Bold Character: Meet Alexis

June 23, 2015

 

Bold Character is more than just a catchphrase at Great Divide, it’s the philosophy behind what we brew, how we think, and what we believe. We’d like to introduce you to another Bold Character around here, Alexis Hamlin.

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Even when buried in paperwork, Alexis handles her job like a boss.

 

How did you start at GD? I was uninspired in a corporate office, searching for important words like “beer” and “fun” in Craigslist jobs. I stumbled across the posting for Office Manager at GDBC and took a crack at it. Once I heard I got the job I ditched every pair of starchy dress pants I had, it was liberating.

How long have you been here?  I’m meandering into my 4th year here.

What’s your favorite GD icon? Old Ruffian without any question. I’ve assumed that stance a time or two before!

What’s your favorite GD beer? Toughie. I’d have to say the exquisite golden nectar that is Hades. What a delight!

If you could write a national Public Service Announcement, what would it be? BE KIND TO EACH OTHER and it’d be in Comic Sans font.

If you’re not drinking beer, what are you drinking? Ale. (A little TTB joke for you compliance folks). I’ve also been known to swan dive into a stiff whiskey ginger ale.

After knocking back a few stiff whiskey ginger ales, what might we find you talking about? There’s really no telling. Having a few drinks is a great way to knock down social boundaries and get to know each other. But if I drink too much you’d better buckle up for pictures of my dog Lumpy!

What’s your favorite part about this job? The mutual respect for everyone’s hard work. We’re all cogs in this big beer machine and we all work our tails off. It’s crazy, it’s loud, and we laugh all day.

You are well known for sending ridiculous and hilarious “all brewery” emails. Seriously, where do you find your GIFS? Google Image is a bountiful resource of weirdness, you just have to have a direction you’re headed and it will deliver. Goat in a coat? Cyber woman with ear of corn? Done and done. Really I’m just tricking people into reading my emails because I usually need something!

Who would win in a fight, Colette or Orabelle? (Details of the throwdown are encouraged). Pssh, Colette wouldn’t even show up. Orabelle would be waiting at the flagpole and Colette would have her pitchfork in the back of her truck with the pedal to the metal. Nobody messes with Orabelle.

 

 

Bold Character: Meet Bryan

May 26, 2015

 

Bold Character is more than just a catchphrase at Great Divide, it’s the philosophy behind what we brew, how we think, and what we believe. We’d like to introduce you to one of the many Bold Characters around here, Bryan Baltzell.

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Bryan with his dog Thistle

 

How long have you been at GD? Almost 10 years

What positions have you had here? I started on the Bottling line then went to warehousing- where I studied under the tutelage of Ryan Rafferty and only put a few holes in the wall, then I worked on cleaning and filling kegs for a while. I would also give the tours- which is how I got into sales. I liked talking to people and showing them all of our beers. 

What’s your favorite GD beer(s)? Old Ruffian is probably my favorite seasonal beer, I drank a ton of Hercules at the Falling Rock before I started working here and have to credit it as the reason that I wanted to work for Great Divide. I hate to tease, but my true favorite was that first batch of Berliner Weisse that we ever made- it was perfect. 

What is your favorite GD character? I always liked Hades- he was holding Cerberus, the three headed devil dog on a leash. I like Claymore too- because I helped name that beer and he looks like a video game character. Hoss too- I like his pose- he has a good stance- he looks proud of the hard work he has accomplished.

Funny story or really memorable moment from your time here? I remember when we worked on the bottling line it could get sort of monotonous, so we would pretend that we were bee- pirates and talk to each other like “Arg, avast ye scurvy landlubber” and just entertain ourselves. 

On a random Tuesday evening, what might we find you doing?  Walking  my wonder-dog, Thistle, around the neighborhood with my son Benji and hanging out at home with my wife Stefanie. I spend a ton of time talking to people all day, so after work I like to watch movies and relax with a beer and some snacks. 

What are weird things that you dislike (we know you hate camping, start there!) I do not like camping, I love to be away from the city with friends and family, I love to go for long walks in natural settings, but at the end of the day I like to sleep in a comfortable bed and to have the opportunity to take a shower in the morning. I just rarely go camping- I don’t hate it. Also- I am a horrible skier and despite living near these awesome mountains- I don’t even make it up once each year. I also dislike a ton of foods, but I really love to try limited release weirdo snacks and candies. I hunt them down when I am traveling. In fact, I get together with a group of friends to share rare beers and I always try to bring funky snacks- like Japanese candy or fruit punch flavored Oreos.

Any other random tidbit or fun fact you want people to know? I have been lucky to meet a ton of great people and make many friends in the beer industry- I think that’s the most precious thing about beer for me. The camaraderie and culture is amazing- and it’s very rewarding to get to spend so much time with people you respect and like. I love my coworkers, the salespeople at our distributors, the other brewery reps we work alongside, the event organizers, and the beer drinkers who make it all possible. I would also like to offer this tidbit- I am a big video game fan, although I rarely get to play them, and I’ve placed a tiny Mario Bros. mushroom figurine in the brewery somewhere. Sharp-eyed visitors may be able to spot it. It’s just a fun little Easter egg for people on the tour. I keep waiting for someone to discover it and clean it up or throw it away, but it’s been there for at least a year now. If you find it, let me know, and I’ll give you a high-five or pour you a beer or something!

 

 

21st Anniversary Party

May 5, 2015

 

We’re turning 21 and throwing our biggest party ever to celebrate! Join us at the home of our future second location (3395 Brighton Blvd. in Denver – across the street from The Source) for the summer’s best afternoon of live music, food trucks, special release beers and Yeti sightings. Get your tickets before they sell out!

$40 Ticket Includes:

  • Unlimited access to the entire lineup of Great Divide beer (including many special releases).
  • Live Music
  • Food Ticket (for a generous snack from one of Denver’s finest food trucks). Additional food available for purchase.
  • Commemorative [and reusable!] stainless steel pint
  • Free bike valet
GD 21st Anniversary Party Poster

Brewery-Cellared 2012 Old Ruffian Release

March 22, 2015

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Three-time GABF medal-winner Old Ruffian is flowing from taps and on shelves now, and as we are gearing up to release Old Ruff’s highly anticipated Barrel Aged brother, we thought “why stop there? Why not get the whole family together?”

 On April 1st, we will release 2012 brewery-cellared Old Ruffian in a one-time only case sale. This is no joke. Starting at 4pm, you can buy a ticket from the Tap Room for your case, then head over to the tank farm to retrieve your glorious prize. We have a very limited supply, may the first 70 people win! 

*$60/case, limit 2 cases per person. 

 

OLD RUFFIAN is a hefty, hop-forward Barley Wine. Seemingly mellow at the start with subtle fruit aromas and complex caramel sweetness, it quickly becomes aggressive with its bold hop flavors and huge hop bitterness. Ultimately, the big body, succulent sweetness and massive hop character come together to work wonders on your palate. 10.2% ABV

BARREL AGED OLD RUFFIAN This special release of our acclaimed, hefty barley wine has been aged for over 12 months in whiskey barrels.  The process tempers Old Ruffian’s edges for a mellowed version with heady whiskey flavors and subtle oak notes.  This rounded wonder clocks in at 85-90 IBUs. 10.2% ABV

 

Winter Wondergrass VIP Ticket Giveaway

February 11, 2015

 

 

We are so excited to be a presenting beer sponsor at this year’s WinterWondergrass music & craft beer festival, coming up fast February 20th-22nd in Avon Colorado. We don’t want to be the only ones having all the fun, so we are giving away a 3-day VIP ticket package for two, worth over $600!

 

VIP Tickets Include:WIN TWO VIP TICKETS TO WINTER
Access to side stage heated tent and viewing area
Free Colorado Craft brew from beer sponsors 2:30-5:30pm each day
Happy hour bar pricing all night (full bar)
Specialty keg tapping each night before the headliners
One daily meal ticket for nightly food and brew pairing provided by VIN 48
Klean Kanteen festival mug
Full bar located in side stage heated VIP tent
Custom laminate
Fun swag from festival & Great Divide
 

 

We partnered with our friends over at Drizly (the amazing on-demand alcohol delivery service that recently launched in Boulder, Vail, and Denver) to run this giveaway. Use Drizly to order Great Divide beer straight to your door, and be entered to win the tickets! Use promo code “WONDERGRASS” with your order, and not only will you be entered to win tickets to this amazing bluegrass and beer fest in the mountains, you will also get FREE delivery of your whole order. Order any time now through Sunday 2/15, and a winner will be randomly selected and announced on Monday. Worst case scenario? You get Great Divide beer delivered to your door for the same price you would pay to go to the store. It’s a win-win.

 

*Contest only available through Drizly in Denver, Boulder, and Vail*

 

 

January News

January 22, 2015

Join Our Team

GD crew at Groundbreaking

Our brewery is growing, and we need to add to our passionate, hardworking team. We are a small family here at Great Divide, and it’s really important to us to find the right people to join our crew. If you think you or someone you know would be a good fit, check out our current job listings! If it’s on the website, it’s still available.

Fresh Year, Fresh Beer

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Got a case of the post-holiday blues? We have the antidote—fresh beer releases! Available January through March, these are the perfect beers to get you smiling through the toughest winter months. Check our BeerFinder to find some near you!

 
Orabelle is brewed with barley, wheat, oats and rye. This Belgian-Style Tripel is a golden beauty. Its two yeast strains, orange peel and dash of coriander impart surprising complexity and richness to this delicate ale. Don’t let Orabelle’s demure nature fool you; this is one flavorful pour. Watch out, she’s a charmer—one sip and you’ll be in love.
 
Espresso Oak Aged Yeti A generous infusion of Denver’s own Pablo’s espresso adds yet another layer of complexity to this beer, combining with the vanilla oak character, intense roasty maltiness and bold hop profile to create a whole new breed of mythical creature. It’s official: You can now have Yeti with breakfast.

Construction Cam

It was only a few months ago that we had an empty five acre lot, devoid of much more than a promising future as our second home. Like all proud parents, we couldn’t believe how fast our baby was growing up, so we installed a Construction Cam to keep up with the action. Now you can check out the time-lapse footage to watch the new site transform with us. Check it out here!

Limited Release

BA Hiber bottle shot 2014

For all of you Hibernation fans out there, you may want to sit down for this. Well, first sit down, then get ready to run to the liquor store. This week bottles of Barrel Aged Hibernation will start hitting shelves, but they won’t stay there for long. Over 12 months in whiskey barrels has completely transformed our prized winter seasonal, producing a Hibernation that starts with big whiskey notes before mellowing out into luscious chocolate, dark fruit and vanilla. If you can only take one beer into your cave this winter, we strongly suggest this one.

Winter Wondergrass

winter wondergrass 2014 from stage with logos

We are excited to be joining Winter Wondergrass again this year as a presenting beer sponsor. Check out their website for the full lineup and ticket info.
 
Winter Wondergrass Music, Brews and Mountains is the motif for the Winter WonderGrass Festival returning to the Vail Valley February 20-22nd, 2015 for it’s third year.  Winter WonderGrass Festival will feature more than 20 bands and 15 Colorado breweries over three days.  WinterWonderGrass Festival is the perfect storm of world-class bluegrass and acoustic artists, craft beer and libations and star filled Rocky Mountain nights encapsulating all things Colorado.
Fans can stroll the grounds, fresh off the mountain, still wearing their winter snow gear rotating between the two heated beer tents which are flanking the main stage and overlooking Nottingham Lake.  The beer tents will host the Colorado breweries where they will pour their signature brews from 2:30-5:30 pm each day along side the Pickin’ Perch and Jamboree stages. 

January Charities

Great Divide Beer Rainbow with logo

We donate 100% of the proceeds from samples served in the Tap Room each month to different local charities. This month trying new brews helps to benefit Denver Urban Scholars and Boys Hope Girls Hope.
 
Denver Urban ScholarsSince 1995, Denver Urban Scholars has been dedicated to helping metro Denver students with the greatest need graduate high school and enter higher education with a meaningful life plan for success. 

Boys Hope Girls HopeBy providing children with arms-around care, safe homes and environments, a first-class education, opportunities to learn more about themselves and the world, and academic, financial, and spiritual support through college, Boys Hope Girls Hope empowers children to realize the potential that is within them.

Fresh Year, Fresh Beer

January 5, 2015

 

 

The return of Orabelle, Espresso Oak Aged Yeti, and Old Ruffian should make for a pretty great start to the new year. Orabelle and Espresso Oak Aged Yeti are out now, and Old Ruffian will be coming out in February in 4packs!

 

Q1 Seasonal Sell Sheet 2015

Craft Beer Cheese Soup Recipe

December 17, 2014

Thanksgiving may be over, but there is still time to enjoy some pumpkin goodness. Check out this delicious pumpkin beer cheese soup recipe made with our Denver Pale Ale, courtesy of our friends at Thrillist. Experts agree that this is a surefire way to fight the cold on those biting winter nights. We recommend pairing it with Hoss

 

 

Thrillist beer cheese Perry Santananoche

Photo courtesy of Perry Santanachote/Thrillist

Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup Recipe (full article here)

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

 

Yield: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pumpkins, about 2 pounds each
  • Cooking oil spray
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, thickly sliced
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced thyme
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 2 (12-ounce) bottles Great Divide Denver Pale Ale
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Croutons or pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)
  • 6-pack Great Divide Hoss Rye Lager (optional for pairing)

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Position 1 rack in the upper third of an oven and 1 rack in the lower third; preheat to 425°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil and set aside.
  2. Quarter the pumpkins, scrape out the fibers and the seeds, and spray with cooking oil. Place pumpkins, cut side down, on baking sheets. Roast until tender and the rinds pull away from the flesh, 45 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and peel rinds off the flesh with tongs. Discard rinds, and transfer flesh to a bowl.
  4. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, warm olive oil until shimmering. Add carrots, celery, shallots, salt, and pepper. Sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, sage, ginger, paprika, and nutmeg; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add pumpkin flesh, broth, and 1 ½ bottles of Denver Pale Ale (drink the rest). Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and continue to whisk constantly for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk until smooth and thick. Add cheese 1 cup at a time, stirring until smooth each time. Reduce heat to low until pumpkin mixture is ready.
  6. Pour cheese mixture into pumpkin mixture. Using a stick blender, puree the soup until smooth. Or puree in batches in a blender.
  7. Ladle 2 cups soup into 6 bowls and garnish with croutons and pumpkin seeds. Serve with cold bottles of Hoss.

 

 

 

 

Changes & Improvements: Our New Centrifuge

November 26, 2014

Here at Great Divide, we are never completely satisfied with our beers. Satisfaction doesn’t lead to greatness, and making great beer is what we are all about. In our constant pursuit of greatness, we are always looking at how we can improve our systems, change a process, alter ingredients, or utilize new equipment to continue to get the best beer possible from our brewery to your hands.

Sometimes the changes we make aren’t always noticeable, but we recently made a change that we want you to notice, and some of you already have. We have recently begun using a centrifuge as an alternative filtration method for our beer, and there are many reasons why weIMG_2360 are excited about this, and why you should be too:

First of all, using a centrifuge is going to result in better tasting beer. Relying on g-force to do the work, a centrifuge spins the beer at a high RPM, naturally separating out the heavier hop and yeast particles that remain after fermentation. This process is much gentler on the beer than typical filtration, which uses aids like DE (diatomaceous earth) to help strip out all particulates from the beer. While many beer drinkers are accustomed to equating clarity with quality, that degree of filtration is not actually necessary. Centrifugation allows the smaller hop particles and essential oils to stay in the beer, contributing to improved hop aromas and a fuller mouthfeel.

So now we have improved the flavor profile of our beer, but what about consistency and stability? If you have picked up a six-pack of Titan or DPA recently, you may have noticed a slightly hazier appearance, or even tiny bits of particulate at the bottom of the beer. Both of these are common side effects of centrifugation, and in no way negatively affect the quality or flavor of the beer. In fact, beer is closer to its “natural” form in this state, and a better representation of what the brewery intended it to taste like. Using a centrifuge also dramatically decreases the risk of oxygen pickup that you get from filtration, resulting in improved head-retention and a longer shelf life for your beer.

Another massive draw for us in the decision to switch to centrifugation was the environmental impact. By cutting down our need for DE, we are greatly reducing our waste stream and landfill imprint. We are always willing to make changes to continue improving the quality of our beer, but the added environmental reasoning of this decision made it an easy sell. We think that you have just as much of a right as anyone to know what is going on with your beer, and we don’t want anyone getting scared off by a slightly different appearance to their favorite brew. Education is key, and we’re here to answer your questions. Great Minds Drink Alike, after all.

Autumn Seasonals Return

October 16, 2014

 

The air is getting crisp, the leaves have started to turn, and it’s time to start planning ridiculous costumes for your children and pets to wear so you can laugh at with them. Well, at Great Divide we know that with changing seasons come changing palates, and our line of fall seasonal beers is back again to accompany all of the corn maze, haunted house, turkey trotting, pumpkin patching festivities you can wrap your hand-knitted beanie clad head around. Just for some added inspiration, here are some of our favorite times to enjoy each brew:

Fresh Hop: Crisp Autumn afternoons when the air is chilly but the sun is warm enough to claim “it’s patio weather.”

Hibernation Ale: Great for sitting around a campfire, soaking in the last few opportunities to sleep out in the woods with your friends before Winter weather hits.

Oak Aged Yeti: Après-ski, when you kick off your cold boots, put on dry wool socks, and feel the blood circulate back to your limbs as you curl up on the couch and watch the snow fall from the window.

Want to share your favorite ways to enjoy each brew? Tag photos to @greatdividebrew on Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook. Cheers!

 

Oak Aged Yeti is Yeti Imperial Stout’s sophisticated sibling. They may be from the same clan, but they have entirely different personalities. Oak aging gives a subtle vanilla character, rounding out Yeti’s intense roastiness and huge hoppy nature. Who says you can’t tame a Yeti? At 9.5% ABV,  it boasts a perfect Ratebeer.com score of 100 and was named one of BeerAdvocate’s 2010 “Top 100 Beers On Planet Earth.”

Fresh Hop is a labor of love meant to be enjoyed today. Brewed every fall since 2003 with wet, whole cone hops from the Pacific Northwest, it was one of the first bottled fresh hop beers available in the U.S.. Great Divide tells drinkers, “Don’t age it. Keep it cold. Drink it now. Savoring this delightful pale ale during harvest season ensures that its unparalleled grassy, citrus hop brilliance will remain uncompromised.” At 6.1% ABV with 55 IBUs, Fresh Hop has garnered a score of 98 on Ratebeer.com.

Hibernation Ale is Colorado’s original strong ale and Great Divide’s celebrated winter tradition since 1995. At 8.7% ABV, this robust, dry-hopped ale has a malty richness balanced with a complex hop profile and hearty, warming character. Hibernation is a three-time Great American Beer Festival medal winner and boasts a Ratebeer.com score of 98.