Food has always had a direct connection to our soul. Nothing seems to be as comforting as a dish that is a family favorite, a dish that tastes like home. Food can sooth a broken heart, warm a soul that is far from home and remind us of the feeling of being next to the ones we love.
Like arts, music, and dance, food reflects the culture an area. Whether it is the method by which it is grown or raised, prepared, served, preserved, or eaten, food is perhaps one of the most personal and perpetuating means by which family and community traditions are kept alive. Within the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area, where agriculture has served as the foundation of the region’s economy, food takes on an even greater importance.
The traditional foods of the area are simple and can be obtained locally or from family gardens. Maiz(corn), frijoles(beans), carne(meat), calabacitas(small summer squash) and tortillas(flat bread) form the staples.
“What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?”-Lin Yutang
Heritage Area Breweries
Our local breweries not only provide unique and friendly atmospheres but they also lend a taste of our heritage. Sample exceptional microbrews made from local grains and flavors from small town breweries who are building a taste of our culture. See how they make distinctive local craft beers by taking a farm to table approach, brewing specialties for trains and local events and bringing back that small town feel though big taste.
Colorado Farm Brewery
Eight decades and four generations ago, Ray Cody homesteaded land that has grown from a sustainable family farm into the Colorado Malting Company and most recently into the Colorado Farm Brewery. The Colorado Malting Company sells their malt to roughly 35 companies around the world including some big names like Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, New Belgium Brewing Company and Goose Island Beer Company and local names like the San Luis Valley Brewing Company, Square Peg Brewery, Crestone Brewery and Three Barrel Brewing Company.
The Colorado Farm Brewery opened in 2017 and uses barley, rye, hops, artesian well water and a strain of yeast native to the property that are grown, harvested, processed, brewed and served on the property. Founder of the malting company and head brewer, Josh Cody, spearheads the operation. Cody is passionate about the craft and his businesses that supports his wife, three sons and three daughters, ranging from 2 to 12 years old. It’s a family operation today that is reminiscent of its past. A collar from the mule, that was used to clear the land of chico bushes for the original farm, that belonged to Josh’s grandfather hangs next to the bar. The bar itself, along with the tables, countertops and wood trim, are crafted from a single tree that grew on the property until a gust of wind knocked it over.
With 10 beers on tap and Root Beer, they feature indoor and outdoor seating with horseshoes, a kids play park, rotating food options, live music and incredible views! The Colorado Farm Brewery is an immersive experience you’ll want to see.
The San Luis Valley Brewing Company
The San Luis Valley Brewing Company is a small batch craft brewery and restaurant that opened its doors in downtown Alamosa in 2006. Scott and Angie Graber started the family-owned establishment in order to offer craft beers, great food and a unique atmosphere.
The building, located on San Juan Ave. and Main Street was once home to the San Juan Bank, when Alamosa was growing into a booming railroad town. Local designer Kris Gosar created the rustic yet modern dining atmosphere to reflect its history and it has become a go to spot for locals and travelers alike. Behind the bar you can still see the banks vault door featured as the centerpiece of the pour station.
They make seven distinctive year round beers, over a dozen seasonal brews, and brew specialty partnership beers for three of Colorado’s scenic railroads. The menu features local beef and bison as well as locally famous Gosar sausages: the Sausage Sampler goes great with the Beer Sampler if you are looking to try it all. The Menu has a diverse selection of pub fare and fine dining including appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, tacos, green chili pasta, trout, steak and a great kids menu. One brew that is a must try is the distinctive Valle Caliente, a Mexican style lager beer infused with green chili. They host several block parties throughout the summer months including the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area’s Cinco de Mayo Celebration, Rails and Ales Block Party, Rodeo Dance and Street Party and offer local and traveling live music year round. Check their calendar for event dates!
Mark Martinez and Derek Heersink are lifelong friends who met in the third grade and went on to open Square Peg Brewery in downtown Alamosa in 2017. Martinez is the head brewer and Heersink is the resident farmer and business/marketing manager. Their beers are “Farm to Tap”, which means they grow the barley and alfalfa they use to brew their genuine craft three barrel brews on a local Centennial Farm owned by Derek’s family. They have been farming in the San Luis Valley since 1897.
The same year they opened they entered a beer in the Great American Beer Festival and won a gold medal in the “Historical Beer” category for their Waverly Tulip, which is a version of a Dutch kuit beer. It is an brew made from malted oats, wheat, barley and bittered with sweetgale. Their best selling beer is an American Lager called The Common which is an approachable beer that anyone can enjoy.
Square Peg is located on Main Street in Alamosa and housed in an original downtown building that was once home to Husung Hardware Store during the Railroad boom years. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places in Architecture and Engineering for its Art Deco Style, and was built in 1936.