Though it’s not in an old town shopping area, or part of a group of mall stores, Collision Brewing on Highway 119 just outside of Longmont, has become a bit of a destination. Hungry diners visit the garage-themed restaurant for delicious food and exceptional beer. It’s the type of place that quickly becomes a favorite, one you spend Saturday nights with your friends at and tell your family about.
Eric Blythe is Collision’s founder, co-owner, and has a deep passion for food. We had a few minutes to talk to him after enjoying a resonant and hearty orange maple bourbon salmon with jasmine rice. We also got to sample a few of their beer tasters, most notably a refreshing blueberry lime goose and a dessert-worthy (though we’d have it anytime) banana peel out, with smoky bacon, chocolate and banana notes.
Collision is a family business. Blythe owns the business with his brother who also produces the beer after starting his career brewing for his family’s pizza business, Nicolo’s Pizza.
“My brother and myself have been in the restaurant industry since we were fourteen years old. So that’s where we started. As a waiter, I started working at Pepperoni Pizza Kitchen as a cook and slinging pizzas back in the day as we kind of got out of high school. But my parents had an opportunity to open the pizza over on Pace,” he said.
Though Blythe started brewing beer as part of the family business, opening Collision was an opportunity to take brewing and pizza to another level. It was also an opportunity to work together as family again, and to give their parents a break from the rigor of day to day restaurant operations.
But getting Collision going was anything but easy.
A few false starts kept Blythe and family from getting to where they wanted to be. Their first focus for a location was in Old Town Mead, in the building that currently houses Ziggi’s headquarters. “We started working with the developer who owned that property as a build-to-suit. We started working with them and kept submitting things to the city of Mead and they would turn them down, drag their feet, wouldn’t move forward with it because they literally wanted a drive-through coffee shop there. That’s what they told us.”
Once they moved on from Mead, they still didn’t find their location right away. They looked into a place in Firestone, but that didn’t work out. After a long search, they finally found their current location as well as an investor to make it happen.
“My dad had the first conversation,” he shared. “They sat down and started talking and it led into where we could kind of build our dream. That’s where Collision is a giant concept. It’s a collision of all of our passions under one roof.”
And in the end, for Blythe it really is about a melding of passion and family. “We have absolutely loved what we’ve done since day one. Not just your Collision but Nicolo’s Pizza as well. Big thing was really working with our family home every single day, day in and day out and having fun.”
Peach and greens summer salad
We asked Blythe what he cooks when he’s not at the restaurant and wants a nice meal. Without much prompting, he shared his recipe for a peach and greens summer salad. Though it’s not on the menu at Collision you can still enjoy it in your home kitchen. Enjoy!
A cup of washed arugula per person
1 oz. Haystack mountain goat cheese
1 tsp sliced almonds
1/2 peach per person, sliced.
Combine the greens and vinaigrette, lightly tossing them together. Crumble the goat cheese on top, and follow with sliced almonds. Add peaches to the top. If desired, grill peaches using a light oil prior to slicing and adding to the salad.