New brewery at GOG Road and I-25 will market to military

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beerA craft brewery slated to open near Garden of the Gods Road and Interstate 25 this spring aims to start big.

Todd Baldwin is a 29-year-old former Army artilleryman who loves the military and craft brew. He’s bringing his passions together with Red Leg Brewing and just leased 4,900 square feet at 4630 Forge Road.

All of Red Leg’s beers will be named for a branch of the military or a special nickname or something from a particular era in military history. And the beers will be made to match the eras they’re named for, Baldwin said.

Rather than starting in a small space with a tasting room and cult following, as most breweries do, Baldwin plans to begin kegging and bottling his beers for sale in liquor stores right away and will market and sell them throughout the state first and will push for a presence on military bases in the area.

Red Leg is what they call artillerymen, Baldwin said. The term comes from the Civil War days when artillerymen wore red stripes on their pants so others could spot them. During World War II, they were said to get scared and run so hard their legs turned red. The name stuck.

Baldwin spent three and a half years in the army and is banking on his disabled veteran status to win him favor when he tries to sign contracts to sell his beer on military posts. The military does offer preference to veteran-owned businesses.

Baldwin said he knows selling on bases won’t be a slam dunk, but if the product is good and the story is good, he’s confident Red Leg will have a place on military shelves.

“I’m kind of a novice brewer,” Baldwin said. “But I’m a lover of craft beer.”

And he’s brought on another military man as his master brewer, Jeff Lockhart.

Lockhart has more than a decade of professional brewing experience, Baldwin said. And he’s been working out some quality beer recipes that will fit with Red Leg’s brand.

“First and foremost, we have to make a great product,” Baldwin said. “You’re not just buying our beer because it has a great name. We’re going to do our part to help the craft beer industry grow in Colorado Springs.”

He said he hopes to open in April with a small tap room where people can taste the beer.