also offers various shot specials throughout the week. You can get a pint of the Pail Ale and a shot of Old Smoky Moonshine for $6 at any time, and I hear they make a mean Jell-O shot!
Town Pump isn’t large. With seating for nearly forty – including a wooden bar with 8 stools and an alley patio that can hold 6 at max– I couldn’t imagine more than 20 people in the little space at once. But the personality is there. Everyone at the bar speaks as if they are old buddies – a game of Cards Against Humanity has a corner cracking up over their vilest combinations, and the bartender asks a patron for advice on a crossword.
Town Pump is the kind of place you can unwind at the end of the day and not feel pressured to talk to anyone, but feel welcomed to at the same time. Of course, nestled on N. College Avenue near an old alleyway into Old Town, parking is a bit of a problem, but if you can get past that and you have a Jefferson handy, the Pump is a great place to spend an afternoon.