16 March 2012

Great Divide Brewing Company

Located at the corner of 22nd and Arapahoe in downtown Denver, the Great Divide Brewery has crafted high-quality beers in Colorado since Brian Dunn founded the company in 1994.

The brewery is known for their bold, award-winning beers. The Titan IPA, for example, is a brew with “piney hop aromas and citrus hop flavors, and finishes with a nice rich, malty sweetness that is balanced with crisp hop bitterness”; and the Yeti Imperial Stout, is a “roasty malt flavor that gives way to rich caramel and toffee notes.” Great Divide beers have a distinctive taste and body that does not disappoint; even their lightest beer, the unfiltered rice-based Samuri, provides drinkers an unparalleled experience. In addition to their nine year-round selections, Great Divide produces seasonal beers as well; currently, they're brewing Nomad, which is a Czech-style Pilsner that has “lively floral nose and crispness,” and this July they'll release an as-of-yet unnamed Dopplebock.


Interested parties can head down to the brewery's Tap Room and take advantage of sixteen taps that serve both seasonal and year-round beers. Three sample glasses cost three dollars, allowing for an economical way to experience a large cross-section of Great Divide's offerings. The Tap Room will even, occasionally, serve limited-run selections that cannot be purchased elsewhere.

Patrons can also tour the brewery, led by a bartender that doubles as a guide. With a seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of both the company's history and the brewing process, coupled with a friendly demeanor, the guides make the tour fun and educational. Whether it's telling the back story of Brian Gunn (before founding Great Divide, he used to travel the world developing farms in impoverished countries), the building itself (it used to be a diary-processing plant that manufactured yogurt during the Prohibition Era), or giving details about the company's current endeavors (underway is an expansion effort in their bottling process that will drastically increase production levels), it's nearly impossible not to realize that the company and their employees are invested not just in creating exceptional beer, but also maintaining a strong relationship to the Denver community.

The Tap Room's hours of operation are 2:00PM to 8:00PM on Sunday through Tuesday, and 2:00PM to 10:00PM on Wednesday through Saturday. Tours of the brewery are also available from 3:00PM and 4:00PM Monday thru Friday, and between the hours of 2:30PM and 5:00PM on Saturday and Sunday.

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