Qwench is a small but growing chain in the smoothie/juice sector and this year-old Briargate-area storefront is the sole location in Colorado, though an employee tells us they’re considering expansion toward downtown around summertime. Before I can ask what distinguishes them, the employee touts the use of only fresh fruits and veggies and superfoods sans fillers (fairly common, actually) and how they make their own nut milks with only agave for sweetening and vanilla extract for flavor.

You’ll find açai bowls and some savory bowls too, and smoothies here go by the name “blends” instead (whatever). We try the Nut Case, oddly advertised as “a complicated delicious mess” and I sub house hemp milk in for almond, which joins Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut, cacao, strawberries, bananas, almonds, Greek yogurt and honey.

It sips a bit granular but not chalky, refreshingly not too sweet, a touch bitter from the cacao and actually not as nutty as expected — more like a strawberry-banana commercial yogurt cup. We also try both Qwench shots, a lemon-ginger-cayenne and turmeric-lime: tiny little mouth hammers that pucker our faces with potent citrus and spice punch and super-clean flavors. I think I can keep a straighter face sipping barrel-proof whiskey.

Food & Drink Editor

Matthew Schniper is the Food and Drink Editor at the Colorado Springs Indy. He began freelancing with the Indy in mid-2004 and joined full-time in early 2006, contributing arts, food, environmental and feature writing.