Written by Mandra
Six years ago, I moved from Dallas to Colorado Springs and our first stop was Phantom Canyon Brewery. Why? Well, it had wonderful reviews and I was looking for an IPA (India Pale Ale) to celebrate just signing a new lease with my husband. And I was not disappointed!
Our visits became a weekly occurrence. It was great to walk into this wonderful ambiance of bustling servers, hipsters, military soldiers, and just die-hard beer connoisseurs,
who came from all over to join this
obsession shift to craft beer and (micro)breweries here in Colorado.
When I arrived to Phantom Canyon for my first caper, I hadn’t been there in a year or two because I was visibly upset for weeks when they removed their savory Gouda Mac n’ Cheese from the menu. They were getting geared up for a renovation and had hired a new chef who featured a more Vegetarian menu, including quinoa and pine nuts with multiple dishes of Tofu. Nibbling on these dishes was a hard transition for me to handle coming from the more ‘comfort food’ oriented menu prior. However, when I was presented with the new menu selections I was pleasantly surprised at the very meaty options. In addition, the restaurant had transformed from a rustic, woody environment to a more modern scene with fancy Paper-Mache style lighting.
The waitress was very attentive while we waited for our party to arrive and gave us her beer suggestions. She seemed very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the selection we considered trying. This included the StreamLiner IPA ($3 pints) which comes with 7 different hops and ABV – 6%, frothy deliciousness in my opinion. Another taster tried the Alpenglow Hefeweizen ($3 pints), a wheat beer with a delectable aroma of clove and banana with an ABV – 4.9%.
After we were served our drinks the conversation around the table flowed around foodie suggestions then ventured to our travels through Russia, Normandy, France, Paris, and Brisbane. It was a very enjoyable experience for me as a first time taster with Culinary Capers and I loved hearing so many different perspectives on food and where their love of great eats originated from.
Our entrees which included the very palatable Lamb Belly Tacos served on corn tortillas with a very delightful sweet pepper relish, grilled banana, and chimichurri. I savored every juicy bite of the lamb belly and crispy outer skin that was done perfectly. All the
components were on point. My new friend and fellow taster, Jean-Paul, and I were both nodding in agreement even though it may have been too juicy and greasy for some. But I am not complaining in the least!
Fellow taster Allison, had the very pleasant Pork Tenderloin with cherry glaze and mushroom pudding, which I eyeballed for a good five minutes until she asked me if I wanted a bite. It was probably the most interesting and yummy side dish I have ever tried. She said the tenderloin was very good and definitely a winner in her book.
Finally co-organizer and taster, Griff, ordered the Colorado Bison Patty Melt with Thousand Island dressing on rye bread. After his first bite you could see that this was another heavenly dish. While I can’t speculate on the exact reason why he enjoyed it, I can imagine it was the flavors from the Colorado raised bison.
Overall, I enjoyed my return to the vamped up Phantom Canyon and meeting new friends. Parking downtown can be challenging, but there is a paid parking area across for use if you don’t want to rely on a 1hr meter. Our server was very quick with our requests and was able to give us great recommendations on the craft beer and entrees. Phantom Canyon is the oldest brewery in Colorado Springs (established in 1993) but they are definitely evolving to keep up with their patrons ever changing needs. Bravo!
To join future capers, check out our Meetup group at