BeerScene Mag: Beercation: Denver, Colorado
“In a state with a brewing roster of 300+ breweries and counting, it comes as no surprise that in Denver, Colorado—the home of nation’s iconic Great American Beer Festival—you’ll find more than 50 breweries calling the Mile High City their home…
Great Divide Brewing Company
2201 Arapahoe St.
Neighborhood: LoDo (Lower Downtown)
Already a household name, Great Divide is currently barrels-deep in expansion mode. In 1994, owner Brian Dunn hacked a former dairy processing plant into a 15,000-square-foot brewhouse. By now, it’s proved to be too small for the brewery’s rapidly expanding sour program, which they launched five years ago.
In mid-2015, one mile away in River North, they’ve opened the Barrel Bar, a 16-tap bar that currently fits 40 guests (plus 100 more on the patio, when that’s open). The second taproom is only in its phase one of Great Divide’s intended expansion. It’s attached to a 65,000-square-foot warehouse, which can house up to 1,500 barrels—a majority of which are dedicated to sours—and also allows room for a new kegging and canning line.
Let’s jet back to the original, which will remain even after the RiNo facility is complete. The bustling jewel box-sized taproom has entertained brew geeks’ palates with its range of bold, higher-in-alcohol beers for years. With 16 beers on tap at all times, the offerings dance between the notable classics (i.e. all of the Yeti series), the seasonal Tank Farm series (Nadia Kali, a hibiscus saison is very worthy of a try), and a few experimental brews, pulled off of the site’s OG pilot system.
Adam Dreyer, Great Divide’s bar supervisor, revealed that the brewing team is constantly creating “well balanced beers—especially IPAs, like Titan—that do not fry your palate. We have brewers on-site every day—even Saturdays—constantly working off our pilot system.”
Though he may be biased, he suggested that Great Divide is making the “best beer in the city. There are so many beers done so well, but we make sure to always have something for everyone, catering to all needs and making people happy.”
Tap into Dreyer’s enthusiasm by joining him for a free, guided brewery tour. They’re hosted daily and run roughly 30 minutes at both facilities.”
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